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A Master's View Of Reiki
Reiki Master - A Perspective
It took a long time for me to decide how to write these articles in a method that would give out useful information to seekers, yet maintain the respect and essence of the Usui Reiki tradition. The tradition states that much of the knowledge given in Reiki II and Reiki III are to be treated with great reverence and only shared in a class forum through teaching the Reiki II or Reiki III levels.
I've pondered this controversy for many years. I myself am a traditionally trained and traditionally certified Master. In my loyalty to the Reiki tradition, I have not shared this information with anyone outside "the ranks" before creating these articles. However, since I became a Reiki Master, many masters have begun to break the ranks and have published their training knowledge in various books and on the web. No longer is it secret and reserved to the traditionalists.
In addition, these articles have become useful sources to trained channels who do not practice on a daily basis. Those who have forgotten certain aspects of their training, can find a resource of the traditional teachings and feel confident about the information attached to them.
For instance Reiki II training consists of symbols and meanings that aid in the delivery of Reiki to a needed party. However, these symbols and meanings have long been treated as secret knowledge, only to be shared with students trained in the traditional manner and attuned to the Reiki method of connecting to the Life Force energy. So many of the new published works are different from one another, because the authors were trained by different Masters who received their training from people that are not part of the Usui lineage. I've found that not only is the symbology different, but the information about the method of healing and what's included and not included in it has also been changed.
It may still be valid and viable information which can still be affective. But it's not Usui Reiki. Because of this it's important to share some of this knowledge to maintain the history, knowledge and tradition of Usui Reiki. In order to perserve the Usui lineage, we need to document it and validate its historical link.
Reiki has long been an oral tradition passed down from initiated Master to student. As an oral tradition there maybe some variation in how a subject is delivered but the details and specifics can remain the same. In fact it's that attention to the traditional details that provide value to a tradition.
As an example of this, consider the concepts emphasized by the pagan community (of which I'm part). Many in the pagan community want to align their practice with the "Ancient" ways. But sadly NO one can truly do that. Old knowledge fades and becomes lost because there's no one to carry on those initial traditions in their original form. This is especially true for something like a religious practice that is at odds with a reigning religion coming into its own. Information is destroyed on purpose, its practice is outlawed and those who continue its practice are captured or killed. Detailed information about the old ways have been lost long ago. But reconstruction of those ways still exist even if they're from the mid 18th or 19th Century. Their old, but they're not the same ancient ways of the past.
We can come close and fill in the blanks with knowledge from other systems. We can use 20th Century understandings of archeology, sociology, rediscovered historical documents and even modern science and knowledge of our universe to bring those old beliefs and practices together. But they aren't truly the traditional ancient ways. For a spiritual practice they shouldn't be because we as humans evolve and so too does the need for our spiritual understandings of the universe.
So what does this have to do with Reiki? There's something to be said for Tradition in keeping to the ways of a specific form or practice and understanding. Keeping it intact and as close to true in its original teachings not only helps to preserve the information, but it allows the value of the "tradition" to stand the test of time. That's not to say that even within a tradition of doing something that new thoughts or perspectives can't be included. They can, and in fact they often enhance that which has already been established. But they don't have to change what's traditional in order to make it better or more effective. Tradition gives value and importance to something, especially something that maintains its wisdom through the change of time and thought. If it can live up to changing standards, which Reiki can and does, there's no need to reinvent it or alter its practice.
For this reason I think it's important to document some of what Usui Reiki is to ensure it remains true to it's original intent and standard. I by no means am the person to do that alone or as the representative of Usui Reiki. That blessing and work lies with the Reiki Lineage Bearer.
The Office of the Grand Master was founded in 1993 after Phyllis Lei Furumoto, the recognized lineage bearer, and Paul David Mitchell, recognized as Head of Discipline, formed a partnership to maintain the strength of the system brought to them by Hawayo Takata. And it's original traditions. Ms. Furumoto is the grand daughter of Takata and Mr. Mitchell is one of Takata's 21 Masters.
One of the concerns with making some aspects of the Usui Reiki system public and published is that it can be "taken" by others who don't have the value of the Master's traditional knowledge and understanding, and it can be altered in an attempt to "make it better" or "more available" to a wider audience. Or from a negative side, it can be taught without the knowledge and experience where assumptions are used to fill in gaps. I've noted as of late that this is the biggest harm to the traditional teachings. Those who read a book or two, take a class from someone else who simply hung out a shingle and claimed knowledge they didn't earn, miss out on the intricate details that can only be shared by those who learned in the traditional way.
As an example, some people believe Reiki is simply a way to connect to the Divine healing energy and delivered through symbols to those in need. They believe it doesn't have connections to spirit, karma, the super consciousness or better put, it doesn't address the Mind/Body/Soul connection of the individual. In fact, that's a false assumption and something that is covered in traditional teaching.
One of the concepts of Reiki is that this practice is not a commodity, a way to make a living, nor a technique alone. The practice is a Japanese Healing Art through which a student can attain self awareness, spiritual understanding, and daily experiences of healing.
I think there's value on both sides of the coin to keep aspects secret and earned through training. But I also see the value in documenting aspects in order to help maintain the details of the tradition. It's a quandary indeed.
I still believe in the traditional teachings of Reiki and the concepts of formally learning a healing method by a certified master and a master who can trace their lineage to Usui. It's not a perspective of being an elitist; it's a perspective of maintaining the values of the tradition and the aspects of its wisdom that are the important issue. Even here in my writings you won't find all the information that I teach in my Reiki courses. There's simply not enough space or time to put it all down on paper (or digital screen).
So my biggest suggestion and recommendation for those interested in Reiki, if you want to become a Reiki Channel, you can't learn it from a book or even from what I offer here in my writings. You can use these as refreshers, or follow up reference because you cannot access a Traditional Master of Reiki at the time you need the information. So find yourself a traditional Reiki Master who can offer you the traditional training method provided within the Usui system.
If the information contained in this section on Reiki in any way offends a certified Reiki Channel or Master; than I humbly apologize. My intention does not come from ego, arrogance or greed. Rather it is from a great respect and a desire to maintain the original tradition of Reiki. I'm trying to look at these articles from a perspective of change in the modern world. As short as 100 years ago, we could gather together in communities and share the oral stories of our ancestors. Today, that gathering together in community has grown beyond your next door neighbor or your family across town. Today's community is world wide through the internet and the many ways we connect to each other on a technological basis. This is the new oral sharing of history, respect and honor for our important traditions.
At no time in history has it been more important to share traditional information than today. Because access to topics is so readily available today and misinformation can be so easily put forth as accurate. The internet has become the Library of Alexandria and we need traditional Masters to grow and change in the methods of how we share our knowledge to maintain their authenticity. It is my hope that this information is looked at from this perspective.
The only part of Reiki training you will not find here in my writings is the Level 3 Reiki Master training. In part because I believe it's easy for anyone to hang out a shingle and claim to be an expert at something. I don't want to give these individuals an easier method to defraud people. I also believe there is a level of practice that needs to be gained to understand the highest level of Reiki. You can't learn that from a book or an article. There is great value in the one-on-one sharing of knowledge, in person, and through the oral exchange of knowledge and putting that knowledge into practice. We gain knowledge through research, we gain wisdom through the exercise of that knowledge. But you need someone who has attained that knowledge to help you, critique your implementation and even correct your practice when it's needed.
Next: An Introduction into Reiki

Created: 03/28/1999       Updated: 01/31/2013
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