initial "source" story told in the U.S. by Hawaya Takata deviated a bit
from actual events. Many today believe she did this on purpose to
overcome the "closed mindedness of Americans". An understandable choice
in her time.
Upon her death, an internal
struggle began within the traditional Usui - Takata community. Who was
to become the Sensei and head of Reiki; at least here in the west? At
the same time, a group of Reiki Masters and channels wanted to verify
information taught to them to answer to some controversies about it's
origin that created a negative critique of the practice. They began to
research Miako Usui's life, his story and practices in an attempt to
document the facts behind the healing method.
Here's a little of what they discovered.
Miako Usui, was influenced by Shintoism, the traditional
faith of the Japanese people prior to contact with China.Through
his studies and life he became a practicing Buddhist. Recent
discoveries by Reiki Masters and practitioners have revealed
the story of Reiki's history and travel to the West and many
now are trying to correct some misinformation that exists about
The system of Reiki was developed by Usui in 1922 whilst
performing Isyu Guo, a twenty-one day Buddhist training course
held on Mount Kurama. On the last day of this event, Usui received
a revelation and was given the knowledge of healing, and the
spiritual power to apply and attune others to what he called
Reiki. The knowledge and energy entered his body through his
crown Chakra and imprinted upon his mind in a peaceful and empowering
do not believe in a God concept. Buddha was not a God, but rather a
teacher or prophet of knowledge. You can read more about Buddhism and
their view of Divinity at BuddhaNet.
following is the story told to Reiki Channels in their first level
training class as presented by Takata. It was told to me by Rev. Beth
Gray, one of Takata's Masters. In teaching Reiki today, I stick to
the facts and researched and documented by the Reiki Alliance. But the
Takata story is an important part of the evolution and history of Reiki
here in the west and especially here in the U.S. So I think it's
important to acknowledge it and share it's oral history.
The Discovery of Reiki, by Dr. Miako Usui.
Dr. Miako Usui was a ministerial professor at a well known
university in Japan. During one of his classes a student asked
how Jesus could heal the sick with his hands. Dr. Usui couldn't
answer this question and if he was to be a teacher, he felt he
should understand the How as well as the Why. Now some say the
student asked how could Buddha heal the sick with his hands.
But since this event wasn't recorded, no one can really be sure
what the initial question was. It really isn't important; as
this is an oral story that shares the general experience of Usui.
What prompted the journey of discovery really has no bearing
on the the outcome.
Dr. Usui spent the next several years researching for the
answer to spiritual healing. His study took him to Chicago then
back to Japan. He researched Christian, Jewish and Buddhist texts,
many dating back 2,500 years, but he found no answers. Finally
he reviewed an ancient Sanskrit writing that discussed hand positions
and thought patterns used by Jesus (keep in mind this was told
to me by an American Reiki Master). Through his research, he
had found references that Buddha had taught Jesus how to heal,
so this was a link worth pursuing. Dr. Usui went to several Buddhist
monasteries for help, but few were able to answer his question
or provide satisfactory research. One suggested he try to seek
his answers from an ancient Buddhist monastery that was dedicated
to maintaining the ancient ways. Dr. Usui decided to travel into
the deep countryside and asked these monks if they could help
him find the answer he was seeking.
While staying at the mission, Dr. Usui research many age-old
texts. But few added to his search. One day, a monk suggested
the Dr. try the Buddhist ritual of meditation and fasting upon
a sacred mountain to ask Buddha for some answers. Dr. Usui decided
to undertake the experiment. So he went up to the top of Mount
Kura-Yama to fast, meditate and pray. He told the monks that
if he didn't return in 20 days to send out a search party for
him. When he reached the mountain, Dr. Usui gathered 20 stones
and laid them out on the ground. With the passing of each day,
he threw away one stone. At the end of the 19th day, Dr. Usui
thought he would never receive an answer to his prayers. He only
had enough water left for one more day and he contemplated leaving
the mountain. As he sat in thought, a brilliant white light appeared
far off in the distance. It was very bright and moved very quickly
toward him. Dr. Usui knew the light was going to hit him, so
he braced himself for the impact. As the light struck his body,
Dr. Usui fell backwards unconscious.
When he awoke on the 21st day, Dr. Usui gathered his belongings
and left the mountain. He felt changed somehow. He remembered
the light, and some Japanese character symbols, but he wasn't
sure he had the answer to his prayer. He traveled down a dirt
road until he saw a small red bench. In this part of the country,
a red bench means there's a "food bar" near by. Dr.
Usui sat down and soon a man came to him. Dr. Usui asked for
some food, but the man recognized the signs of a man who had
just been on a fast and sabbatical to the mountain. He tried
to talk the Dr. into a nice mild gruel so as not to upset his
stomach. But Dr. Usui insisted he would be fine and requested
that the man bring him what he asked for.
Within a few minutes, a young woman brought Dr. Usui his
meal. Her face was swollen and she was obviously in pain, so
Dr. Usui asked her what was wrong. She told him she had a tooth
ache, but she couldn't get away to the dentist until her mother
returned to help her father. Suddenly Dr. Usui felt the need
to place his hand on the young woman's cheek. His hands became
warm and after a few moments, the young woman's pain had vanished.
The young woman was very grateful and reported back to her father.
As he ate his meal, he felt a renewed strength. The heavy meal
didn't upset his stomach or cause him any ills after his long
fast. Something that generally wouldn't be the case. He took
note of the condition of his own constitution and that of the
young woman and the Dr. was sure he had found his answer.
He opened a school in Japan and began to teach his laying
on of hands healing method to who ever was interested. Many years
later, Chijuro Hiyashi, M.D. was one of the students to attend
this school and become a Reiki Master. He integrated this form
of healing into his traditional medical practice and documented
the amazing results. As a Reiki Master, Dr. Hiyashi had the knowledge
and authority to teach Reiki to others until his death in 1941.
One of these people was one of his patience, Hawayo Takata.