What is Usui-Do?

Usui-Do is a meditative, spiritual system. Its purpose is to maintain unity of the self (body, mind and spirit) through harmony and balance. This is performed in an unconditional and nonjudgmental manner. A set of "Concepts" known as the Gainen form the basis of the entire system. This is what the Gainen look like in Japanese exactly as Usui himself arranged them!

What is an Usui Dojo?

An Usuidojo is a place where one may experience the message of Usui Mikao in the company of like-minded people. The motto of the Usuidojo was “Unity of Self through Harmony and Balance”.

The information is given out in a formal “dojo” setting. The “students” are called “doka” and come to share experiences with each other and with the “shihan”. The “shihan” calls upon the sum of all his previous experiences from other dojos to make his presentation. A dojo is NOT a classroom (a place where a “teacher teaches” and “students learn”). We are not mindlessly accumulating “information”. It is not so much what we do in the dojo but more how we do it and how we experience it such that it aids our personal development and well-being.

We all had to learn to walk. It took time; It took effort. We stumbled and fell. We learned to balance, to coordinate our body. We are STILL learning to walk as our bodies age. This is how one may experience the dojo. We make a series of “journeys”; we become a “different person” or a “new person” as the result of those “journeys”. That “new person” may now make the same journeys and re-experience them in a totally different manner, leading to the emerging of yet another “new person”.

In the dojo we must be in “input mode”. That is, we should be using all of our senses to observe the shihan and the interactions between doka and shihan. If a question arises in our minds we must set it aside for later. That question puts us in "output mode" and we will be unable to focus properly on what is going on within the dojo. We must listen and observe from the stillness of our hearts. We leave our bags and our shoes and our overcoats outside the dojo. They represent the outside world. We enter the dojo and become part of a private world and become one with Usui, the founder.

We focus on deepening our understanding of the Gainen, a family of three concepts that were developed by Usui and are practiced as part of the daily lives of Usui’s followers. We perfom a number of simple practical exercises to develop mindfulness. These exercises are all based on kata, movements of the arms and legs that originated centuries ago in China and form the basis of taijiquan (Tai-Chi). These movements made their way to Japan around 2000 years ago but still retain the original Chinese form.

Bodily and spiritual cleanliness is a key part of the way the systen is practiced. We make use of misogi rituals that can involve cleansing with water (Temizu 手水) or a dry bathing technique known as kenyoku 乾浴.

There are no attunements, no symbols and no chanting of the Gainen.

In 2001, Dave King and Laurie Anne King travelled to Japan to see for themselves the country in which Usui had grown up

The Reiki kanji

The REI-KI kanji have origins in China. They made their way to Japan where they retained their original Chinese meaning. Their origins and use are often misunderstood in the West. Click here for an explanation of the structure of the kanji.

Richard Rivard's website contains an interesting article at that outlines the changes in Usui's system over the last 80 years.

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Some of our adventures