This Note is one of a series where I give my ideas on aspects of Reiki and/or energy work. The pages are intended to give some "food for thought" and some are only my viewpoint. While a number of facts may be included, you should decide for yourself how much (if any) of the content feels right to you.
It’s Earth Day here and spring time in the Vancouver area, the sakura trees are all in bloom and that makes me
think about a Reiki related trip I took to Japan in 2000. I was very moved by the temples and shrines I
found there, especially in the Kyoto area.
They brought to mind the fact that Usui Sensei had lived here and
probably walked some of the same streets I did.
Unfortunately I learned too late, after my trip, that his favourite
meditation spot was up in the Tendai Buddhist temple grounds on Mt. Hiei. Although I did get to visit his home village,
something very few Reiki people have had the opportunity to do. The quaintness
and humbleness of the village brought to mind Usui Sensei’s early exposure to
spiritual training (age 4) and how later in life he taught a more manageable
summary of his many years of spiritual training for lay people.
When I first
learned Reiki there was little, if any, spiritual content shared in class. The
closest would have been the Western version of the Usui Gainen or
concepts. These were taught instead as
precepts and their translation and purpose had changed over the years from
Usui’s original teachings, and continued to change once Mrs. Takata shared her
version. When I began teaching Reiki I
had some students asking about the spiritual side of Reiki. Like some Western teachers I was only able to
add in some ideas I had learned from my own metaphysical and new age types of
training. Some of the classes I had
taken did include similar ideas, but it wasn’t until I met Dave King and then
later, Hiroshi Doi, that I began to see glimpses of Usui’s original spiritual
purpose. These sources came from 2 different directions – one from original
students of Usui still living in the early 2000’s and the other from Usui Reiki
Ryoho Gakkai oral teachings.
As early as 1996
Dave King was sharing information with me in his Traditional Japanese Reiki
Master upgrade class about pre-1935 Hayashi teachings he and Melissa Riggall
learned in Japan from a Hayashi senior student named Mr. Tatsumi. At the time of his training (1931-35) Mr.
Tatsumi was not only taught Hayashi’s version of the URR Gakkai hands-on Reiki
healing, but also the complete content of what Hayashi had learned in 1925 from
the spiritual teachings of Usui Sensei (there were 13 levels of this particular
training.) Dave and Melissa were both
taught to the final level of this style (called Usui-no-Michi or Usui Do by
some) and given permission to teach this by Tatsumi. In 2000 Dave and Melissa began to teach this
more formally and by late 2002, on the advice of certain Usui students, they
switched to the 1925 version of the teachings known as Usui Teate. Note that this style of training, while very
spiritual in nature, does not include hands-on healing and in no way competes
with any Reiki training. Therefore it is especially suitable for even non Reiki
In 1999 I had
suggested that my friends and I invite Mr. Hiroshi Doi to Vancouver to teach
what he was allowed to share from early URR Gakkai teachings. I noticed that his 3rd level or
Shinpiden material had some spiritual ideas in it I had not seen in Western
Reiki classes. And when my friends and I took Mr. Doi’s Gokuikaiden training (4th
level or master level) the following year in Japan, there were more ideas of a
spiritual and teaching nature included.
So it seems that the URR Gakkai did retain some ideas from, if not the
spirit of some of the original Usui teachings.
If you have comments or suggestions, Contact Me. I will try to answer them all.
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