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Threshold Notes -- Reiki and Spirituality

Last Updated: April 22, 2013         RETURN TO THRESHOLD NOTES iNDEX

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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.

Vancouver Cherry Blossoms - www.theloop.caIt’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.

Mt Hiei and Sakura-from en-wikipedia-orgAs 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 people.

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. 

Both of these sources are good places to start if looking for some of the original Usui Spiritual teachings that relate either to daily life, or to your own work as a Reiki practitioner and teacher.  If you are using concepts like mindfulness meditation and moment-to-moment practices or ideas from Law of Attraction, then you are already much closer to Usui’s original methods than you think.  However, it can also be that you might simply feel the urge to blend whatever spiritual practices you already are involved in your daily life, with your Reiki practice or Reiki teaching.  Even as early at the 1980’s natural energy healers who came to Reiki were already adding their own ideas and techniques into Reiki teachings.  So your spiritual practices, meditations, beliefs might just fit comfortably into your Reiki and energy work. Give it a try and see for yourself.   smile
Here are links to some of the web pages mentioned in this ote:
- Taniai Village       - Mt. Hiei       - Usui Gainen
- Usui Do (Usui Teate)      - Gendai Reiki
Richard (Rick) Rivard

If you have comments or suggestions, Contact Me.   I will try to answer them all.

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