Where Did Reiki Originate?

Reiki is a generic word in Japan used to describe many types of healing and spiritual work. It is not exclusive to the system of healing which has become universally known as Reiki today.

The word Reiki is formed from the Japanese words “Rei” (the universal aspect of life force energy) and “Ki” (the life force energy flowing through all living things). Therefore Reiki translates to "universal life force energy."

The practice of Reiki has a history spanning centuries, however was revived in Japan by Dr. Mikao Usui (1865-1926) during the beginning of the 20th century. Dr. Usui was a Christian monk who was the Principal of the Doshisha University, a Christian seminary in Kyoto, Japan. When his students asked him to demonstrate and explain the healing method used by Jesus, he was unable to do so. This led to a 10 year quest to find and learn the healing skill.

His quest led him to discoverer Sanskrittesttest formulas and symbols within old Buddhist Sutras which appeared to hold the key to the healing formula. He then traveled to the Holy Mountain of Koriyama and began a 21 day fast while reading the Sutras and meditating, in the attempt of gaining the level of consciousness required as described in the Sanskrit formulas. Upon his arrival at the mountain, he placed 21 small stones in front of him, throwing away one stone at the end of each day.

On the final morning of his quest, he saw a shining projectile of light moving toward him at great speed and which struck his third eye. A very powerful, white light appeared, as he saw symbols in front of him glowing in gold, and was given information on each symbol. This was the birth of Usui's system of Reiki, which he said was based on a rediscovery of an ancient healing method.

Dr. Usui found that the healing techniques contained within his spiritual system worked well on various ailments. In April 1922, he opened his first school/healing clinic in Harajuku, Tokyo. Usui used a small manual which is now translated into English and published by Western Reiki Master Frank Arjava Petter under the title "The Original Reiki Handbook of Dr Mikao Usui". Dr. Usui’s school/clinic provided healing, spiritual teaching, and taught others to use the healing practices to heal themselves and others. Self healing is still a central point of Reiki today).

Dr. Usui's skills as a healer and teacher spread quickly throughout Japan. His teachings were divided into 6 levels: Shoden (4 levels) and Okuden (2 levels), with students completing one level before graduating to the next. After completion of all six levels, Shinpiden is studied by master students. Few students graduated to the next level. On September 1st, 1923, an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale occurred near Tokyo killing over 140,000. Dr. Usui and his students began performing healings, creating even more demand for Reiki in Japan.

Dr. Chjiro Hayashi was a naval officer and became a student and subsequent Reiki Master trained by Dr. Usui. He opened a clinic in Tokyo, developing and expanding the various hand positions which are now used by Reiki practitioners in the west. These positions are based on Eastern traditional healing methods and focus on the upper body, with the belief that the body is “in” the head and torso. Treating both of these areas treats the body as a whole.

Dr. Hayashi compiled his own 40 page manual on how to use the hand positions for certain ailments. He initiated approximately 17 Reiki Masters, including Hawayo Takata (1900-1980).

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The information in this website is for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, nor used to replace, diagnose, prescribe, or treat any ailment, nor does it replace consultation with your medical doctor and practitioner. It is intended only to enhance your knowledge in healing therapies. Please use it wisely. We care about your well-being.
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