Traditional History of Reiki

The Japanese like many ancient cultures used word of mouth to pass their history and practices down from generation to generation. Unfortunately, this led to a great deal of knowledge and wisdom being watered down and lost. Many people involved with Reiki believe that the techniques we use today for healing were first used in India by Buddha and later by Jesus.

As Reiki was passed down in this manner, our knowledge of the history came from a recorded interview by Hawayo Takata. This is the story that she told.

Traditional History of Reiki

Mikao Usui rediscovered Reiki in the early 1900s. He was the director of a Religious school in Japan. Ask by a student if he believed the Bible to be literally true, did he believe that Jesus really healed the sick. Mikao Usui said that he believed that the Bible was literally true and yes Jesus did perform miracles. The students asked him how Jesus performed the miracle of healing. Mikao Usui said he did not know how Jesus performed the miracle.

Mikao Usui traveled to the United States and entered the Chicago School of Divinity, where he earned his Doctorate in Theology. However, he did not find the answer to his question, How may you heal the body?

He returned to Japan and entered a Zen monastery. There he studied ancient Buddhist, Sanskrit, and Tibetan texts for many years. Mikao Usui felt like he had failed and expressed his feeling to one of the monks. The monk never says this is the end, instead “everything is a beginning.” Do not give up your quest, because everything known to man can be known again.

Finally, in the original Sanskrit, he found the formula for healing the body in the ancient texts, but he did not have the ability or understanding to use it. So he decided to Fast and Meditate.

He traveled to the holy mountain of Kuriyama. He climbed the mountain chose the spot for his meditation then gathered 21 stones and piled them before him. Each day he threw one stone down the mountain.

On the final morning just before dawn. Mikao Usui saw a beam of white light coming toward him. His first reaction was to run. However, he decided to stay still. The light entered his third eye and he lost consciousness. He reported that he saw millions of rainbow bubbles and little known Sanskrit symbols glowing in gold. As he saw each of the symbols he was given the names and uses for each as well as information on how to activate the healing energy. Mikao Usui came down the mountain and experienced what is known as the four miracles.

  1. Coming down from the mountain he stubbed his toe on a rock and fell to the ground. His toe was bleeding he instinctively grabbed his toe after a few minutes, the bleeding stopped and the pain disappeared.
  2. Mikao Usui had fasted for 21 days and then ate a very large breakfast without any adverse effects.
  3. The innkeeper’s granddaughter had a bad toothache for several days. Mikao Usui laid his hands on her face and she immediately felt better.
  4. Mikao Usui traveled back to a nearby abbey where he studied before the fast. The head abbot was ill and Usui healed him.

Mikao Usui began to practice Reiki in the slums of Kyoto, where he healed the beggars at no cost asking only that they start a new life. He worked for seven years in an asylum treating many illnesses However he found the same people returning who although healed of their physical ailments still chose to live by begging. Mikao Usui was deeply shaken. He realized that he had forgotten something very important in his healing work. To teach gratitude. Following this, he thought out the Reiki principles.

New information is found

Much of this story was disproved by the discovery of Mikao Usui’s memorial, the research of Frank Petter and William Rand, the teachings of Hiroshi Doi – a member of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai, and Chris Marsh, Dave King, and Melissa Riggall – all of whom studied with direct students of Mikao Usui.

Just because the story is not completely factual, there are numerous lessons to be learned in it. Reiki students should treat this history as a parable and look for the many lessons in it.

For a more detailed history of Usui, Hayashi, and Takata, click here.

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