Reiki is a completely self-contained, natural healing system; it is whole in and of itself and acts synergistically with all other types of healing. Thus, Reiki does not conflict or interfere with any other healing method, but acts as support; enhancing results and facilitating benefits. It assists the body in its own highest level of healing and wellness; speeding the healing process, and providing a source of restorative energy while one is ill, under medical treatment, or in recovery. As a source of universal healing energy, Reiki benefits all life forms; humans, animals, plants and other living forces, 

Reiki is like breathing. Once it is activated, it is always with you. When an individual has been attuned to Reiki through initiation by a Reiki Master, they are permanently linked without the need of conscious alteration of the mind through meditation, prayer, or imaging. 

Reiki is easy to learn and safe to use. Reiki is not an intellectual process. All that is required is attunement by a Reiki Master, an understanding of hand placements for treatment of self and others, and a willingness to be an open channel or conduit for this healing energy. Detachment from results and concern over whether or not you are ‘doing it right will assist in allowing the energy to flow freely through you. You can not harm or make a mistake in the application of Reiki energy. The energy knows what to do; it will go where it is most needed. 

Reiki is a technique for harmonizing and balancing natural energy. It restores, normalizes, balances and aligns the energy centers or chakras in the physical and finer bodies, while gently synchronizing and energizing vital meridians and acupuncture points. From a scientific point of view, Reiki produces results on an electromagnetic level. From recent research, it appears that Reiki and other types of energy work act to electromagnetically jump-start the body’s own healing process by producing changes in vibrational frequency that in turn stimulate physical changes in the body. This effect of promoting and supporting the body’s innate healing power may account for the increasing numbers of both individual consumers and health care organizations choosing to include Reiki as a part of their healthcare regime. 

Reiki is a powerful and natural system that unlocks the inner flow of vital energy within the sender and the receiver. It is a tool for use at any moment, any time, anywhere for on-the-spot energy, as well as stress and pain relief. 

Reiki is neutral in its origin. It is not a religion. It contains no doctrines or creeds and is not religious in nature. No matter where a person may be, at any point in their life, Reiki will harmonize and embrace their philosophical center point. The practice and receipt of Reiki can be used as a powerful tool for personal development and spiritual enlightenment. 

REI – Spiritual Wisdom 

REIKI is pronounced ‘Ray-Key’. The word Reiki comes from two Japanese words – Rei and Ki. They are shown in two different styles of Japanese writing on the following page. Rei is the upper character and Ki is the lower character. 

The word ‘Rei’ means ‘universal and this is the definition most commonly accepted. Research into the esoteric meaning of the Japanese kanji for Rei has given a much deeper understanding of this character. The word Rei as it is used in Reiki is more accurately interpreted to mean higher knowledge or spiritual consciousness. This is the wisdom that comes from God or the Higher Self and is the God-Consciousness which is all-knowing. It understands each person completely. It knows the cause of all problems and knows how to heal them. 

KI – Life Energy? 

The word ‘Ki’ means life energy. It is also known as the vital life force or the universal life force. This is the energy that animates all living things. As long as something is alive, it has life energy circulating through it and surrounding it; when it dies the life energy then departs. If your life energy is low, or if there is a restriction in its flow, you are more vulnerable to illness. When it is high and flowing freely, you are less likely to get sick. Life energy plays an important role in everything we do. It animates the body and has higher levels of expression. Ki is also the primary energy of our emotions, thoughts, and spiritual life. 

Ki is used by martial artists in their physical training and mental development. It is used in meditative breathing exercises called pranayama, and by the shamans of all cultures for divination, psychic awareness, manifestation, and healing. Ki is the energy used by all healers. Ki is present all around us and can be accumulated and guided by the mind. Russian researcher Semyon Kirlian developed a method in the 1940s for photographing the field of life energy that surrounds the human body. 

Many cultures have been aware of the existence of an energy that corresponds to the meaning of Ki. Thus Ki has been named: 

Spiritually Guided Life Energy 

It is the God-consciousness called Rei that guides the life energy called Ki in the practice of Reiki. Therefore, Reiki can be defined as spiritually guided life energy. This is a meaningful interpretation of the word Reiki. It more closely describes the experience most people have of it; Reiki guiding itself with its own wisdom rather than requiring the direction of the practitioner.

Reiki Never Depletes Your Energy

Because it is a channeled healing, the Reiki practitioner’s energies are never depleted. In fact, the Reiki consciousness considers both practitioner and diet to be in need of healing, so the energy benefits both the receiver and the giver. Because of this, giving a treatment always increases one’s energy and leaves one surrounded with loving feelings of well being. 


How Does Reiki Heal? 

We are alive because life energy or ki is flowing through us. Ki flows within the physical body though pathways called chakras, meridians, or nadis. It also flows around us in a field called the aura. The free and balanced flow of Ki is the cause of health. It is ki that animates the physical organs and tissues as it flows through them. Ki nourishes the organs and cells of the body, supporting their vital functions. When the flow of Ki is disrupted, it causes diminished functioning within one or more of the organs and tissues of the physical body. Therefore, disruption in the flow of Ki is often the main cause of illness. 

Ki is responsive to thoughts and feelings. When we have positive, optimistic thoughts, we increase our flow of Ki and this causes us to feel better. However, when we have negative thoughts, our Ki is disrupted and diminished and we do not feel as good. When negative thoughts become lodged in the subconscious mind, they create a permanent disruption of Ki. This happens when we either consciously or unconsciously accept negative thoughts or feelings about ourselves. These negative thoughts and feelings attach themselves to the energy field and disrupt the flow of Ki. Various organs and tissues of the body can be affected depending on the site of the blockage. This diminishes the vital function of those organs and cells of the physical body and unless the blockage is released, a person may become ill. 

When a person receives a Reiki treatment, the Rei or God-Consciousness part of the energy assesses where the person has blocks and then directs the healing energy, usually to the block that is nearest the position of the hands. However, sometimes it will go to the block that is most important even if it is far from the hands. The Reiki energy works with the negative thoughts and feelings that are blocking one’s natural flow of Ki and heals them as well. This can happen in a number of ways, By flowing through the affected parts of the energy field and charging them with positive energy, Reiki raises the vibratory level in and around the physical body where the negative thoughts and feelings are attached. This causes negative energy to break apart and fall away. In so doing, Reiki clears, straightens, and heals the energy pathways, thus allowing healthy Ki to flow in a natural way. Sometimes the entire blocking energy is lifted up to a higher field of energy where it is processed. Other times, it is melted away or burned up. When a block is released, sometimes a cold sensation will be experienced, and when it is melted or burned up, a hot sensation. Once Ki is flowing naturally, the physical organs and their tissues are then able to complete their healing process. 

The History and Origin of Reiki 

According to most accounts, Reiki originated in ancient Tibet and was rediscovered in the late 1800s by Mikao Usui, a Japanese physician, who named it Reiki (Japanese for Universal Life Force of Life Energy). Reiki is an oral tradition, passed down from master to student by word of mouth. As such, the story of its rediscovery has probably been altered and embellished as it has been handed down. The following is the history and origin of Reiki taken from Essential Reiki by Diane Stein, pp 9-13. 

  • The Traditional Reiki story begins in the mid-1800s with Mikao Usui, who was principal of the Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan, and also a Christian minister. Asked by his students to be shown the method by which Jesus did the healing, Usui began a ten-year quest to find and learn the skill. When Christian authorities in Japan told him that this healing was not talked about, much less known, Usui sought the information through Buddhism. Usui was told by Buddhist monks that the ancient spiritual healing methods had been lost and that the only way to approach them was by entering the Buddhist teachings, the path to Enlightenment. 
  • Mikao Usui then traveled to the United States, where he lived for seven years. When he received no further answers from Christians here, he entered the University of Chicago Divinity School. He is said to have received his degree there, where he studied comparative religions and philosophies. He also learned to read Sanskrit, the ancient scholarly language of India and Tibet. Usui still found no answers to his quest to learn the methods of this healing. There is no further mention of Mikao Usui as a Christian or a minister, but only as a Buddhist who after his return to Japan resided in a Zen monastery. It is interesting to note that in a search for records, Reiki Master William Rand found Mikao Usui had never been to Doshisha University, as principal, teacher or student. Further, there are no records of his attendance at the University of Chicago, nor of his receiving a degree. It would be easy to speculate that the Christian aspects of the story were added in the West, to make the startling power of the Reiki healing system acceptable to Americans. 

  • Mikao Usui returned to Japan and took residence in a Zen Buddhist monastery where he found the texts describing the healing formula, which he now could read in their original Sanskrit. The material did not include, however, information on how to activate the energy and make it work. Such obscuring of information was intentional, done to keep the often powerful material from hands not ready to know and use it properly, Hawayo Takata describes this: 

    • He went into studying Sanskrit, and when he later studied very hard to master it, he found a formula. Just as plain as day. Nothing hard, but very simple. Like two plus two equals four … And so he said, “Very well, I’ve found it. But now, I have to interpret this, because it was written 2500 years ago – ancient. But I have to go through the test.”

The test was a three week period of meditation, fasting, and prayer on Mt. Koriyama in Japan. He chose his meditation site and piled twenty-one small stones in front of him to mark time, throwing away one stone at the end of each day. On the final morning of his quest, in the darkest hour just before dawn, Usui saw a projectile of light coming toward him. His first response was to run from it, but he thought again, He decided to accept what was and the answer to his meditation, even if it resulted in his death. The light struck his third eye and he lost consciousness for a time. Then he saw “millions and millions of rainbow bubbles” and finally the Reiki symbols as if on a screen.

The History and Origin of Reiki Cont

As he saw each of the symbols, he was given the information about each of them to activate the healing energy. It was the first Reiki attunement, the psychic rediscovery of an ancient method. Mikao Usui left Mt. Koriyama knowing how to heal as Buddha and Jesus had healed, Walking down the mountain he experienced what is traditionally known as the four miracles. First, he stubbed his toe walking, and instinctively sat and put his hands on it. His hands became hot and the tom toe was healed. Next, he reached a house that served pilgrims at the bottom of the mountain. He asked for a full meal, not wise after twenty-one days of fasting on water, but ate it without discomfort. Third, the woman serving the meal was afflicted with toothache, and placing his hands on the sides of her face, he healed her pain, When he returned to his monastery and was told that the director was in bed with an arthritis attack, he also healed the monk. Usui named the healing energy Reiki, which means universal life force energy, and next took the method into the slums of Kyoto. There he lived for several years doing healing in the town’s beggars’ quarters. In the culture and the ethic of his time, people with deformities, missing limbs or with apparent dis-eases were supported by the community as beggars. After healing these people, he asked that the person start a new life, but he found the same faces returning. Seeing people that he thought were healed still begging instead of making an honest living, he became discouraged and left the slums. The people themselves were angry because with their dis-eases healed, they could no longer make their way as beggars and would now have to work. Mikao Usui became a pilgrim, taking Reiki on foot through Japan, carrying a torch and lecturing. In this way he met Chujiro Hayashi, a retired naval officer still on reserve status. Hayashi received his Reiki Master’s training from Usui in 1925, at the age of forty-seven and became Mikao Usui’s successor. Usui died in 1930, having made sixteen or eighteen Reiki Masters (the major sources vary), though none but Hayashi is mentioned by any Reiki source. Chujiro Hayashi trained teams of Reiki practitioners, both men and women, including sixteen Masters in his lifetime. He opened a healing clinic in Tokyo, where healers worked in groups on people who lived at the clinic during the time of their healing. Reiki healers also went to the homes of people unable to come to the clinic, It was Chujiro Hayashi’s Shina No Machi clinic that Hawayo Takata came for healing in 1935. Hawayo Kawamuru was born on December 24, 1900, to a pineapple cutter’s family on the island of Kauai, Hawaii, at Hanamaulu. Too small and frail for plantation work, she took jobs while still in public school, helping to teach younger children, and worked as a soda fountain clerk. Once out of school, she was offered a servant’s job at the large and wealthy plantation owner’s house. She lived at the plantation for the next twenty four years becoming housekeeper and bookkeeper, a position of great responsibility. She met and married the plantation’s accountant, Saichi Takata, in 1917, and they had a happy marriage and two daughters together. Saichi Takata died of a heart attack at the age of thirty-two in October, 1930. Over the next five years Hawayo Takata, widowed and with two small children to raise, developed nervous exhaustion and severe physical problems. She was diagnosed with gall bladder dis-ease that required surgery, but had a respiratory condition with breathing difficulties that made the use of anesthetic dangerous for her. Her health deteriorated, and she was told that without surgery she would not live, but that surgery might kill her. After a sister died in 1935, Takata took the news to her parents who had returned to live in Tokyo, and afterwards entered the Maeda Medical Hospital in Akasaka. 

For several weeks, she rested in the hospital and then was scheduled for surgery. By this time she was also diagnosed with appendicitis and a tumor, as well as gallstones. The night before the surgery she heard a voiced saying, “The operation is not necessary”. She heard it again on the operating table while being prepared for the anesthetic, and getting up from it asked the surgeon if there was another way for her to heal. The doctor told her, “Yes, if she could stay in Japan long enough for it,” and told her about Chujiro Hayashi’s clinic. The surgeon‘s sister, who had been healed by Hayashi’s healers and had taken Reiki training, took her there that day. 

Takata lived at the clinic and was completely healed in body, mind, and spirit in four months. She asked to be trained in Reiki but at first, she was refused, not because she was a woman but because she was a foreigner. Hayashi did not want the practice of Reiki healing to leave Japan at that time. Eventually, he relented because of the intervention of the Maeda Hospital surgeon. Hawayo Takata received her Reiki I training in spring, 1936. She joined the teams of healers that worked at the clinic, and in 1937 Takata received Reiki II and returned to Hawaii. She had lived in Japan for two years. Her first Reiki clinic was in Kapaa, and she was successful in her work. She obtained a massage therapist’s license to protect her from harassing authorities. In the winter of 1938, Chujiro Hayashi visited Takata in Hawaii and they did a lecture tour together. She received her Reiki lll training from him at this time, and on February 22, 1938, Hayashi announced Hawayo Takata as a Master/Teacher and his successor. He insisted that she not give the training away without charge. He also told her that when he summoned her, she was to come to him in Japan immediately. In 

1939 she opened her second healing center in Hilo. In 1941, Takata awoke one morning to psychically see Hayashi standing at the foot of her bed. She knew this was the summons and took the next available boat to Tokyo. When Takata arrived at the Reiki clinic, Chujiro Hayashi, his wife Chie Hayashi, and the other Japanese Reiki Masters were present. He told her that a great war was coming and that all involved with Reiki would perish and the clinic would be closed. He had feared earlier That Reiki would be totally lost to the world and therefore he made Takata – a foreigner – his successor. Chujiro Hayashi said further that as a naval reserve officer he had been drafted, and that as a healer and medic he would not take life. He determined to accept his own death instead, and therefore he had summoned Takata. On May 10, 1941, in the presence of his students, Chujiro Hayashi stopped his own heart by psychic means and died. The great war he predicted was World War II, and Reiki was indeed no longer available in Japan. Chie Hayashi survived, but their house and clinic were taken over by the Occupation, and she was not able to operate it as a healing center. 

Takata was the means by which Reiki continued. She brought it first to Hawaii, then she brought it to the mainland United States, and finally to Canada and Europe. She lived to be eighty years of age, but she always looked decades younger. She trained hundreds of people in the Reiki healing system. In the last ten years of her life, from 1970-1980, she initiated twenty-two Reiki Masters, both women and men. Hawayo Takata died on December 11, 1980. In her healing clinics, if a client was seriously ill and needed many healings, she trained someone in the family in Reiki to do the treatments. When the client was strong enough, they took the training as well. Takata taught by telling stories and by example, She did not allow her students to take notes, and she did not teach in the same way with every class. 

Sometimes she started the healing positions at the head, and other times at the middle of the body or even at the feet, In her teaching of Reiki Masters, the Reiki III degree, her work varied as well. The Master/Teachers she trained were not all taught in exactly the same ways, Since Hawayo Takata’s death, Reiki has gone through many changes in the West. Phyllis Furumoto, Takata’s granddaughter, has been named the Grand Master of Usui Traditional Reiki. Teaching techniques and methods have undergone changes, and several branches of Reiki have evolved. Each of these branches claims to possess the only correct way, but the fact is that all methods work and all of them were derived from Hawayo Takata’s teachings. Usui Traditional Reiki, also called Usui Reiki Ryoho, is probably the closest to what Hawayo Takata originally brought to Japan. It teaches Reiki in Three degrees with Reiki Ill as the Master/Teacher’s training. Some teachers of Reiki now divide the third degree into two levels, Reiki lll Practitioner and the Reiki III teaching degree. Some call the Reiki IIl Practitioner’s degree and advanced Reiki II. One system, Radiance, divides Reiki training into eleven degrees, declaring the higher levels to go beyond and extend Takata’s teaching. 

The Reiki Principles 

{These five spiritual principles) are said to have been written by Mikao Usui. They bear careful thought, and using them daily makes Reiki a way of life. They violate no one’s religion or religious ethics. Meditating upon them is calming and strengthening, and a very good thing to do during self-healing sessions. 

Just for today, I will give thanks for my many blessings. 

Just for today, I will not worry. 

Just for today, I will not be angry. 

Just for today, I will do my work honestly.

Just for today, I will be kind to my neighbor and every living thing.