History Of Reiki

Many thousands of years ago, holy men possessed an understanding of our spirit, energy, and matter, and used this knowledge to heal their bodies, balance their souls, and lead their spirits to oneness. This wisdom was found in many ancient cultures like China, India, Tibet and Egypt.

The ancient mystery schools guarded and preserved the secrets of this science. It was only passed down from master to student, by a series of initiations, when the student was ready. About 2500 B.C., this secret knowledge was recorded in a set of Sanskrit Sutras, or holy papers, by Buddhist monks. When the focus of the monk's holy work and study shifted to spiritual matters only, this science was lost.


Story of Dr. Usui as Told by Mrs. Takata

Version written by Adonea in 1993

In the late-1800's, a man named Dr. Mikao Usui (born 1865) rediscovered this ancient science, which he called Reiki. The story, as told by Mrs. Takata goes something like this: Dr. Usui, a minister and dean of a Christian school in Kyoto, Japan, was teaching a class, when one of his students asked him if he believed that Jesus healed. His response was yes, of course. The student then asked him for a demonstration of this healing. He did not have this knowledge, so he could not comply.

This one simple question changed Dr. Usui's life. It stirred inside of him the desire to know how to heal. With the knowledge that Jesus healed, he decided to start his search in America, the land of Christianity. So he enrolled in the University of Chicago. In his seven year study of theology and comparative religions, he learned about the Buddha and his healing abilities. But he found no answers.

Dr. Usui went back to Japan to continue his search. He visited all of the Buddhist temples and asked the monks if they knew how to heal. All gave the same answer; they only concentrated on spiritual matters. At one of the temples, he met an old abbot who remembered that the monks knew how to heal at one time, but it was now a lost art. He offered Dr. Usui the opportunity to stay and study the Japanese Sutras, to see if he might find the information he sought.

After spending many years studying the sutras and finding nothing, Dr. Usui decided to learn Chinese. Chinese is an older language and many of the Japanese Sutras were translated from Chinese. He studied and studied for many more years and still found no answers.

There was only one other place that he knew of to look; the Sanskrit Sutras. So he learned Sanskrit and began studying these sutras. Finally an answer came. In the Healing Buddha and Lotus Sutras, he found a formula for healing. He was so ecstatic about this discovery, that he took the information immediately to the old abbot. Together they decided that to discover the full meaning of the information, Dr. Usui must meditate.

The next morning, Dr. Usui began the 17 mile walk to Mt. Kuramayama to fast and meditate. Upon arriving at his destination, he gathered 21 stones, sat down and put the stones in front of him. Every morning he would throw one stone away. On the morning of the 21st day, in the early hours before it was light, Dr. Usui was in deep meditation when he noticed a bright light. He wondered if this light were real. He opened his eyes; it was still there and moved quickly toward him. He was frightened, but willing to risk death for the secrets of healing. The light struck him in the third eye and knocked him unconscious. All of the information, symbols and how to use them began to float by him in millions of brightly colored bubbles, stopping in front of him long enough for him to commit the information to memory. When he came back to full awareness, he remembered everything that was shown to him.

Dr. Usui noticed that he was strong and full of energy, despite his 21 day fast. "This is the first miracle", he thought. Wanting to share this new information with the abbot, he started the long journey back to the temple. On his way down the hill, he severely stubbed his toe, tearing the toenail back. He grabbed his toe and within a short while, noticed it was completely healed. "This is the second miracle", he thought.

He continued his journey and soon came upon a house which offered meals to travelers. Noticing his hunger, he decided to stop and break his fast. A man came out to take his order. Dr. Usui ordered a nice meal. When the meal was ready the man's daughter brought it to him. She was a pretty young girl with a scarf tied like rabbit ears around her head. Dr. Usui asked her why she had such a thing on her head. She told him that she had a very bad toothache and could not travel the long distance to town to have it fixed. He beckoned her to come to him and placed his hands upon her face. After a few moments she said, "Oh, kind monk, you make magic. My tooth no longer hurts. Thank you". "This is the third miracle", he thought.

After Dr. Usui finished his meal and was on the road back to the temple, he noticed how wonderful he was feeling. There were no ill effects of eating a large meal after an extended fast. "This is the fourth miracle', he thought.

When he arrived at the temple, he was greeted by a young monk. The boy told Dr. Usui that he was glad to see that he had returned safely and that the old abbot was bed ridden in great pain. Dr. Usui went directly to the abbot's cell and sat down on the edge of the bed. He rested his hands on the abbot's body while he told him all that he had learned. In a short while, the abbot looked at him in surprise and said, "You make magic; all of my pain is gone". "This is the fifth miracle", Dr. Usui proclaimed.

They were both ecstatic about this discovery and wanted to use it for the most needy cause. So together they decided to pray and meditate to find the answer. Dr. Usui went back to s cell and spent the entire night in meditation. The next morning, back in the abbot's cell, they both agreed that those who needed Reiki the most were in the beggar's village.

Dr. Usui, wearing old clothes and pushing a vegetable cart, set out for the beggar's village. Very soon, three beggars approached him, asking what he was doing there. He asked to be taken to see the beggar King, as he had a gift for him. They complied very hesitantly, not wanting to anger the beggar king.

When he approached, the Beggar King wanted to know about this gift and slyly asked what he wanted. Dr. Usui told him the gift was healing and he wanted to give it to everyone in the beggar village. He asked only for food each day. The King agreed to this, but first took Dr. Usui's clothes, cart and money belt. They gave him tattered, foul-smelling rags to wear and a few scraps of food to eat.

Every day from dawn to dusk, Dr. Usui would work in the beggar village healing people and sent them to the temple for a new name and a job.

After seven years, his work was nearly complete, so he had leisure time in the evenings. One evening, he was walking and began to notice some faces that looked familiar. He walked up to one young man and asked him if he had healed him many years ago. The young man said "Yes". Dr. Usui asked him if he had gone to the temple for a new name and job. The young man again said "Yes". "Why then", asked Dr. Usui, "Are you back in the beggar village". The young man told him how he had worked long hours for little money and his family was still hungry; that it was much easier to be a beggar. Dr. Usui was so distraught; he threw himself down in the dirt and wept. He vowed never again to give this gift away; giving Reiki away makes beggars of people. So he developed these principles/precepts to live by, that if applied with Reiki, would heal body, mind, and spirit.

The original principles written by Dr. Usui, in Japanese Kanji (right to left), is translated as follows:

 The secret method of inviting blessings

 The spiritual medicine of all diseases

 For today only, do not anger, do not worry

 Do your work with appreciation

 Be kind to all people

 Every morning and evening, join your hands in prayer

 Think these words with your mind and chant them with your mouth

Usui Reiki to change the body and mind

The founder, Usui Mikao

The next morning, Dr. Usui got a very large torch, lit it and stood on the corner of a busy part of town. People would walk by and laugh at him. Some would stop and ask him what he was doing with a lighted torch in broad daylight. He gladly told them that he was looking for people who were healthy, happy and had enlightened hearts, that wanted to help those who were depressed or in physical pain. He would show them how to put light into their hearts at a lecture that he was giving. Many came to his lecture and very soon he had a great following of people.

As Dr. Usui traveled around the country teaching Reiki, he would take on especially dedicated individuals to be his disciples. One of these individuals was Dr. Chujiro Hayashi (born 1878), a retired navel officer. In 1925, Dr. Hayashi became one of the eighteen people Dr. Usui initiated into mastership.

In 1926, just before his death, Dr. Usui charged Dr. Hayashi with the task of keeping Reiki alive. Dr. Hayashi opened the first Reiki clinic shortly after Dr. Usui's death. He developed a specific series of medical based hand placements, and three levels or degrees of Reiki.