Back in March in my posting Self Nurturing- More About Reiki I shared a few of the opening segments of my Simple Handbook about Reiki. In todays posting I would like to share a couple more of the segments. These specifically include a short outline of the history of Reiki and some information about Reiki today.
“THE HISTORY OF REIKI
If we want to go back to the true origins of Reiki, or healing touch, we should delve far back into history. There exist ancient Greek bass-relief wall sculptures that picture people practicing hands-on healing. Jesus Christ touched and healed during His three years of public ministry. And in ancient Tibet the Lamas (priests or monks) would meditate on healing symbols.
Coming forward to more modern times we have the history of what I choose to call the “rediscovery or resurgence of Reiki”. Dr. Mikao Usui (1862-1926) a Japanese gentleman is credited with this rebirth into Reiki. Although he was not a doctor by modern definition, he was given the title “Dr.” because he dedicated his life to healing.
Dr, Usui was married and had one child, and it is known that his business efforts created debt and disappointment. In an attempt to find peace of mind and heart Dr. Usui took a spiritual path in search of something greater. He regularly practiced meditation and in 1921 his dedicated spiritual search led him to make a 21-day retreat at Mt. Kumara.
It is said that during this retreat Dr. Usui experienced satori, a state of enlightenment. It was during this satori that he received the sacred symbols that are used in Reiki today. He was also given instructions on how to use them and encouraged to pass them on. During the rest of his life it is estimated that Dr. Usui taught Reiki to over 2,000 people and attuned a number of Reiki Masters/Teachers.
Reiki was introduced into the United States by Mrs.Takata who travelled from Hawaii to a Reiki clinic in Japan for physical healing. She had such a profound healing experience that she asked one of the Reiki Masters to teach her the healing art of Reiki. She was attuned as a Master in 1938 by Dr. Chiyiro Hayashi, returning to Hawaii shortly after and eventually bringing Reiki to America in the 1950’s.
Modern-day Reiki came out of Japan at a time when relations between America and Japan were strained to say the least. It is thought that Mrs. Takata was concerned that mainly Christian Americans would disdain/not believe in Reiki. Therefore many people think that Mrs. Takata created the story of Dr. Usui being Dean of a Christian University in Japan so that Reiki would be more acceptable to Americans.
Mrs. Takata was also said to be very concerned that Westerners would not respect and honor the discipline of Reiki as a great spiritual gift that should not be taken for granted. She realized that in the American culture if something did not have a price, it probably would not have a value. Mrs. Takata decided therefore to charge $10,000 to become a Reiki Master, $175 for Reiki I attunement, and $500 for Reiki II attunement. This created the understanding that Reiki is highly prized and valuable, and would also ensure that only those very serious about Reiki and its proper use would choose to pay that much.
Some Reiki Masters continue this tradition to today. However, most Reiki Masters/Teachers charge a much lower rate more in keeping with the everyday person’s financial possibility.
Reiki has branched into many different directions today and is taught in many different ways. I think the only caution that I would place before anyone wishing to be taught Reiki is to be wary of anyone who offers the student to go from zero to Master in a very short space of time. As the student learns about Reiki there has to be time to practice Reiki, to respect the Reiki energy, to become familiar with working with it before going to the next level. Most important of all there has to be time to cultivate great humility.
Why humility? As mentioned earlier in this Handbook, Reiki is a universal life energy or God energy. It is present and available to everyone who wishes to tap into it. A Reiki practitioner is someone who knows or intuits that they have a connection to energy, a propensity to work with the energy. That is usually why someone learns to do Reiki and is willing to become a channel for the energy to reach others in a healing process.
However, during a Reiki treatment the practitioner does not actually“do” anything. He or she is not the healer. The practitioner is someone who has chosen to make themselves available as a conduit that a Higher Source/God may use to channel the energy through to the person seeking healing. Ego needs to stay out of the way. This is another reason for living by the Reiki principles; so that we may work at being the purest channel we can become for the energy to flow through.
When looking for a Reiki Master/Teacher I think it is important to find someone who obviously lives out these Reiki principles in their daily lives. Some other qualities to look for would be sincerity, genuineness, respect in their interactions with others, and of course humility (not to be confused with submissiveness). And, obviously, it needs to be a person with whom you feel in tune, that you can relate to.
There are, unfortunately, some people who seek to become “experts”in any discipline via “weekend warrior” courses. One example that speaks to this with which I am familiar relates to Yoga. I know that a true Yoga teacher is someone who has immersed him- or herself into the practice and discipline of Yoga for several years. Only then does the individual have the necessary knowledge and experience of Yoga to be able to receive training as a teacher.
However, I know that some people have “jumped on the bandwagon” because of the explosive interest in Yoga in the last ten to fifteen years. I have had experience of people who teach aerobic classes in a gymnasium, for instance, who go off and do a “Yoga Teacher Weekend” and come away as “certified Yoga teachers”. This is usually tied up with money-making and greed (on the part of the people offering these weekend certifications), and is influenced by the “supply and demand”category of our Western culture.
Sadly this has also happened in the world of Reiki. The best advice I can offer is to talk at length with someone you are considering working with as your Reiki Master. Be alert and open to your own intuition. If you are on a focused, dedicated spiritual path your intuition will not deceive you. Sincerity, genuineness, respect, and humility will shine through a person who is on their own path of truth. And of course a positive recommendation from someone who you trust is always a plus.”
If you are seeking or questing on the spiritual highway of life, I hope you find these simple explanations about Reiki useful. Working with the energy is a beautiful experience and is also a gift and a privilege.
There are many moments along my path when I have to acknowledge the influence that others have had on my journey. So many times these various pearls of wisdom have led me on a detour or returned me to the “straight and narrow”. Here are a few gems that I would like to offer you today.
“Spiritual life is not listening to the murmurings of the world but to that inner voice.” (Sue Sikking)
“Don’t compare your life with others’. You have no idea what their journey is about. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.” (Anonymous)
“Right here and now, this very day, you have the power to think, the power to dream, the power to make decisions, the power to create, to learn, to influence others, to change things, to experience and enjoy. On top of all that, you have the power to invent, to innovate, to change your mind, to understand, and to move in a new direction.
You have the power to persevere, to work with discipline and focus, to manage your time, to recognize opportunities, to take responsibility and to act responsibly, to solve problems, to effectively utilize your resources, and to make a positive difference in your world.
Some people take these very same powers and achieve great things. Others live as if they didn’t even know they had them. Still others destroy the value of their own positive, living powers by directing them toward negative pursuits.
You have the power to do great things. How will you make use of that power today? It is an incredible opportunity and an awesome responsibility. It is real and it is yours. Challenge yourself to transform that power, with your thoughts and actions, into your own special greatness.” (Ralph Marston – Founder of the web page The Daily Motivator)
“We say that we don’t deserve grace, or need any special favors. Why is it so hard for us to accept a gift we didn’t “earn”? That is EXACTLY WHY we are given grace. Because we believe that we aren’t “good” enough.” (Anonymous)
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” (Soren Kierkegaard)
“The great blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach.” (Seneca)
“Spirituality is the sacred center out of which all life comes, including Mondays and Tuesdays, rainy Saturday afternoons in all their mundane and glorious detail …….. The spiritual journey is the soul’s life co-mingling with ordinary life.” (Christina Baldwin)
And as a confirming follow-up to that last quotation I will share the prayer from one of my meditation books:
“God, thank you for those small
daily happenings that make
life so spectacular.
Help me celebrate the holiness
of the common day.
Blessings to you all.
I just spent four days at a Convention and was not able to write. There is a bitter-sweetness that comes over me when I am separated from my lap-top and cannot write. So why not take it along, I hear you ask. Isn’t that what lap-tops are about – transportability?
There is definitely truth in that. However, the Convention required my “presence” from morning to late in the evening, and I have come to respect my body and its need for sleep. So I chose not to bring the lap-top and try to get something done late at night and to take a rest from writing.
I felt very happy with my choice. I was able to give my attention fully to the Convention, which is what I needed to do. However, once or twice as I lay in my bed in those precious moments between wakefulness and sleep, I found myself thinking of my lap-top and wondering if it was missing me:-).
Silly you say, to give personality to a lap-top. But don’t we do that with many of our inanimate day-to-day objects and machines? How many of us name our cars and boats and talk to them or about them as though they had a mind or a soul? And I know there are lots of people who have conversations with their computers, including my geeky, techie husband.
But there you are, I had those thoughts. I was also aware that the Muse was lurking in little corners of my mind, dropping random ideas here and there, and I do admit to jotting down a thought or two when I took a break from the various sessions over the weekend.
So here I am home again. The fact of the matter is that I have been home for two days and this is the first time I have brought the lap-top out to the screen room and allowed my fingers to bring to life the words that run around in my head and heart. Why so long, you ask. Well that brings me to another aspect of my unique personality.
I have a “discipline” problem, always had it. Once I get away from doing something, no matter how good I feel when I do it, it always takes effort to get back into the swing of it. (I’m very much like that when it comes to exercise!!) It may have something to do with that “flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants” thing or it may be connected to the purely “lazy streak” that exists inside this body that loves to be busy.
I know, I know, that’s a contradiction in terms, an oxymoron. But then that’s part of my unique personality too:-). (Remember how I mentioned in another posting that “I’m egotistical in my humility”?) So even as I have wanted to write ever since getting home on Sunday afternoon, so I have procrastinated and found other things to do – or not.
There was a moment yesterday when I went and stood in front of the lap-top. My right hand reached out and made a tactile connection for a few seconds. Then my contrary mind decided that it wanted to do something else – or not.