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.
I don’t know whether I have shared the water story yet. After searching through my archives I have come to the conclusion that I have not and feel compelled to write it now.
It all began a couple of years ago as I was dealing with the latest “bombshell” from our daughter. I knew to the depths of my soul that I was in deep trouble internally, because I wanted to “shut down”, run away, not see or talk with anyone. Those are all danger signals for me.
I immediately alerted my support network and began what turned out to be two years of intense personal work. I firmly believe that God provides – always, even when we are not quite aware of it. In the month or so before the “bombshell”, I had heard about a couple of people who offered new-to-me alternative therapy, and I had put them in a file for future reference.
Well, now was the future, so I contacted them and made appointments. They have both helped me tremendously in my personal growth, but more importantly they gave me incredible support as I dealt with very difficult times. I also began working with an amazingly skilled and talented male massage therapist who was referred to me by a very trusted friend/female massage therapist. There’s nothing like male energy to “shake things up a bit”.
At the time, I was also involved in some special one-on-one work with one of my very dear friends. As I spent some time with her one morning she suddenly said, a propos of nothing that we were talking about in that particular moment, “Margo I read something this morning and I think you would like it.” She then proceeded to show me the 78th Verse of the Tao Te Ching written by Lao_tzu, as presented and commented on by Wayne Dyer in his book Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life, (which I then had to promptly go and buy!!).
I am going to write out the verse as it appears in the book:
Nothing in the world is softer
and weaker than water.
But for attacking the hard, the unyielding,
nothing can surpass it.
There is nothing like it.
The weak overcomes the strong;
the soft surpasses the hard.
In all the world, there is no one who does not know this,
but no one can master the practice
Therefore the master remains
serene in the midst of sorrow;
evil cannot enter his heart.
Because he has given up helping,
he is the people’s greatest help.
True words appear paradoxical.
The ensuing chapter was titled “Living Like Water” and Wayne Dyer comments on the verse in the following way. “Be like water seems to be repeated throughout the Tao Te Ching. ……..Water is elusive until you cease grasping and let your hand relax and be one with it – ……… Overcome the unyielding parts of your life by yielding! ……. Remember to stay flexible, willing to lower yourself in humility and appear weak, but knowing that you are in harmony with the Tao. …….. When you stay soft and surpass the hard, you too will be indestructible. There’s nothing softer than water under heaven, and yet there’s nothing that can surpass it for overcoming the hard.”
I knew in that moment that this was a huge lesson that I needed to take to heart. I needed to practice being soft and flexible rather than being tough. I needed, just like water, “to find my own level below all strong things”. I needed, just like water, to return to my own Source (which for me is God) and allow Him to use me over and over in ways that He sees fit.
After reading this passage and processing my thoughts, I came to a great place of peace. Even though I was in the midst of great spiritual, emotional, mental, and consequently physical, turmoil I could feel God’s love and grace surround me and sustain me.
My husband was in San Diego at the time. Later that day he called me and I was able to share my “water experience” with him. As I was telling him the story, he suddenly said, “Oh my God, Oh my God!”. In somewhat of a panic and with my heart beating wildly I shouted down the phone, “What’s the matter? What’s happening?”
His response sent chills up and down my spine, and I get goose bumps all over again as I recount these events. He replied, “It’s OK, everything is OK. It’s just that a girl is walking past and her T-shirt logo says ‘Water is Life’. Needless to say I felt the hand of God right there. I felt His presence and I knew that no matter what, He would always be there for me.
I am so tired of being sick this Spring. It seems as though I have been dealing with unhealthy demons since about 20 February. First my really bad upper respiratory deal that knocked me out for two to three weeks. Then, after just one week of feeling good I was plagued by a bad cold/allergies (I never did decide which it was). That dragged on for more than three weeks before I was hit by the gastric flu bug. I am so ready to be done with all this and be truly healthy for the rest of this year!!
What really annoys the heck out of me is that sickness robs me not just of health on all levels, but also of time. Oh I know I still live each minute that God gives me. I don’t lose effective time. What I lose is the time I would normally put in to all the various activities that make up the flesh of my life.
My garden lies in wait to be ministered to. Outdoor projects for which I had a planned scheduled have to go on hold. The weeds begin to sprout profusely in the flower beds, and just the pure unadulterated pleasure of being out there working in the dirt has to be postponed while viral bugs have their with my body.
My writing is forced on to a back burner. No matter which part of my body is physically under attack, the Muse withdraws and hides. My head seems full of fuzz and leaves no room for inspiration. My arms and hands are sluggish, ravaged by fevers or infections or plain old weakness, and consequently they have no strength to fly over the keyboard in creativity.
My craft room sits in silence full of its colorful cardstock and inks, ribbons and stamps, glitter and glue and various findings. But nothing there is able to penetrate the general sense of dis-ease that pervades my body, heart, mind and soul. Not even a fast-finished product can elevate me from the murky depths that sickness produces within me. The Muse avoids temptation!
And my wonderful husband patiently tends me, doing everything he can to alleviate the grayness that insidiously surrounds me. And even there I feel robbed because I have no energy, nor am I in any kind of mood, to actively participate in our relationship. And that is a loss in and of itself.
There is nothing I can do about this state of affairs. Bugs and viruses for the most part have to be given their time. I can only languish and try to be as positive as possible. I practice patience and humility in accepting the situation for what it is. But my inner child grows pouty, wants to go out and play, and longs for the company of Muse.
I have been very careful this week in my return to health. No rushing out and doing everything it once. This is difficult for me because I have a tendency to want to make up for lost time, to catch up. But one thing I have learned: time once past can never be “caught up”.
Today I have done a little in the garden: prepared and planted up three raised beds with spring onions, Web’s lettuce, and chard. In another small flower bed I sewed seeds that I hope will bring a small wild profusion of blooms later in the summer. I finished all that I had hoped to achieve before the rains came.
And now I sit in my lanai and listen to the thunder rolling in the distance. One particular roll sounded rather like a Harley and for a moment I was amused as I pictured God in black leather Chaps and a ponytail rumbling across the skies on a sleek chrome machine! And, joy oh joy, my Muse is back and here we go dancing across the keyboard in a game of catch-me-if-you-can.