The Origins of Reiki

April 11, 2012 at 2:51 pm Leave a comment

by James McVeigh, clinic assistant

Reiki was founded by Mikao Usui, a Tendai Buddhist and shugenja in 1922. The Tendai sect is a doctrine of Buddhism that developed in Japan after its introduction by a Chinese monk in the 8th century. As a shugenja he practised a melding of Buddhism and Shintoism (the traditional japanese religion) where achieving enlightenment through Buddhism can be achieved using the same methods to achieve oneness with kami; the spirits that represent every part of the natural world in Shintoism.
These were the elements that formed the foundations for Reiki, which came as a spiritual revelation to Usui during a period of meditation, chanting, prayer and fasting on Mount Kurama. Usui was experiencing various personal problems in his life at this time, but through his spiritual training,  Reiki energy entered his Crown Chakra,  giving him an understanding on how to solve them. The Crown Chakra is the energy focus of the consciousness which has great importance in Buddhism.

In the excitement of recieving this spiritual understanding, Usai ran down the side of Mount Kurama, and in his haste, injured his toe. It was then, as he placed his hands over the wound that he realised that the Reiki energy he had received gave far more than a mere understanding of his problems; it had the capacity to heal. The universal energy, reiki, was transfered through his palms to the injury, restoring the equilibrium of ki and mending the wound.

Using Reiki requires attunement to the energy, which is a process only a Master in the discipline can perform. The energy source for anyone who practices the therapy thus orginates from Usai himself. During the 1923 Kanto earthquake of Tokyo which took in excess of 140,000 lives, Usai devoted himself to using his power to heal the many wounded. It was in the face of this devastation and suffering that he attuned others in the art; to ease the burden of his healing.

Eventually, sixteen of these attuned disciples became masters of Reiki, and among them was Chujiro Hayashi. Hayashi later attuned a woman named Hawayo Takata who moved to the USA where she spread the attunement of Reiki energy amongst followers in the West. By the time she died she had trained 22 new Western Masters who are in turn responsible for all development of the discipline outside of Japan.

For more information about Reiki at the clinic, click here
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Entry filed under: Reiki.

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