REIKI LECTURE 5: THE HISTORY OF REIKI
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A Brief History of Reiki
The information known about the history of Reiki is changing constantly at present, as more and more new information comes to light from Japan. There seems to be a Western version of events and a Japanese version. However, before we all get caught up in the right and wrong versions of its history, we must remember that this energy is all about healing and love and that to stay true to the energy, we must just remain open-minded. I’ve read books, searched the internet, listened to other Reiki Masters and have summarised below, the history that resonates with me as being the most authentic.
Dr Mikao Usui 1865 – 1926
Dr Mikao Usui
Dr Mikao Usui was born on the 18th August 1865 in Japan and was the founder of the Usui System of Reiki or Usui Shiki Ryoho. He is also often referred to as Usui Sensei, (Sensei meaning one who teaches).
He came from a fairly wealthy Buddhist family, who encouraged him to study, both academically and physically. Whilst finishing his studies at a traditional Japanese Tendai Buddhist Monastery, Usui also mastered Samurai swordsmanship and Kiko, the Japanese form of Chi Kung. Usui was interested in different types of medicine, energy movement and religions, reading widely on all subjects. Usui was looking to find a way to heal himself and others, using his hands, that didn’t deplete his own energy levels and he devoted many years searching for a system. His open-minded approach towards other belief systems and religions is why Reiki is accessible to everyone. It has no religious attachments.
As part of his search, Usui traveled to China and the West to study their medicines and disciplines. He undertook a great many different types of work, eventually leading him back to Buddhism. Usui became a Tendai Buddhist monk and lived in a monastery near Mount Kurama, where he continued his studies.
It was whilst he was living at the monastery, that Usui decided to attend Isyu Guo, a 21-day training course, to seek enlightenment. This involved living in a cave on Mount Kurama and fasting, meditating and praying for the days. It is said that passed uneventfully. However, on the morning of the 21st day, Usui experienced a mystical event ‘seeing’ ancient Sanskrit symbols, which he acknowledged would help him develop the healing system he was looking for. After this event, Usui set up a clinic in Kyoto, where he began to heal and teach people.