Below is a brief history of reiki and the three main individuals who played principal parts in the introduction of reiki to the masses.
Dr Mikao Usui 1865–1926
Reiki was rediscovered in the mid 1800’s by a Japanese born Buddhist monk, Dr. Mikao Usui. While teaching in a college, Dr. Usui was asked by a student how Jesus facilitated the healing miracles that he performed. The question had planted a seed and set Dr. Usui out on the path to answer ‘that question’. Dr. Usui was determined to learn the secret healing so that he may help others and his journey took him to many countries.
During his journey Dr Usui travelled to the holy mountains of Kori Yama where he fasted and meditated for 21 days in order to attain a high altered state of consciousness which he believed would empower him with the healing energy. On the morning of the 21st day, Dr. Usui was beginning to become frustrated with his situation. As he was about to give up and leave, that a great spiritual energy came down into the top of his head and he became enlightened. The energy also bought with it Reiki Ryoho, which is the ability to heal.
Dr. Usui returned to his monastery but decided after a few days to go to a beggar city, in the slums of Kyoto, to treat beggars and help them lead a better life. He spent 7 years in the slums, treating many illnesses. However, he noticed that the same individuals were returning. When he asked one of them why they had not started a new life he was told that it was much easier to go on begging than carry the responsibility of starting over.
As a result, Dr. Usui learnt two very important elements: healing of the spirit and the responsibility of the healee in the healing process. He had realised that while concentrating on healing the body, the spirit was remained unhealed. He believed that reiki could only truly benefit those who could embrace a life of complete healing. Therefore, he made a decision that those who wanted to receive reiki needed to be willing to make a mental commitment to healing as well as a physical commitment. It is this premise, on which Dr Usui reiki principles are based.
Dr Chujiro Hayashi
One of Dr Usui’s pupils was Dr Chujiro Hayashi who continued in the steps of Dr Usui by opening a reiki clinic which remained opened until 1940.
Dr Hayashi developed a new style of Reiki, which has the same energy and lineage as Usui Reiki, and many of the original techniques but is also responsible for the formal aspects of reiki which are taught today – namely the hand positions and the science-based practises held within reiki.
The fame and popularity of Dr Hayashi’s clinic spread throughout Japan, and it was quite successful at bringing healing energies to many people.
Mrs Hayayo Takata
Mrs Hawayo Takata was a Hawaiian woman of Japanese descent born in 1900. After the death of her husband and sister, she became sick and decided to travel to Japan in search of a doctor who could perform an operation which was deemed necessary in order for her good health to return. While in Japan, she felt strongly that the operation (for tumour, gallstones and appendicitis) would be unnecessary, and she inquired if there was any alternative way for her to be healed. The doctor referred her to Dr Hayashi’s clinic.
Mrs Takata began receiving regular weekly treatments. Over a period of several weeks, her health improved drastically. She was amazed and asked Dr Hayashi to teach her how to transmit reiki energies to others. He agreed to teach here Reiki I and II. After a year, Mrs Takata returned to Hawaii where she began to practice reiki. Two years later, she convinced Dr Hayashi to come visit her in Hawaii so he could see her reiki clinic, where he decided to initiate Mrs Takata into the second degree of reiki.
Mrs Takata began giving treatments and teaching level 1 and level 2 reiki students. In the 1970’s, she began training other reiki masters. By the time of her transition on December 11th 1980, Mrs Takata had trained 22 reiki masters. It is from these original masters that reiki had spread in the world outside of Japan.