Updated History of Reiki
Mikao USUI (1865-1926), the founder of Reiki Ryoho (healing method), attained enlightenment and a healing ability as a godsend was bestowed on him in 1922 at the age of 57 while he was fasting and meditating on Mt Kurama in Kyoto, the ancient capital city of Japan. There are many books that tell us he was a Japanese Christian Minister and Doctor of Theology however, there are no records to support this.
Reiki healing is to channel the energy of the universe and an inspired healing art of Mikao Usui NOT the outcome of his research, or discovery, or rediscovery. In Western countries, it has been said that the Reiki healing method was rediscovered by Usui Sensei after researching in the Buddhist scriptures. Usui Sensei thought that this wonderful gift of healing ability should be shared with people, not be kept to himself.
Whatever the truth of his origins, he gave to the world the healing system and guiding principles for Reiki and he practised them for the rest of his life. He also gave the world his five spiritual precepts. Today there are many variations of these precepts.
Just for today, I will let go of worry
Just for today, I will let go of anger
Just for today, I will count my many blessings
Just for today, I will do my work honestly
Just for today, I will be kind to every living creature
(Memorial of the merits of Usui Sensei, the founder of Reiho (Reiki Ryoho) at Saihoji Temple in Toyotama-gun, Japan)
That which is attained within oneself after having accumulated the fruits of disciplined study and training is called "Toku" and that which can be offered to others after having spread a path of teaching and salvation is called "Koh". Only with high merits and great virtues can one be a great founding teacher. Sagacious and brilliant men of the olden time or the founders of new teachings and religious sects were all like that. Someone like Usui Sensei can be counted among them. Sensei newly founded the method based on Reiki of the universe to improve the mind and body. Having heard of his reputation all over, people crowded around to seek his teachings and treatments. Ah, how popular it is!
Sensei, commonly known by the name "Mikao", with an extra name "Gyohan" is from Taniani-mura (village), Yamagata-gun (county), Gifu-ken (prefecture). He is descended from Chiba Tsunetane. His father's name was Taneuji, and was commonly called Uzaemon. His mother was from the Kawai family.
Sensei was born on August 15 of the first year of Keio (1865 AD). From his youth he surpassed his fellows in hard work and endeavour. When he grew up he visited Europe and America, and studied in China. Despite his will to succeed in life, he was stalemated and fell into great difficulties. However, in the face of adversity he strove to train himself even more with the courage never to yield.
In September of the 12th year (1923 AD) there was a great earthquake and a conflagration broke out. Everywhere there were groans of pains from the wounded. Sensei, feeling pity for them, went out every morning to go around the town, and he cured and saved an innumerable number of people. This is just a broad outline of his relief activities during such an emergency.
Later on, as the "dojo" became too small, in February of the 14th year (1925 AD) the new suburban house was built at Nakano according to divination. Due to his respected and far-reaching reputation many people from local districts wished to invite him. Sensei, accepting the invitations, went to Kure and then to Hiroshima and Saga, and reached Fukuyama. Unexpectedly, he became ill and passed away there. It was March 9 of the 15th year of Taisho (1926 AD), aged 62.
His spouse was Suzuki, and was called Sadako. One boy and one girl were born. The boy was named Fuji and he succeeded to the family. Senseiís personality was gentle and modest and he never behaved ostentatiously. His physique was large and sturdy. He always wore a contented smile. He was stouthearted, tolerant and very prudent upon undertaking a task. He was by nature versatile and loved to read books. He engaged himself in history books, medical books, Buddhist scriptures, and Christian scriptures and was well-versed in psychology, Taoism, even in the art of divination, incantation, and physiognomy. Presumably Sensei's background in the arts and sciences afforded him nourishment for his cultivation and discipline, and it was very obvious that is was this cultivation and discipline that became the key to the creation of Reiho (Reiki Ryoho).
On reflection, Reiho puts special emphasis not just on curing diseases, but also on enjoying well being in life with correcting the mind and making the body healthy with the use of an innate healing ability. Thus, before teaching, the "Ikun" (admonition) of the Meiji Emperor should reverently be read and Five Precepts be chanted and kept in mind mornings and evenings.
Firstly, it reads "Today do not anger", secondly it reads "Do not worry", thirdly it reads "Be thankful", fourthly it reads "Work with diligence", fifthly it reads "Be kind to others".
These are truly great teachings for cultivation and discipline that agree with those great teachings of the ancient sages and the wise. Sensei named these teachings "Secret Method to Invite Happiness" and "Miraculous Medicine to Cure All Diseases", notice the outstanding features of the teachings. Furthermore, when it comes to teaching, it should be as easy and common as possible, nothing lofty. Another noted feature is that during sitting in silent meditation with Gassho and reciting the Five Precepts mornings and evenings, the pure and healthy minds can be cultivated and put into practice in one's daily routine. This is the reason why Reiho is easily obtained by anyone.
Recently the course of the world has shifted and a great change in though has taken place. Fortunately with spread of this Reiho, there will be many that supplement the way of the world and the minds of people. How can it be for just the benefit of curing chronic diseases and longstanding complaints?
A little more than 2000 people became students of Sensei. Those senior disciples living in Tokyo gathered at the Dojo and carried on the work (of the late Sensei) and those who lived in local districts also spread the teachings. Although Sensei is gone, Reiho should still be widely propagated in the world for a long time. Ah, how prominent and great Sensei is that he offers the teachings to people out there after having been enlightened within!
Of late the fellow disciples consulted with each other about building the stone memorial in a graveyard at Saihoji Temple in Toyotama-gun so as to honour his merits and to make them immortalised, and I was asked to write it. As I deeply submit to Sensei's greatness and am happy for the very friendly teacher/disciple relationships among fellow students, I could not decline the request, and I wrote a summary in the hope that people in the future shall be reminded to look up at him in reverence.
February, the 2nd year of Showa (1927 AD)
Composed by: Ju-sanmi (subordinate 3rd rank),
Kun-santo (the 3rd Order of Merit),
Doctor of Literature
Calligraphy by:Navy Rear Admiral
Ju-yonmi (subordinate 4th rank),
Kun-Santo (the 3rd Order of Merit),
Ko-yonkyu (the distinguished service 4th class)
Before he died, Usui passed on his knowledge and the power he had received to his disciples (there are some Reiki lineages passed down in Japan from Dr Usui's other disciples). One of these was a Dr Chijiro Hayashi (died 1941) who developed a Reiki clinic in Tokyo. We are told that just before the second world war, Dr Hayashi chose Hawaya Takata (1900-1980), a Japanese woman from Hawaii and he charged her with the responsibility of training others to the master level in Reiki so that it would not be lost to the world again. Mrs Takata is believed to have initiated at least 22 Reiki masters in Japan, Hawaii and the United States of America. Since then Reiki has spread throughout the world.
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