What is Reiki?

Mikao Usui sensei

Origins of Reiki

Mikao Usui

Mikao Usui was a Japanese man, and therefore often referred to in Japan as Usui Mikao.  He is believed to have descended from a Samurai family and been brought up with buddhist traditions.  It is written on his memorial stone, at the Pure Land Buddhist Saihoji Temple in Tokyo, that whilst on a 21 day practice of prayer and fasting on Mount Kurama-yama, Usui had a moment of enlightenment, Usui felt himself in perfect resonance with the Universal Energy and understood the connection of Reiki within himself and the Reiki of the Universe.  This then lead him to further his spiritual practice, using hands on healing on himself and others.  He went on to name his system of healing, Usui Reiki Ryoho and he taught something like two hundred students with only about twenty to a level able to teach others.  Usui guided each of his students in a very personal way to help them reconnect with this ancient energy (and in turn this knowledge has been written about and passed on to new students).  During this period of learning Usui would carry out a reiju, a blessing that is often referred to as an attunement, to help his students with their connection to this spiritual energy.  Reiju is still offered by teacher to student today.

The word reiki has been translated in a few different ways, this is due to Japanese kanjis having multiple meanings.  Rei(霊) can be understood to mean spiritual, sacred, divine, a source of wondrous power and ki(気) atmosphere, vapour, breath of life, energy of the universe.  Many have therefore referred to Reiki as Universal Life Force Energy or it can simply be referred to as Spiritual Energy.

Developing a Spiritual Connection

I feel this ancient energy is in our innate makeup.  We are Reiki, and Reiki passes through us.  It is a beautiful, pure, loving energy that is part of our connectedness.  Our great bright light.  It is interesting, that whilst these teachings have been passed on to many people around the world, a high regard has been placed on the hands on healing method incorporated into the Reiki teaches.  This can not take away how important the rest of Mikao Usui’s teaches are in terms of spiritual development but it has allowed a great number of people to enjoy the benefits that hands on (or off, as hands need not be touching the body for the energy to flow) element gives, which is a wonderful thing in itself.

Mikao Usui, was with us in an earthly sense from 15 August 1865 – 9 March 1926, but I’ve a feeling his legacy will continue for a very long time to come.

The Reiki Precepts

Another of the elements to the Reiki system is the Precepts.  There are a few variations of the precepts but the following resonates with me the most:

Do not bear ANGER
For Anger is an illusion

Fear is a Distraction

Be True to your WAY
and your BEING

to yourself and others

This is the centre of your Essence

Summer meadow
Healing hands touching long grasses in nature