Reiki has been present and available to all of us since the beginning of the time. It is nothing new or too modern for anyone. However, for different reasons its knowledge has been lost and rediscovered again throughout the ages.
Dr Mikao Usui rediscovered Reiki at the beginning of the 20th century. He was a Buddhist monk that lived most of his life in Japan. From an early age he learnt the Story of the Buddha. Dr Usui was fascinated with Buddha’s method of physical healing.
Dr Usui searched to find a way for healing to occur. He visited Japanese and Tibetan Buddhist monasteries thinking that in the sutras he might find information about the method of healing used by the Buddha.
After travelling around many Buddhist monasteries, Dr Usui realized that although it was accepted that the Buddha had performed physical healing, the practice of Buddhism had moved its focus entirely to healing the spirit.
Eventually, he approached a Zen monastery where the abbot agreed that it must be possible to heal the body as the Buddha had done, but that during the centuries of concentration on healing the spirit the method had been lost.
Greatly encouraged by the abbot, Dr Usui continued his research in this Zen monastery. Although he found texts describing the method of healing, he still lacked of the information that would enable him to activate the healing energy that was described in the sutras. He felt he had the intellectual answers, but still did not have the means of activating the energy.
He piled 21 stones to serve him as a calendar, intending to throw a stone at the end of every day. Just before dawn on his 21st day, he felt for his last stone and he prayed for an answer. At that moment he saw a light hurtling towards him across the sky. As it got closer to him it became larger. At first he was afraid and wanted to run away, but he decided to accept whatever it would bring him.
The light stuck him in the Third Eye (Sixth Chakra). Countless coloured bubbles appeared before his eyes and in them he saw the Reiki symbols. As he saw them he was given information about each one and its use in activating the healing energy. Reiki had been rediscovered.
When Dr Usui came out of his trance-like state he run down the mountain. In his haste, he tripped on a stone and stubbed his toe. He bent down to hold his toe and was amazed when after a few minutes the bleeding stopped and the toe was completely healed.
At the bottom of the mountain, he found a roadside eating place and ordered a full breakfast. The proprietor could see that he had been on a long fast, and knowing that it was dangerous to eat a large amount after a fast, he tried to persuade Dr Usui to eat something lighter. He declined and ate the large breakfast without getting indigestion.
The proprietor’s daughter had been suffering for days with a toothache and swollen jaw. Dr Usui offered to help and they accepted. He put his hands on both sides of her face and the pain disappeared.
Dr Usui decided to use this newly found power to help people in the Beggars’ Quarter of Kyoto. He lived there for 7 years, healing people and urging them to start a new life, but he found that many of the people he healed returned to begging.
He asked one man why he had done so, and the man told him that although he had found a job and had got married after his healing, he could not handle being responsible for his own life, and so he preferred to be a beggar.
Surprised and bewildered, Dr Usui realized that the physical healing is not enough. He remembered all his visits to the monasteries, the spirit must also be healed. It was then when Dr Usui started his teachings around Japan. He now realized that he could use the Reiki symbols he was given to attune others so they could also give Reiki and take responsibility for their own lives.
Before he died in 1926, Dr Usui had attuned 16 people to the Master level, one of them being Chujiro Hayashi. Dr Hayashi became Dr Usui’s successor. Dr Usui asked him to carry on the traditions of Reiki. He wanted to make sure that Reiki would not be lost again as it had happened other times in human history.
Not much is known about Dr Hayashi, but that he was a retired naval officer who, in 1925 at the age of 47, was attuned to the Master level. Following Dr Usui’s teachings, he founded a Reiki clinic in Tokyo where healers worked in groups on people. Dr Hayashi developed the standard hand position sequence and is responsible for the three level teaching system.
Dr Hayashi attuned 13 Masters before he died in 1940. One of them was Hawayo Takata. Before Japan and America went to war, she was named Dr Hayashi successor and it was she who brought Reiki to the West.