HISTORY and ORIGIN of REIKI
The tradition of Reiki has been passed on by master to master and student to student by word of mouth. There are many stories and versions of how Dr. Mikao Usui (pronounced Sue-E) also known by his students as Usui Sensei, became enlightened and passed down his Reiki healing to others and how it became spread throughout the world.
Dr. Mikao Usui as born August 15, 1865 in the village of Taniai, Japan. After growing up, Usui-Sensei went over to Europe and America, and also studied in China. In spite of his real ability, however, he was not always successful in life. Although he was compelled to lead an unfortunate and poor life so often, he strove much more than before to harden his body and mind without flinching from the difficulties.
In March 1922, his personal and business life was failing. As a sensitive spiritualist, Usui Sensei had spent much time meditating at power spots on Mt. Kurama where he had received his early Buddhist training. So he decided to spend some time on this holy mountain to see if he could discover a solution to his personal problems; he was not seeking to discover a method of healing as some have said. He enrolled in Isyu Guo, a twenty-one-day training course sponsored by the Tendai Buddhist Temple located there.
He climbed Mt. Kurama, where he began to do penance while fasting. Suddenly on the twenty first day from the start, he felt a great REIKI over his head, and at the same time as he was spiritually awakened he acquired the great Reiki energy entered his crown chakra. (Others say it entered his 3rd eye chakra). He saw many bubbles in all the colors of the rainbow. Then came the powerful, bright white light, followed by golden Sanskrit letters. This filled him with tremendous spiritual light and he received understanding about how to solve his personal problems.
When this happened, he was filled with excitement and went running down the mountain. On his way down he stubbed his toe on a rock and fell down. And in the same way anyone would do, he placed his hands over the toe, which was in pain. As he did this, healing energy began flowing from his hands all by itself. The pain in his toe went away and the toe was healed. Usui Sensei was amazed by this. He realized that in addition to the illuminating experience he had received, he had also received the gift of healing.
Usui Sensei practiced this new ability with his family and developed his healing system through experimentation and by using skills and information based on his previous study of religious practices, philosophy, and spiritual disciplines. He called his system of healing Shin-Shin Kai-Zen Usui Reiki Ryo-Ho (The Usui Reiki Treatment Method for Improvement of Body and Mind) or in its simplified form Usui Reiki Ryoho (Usui Reiki Healing Method).
In April 1922, he moved to Tokyo and started a healing society that he named Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai (Usui Reiki Healing Method Society). He also opened a Reiki clinic in Harajuku, Aoyama, Tokyo. There he taught classes and gave treatments.
Contrary to previous understanding, Usui Sensei had only three symbols, the same three we use in the West in Reiki II. He did not use a master symbol. (It is speculated that Takata added this to the training to further enhance the practice of Reiki.)
Demand for Reiki became so great that he outgrew his clinic, so in 1925 he built a bigger one in Nakano, Tokyo. Because of this, his reputation as a healer spread all over Japan. He began to travel so he could teach and treat more people. During his travels across Japan he directly taught more than 2,000 students and initiated twenty Shihan (teachers), each approved to teach in the same way he did.
The Japanese government issued him a Kun San To award for doing honorable work to help others. While traveling to Fukuyama to teach, he suffered a stroke and died March 9, 1926. His grave is at Saihoji Temple, in Suginami, Tokyo, although some claim that his ashes are located elsewhere.
After Usui Sensei died, his students erected a memorial stone next to his gravestone, in which much of the above text is written on.
From Japan to the World
Mr. J. Ushida, a Shihan trained by Usui, took over as president of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai, and was responsible for creating and erecting the Usui Memorial stone and ensuring that the grave site would be maintained. Mr. Ushida was followed by Mr. lichi Taketomi, Mr. Yoshiharu Watanabe, Mr. Toyoichi Wanami, and Ms. Kimiko Koyama. The current successor to Usui Sensei is Mr. Kondo, who became president in 1998.
Contrary to what we have been told in the West, there is no “lineage bearer” or “Grand Master” of the organization started by Usui Sensei—only the succession of presidents listed above. The twenty teachers initiated by Usui Sensei include Toshihiro Eguchi, Jusaburo Guida, Ilichi Taketomi, Toyoichi Wanami, Yoshiharu Watanabe, Keizo Ogawa, J. Ushida, and Chujiro Hayashi.
Chujiro Hayashi was the teacher of Hawayo Takata who was a Japanese woman living in Hawaii. It is said she continued to develop and grow the content of Reiki teachings. She was instrumental in spreading the teachings of Reiki to the United States and Canada.
For a more detailed history visit: http://www.reiki.org/FAQ/HistoryOfReiki.html