History of Usui Sensui AND Usui Reiki Ryoho‘Someone who studies hard and works assiduously to improve body and mind for the sake of becoming a better person is called `a man of Great Spirit`. People who use that Great Spirit for a social purpose, that is, to teach the right way to many people and do collective good, are called `teachers`. Dr. Usui was one such teacher. He taught the Reiki of the Universe. Countless people asked him to teach them the great way of Reiki and to heal them —Taken from the memorial to Usui`s virtue. Saihoji Temple, Tokyo1865:On August 15, Mikao Usui (his pen name was Gyoho) was born in Taniai-mura (now Miyama-cho) Yamagata-gun Gifu-ken. His father was Uzaemon Tsunetane (a military commander) and his mother was from the Kawai family. His ancestor`s name was Tsunetane Chiba (a very famous Samurai from the 8th century). Note to the Reiki student: Usui was born in the mid-1800 AD; Reiki was not re-discovered by him until much later.1868:Historic point: `The Meiji Restoration` so-called by the Meiji Emperor, began. During this time (1868-1912) Japan opened it`s doors to the outside world after many years of being a closed country. Many reforms were introduced including compulsory education, the revival of conservatism and nationalism (principles adopted from Confucianism and Shintoism) and worship of the emperor. Note to the Reiki student: For over two centuries (1600-1868) all Europeans except the Dutch had been expelled from Japan. Chinese and Dutch had been confined to special trading centers in Nagasaki only. Japanese civilians were not allowed to leave the country. Christianity was sublimated. All Japanese were forced to register at Buddhist temples. Those Japanese who refused to renounce Christianity were executed, as were a number of European missionaries who refused to leave the country.1869:At the age of 4, it is believed that Usui was sent to a Tendai monastery, where he remained for a period of years. During this time he studied Qi Gong (called Ki-Ko in Japan, closely related to Reiki) to a high level and was able to do projection healing. He meditated regularly at Kurama Yama. Historic point: Temple schools were quite common in that period of time, but disappeared rapidly as the country was modernized. Note to the Reiki Student: When studying original Usui Reiki teachings, some of the techniques described are Qi-Gong techniques such as: Tapping Hand, Pushing Hand, and Stroking Hand, taught in Okuden (Second Degree Reiki).1873:Historic Point: Ban on Christianity officially lifted.1892:At the age of 27, it is believed that Usui converted to Shingon Buddhism from the Tendai sect.Usui was extraordinarily gifted in academics, studying under adversity. He had a very hard life and often lived in poverty. His memorial states that ‘he traveled abroad TO China, US AND Europe, was a talented, hard working student who liked TO READ, AND his knowledge of medicine, history, psychology, Shinsen Jutsu, AND the religions of the world including the Kyoten (Buddhist Bible) were vast’.Before settling down, Usui-San worked as a missionary, government officer, a businessman who eventually went bankrupt, a journalist, and Secretary to the Mayor of Tokyo and was part of the entourage of Goto Shinpei who was acting governor for Kodama Gentaro, the Governor of Taiwan (1898-1906). He lived a free man and most likely was never a cloistered monk. Periodically, he would visit the prisons, (perhaps as part of missionary work). He married Sadako Suzuki and they had two children, a son Fuji (1908-1946), and a daughter (name unknown 1913-1935). At some point in time there was a split in his family, possibly because of his interest in the Christian texts, differing sects of Buddhism and/or esoteric matters.Through his life experiences Usui-Sensei discovered the purpose of life was `Anshin Ritsumei` or ‘The state of your mind being totally IN peace, knowing what TO DO WITH your life, bothered BY nothing’. He desired to attain this state of mind, so he began his search.Historic Point: During `The Meiji Restoration`, society went from an agrarian economy to industrial one. To support this change, many Japanese scholars were sent abroad to study Western science and languages. Is this why Usui traveled and studied abroad? The government also directly supported the prospering of businesses and industries, especially the large and powerful family businesses. These huge expenditures led to a government financial crisis in the middle of the 1880`s. Is this why Usui`s business went bankrupt? Usui probably received much of his education from Kyoto`s extensive libraries and other higher-learning establishments.1912-1926:Emperor Mutsuhito (the Meiji Emperor) dies, in 1912, Taisho becomes Emperor, 1912-1926—Taisho period.1918/19: Usui began training as a Zen Buddhist, studying for 3 years.1922:He worked toward achieving Satori (the state of Spiritual Enlightenment) but wasn`t succeeding, so he asked his Zen Master what to do. The answer he received was ‘Die ONE TIME’. This motivated him to fast until he either died or became enlightened. In March, distraught with his life, desperately seeking answers, he followed his Zen Masters advice, deciding to fast on Mt. Kurama until he became enlightened. It was not uncommon for Usui to fast as he made regular trips to the mountain to seek answers. This is a common practice called `shyu gyo` a spiritual discipline, including fasts and meditation for 21 days, a strict spiritual training. On his memorial it says that the last morning of his fast `he felt one great Reiki over his head`. Reiki being the wisdom and knowledge of all the Universe. Reiki during Usui sensei`s time and before meant (loosely translated) `atmosphere of the Divine`.Usui Sensei became enlightened (or achieved Satori) and acquired a healing ability which he called `Reiki Ryoho`. It was also often referred to as `Usui Teate` or `Usui hands-on healing`. He took this gift home and worked on himself and his family. It is said that his wife was ill and Reiki cured her. Usui decided not to just keep Reiki for his family but to make Shoden level `freely available to all of the people` a direct quote from the Usui Reiki Hikkei (one of his teaching manuals).Note to the Student of Reiki:It states quite clearly on Usui`s memorial that Kurama Yama was where the meditation took place. 1914 is the date given for Usui`s 21 day fast in two Japanese books about Reiki, but this does not correspond with the dates of his Zen training.Historic Point:About the sacred mountain – Kurama Yama: Yama means `mountain` and Kurama means `horse saddle`. Mt. Kurama (570 Meters above sea level) is 12 kilometers due north of Kyoto Imperial Palace. The Kurama Temple, founded in 770 as `the guardian of the northern quarter of the capital city` (Heiankyo), is located halfway up the mountain. The original buildings have been repeatedly destroyed by fire and subsequently rebuilt. The Main Hall was last rebuilt in 1971. The temple formerly belonged to the Tendai sect of Buddhism, but since 1949, it has been included in the newly founded Kurama-Kokyo sect as its headquarters. At the time of Usui`s fast, Kurama Yama was also the location of a spiritualist group called `Rei Jyutsu Ka`, which he may have also attended.In April 1922, Usui-San founded Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai (Usui Reiki Healing Method Learning Society) and opened his first clinic in Aoyama, Tokyo where he practiced Reiki and gave workshops on the technique publicly. During his study of Shinto and Mahayana (Mikkyo) Buddhism techniques he discovered Reiju (Empowerment method) and Hatsurei-ho (Cleansing process for body, mind and spirit). The first record of Usui giving Reiju was in Harajuku, Tokyo in 1922. Usui made the first level teaching (`Shoden`) available to anyone who desired it. Initially it seems that Usui had no set hand positions, all of his work was done intuitively and over areas of imbalance (painful areas). But as he began teaching others to do Reiho, he found the need to create a set of instructions, which he called the Usui Reiki Hikkei.1923 – Historic Point:On September 1st, shortly before noon, a great earthquake hit Tokyo and Yokohama, measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale. Over 100,000 deaths were reported. The epicenter was about 50 miles from Tokyo. That is reported to be the greatest natural disaster in Japanese history. During this emergency, Usui Sensei`s way of giving relief was to `reach out his hands of love to suffering people` and he helped many of the victims. Soon Usui became quite famous and his success and reputation with Reiki were known all over Japan.Note to the Reiki student:The earthquake could be the account Takata was referring to when she talked about Usui working in the beggar village.1925:He outgrew his center and moved it to larger quarters in Nakano, outside of Tokyo in February (today Nakano is part of Tokyo). His travels with Reiki had taken him all over Japan and many of the places he visited were naval bases.1926:On March 9, Usui-San died of a stroke (one of several), in a town called Fukuyama in Hiroshima-Ken. He had been on a tour bringing Reiki to the people of Kure, Hiroshima and Saga. He was 62. The night before he died it is said that he practiced Reiki.1927:In February, Usui Sensei`s students erected a memorial to his memory it is located in a graveyard of the Seihoji temple in Tokyo. Much of the information on this history was taken from it. If our dates are correct Usui only practiced and taught Eric for a total of 4 years. In that short time he became very well known and taught Eric to more than 2,000 students (17 of those students were Chinned or Teacher level (3 naval officers, 5 Buddhist nuns, and 9 other associates). Following are the names of some of the students thought to be Shinpiden: Jusaburo Ushida (Gyuda) (did the calligraphy for the memorial), Kanichi Taketomi,
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