Reiki, the energy healing system, is based on the belief that thoughts have the power to direct energy—the underlying dynamo shaping the world. Often described as a form of Shinto-Buddhist Qigong, reiki was rediscovered by Dr. Mikao Usui, a Japanese, in the early 20th century. Dr Usui`s initial task was to discover how spiritual leaders such as the Buddha and Christ were able to perform miraculous healing through mere touch without depleting their own energy reserves. A deep spiritual experience led him to devote several years to the study. During his quest he experienced an intense energy gratification, which had healing powers. He named this energy—Usui Reiki Ryoho. His disciples, after the World War II, popularized the concept and its practice in the West.
Reiki (pronounced as `ray-key`) is made up of two words—`rei` and `ki`. `Rei` can be interpreted as a higher form of intelligence while `ki` denotes life force. Taken together, `reiki` is understood to be a kind of universal energy. This system heals by raising the vibrations, of the being or object to be healed, closer to that of the practitioner. Reiki is a multidimensional energy healing system, which can heal the cause of a problem at whatever level it may exist—body, mind, or spirit.
Reiki is transferred to students by Reiki Masters through a series of attunements. During an attunement process, the Master selects a series of symbols, which represent important points located along a person`s energy field, and guides them through higher vibrations of energy. This attunement process enables recipients to access the healing energy on their own—and in turn, help others to access it too.
Usui Reiki Ryoho (Usui Spiritual Energy Healing Method): Reiki (which means, `spiritual energy`) Ryoho (which is, `healing method, therapy, remedy, cure`)—is the original name(s) attributed to Reiki by Mikao Usui. When Usui achieved satori (enlightenment) on Kurama Yama, he developed a system of wellness and spiritual growth, which he called Usui Reiki Ryoho, Reiki Ryoho or Reiho, for short.
Usui Shiki Ryoho (Usui Style Healing): Shiki (which means `style, ceremony, rite, method, system, form`) Ryoho (which means, `healing method, therapy, remedy, cure`)—is the method taught by the Reiki Alliance and some Independent Reiki Masters. It is not known where the name Usui Shiki Ryoho originated. Perhaps with Dr. Hayashi or Mrs. Takata, however in one recorded session in 1979, she tells the history of Reiki and refers to the name of the system as Usui Reiki Ryoho. Mrs. Takata did use the name Usui Shiki Ryoho on the certificates she issued to her students.
When comparing the information contained in the Usui Hikkei, Hayashi Hikkei and the Gray book, A Memorial to Takata Sensei compiled by Alice Takata Furumoto, one will notice that the information is very similar. Little has changed. The information, the way it was presented and some of the techniques remained intact. It is known, that Mrs. Takata changed the history of Reiki, perhaps to have this wonderful system more readily accepted by a primarily Christian country (US). It must also be kept in mind that when she began to teach (1938-1980), Mrs. Takata was faced with passing on a primarily Japanese Buddhist discipline, to American Christians during and after a major war (ending in 1945) with Japan. It is not surprising therefore that she needed to make some changes.
The Original Principles Formulated by Usui Sensei: Dr. Mikao Usui the founder of Reiki Ryoho, adopted five admonitions to live by from the Meiji Emperor, that if applied with Reiki, would heal the body, bring peace of mind, and happiness in life. Following are those admonitions, taught as the Reiki Principles, Precepts or Ideals. It is interesting to see the variations from the various Reiki Organizations, even in the translated version.
From Usui Sensei`s memorial: …when it comes to teaching, first let the student understand well the Meiji Emperor`s admonitory, then in the morning and in the evening let them chant and have in mind the five admonitions which are:
• Don`t get angry today.
• Don`t be grievous.
• Express your thanks.
• Be diligent in your business.
• Be kind to others.
—from the original document in Usui Sensei`s handwriting.
• Just for today, thou shall not anger.
• Just for today, thou shall not worry.
• Thou shall be grateful for the many blessings.
• Earn thy livelihood with honest labor.
• Be kind to thy neighbors.
—as taught by Mrs. Takata.
• Just for today, I will not worry.
• Just for today, I will not be angry.
• Just for today, I will give thanks for my many blessings.
• Just for today, I will do my work honestly.
• Just for today, I will be kind to every living thing.
—as taught by Reiki Alliance Masters.
• Just for today, I will let go of anger.
• Just for today, I will let go of worry.
• Today, I will count my many blessings.
• Today, I will do my work honestly.
• Today, I will be kind to every living creature.
—as taught by The Radiance Technique.
Reiki Principles or Precepts
• Just for today, do not worry.
• Just for today, do not anger.
• Honor your parents, teachers and elders.
• Earn your living honestly.
• Show gratitude to every living thing.
—as taught by some Independent Reiki Masters.
Other Translations of Reiki Ryoho Principles
• The secret art of inviting happiness
• The miraculous medicine of all diseases
• Just for today, do not anger
• Do not worry and be filled with gratitude
• Devote yourself to your work
• Be kind to people
• Every morning and evening, join your hands in prayer
• Pray these words to your heart and chant these words with your mouth
• Usui Reiki Treatment for the improvement of body and mind
—version of translation from The Center for Reiki Training.
• The Secret Method of Inviting Blessings
• The Spiritual Medicine of Many Illnesses
• For today only, do not anger, do not worry.
• Do your work with appreciation.
• Be kind to all people.
• In the morning and at night hold your hands in prayer, meditate on and chant these words.
• The Usui Reiki method to change your mind and body for the better.
—version of translation from Traditional Japanese Reiki School TJR.
Reiki Principles from a Satya Reiki Poem, `Clarifying The Wind`:
Don`t get angry today
Don`t mind or worry today
Don`t be afraid
Thanks to the world and every being
Work hard Be kind to every being
Make morning and evening Namaste and say thanks to all beings
Thanks to God and existence
—version of a Japanese lineage through Eguchi
The kanji characters Rei and Ki both have an old and a modern form. The old form kanji (written by Usui and Takata Sensei`s) best describes Reiho, was rediscovered by Usui Sensei. The word Reiki with a capital ‘R’ is the word, which describes the energy of this system. The old style kanji is the form that is currently used by the Radiance Technique and some independent Reiki Teachers.
The old form kanji as written on the precepts by Usui Sensei, best describes the system known as Reiho. It is easily explainable as follows:
Rei—Strokes, 24. Consists of three parts. The topmost denotes `rain`, the middle stands for `objects` and the bottom stands for `shaman`. Rei means `spirit or spiritual`.
The Japanese dictionary defines Rei as:
1. Spirit; the spiritual aspect of the human being as contrasted to the physical.
2. Divine, luminous, charismatic, supernatural, mysterious.
3. The luminosity of the spirit; the luminosity of a God or Sage.
4. Inconceivable spiritual ability; charismatic power; charisma; wonderful; a wonder.
5. A rainmaker, a diviner; a person or being with spiritual or supernatural powers.
6. A shaman.
7. Goodness; good, excellent, efficacious.
8. Clever, nimble, sharp.
10. A living being; a human being.
11. A supernatural (mythical) beast or being; a fairy, an elf.
12. Pure, undefined, unpolluted.
13. Bright, clear.
Ki—Strokes, 10. Consists of `breath with rice` (rice in Japan is sometimes used as a synonym for people). Ki means `energy`.
The Japanese dictionary defines Ki as:
1. Vital energy connected with the breath. Invisible life force, somewhat equivalent to the Indian prana.
2. In the view of Zhuxi and other Neo-Confucians, the material force of the Universe. The generative forces of heaven and earth, by means of which all things are constantly reproduced.
4. Breath, steam.
Description of the Old Form Reiki kanji:
On the earth stands a shaman with his arms raised against the sky. From the heaven the rain comes down with lifesaving energy consisting of three parts: Light, Love and Wisdom. The shaman acts as a channel (channeling this energy down to all the people of the Earth). The Reiki teacher is the channel when s/he initiates students and the practitioner is the shaman, when s/he channels this spiritual energy to the people treated.
Description of the New Form Reiki kanji:
The meaning of the new form kanji from a Japanese dictionary is, `aura`. The new form kanji does not give an accurate description of Usui Sensei`s Reiki Ryoho.
Rei—Strokes, 15; (1) soul; spirit; departed soul; ghost.
Ki—Strokes, 6; (1) spirit, mind.
Katakana script—according to a friend in the Gakkai, Katakana is mainly utilized for foreign names and brands like Toyota and Seiko and does not properly represent Usui Sensei`s Reiki Ryoho.
Different Ways of Writing Reiki
Old Japanese: Drawn by Adonea Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai and Independents.
New Japanese: Alliance & Independents.
Old Japanese: Written by Mrs. Takata, The Radiance Technique & Independents.
Combination: Reiki Touch & Independents.
Katakana: Traditional Japanese Reiki (TJR).
What Reiki Ryoho is:
Usui Sensei said: ‘Reiki Ryoho is a spiritual healing technique and an energy healing technique’. Spiritual healing connects one with Universal Consciousness bringing spiritual growth by healing core patterns and issues and helping one remember the fullness of `who they are`. Energy healing brings relief from pain and symptoms in the mind, body and emotions.
Reiki Ryoho brings one to understand the `purpose of life`; establishes the `Self` which is aware of the `True meaning of Life` as part of Universal Consciousness; connects one to Higher levels of consciousness. Reiki Ryoho is a spiritually-guided, individual experience and a powerful tool for personal growth and spiritual enlightenment.
Reiki Ryoho expands `Love`, helping one to understand the True meaning of `Unconditional Love`. Reiho increases and spreads the vibration of `Love` to all of life.
Reiki Ryoho expands `Harmony`, raises one`s vibrations to be in sync (or resonance) with the Divine and in so doing brings `Peace` and happiness on personal, family and global levels. It is for you and everyone alive who is desirous of a higher quality of life. Reiki is pure `Divine Light`.
Reiki Ryoho restores wholeness to body, mind and spirit, increases intuition, and helps one reconnect to their `God-given` gifts of clairvoyance, clairaudience, and clairsentience. It is a transcendental, counterclockwise spiraling energy, which works with physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels simultaneously. It is an evolutionary process, which will increase the natural flow of events and patterns of manifestation in all life. This precise self-help technique encourages personal growth and transformation on all levels.
Reiki Ryoho is a powerful natural system that unlocks the inner flow of vital energy, restoring and balancing the energy systems in all living things. This natural healing system is complete and whole in and of itself, yet acts synergistically with all other healing methods. It is for preventing disorders, maintaining positive wellness, helping the healing process and is beneficial in emergency situations or when used with medical and other procedures.
Reiki is always available and is unlimited; once attuned to the energy, you never lose it and cannot over use it. It is safe and easy to use anytime, any place, any situation and it can never be used to manipulate or control anything.
What Reiki Ryoho is not:
Reiki Ryoho does not involve E.S.P. or unusual psychic phenomenon; is not a form of psychic healing or psychic surgery and is not a massage technique.
Reiki Ryoho is not difficult to use or limited to a select few people. It is not just for when one is ill or used simply to reduce pain and symptoms. Reiho wholes the body, bringing it into sync with the Divine rhythm of the Universe. Everyone can learn, use and benefit from daily use of Reiho.
Reiki Ryoho cannot be taught by just anyone, it is necessary to receive extensive training in order to teach the system. There are many organizations, schools, and individuals that teach Reiki but few teach Usui Reiki Ryoho.
Levels or Degrees of Reiki in West
There are three degrees, taught traditionally. Some schools teach 4 and some as many as seven degrees or levels. The following descriptions are one way of describing the four levels of Reiki.
First Degree Reiki:
This is the beginning level. The training includes powerful and sacred First Degree activating initiations, information on the history of Reiki, a discussion of the various Reiki associations, and ways of applying this unique science. Specific hand positions covering the head, front and back of the body, and their corresponding physical, mental, emotional and spiritual significance are extensively covered. Instructions are given on how to utilize Reiki with family, friends, plants, animals, food and water. The benefits of using Reiki in a group are discussed and an actual group treatment is experienced.
Second Degree Reiki:
This is available to those who have completed the First Degree, have continuously been using it for a few months and want to pursue a higher more powerful level. It includes a powerful, sacred Second Degree initiation, which attunes you to dynamic, multi-dimensional energy keys or symbols. These sacred symbols allow you to access many different levels or dimensions of energy. A discussion of the symbols and their origins as well as their precise usage is given. Specific techniques of absentee healing, personal transformation and healing mental/emotional disorders are also presented.
Third Degree Reiki:
This level is for personal mastery, personal growth, transformation and increased enlightenment. It is available to those students who have been continuously working with Second Degree Reiki and feel ready for the next level. Psychic surgery and the making of crystal grids are taught at this stage to enable the learner to remove energy blocks. Students are also taught how to make an Energy Grid which brings in more light and love to the planet and sends continuous Reiki treatments as well as a procedure to remove particularly difficult energy blocks.
Master or Teacher Level Reiki:
This is for those students who wish to teach Reiki. It is necessary that a continuous use of Reiki and a prerequisite of Third Degree for Personal Mastery be completed before applying for the Master/Teacher level. In this level, one is taught how to do attunements, which open the recipient to receive greater amounts of Reiki energy. These attunements are not initiatory, but are designed to help you access more energy when giving hands-on or absentee treatments.
This level requires a deep commitment to the integrity of the system and the integration of Reiki as a lifestyle. It gives you the complete science for activating First, Second, Third and Master/ Teacher degrees (including complete teaching notes for each degree). It contains advanced techniques in energy activation, balance, direction and modulation for healing, transformation, integration and inner-illumination. It is not just a step up in energy, it is a way of being. The Master/Teacher level is available only upon request and interview.
Why would a Reiki Master choose to teach more than three levels? The answer we have found most often is that there is so much wonderful information to pass on to the Master candidate. Rather than having the Master student apprentice for a year to learn the complete system, some teachers have chosen to add additional levels to the teaching. Specific lengths of time between classes are usually required to allow the energy to incorporate within the person and giving them a set amount of time to practice what they have learned.
Ranks And Levels in Reiho
There are ranks and levels within the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai`s system of Reiho. Ranks are based on the student`s ability to channel the energy and their adeptness or proficiency in performing the techniques. A student will go from proficiency rank 6 (`the beginning level` or First Degree) where the student learns hand-on and other Shoden techniques; through fifth and fourth. It is not until the student attains the third proficiency rank that Okuden (or Second Degree) techniques (including symbols and later distance healing) are offered. It can take a student as long as 10 years before Okuden is attained because it is based on the amount of energy channeled and the success rate with clients. In other words the student must have fully mastered the rank before new levels are offered.
• Proficiency Rank 6—Shoden Level (`beginning teachings`),
• Proficiency Rank 5,
• Proficiency Rank 4,
• Proficiency Rank 3—Okuden Zenki, Okuden Koeki and Shinpiden Levels,
• Proficiency Rank 2—Usui`s Rank,
• Proficiency Rank 1—Unachieved to date.
Usui Sensei placed himself at Proficiency Rank 2, leaving Rank 1 for someone who would surpass his own ability. This gesture was to encourage his pupils to work hard in all aspects of Reiho, especially spiritual growth. To date no member of the Gakkai has achieved Usui`s level of ability.
There are four levels taught in the Gakkai, Shoden (`beginning teachings` or First Degree), Okuden Zenki (`highest or secret level`, first term or Second Degree), Okuden Koeki (`highest or secret level`, latter term or personal mastery) and Shinpiden (`God`s secret method` teacher training or Master). At each level additional techniques are given. The spiritual aspect with techniques for personal growth and enlightenment are taught in all levels of Reiho. Reiho is seen as a method or path to reaching higher levels of spiritual consciousness with healing being a `by-product` that occurs from connecting to the `True-self`. When a student has mastered Okuden Koeki and the collective Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai Shinpiden feel the student is ready or able, they may vote for the student to receive Shinpiden (teacher training). However it must be noted that currently there are only 6 Shinpiden in the whole Gakkai. Precisely how a student is chosen to receive training or when Shinpiden is actually taught is not known.
A school of Reiho taught by Kyozou Ogawa offers six levels. The highest level available is Okuden Koeki or level 1. When one takes Shinpiden or teacher training they learn to teach the information and techniques, and do the attunements for all six levels of Reiho. Following are the levels taught:
• Level 6: Dai Loku Tou – Shoden Level (`Beginning teachings`),
• Level 5: Dai Go Tou – Shoden Level,
• Level 4: Dai Yon Tou – Shoden Level,
• Level 3: Dai San Tou – Shoden Level,
• Level 2: Okuden Zenki – Okuden First Term,
• Level 1: Okuden Koeki – Okuden Latter Term (`Highest or secret level`) and
• Teaching Level: Shinpiden – (`God`s secret method`).
The Reiki Treatment
The Treatment Room:
A treatment room is not required to do Reiki, all that is necessary is placing your hands on the body (your`s or the receipent`s); sitting, standing or lying down. If you choose to set up a treatment room here are some guidelines:
• Select a room away from high traffic areas.
• Create a safe, relaxing, quiet atmosphere. Use soft colors, blinds over windows, plants, etc.
• Dim the lights or light candles to help the client relax.
A massage table, comfortable rolling chair, pillows (for head and under knees), tissue and blankets, CD/tape player, collection of soft soothing music. Here are some additional guidelines:
• Place the massage table in the room so it is possible to move completely around it.
• A shelf, table or bookcase is a good place to put a CD/tape player, tissues, blanket and any other items you wish to include in your room.
• Aromatherapy diffuser and oils add pleasant aromas and aid in relaxation.
Before You Begin the Treatment:
• Demonstrate for the recipient the hand positions you will be using during the treatment.
• Tell recipient about the possible detox (purification) of three to 21 days (flu-like symptoms).
• Ask about the condition of the recipients body, disorders/previous surgery and what their goals are for the Reiki treatments.
• Do not remove clothing (recipient or practitioner).
• Ask recipient to remove bulky jewelry, shoes, belts and to loosen tight garments
• Wash your hands.
• Put a pillow under the recipient`s knees and head (for their comfort).
• Keep tissue and blanket handy (recipient may experience emotional or physical • releases).
• Never promise a healing, you can tell someone Reiki will balance and relax the body, and may relieve pain.
During The Treatment:
There are twelve basic hand positions. Hold each five or more minutes, until your hands tell you to move. The following are some helpful tips:
•Use a tissue or cloth over face of recipient during Head Position #1.
• Do complete treatment—all twelve hand positions (except in accidents, emergencies or on the spot stress relief).
• Add the additional positions to the treatment for complete coverage of the body.
• Keep legs uncrossed (recipient and practitioner).
• Keep fingers and thumb together – hands touching. Open fingers create scattered energy, close fingers focus and direct the energy.
• Your hands may feel different sensations: heat, cold, tingling, pulling, etc. Hands may not get hot. Do not judge the effectiveness – the Reiki energy is working.
• Music is good during a treatment – soft and quiet, like Halpern or Aeoliah.
• It is not necessary to be in a meditative state during a treatment.
• Talking during treatment is permitted, but silence enhances your awareness of energy and changes in the body. In some cases, talking can have a cleansing effect for the recipient.
• When the person is asleep, the energy seems to be more readily accepted (there is no resistance from the conscious mind).
• Reiki adjusts to the needs and conditions of the receiver.
After The Treatment:
• Rinse your hands and arms in cold water (breaks contact with the person).
• Both you and the recipient drink water.
• You may also wish to do one or more of the following techniques to break energetic connection to your client: put fingertips of both hands together; rub hands together and shake vigorously at your sides; karate chop with your dominant hand the astral cords that collect at your solar plexus.
• Smudge your healing room with smoke from white sage and cedar.
• If you have done treatments during the day, take a shower in the evening to clean the excess energy from your aura and smudge yourself.
Things to Remember:
• Remember you are Not a healer—the energy is.
• If the person does not seem to get better, the energy is working on levels other than physical.
• In accidents, emergencies or for on-the-spot stress relief, treat local areas (to stop bleeding, and reduce shock or stress) then if possible, treat all twelve positions.
• Treat for three to four consecutive days (every 24 hours). It takes this long for the body to completely fill with energy and begin the detox process. The number/frequency of additional treatments can be determined after the initial series is completed.
• Always continue treatments until the energy is balanced, healing is complete and health is wholly restored. Never treat a child alone; have parent(s) present.
• Do not diagnose or prescribe anything, unless you are licensed to do so.
Reiki works on all levels. It covers the nervous, circulatory and endocrine systems, all major organs and the seven major chakras (see Illustrations).
• Both hands channel Reiki equally. It is not necessary to consider the positive or negative sides of the body for hand placement. Reiki is a complete or bi-polar energy (contains both positive and negative aspects).
• Reiki is not just for when you are sick.
• The energy is squared with each additional Reiki practitioner who adds energy to person, place, thing, situation, relationship, etc.
• A little Reiki is better than no Reiki at all.
• Can use Reiki on plants, animals, food, etc. Every living thing will benefit from Reiki.
• Reiki can be used on audio and video tapes, electronic equipment, car batteries, appliances, etc. Place hands on these for a few moments; will help last longer and work better.
• Anything with a vibration (which is all that is) will hold Reiki and can add to your treatments (like crystals/stones, healing tools, pillows, tables, even water).
Everytime you do Reiki, you increase the level of energy,love and light brought into the planet.
• You cannot wear out Reiki—it is unlimited.
Reiki Self Treatments:
• Give yourself a treatment everyday using all twelve positions.
• Always do sets of four positions (i.e. all head, all front or all back).
• If the sequence of four positions are interrupted, start over with the first position in sequence (i.e. head, front or back). The energy builds as the treatment progresses. If the treatment is stopped prior to completing a minimum of 4 positions, you do not receive as much benefit.
• Always finish a complete sequence of all twelve positions within a 24 hour period.
• Add the additional positions to your treatment for complete coverage of the body. • You can do Reiki while you read, listen to music, watch television, even drive (doing reiki with one hand is all right, both hands are preferred).
• The more Reiki you do, the larger the volume of Reiki that will flow through you. Make a list of everything you touch each day. See how you can use Reiki with these to give yourself a treatment.
• Start a journal about your Reiki experiences and treatments, with results, as support for your ongoing process of awakening.
Unlike some healing techniques where the energy flows from the healer to the individual, Reiki energy flows from an unlimited source of light energy, in dimensions beyond our understanding, into and through our physical, mental and emotional bodies to the person, place or thing that we direct it to.
With the continued use of Reiki, you may experience altered states of awareness. You may wish to start a Reiki journal about your experiences. Use them, learn from them and bring them out as a basis of new insight. These experiences will seldom be the same twice. We are not the same from minute to minute. It is important to recognize that growth and joy come not in the goal but the journey, and the journey begins now.
Reiki Cleansing or Purification
There is no area of life that Reiki will not change and effect. It brings healing as a result of raising the vibrations of a being or object closer to that of the original design. It will assist in bringing goals and desires into manifested form. It will work at healing relationships, between people or objects; wherever there is disparity and imbalance, the energy will reinstate order and stability. The energy can be used to heal and balance anything in the past or the present, and Reiki can be sent to any situation that will occur in the future, to insure the best results possible (to be balanced and harmonious). Reiki will bring healing to situations that you may not yet be aware of. When an area of life is healed, the altered energy will bring change to all other areas of your life.
Many times, new Reiki practitioners have been heard to say that life has become more difficult ever since they were attuned to Reiki. The truth is that Reiki has dredged up deep-seated emotional blocks (or physical, mental, spiritual) and you have become more sensitive and aware of these additional issues, and you suddenly have to work a little harder at focusing and balancing the energies.
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