Traditional Eastern Reiki Versus Western Reiki

I have been practicing and researching Reiki for nearly two decades and recently I have been drawn to join the debate on what constitutes ‘Traditional Japanese Reiki’ and how it is different from Hawayo Takata’s Usui Shiki Ryoho..

Before I proceed, I would like to make it clear that in my mind any form or discipline that utilizes Universal ‘Ki’ can only be doing good, because as most of us know, within the phenomenon of Reiki, there is an inherent intelligence (thankfully) that directs it’s flow…

I am not here either to point an accusatory finger at anyone, I just wish to shed light on something that in my opinion undermines Reiki’s stability and confuses many would be practitioners coming into our Reiki community

Lately the system of Reiki I was originally taught has become referred to by many somewhat derogatorily in my opinion as ‘Western Reiki’. This is incorrect because the system Hawayo Takata introduced to the World is called ‘Usui Shiki Ryoho’ or sometimes ‘Usui Reiki Ryoho’ , Which means, ‘Usui Style Healing Method’ or ‘The Usui Way’ as I was taught.

This system she learnt from Chujiro Hayashi, serving her apprenticeship at his clinic and receiving the master level attunement from him in 1936 four years before he committed seppuku (suicide) at his Villa in Atami near Mt Fuji, an event she was present at.

Her system was most definitely tailored for the English speakers she taught in Hawaii. She chose to omit some of the Japanese terminology or rephrased it into English when teaching certain techniques. For example calling Byosen Reikan Ho, Scanning, or Seiheki Chiryo the mental/emotional technique. But when you look deeper into the content of many self styled ‘Original Japanese’ systems that are fashionable today, you will find not only do they share much in common with Hawayo Takata’s teachings but also they share the same lineage with her, connecting through Chujiro Hayashi to Dr Usui.

Here is a look at three of these Japanese systems to help you understand where they originated from.

‘Gendai Reiki Ho’ (Dentho Reiki)

It is claimed this system contains Original Usui Reiki Ryoho techniques as practiced by The Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai that were omitted from Hawayo Takata’s Western Reiki. This is a system taught by Hiroshi Doi and it’s name means literally “Modern Reiki Method”. Doi studied with Mieko Mitsui ~ a student of Radiance Technique founder Barbara Ray who famously battled for control of the leadership of Reiki with Hawayo Takata’s grand daughter Philis Furumoto.

It is also reported he studied Osho Neo Reiki (A modified Takata Style Reiki) and also Jikiden Reiki. Doi created his system of Reiki by drawing upon many types of healing modalities. It is strange that many consider Gendai Reiki Ho to be Traditional Usui Reiki Ryoho when Hiroshi Doi himself points out, that he has never taught anything other than Gendai Reiki Ho. “I have taught nothing but Gendai Reiki Ho until now, Gendai Reiki Ho does include traditional techniques. However if a master simply picks out these techniques and says I teach both Gendai Reiki Ho and Usui Reiki Ryoho, this is wrong. I never taught anything but Gendai Reiki Ho seminars and this will remain the same in the future.”

Reiki researcher James Deacon writes “Doi has pointed out (though not loudly enough it seems..) that the particular version of Reiju used and taught in Gendai Reiki Ho is his own creation ~ his attempt to replicate the experience of receiving the Reiju empowerment as used by the Gakkai~something that Doi not being a Gakkai master, has not learnt how to perform.”

It’s apparent that Doi has spent a lot of time researching and incorporating many techniques into his Reiki system which isn’t a bad thing. Many teachers do this, myself included and it can be considered a natural progression when being informed by the flow of Ki energy. However what appears to have happened to Gendai Reiki Ho is it has been labelled by it’s followers as the Traditional Japanese Reiki when clearly it is not.

Jikiden Reiki

 

 

 

 

 

 

Based on the teachings of the late Chiyoko Yamaguchi and created by Tadao Yamaguchi her son in 2000. Chiyoko was a student of Chujiro Hayashi receiving her first level attunement in 1938, two and a half years after Hawayo Takata became a Master. She claimed to be attuned to master level by Chujiro Hayashi and taught Reiki as being the exact system taught by him. Unlike Usui Shiki Ryoho there were no formal hand positions in her method. She instead focused more on the intuitive aspects of giving Reiki stating she was never taught any which is interesting as many claim that it was Chujiro Hayashi himself that introduced formal hand positions to fit in with his approach to clinical Reiki. Although it was claimed she received her master training directly from Chujiro Hayashi, it came to light she actually received instruction to pass attunements from her uncle Wasaburo Sugano who had also been trained by Hayashi.

I asked Hyakuten Inamoto her senior student “Do you know why Chiyoko Yamaguchi chose not to include her Uncle Wasaburo Sugano in her lineage?”

He said; “My understanding from what I heard from her is that she considered her uncle just taught her how to give Reiju (attunement). She did not think that she was initiated into Reiki by him, but she did think she was initiated into Reiki by Hayashi Sensei himself.”

Yamaguchi had no knowledge of the Master symbol being used as a Reiki symbol and it has been suggested by some in her defence, that the symbol was not part of the system then. But as we know Hawayo Takata had already received Master status 2 years before this and she had been instructed to use this symbol by Chujiro Hayashi, so something doesn’t fit. Hyakuten Inamoto director of Komyo Reiki again writes “Mrs. Yamaguchi had no idea about the Master symbol. She was taught only Shoden (level 1) and Okuden (level 2) with 3 symbols during a 5-day Reiki course by Hayashi Sensei”. This once again raises some questions, as the Master symbol is intrinsic to the Reiki attunement process in Hawayo Takatas ‘Usui Shiki Ryoho’. Also, unlike Mrs Yamaguchi’s 5 day training into just 2nd degree Reiki, Hawayo Takata’s training with Hayashi-sensei took the form of an extended, full-time apprenticeship to Master level.

‘Komyo Reiki’

Hyakuten Inamoto the senior student of Chiyoko Yamaguchi apparently founded Komyo Reiki before the Jikiden system was started. Previous to this, Hyakuten translated Gendai Reiki Ho seminars for Hiroshi Doi and he states “I am glad to say I’ve learned many Western Reiki things from him.”

It has been reported by many that he was instructed not to teach Jikkiden as Tadao Yamaguchi wished to be the only individual to bear his mothers direct lineage. Hyakuten however explained it to me directly like this.

“As you know, Mrs. Yamaguchi was my Reiki teacher, that is to say, a teacher/student relationship. Tadao was her youngest son or my teacher’s son. That’s all. When I had Reiki training with Mrs. Yamaguchi, Tadao was practicing another healing modality called “Jorei.” I did not break away from Jikiden. I was already teaching Komyo Reiki when Tadao officially set up Jikiden Reiki in the year 2000. In other words, there has been Komyo before Jikiden. To me Jikiden or Tadao is my Reiki brother (younger brother). This is how I talk about Jikiden to my students.”

Komyo Reiki is a Hayashi style ‘Usui Shiki Ryoho’ and focuses on developing a gateway to spiritual awakening and to Satori (Enlightenment). It emphasizes the importance of daily Gassho meditation on the Reiki principles and keeping the system simple without many techniques and has the motto; “Put your hands, Surrender and Smile”.

Hyakuten say’s from the Gendai Reiki Ho system, he has only incorporated Hatsurei Ho (Hatsu = Invoke/Generate, Rei = Spirit, Ho = Method). For us in the Takata lineage this is a combination of dry brushing/ cleansing, crystal light meditation (from the crown through the body), Gassho meditation and reciting the five principles. There are many variations on this method that can be found and essentially it is a cleansing/manifestation meditation.

Hyakuten has also incorporated some simple”Mindfulness of breathing” Buddhist practices into his system of Reiki, stating, “As my background is Buddhism I gladly share the teachings of the Buddha, (Enlightened One) in my Reiki classes.” Unlike Chiyoko Yamaguchi, Hyakuten included the master symbol into Komyo Reiki thanks to his ex-teaching partner who became a Reiki Master in a ‘Western Reiki system’.

So in summary of the three different styles of Japanese Reiki I have listed now being taught here are their lineages;

  • Jikiden Reiki ~ Tadao Yamaguchi ~ Chiyoko Yamaguchi ~ *(Wasaburo Sugano) ~ Chujiro Hayashi.
  • Komyo Reiki ~ Hyakuten Inamoto ~ Chiyoko Yamaguchi ~ *(Wasaburo Sugano) ~ Chujiro Hayashi.
  • Gendai Reiki Ho ~ Mieko Mitsui ~ Barbara Ray ~ Hawayo Takata ~ Chujiro Hayashi.

* (Wasaburo Sugano) Omitted from the lineages for some reason.

So as you can see all roads lead back to Chujiro Hayashi.

It appears to me after years of research into Reiki that the only thing Hawayo Takata omitted from Usui Shiki Ryoho when she introduced it into the West was the Japanese terminology she used to describe it’s content. Since then, there have been many additions to what was a very simple and clear system of Reiki. Her system did concentrate on the healing aspect of Reiki but not to the detriment of personal spiritual development.

Hawayo Takata spoke of Reiki as “A Universal force from the Great Divine Spirit.” She said “Reiki is not associated with any visible material being, it is an unseen spiritual power that radiates vibration and lifts one into harmony. This power is incomprehensible to man, yet every single living being is receiving it’s blessings.”

It sounds to me that she had a pretty good understanding of Reiki and I for one thank her each and every day for the gift she afforded me.

I wish to echo Hyakuten Inamoto’s words when he said “My wish is that my Reiki brother will practice the truth of Reiki Ryoho, which is oneness, openness and sharing beyond duality.”

Here are the 22 Reiki Master Teachers initiated by Hawayo Takata before her passing

Thanks to http://www.reikisystem.com

Thanks for listening

RR

Copyright Richard Ellis

Reference material Reiki Styles by James Deacon

For more information on this and many other Reiki related subjects see James Deacon

Charging for Reiki

Charging Money for Reiki

Today I wish to discuss the rather contentious issue of charging money for Reiki. I am not going to advise what you should charge here, but rather discuss the reasons in my opinion why it’s a good idea to do so.

Continue reading

The Winter Solstice 2012

The Winter solstice on the 21st  December 2012 is the shortest day and the longest night of the year in the northern hemisphere. The sun arcs at its lowest point on the horizon and remains on the same trajectory for three days and three nights before ascending again on the 25th December. The day’s then become longer and the nights shorter until the spring equinox where night and day are equal in length. Many ancient stone circles and other monuments are aligned with the winter sunrise on the 21st of December. The most famous being Newgrange in Ireland, where a finger of sunlight shines along the dark entrance through a narrow aperture above the monument’s entrance.

Many of the symbols of Christmas echo the winter solstices aspect of rebirth and hope in darkness. For example the Winter Solstice was a time when people came out of hibernation and gathered together with family and friends. It was a time of generosity, loving, giving and letting go. People would wrap up unwanted possessions and place them in a basket so that each could choose a gift. It was a time to bring food and drink to share at a feast. To light fires, tell stories, to sing and entertain each other… Holly was thought to be important because it retains its greenery right through the winter months, and as such is a symbol of summer life in the winter starkness. Holly was the male symbol of this greenery, and Ivy was the feminine, the two often placed together in a circle just like the Christmas decorations you find on most peoples doors symbolising the cycle of the seasons and everlasting life at the dark end of the year. There was also a belief that evergreen plants and trees were refuges for the woodland spirits through the winter.

Yule was the traditional name for the celebrations around the 25th December, the festival lasted for twelve days, which are now the twelve days of Christmas. The origin of the word Yule seems to originate from the Anglo Saxon word for sun and light. Most likely regarding the rebirth of the sun from the shortest day.

The birth of Christ on the 25th December ties in with the Winter solstice celebration of 21st December too. This is the day that the Sun (after three days and nights) is resurrected and ascends into heaven. The resurrection of Christ (The S.u.n of God) isn’t celebrated until Easter time (The Spring Equinox) where the light of the sun actually overpowers the darkness of night and we head towards the summer solstice.

In the 4-5th centuries, Christmas and the winter solstice were on the same day and it was said “Christ was born with the new sun, as the Sun of Justice, Sol Iustitiae and transformed the cold winter season with a new sun and his birth brought salvation and he ordered the nights to shorten and the daylight to grow with himself.”

The winter solstice is the time where symbolically we are furthest away from the light. Our descent into darkness is almost complete and so this time of the year, marks a significant turning point as the wheel of fortune turns in our favour and we begin once again to move towards the light. The old year has died away and is now prepared for the rebirth of activity and expansion into the outer world. As such it is seen as the festival of rebirth, but it is not a beginning in a linear sense but part of our cycle of death and rebirth.

As the outer world has darkened, we have journeyed into the inner realms through introspection and reflection and as the winter solstice heralds a time of letting go we can lay aside all that no longer serves us on our journey. Releasing old energy opens the way for new energy to come in so the winter solstice is the time to birth our visions and dreams and make our resolutions for the coming year.

To let go of what you no longer need in your life and focus your intentions on what you do want try these exercises that are drawn from the tradition of winter solstice celebrations and enable you to ritualise this time and set new goals for the future.

On the 21st December

Spend some time in meditation thinking about the year that has passed and all you have experienced. with pen and paper at the ready, write down all the things that you no longer wish to experience and that no longer serve you in your life. Ideally if you have a fireplace Decorate a wooden log with pieces of paper tied to it with all the things you wish to let go of written on it and place it into the fire. Make it a ritual with a family or group, each stating out loud what they no longer want in their lives as they place the log onto the fire.

On 25th December

Christmas day! take a candle and each of you light it and speak out your wishes hopes and intentions for the future year ahead. Place each candle in a large bowl of sand and then let it burn right down to the wick.

On 31st December

After all your presents have been opened and the tree looks bare, on New Years Eve, get everyone to write down their dreams and wishes for the year ahead and tie them to the Christmas tree. This is a great ritual if you have a tree with roots and you can then plant it outside and watch it grow through the year.

 

Can anyone learn to Heal?

In this weeks blog I wish to discuss the questions can anyone learn to heal? Are some people more predisposed to be effective as healers than others and if so what can us lesser mortals do to improve our practice?

Over the years I’ve met some incredible healers and when it came to transmitting energy they seemed able to manifest huge amounts of Ki. Also their ability to perceive what was required and transmute energy went beyond the average Reiki practitioner. So in today’s blog I wish to discuss why that might be and how some people seem able to hold a healing space and channel energy more abundantly than others. Continue reading

Mindfulness

I remember when I was in my twenties and starting out on my personal journey of self discovery, I met an ex Pan Am Captain who had a wrist watch with the words NOW repeated all around the face of the watch in place of the numbers. It was a great reminder of the importance of staying present with what is.

In this second blog on improving your relationship with yourselves and your environment, I want to discuss mindfulness and give you a great meditation to use on a daily basis. Aside from being an essential aspect of living with Reiki  and giving a Reiki treatment, mindfulness extends to every waking moment of your life when you live with awareness of the NOW. Continue reading

Gratitude

This is the first of my blogs since the beginning of August and I want to kick of the new season with some useful methods of enhancing and appreciating your day to day lives. Over the next few weeks I will be introducing some great ways to enhance your relationship with yourselves and your immediate environment.

To start with this week I want to talk about the importance of gratitude in our lives. As one of the Reiki principles, “Just for today I am grateful and thankful for all the wonders and blessings in my life” it is something that I have focused on over the many years I have practiced Reiki, but like anything its good to revisit our principles to remind ourselves of their value. Continue reading

Spiritual Guidance and Reiki


Path of the Ancients

By Manjinder Aujla 

Echo’s of my ancestors
Footsteps of my soul
Guides on my spiritual journey
Showing me the path back home 

 

 

When a person decides to walk the spiritual path they embark on a journey that has been taken by many before them.  Walking this path with an open heart and open mind will allow the wisdom of the ones that have gone before them to light the road ahead. A spiritual journey does not take a person to a new unseen destination but is more of a coming home journey.  It is a return to source, to the place it all began.  The closer you get to source the more you remember.  This is the ultimate goal of a spiritual journey; to remember. Continue reading

Do we direct Reiki or just let it flow?

One of the first teachings my Reiki Master June Woods gave me in 1993 was “Just relax and let it flow dear.. Reiki knows where to go”. I still tell my own students this and when they are doubtful of their own capacity to give Reiki, I suggest, not making it about them but instead make it about the person receiving. I was also taught that there was no need to be concerned about the outcome of a healing or get myself involved in diagnosis because I was simply a channel through which the energy flows. The idea that Reiki flows to where it is needed most and is an intelligent life force energy that requires no direction is still taught today but there are questions that have arisen in me through my practice of Reiki and this week I wish to discuss the question; “Do we direct Reiki or just let it flow?” Continue reading

Reiki and The Sun Buddha

This week, June 21st in the northern hemisphere we celebrate the Summer Solstice. The Earth is tilted 23.4′on it’s axis and depending on the time of year, is oriented either toward or away from the Sun.

On the Summer Solstice the Sun appears to stand still in our skies (Which is the meaning of solstice in Latin)  and just like a sunflower, the Earth has its face pointed towards the Sun for the longest day of the year. Even though after the solstice, the days begin to shorten  toward the autumn Equinox, on this day throughout the world people celebrate the arrival of summer. Continue reading

Distant Healing

This week I am writing about Distant Healing. I use the practice of distant healing every day in many different ways and It’s effectiveness never fails to amaze me.

Distant Healing is the name we give to the process of sending Reiki outside of time and space. This could be to someone or something that is in a distant location from us or in a different time to us either in the past or future. We use a specific symbol sequence which enables us to do this grouped around the Distant Healing Symbol. Continue reading