The Ki In Reiki

Ki a. copy

“Everything is determined by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect as well as for the star. Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust – we all dance to a mystery tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.”

Albert Einstein

At the very heart of Reiki, there is an accepted cosmological concept that a vital field of energy pervades the universe known as Ki. It is viewed as the underlying ingredient that not only permeates and connects the Universe together, but also actively forms part of all living things. Ki is the thread connecting all beingness, its flow is present and active in all activity throughout the cosmos. Ki, creates resonance between things causing situations and events to coincide spontaneously, linking them and generating the optimum opportunities for growth and development. In allowing flow we are participating in the unfolding of Creation’s epic story.

Ki, historically, is seen as an energy but it remains immeasurable and doesn’t behave as we would expect energy to from the point of view of traditional physics. This hasn’t helped those trying to prove the existence of a life force. Ted Kaptchuk in his book ‘The Web That Has No Weaver’ suggests, Ki is not a force added to lifeless matter but rather “the state of being of any phenomena”. The difficulty is that Ki, unlike light, doesn’t travel in a linear way from point A. to point B. and therefore cannot be measured like energy in the traditional sense. To understand Ki we must begin to imagine everything existing in delicate balance within the same unified field. Viewed this way we can see Ki as the substance in the cosmos through which everything coexists. As an extension of this the path of Reiki leads us to the understanding that we are an expression of this oneness, no separation, no need to protect. Very simply we realise we are it! An intimate part of the wholeness of creation…

In ancient China a model that explained the existence of the heavens and the earth was derived from the concept of a single source of energy consciousness known as Tai Yi, [the primordial unity of Yin and Yang]. It was understood everything was created from this great oneness, being part of it as consciousness and at the same time existing within it, floating about linked together in a great ocean-like field of Ki we call Creation.

Reiki teaches us that dis-ease is a result of dis-connection and the solution lies in simply re aligning ourselves to Ki flow, which serves to naturally reconnect us to the Universes unfolding story again. Instead of being ‘Apart From Creation’, we become ‘A Part Of Creation’. As we cultivate our relationship to Ki and listen to its rhythms, we start to align ourselves with the spontaneous rhythms of the universe. We begin to recognise the voice within and even though we may not know where the flow is taking us, by trusting and surrendering to it, our actions become aligned with a greater universal truth. It’s like diving into something because its depth is drawing us ever deeper.

Aligning ourselves to Ki awakens wholeness within us and our inner development becomes an act of letting go of all that isn’t whole. Just like a sculptor carves away at a rock and reveals what he has always seen hidden within it. Letting go of external distractions and interferences is part of our inner refinement and alignment to flow. We have to unplug ourselves from the social matrix, switch off the transmissions and distractions that have been designed to occupy us.

Ki flow helps us to become more aware of the destructive elements in our surroundings, noticing where our inner and outer worlds lack congruency. As we tune in, we begin to recognise the need to make more resourceful and loving lifestyle choices. Suddenly old patterns of behaviour are no longer appropriate to what we are becoming. Adjustments in our routines are inevitable and we may find we drop aspects of our old self. Everything comes up for review so we can decide what stays and what goes and what supports the refinement taking place within.

Ultimately, a natural balance occurs between the progress on the inside through the  practices used to cultivate Ki and the change on the outside through lifestyle choices and environments we choose to put ourselves in. As we begin to listen to this inner flow and allow it to inform us, there is a natural alignment between our inner and outer worlds that reflects those choices we make.

Thanks for listening

RR

For more on Ki you can read my new book ‘The Heart Of Reiki’

Setting up your perfect day

scared-on-coaster4

Part two of my monthly theme of living with Reiki is about how to set up your perfect day. There is a great metaphor given by Esther Hicks where she describes momentum. She explains that in many ways our thoughts, feelings and intentions for the day gather momentum much like a car rolling down a hill. It is possible to step in front of a car when it first starts to roll and stop it rolling any further, but if the car is allowed to pick up momentum no one in their right mind would try and stop it.

In much the same way we stand a better chance of stopping the momentum of negative, thoughts, feelings and intentions if we catch them early. If we allow them to build momentum then it becomes very difficult to do anything about them.

Author of ‘breaking the habit of being yourself’, Dr. Joe Dispenza was once asked during a seminar what his personal routine was to set up his day. He said; “I don’t get out of bed until I have got my head right” This really resonated with me because I know from personal experience, my day reflects my mental and emotional state. If I start the day without first getting my thoughts and emotions right, then whatever state I am in will just build momentum and my day could become a complete roller coaster nightmare.

The Reiki practice has great tools for preparing ourselves but so often we forget to use them and many people only utilise them when giving treatments to others. When we realise living with Reiki is about using the practice each and every day of our lives we can begin to appreciate what a great tool it is.

So what can we do to get our head Right?

Fortunately there are two incredibly useful tools we have that are designed to serve this very purpose. Hawayo Takata when telling the history of Reiki emphasised, over and over again, the message that the monks gave to Mikao Usui. “The mind requires purifying before the physical body can be healed”. She talked of Mikao Usui feeling like he had failed after his experiences working with the beggars in the slums and why he included the five precepts into the system;

The inclusion of the 5 precepts in our Reiki practice teaches us to consider what is essential for our well-being. To reset our thinking, to focus our minds and emotions on the principals for health and happiness. They do not need to be chanted but simply contemplated. The best place to do that is in Gassho.

Gassho is so incredibly valuable to our practice and as well as serving to generate energy flow this Mudra is a place where our intention is established and we focus our mind and return ourselves to balance. It is a traditional gesture formed by placing the palms of the hands together with all fingers pointing upwards. It symbolises the oneness of all beings and is often used in the East as a humble greeting, a sign of respect or to give thanks. Called Namaste in Sanskrit. [‘Namah’ means bow ‘te’ means to you]. It literally means, “I bow to you” and is regarded as an honouring of the divinity in someone we meet. The two hands brought together are symbolic of our human and Buddha nature. The left hand represents our human nature and the right hand our Buddha nature. Bringing them together over the heart is symbolic that both aspects reside within us and we are never far away from our Buddha self.

It is essential to remember is it is not the quantity of time but the quality of time that you give yourself that gets your thinking right. Even when you think you don’t have time, MAKE TIME each and every day to be still, connect to Reiki and consider the 5 precepts.

 Part 1.

Sit quietly and place your hands in Gassho (Prayer Position) over the heart and bring your attention to your breath.

Whist breathing in, imagine drawing in energy, through the full surface of your body, from all around you to your Hara (Belly).

Whilst breathing out feel the spread of energy up through your body, to your heart and hands

 Part 2.

Begin to consider the five precepts and the significance of them in your life for the day ahead.

Just for today

Release anger

Release worry

Be Grateful

Be honest in your endeavors

Be kind to all.

Part 3.

Bring all of your attention to your belly, feel grounded and supported by the earth below you. See yourself as an intimate part of the world and connected to everything and everyone in it. When you feel centred, balanced and connected, your ready to start your day!

 

Thanks for listening

RR

Creating your very own Healing Centre

DSC_0046

Over the years as a result of the Reiki classes I run, I have witnessed a fair number of people having moments of revelation, accompanied by a deep desire to drop everything, change the course of their life and head off somewhere to heal the world or open a healing centre. It’s a lovely idea and in those instants I watch as imaginations get to work and the inevitable idyllic visions of the possibility of living bathed in the utopia of Reiki all day long are born.

I know exactly what that feeling is like because I had it myself. In fact I did drop everything to change my life and head off to live in community with other like minded people. I embraced wearing socks with Birkenstock sandals, grew my hair long and ate a purely vegan diet. I meditated every day, wore a crystal pouch around my neck and communed with earth angels and devas. I was constantly hugging people and developed the art of gazing deeply into the eyes of another for ridiculously long periods of time. I knew all the words to ‘Puff The Magic Dragon’, retreated in solitude to the islands of Iona and within a year my metamorphism from London Fashion Photographer to Way Out Tree Hugging Hippie Healer was complete.

As amusing as it sounds, I was loving my life, I felt deeply connected and had a sense of purpose that for the first time felt absolutely right to me. But the decision to depart this Spiritual Oasis I lived in occurred as rapidly as it had arrived. The catalyst for me was the departure of a group of American students with whom I had built strong bonds. My heart had felt that deep sense of aloneness that only goodbye’s can give you and I understood in that moment Living with Reiki was less about creating a sanctuary outside of myself and more about creating it within.

I learnt to locate a place within that told me I was connected. When self treating, I could give Reiki to myself and feel it filling up. I started to view it as a sanctuary inside of myself and in time, it became my source, my healing centre. I realised as long as it was there, I had no need for an outer sanctuary. In the ensuing years I lent my experiences to others facing the urge to drop everything and make dramatic life changes. I encouraged a more balanced approach than the one I had taken, allowing Reiki to transform them without causing great disruption and fall out in their day to day lives.

When we attend a Reiki course we are provided with a safe space in which we can be open, share and feel supported. It is deeply nurturing and most of us who experience it want to remain there for as long as we can. But just like returning from a weeks holiday on the beach can be difficult, many are immediately challenged by the need to go back home after a workshop. I have heard so many stories of people getting home and their stressed out partner says, well I am glad you had a nice time, welcome back to ‘the real world’ and hands the sugar laced kids over.

But here’s the thing, Reiki is as much a part of ‘the real world’ as anything else, it’s just a case of grounding it into our reality. Some compromises may be required depending upon where we live. We might have to consider those around us who haven’t been zapped by the Reiki Ray! We may need to find flexibility in our Reiki practice, make it less dogmatic, refrain from trying to convert everyone to our Reiki Religion and generally be a little more subtle in our approach. For me, it meant the socks and Birckenstocks had to go, the crystal pouch around the neck was replaced by a deep knowing that Reiki was in my heart. The deep gaze into another’s eyes for long periods of time replaced by a handshake or an appropriate hug.

As we ground and integrate Reiki into our lives we learn to use our increased sensitivity to navigate by and our vulnerability becomes an opportunity to inspire openness in others. We become to the best of our ability an example of the precepts. When faced with challenging and unsympathetic environments we are taught humility and to reflect upon the strengths of our beliefs.

A Reiki workshop is designed to offer us a glimpse into the possibility of a way of being where we live with awareness of being intimately connected to everything in this Universe. In a workshop we can bathe in the luxuriousness of all the participants focused on the same intention of love and healing. But the real work starts when we go home. Integrating what we have learnt and ensuring we complete our spiritual homework. Creating an inner sanctuary, a healing centre within, is an essential part of that work.

So the next time you meet people or situations that challenge you and are difficult to digest, remind yourself. How I respond right here right now is the full measure of my personal development. Drop into your inner sanctuary in that moment and see it as an opportunity to demonstrate a way of being that echoes your beliefs.

Thanks for listening Reiki Rich

For more go to www.practicalreiki.com/blog/

Get Your Ducks Lined Up!

Rubber_ducks copy

All Eastern philosophies related to the gathering and utilisations of Ki have one essential element at the core of their teachings. The accessibility of the vital essence of life requires that we be in the present moment in order to notice it is there. The present moment is the place where we reconnect to our essential nature and, by virtue, reconnect to flow. In order to experience Ki, we have to shift our focus away from the external distractions and dramas of everyday life and realign ourselves within. To our surprise when we do, it takes very little to achieve deep connection inside, but the nature of the beast, is such, that we find life’s dramas exact a strong pull on us and discipline is required to remain present.

A dear friend of mine’s favourite saying was “Get your ducks lined up”. Because when ducks aren’t lined up and they are all swimming this way and that, quacking, going around in circles they cause chaos. Getting our own ducks lined up requires us to bring our minds back to the present, find our centre and reconnect to the flow through our internal energy system once more.

When we do get back into the flow, we see how out of sync we had been previously. Being in the flow is an example of Wu Wei, efficiency in action because the flow of energy through us is the same flow through everything. Finding our inner flow involves encountering stillness by letting go of external distractions and interferences. We have to unplug ourselves from the social matrix, switch off the transmissions and distractions that have been designed to occupy us and make time to mindfully experience ourselves, and just be.

Fortunately there are many ways we can create the space to settle within. Having a body balancing session like reflexology or massage. Booking a Reiki treatment to open our energy system to flow and bring our mind back home or going on retreat to just simply be for a while in the stillness of ourselves are just a few of the tools we can use to reconnect to flow again.

Flow informs us of personal choices we can take, which naturally alter the way we feel and think about ourselves. We may find we wish to invest more of our time and energy in maintaining our sense of wellbeing and health. As we refine we become more aware of the destructive elements in our surroundings. We begin to notice where our inner and outer worlds lack congruency. As we tune in, we begin to recognise the need to make more resourceful and loving lifestyle choices. Suddenly old patterns of behaviour are no longer appropriate to what we are becoming. Adjustments in our routines are inevitable and we may find we drop aspects of our old self. Whether it be smoking, drinking, the foods we eat, the programmes we watch on TV, social media, negative thinking, conflicts, bad company, too much stimuli etc.. It all comes up for review so we can decide what goes and what we can replace it with that supports the refinement taking place within.

Ultimately, a natural balance occurs between the progress on the inside through the practices and lifestyle choices we use to cultivate flow and the change on the outside and the environments we choose to put ourselves in. As we begin to listen to this inner flow and allow it to inform us, there is a natural alignment between our inner and outer worlds that reflects those choices we make. To be cheerfully Chi full, we have to turn to life sustaining behaviours. In other words, to be Chi full requires us to live a life that fosters Chi.

The following is a nice simple visualisation meditation you can use to clear your central channel and help get your ducks lined up.

 Self Purification

This is a purifying technique using visualisation and breath 
to clear and strengthen your energy. There are several variations that essentially follow the same route. This is the one I use.

  • Ensure you won’t be disturbed and induce a relaxed state prior to starting with self-meditation breathing into your Hara.
  • Sitting down on a chair hands on your lap, visualise a sphere of white light above your head.
  • See it radiating a purifying and clearing light in all directions (If you have 2nd level Reiki place a SHK and CKR symbol in it)
  • See the sphere descend down through the crown radiating purifying light in all directions clearing all blocked energy.
  • See the sphere descend through the centre line of your body, clearing and purifying as it goes.
 As it radiates light in all directions allow the sphere to descend down to your Hara filling it with light
.
  • See the sphere expanding filling your whole body with light.
  • Let the sphere continue to expand out into your energy field filling your aura with light
  • Expand the sphere further out boundlessly to infinity until all you experience of yourself is light and your intimate connection to everything.

To end

Feel your feet on the floor hands on your lap
. Be aware of your breath, the sensations in your body and in your own time, when you’re ready open up your eyes.

For more information on how to foster Chi get in touch by email

Don’t Let Dramas Hijack Your Day

no person place or thing

I had a wonderful start to the day today indulging myself with a swim, sauna and hot tub. Whilst there, I was contemplating what to write about emptiness and the nature of flow this week. The pool was really quiet, with a few lanes marked out on the right side for a swimming club, which left half the pool for the two ladies already swimming and myself. Not wishing to disturb them, I followed swimming etiquette, made myself visible, nodded politely and kept my stroke as tidy as possible. Within a few lengths It seemed I was accepted and we had all settled into our own rhythms. Phew!

It struck me that each individual finding their own rhythm and flow positively affects the rhythms and flows of everyone else. For thirty blissful lengths, I could feel my body relax completely and I was left to explore the grace of moving as effortlessly as possible buoyed by the support of the water.

Suddenly though through the peace and synergy a red faced gentleman fresh from the sauna jumped in and proceeded to swim the fastest length of front crawl he could muster. As he splashed and kicked his way, arms flailing, I watched as everyone’s stroke went from relaxed grace to desperate avoidance! Frowns etched on foreheads, whites of eyes magnified by tight fitting goggles, they stood shaking their heads and tutting at his ungainly progress towards the end of the pool. Fortunately there wasn’t a second length, his exertions for the day ending on lap one blissfully unaware of the chaos he had just left in his wake.

As the turbulence from his efforts subsided and the waters calmed, I was left pondering what had just occurred. It reminded me how on a motorway, one persons impatience or inconsideration inevitably leads to the rest of us having to be more patient as we wait in a tailback whilst the police clear up the mess. It’s as if one individual’s desperate desire to go faster than the flow of traffic allows leads to a karmic debt having to be paid by all.

With personal awareness and development comes the ability to respond to situations like these with maybe a little humour or in the case of someone driving too close behind us, just getting out of the way and letting them go. But ultimately it shows us that one individual’s behaviour has the potential to not only be felt by everyone else but also affect us.

With all the potential dramas occurring around us on a daily basis, it’s no wonder we lose touch with ourselves. So what can we do to take personal responsibility for our interactions with the external world and prevent ourselves losing our own inner sense of rhythm? Being pulled into a drama is generally a result of being caught off guard and allowing our mind and thoughts to become invested in it. How often do we arrive home and recount the story of the idiot we encountered on our way home from work? As soon as the mind is not home we lose touch with reality and our own sense of inner rhythm.

So firstly we have to notice that we are getting hijacked by a drama. This means we have to be awake and mindful enough to notice it. Secondly we have to let go of the desire to be pulled into it, which is usually pretty strong and instead focus our mind somewhere else. But where?

I suggest the Hara is a great place to focus the mind because we cannot be conscious of the Hara without dropping back into the now. That is why fulfillment is said to arise out of sinking the mind into the Hara. The Hara is our belly region and placing our hands upon it whilst breathing deeply into it and allowing our mind to settle back into ourself is guaranteed to help us feel centred and in contact with our inner flow once again.

I would also suggest repeating this very simple affirmation;

“No person place or thing can disturb my sense of peace and calmness within.”

Thanks Reiki Rich

If you like this blog and would like to read more about Flow you can find my new book The Heart Of Reiki Here.

‘Wu Wei’ The Way Of Emptiness.

 

illust 17 Yin Yang copy

One of the Kanji found in the middle of the Reiki pictograph is the character Wu which literally translates as ‘Shaman’. Wu also refers to the empty void from which flows the primordial essence of the universe and becoming one with this essence is the principle path of Taoism.

In keeping with my theme of emptiness this month, I would like to discuss the ‘Wu Wei’, which epitomizes the Taoist philosophy of becoming empty like bamboo, so that we can feel the flow of primordial essence through us. ‘Wu Wei’ is the art of non-action or following the path of least resistance. It refers to the cultivation of a state of being in which our actions are effortlessly efficient and in alignment with the natural flow of our environment and is achieved by first becoming conscious of an inner flow within. It is said when we do, the potential is there for us to become aware of our intimate connection to everything in the outer world and realize we are part of the universes unfolding story and an expression of its infinite creativity. The more still and empty we can become, the more we are aware of our own formlessness and the more we are able to sense this creative expression of universal energy through us, as flow.

I love this appreciation of emptiness because it encapsulates the approach we must cultivate when it comes to practicing Reiki. So often we can get caught up in our own ability to give Reiki that we inadvertently make the healing about ourselves, even though we are told throughout our training that it is not us that is doing the healing and to let go and trust Reiki’s innate intelligence to know what is needed and where to flow.

So can we learn from the Taoist philosophy of Wu Wei? Can we embody the notion of emptiness, not make it about us, get out of the way and allow space through which Reiki can flow? I believe this is the real key to successful Reiki treatment. To experience the quality of the interaction whilst reminding ourselves; everything that takes place is what is required. Being empty means we let go of preconceived ideas of what is to take place. It is to realize that trying to direct Reiki is as futile as trying to push a river, for like a river, Reiki flows where it will.

Being empty is to surrender and allow an unfolding of the healing process that is congruent with the needs of the client. The more we push someone towards some desired outcome, the less congruent we are. The more we try to fix someone and send them home healed, the more we have robbed them of their own opportunity to heal themselves.

Wu Wei is effortless action, acting when the time is right and achieving, without the appearance of trying. When we allow ourselves to be inspired by spirit [in-spirited], we are allowing ourselves to become in that instant intuitively directed by the flow of energy through us. The emptier we become the more we are guided to be appropriate for the given moment because we are present with what is. The emptier we are, the greater the Ki flow and the greater the potential response.

The person who is most effective at becoming empty and open is usually the one who is not trying because quite simply, Ki flow is interrupted by our own needs and wants. It’s not easy to be deeply surrendered and not make things about ourself. It’s not easy to release outcomes and simply hold a space for someone else unconditionally. We like to feel useful, we like to think of ourselves as making a difference. We want to know that we have helped facilitate change. But all that just gets in the way and prevents us really being completely open and surrendered to what is.

Wu Wei as a concept, teaches us that rather than trying to force a result upon another, we must allow it to unfold naturally. Allow flow to reveal what is required and guide us to the right outcome. This is our task, to become like empty bamboo so that we can feel the vital essence of life through us. Fortunately we are beautifully designed for this purpose, we are the point at which the Yin of earth and the Yang of heaven converge. The more still and the emptier we become, the more we can realise ourselves to be a manifestation of them. As we develop this relationship to these two polarities, the greater we experience their flow until we arrive at a very simple truth, we are intimately connected to everything and a part of lifes unfolding story.

In Qigong there is a physical stance called the Wuji. This is the standing posture from which all movement arises. Wuji has been likened to empty bamboo because, before any forms are learnt, first we learn to stand as emptiness. We could call it the shaman’s stance. It relates to the infinite possibilities before the creation of Yin and Yang. As a stance it informs us of what is misaligned and out of balance that prevents wholeness within our being. Through the Wuji we learn to root ourselves, take our place on the ground and stand tall. We learn where to focus our centre of gravity and become mindful of what is obstructing flow within. Most importantly of all, we learn to view earth as a living entity that we have grown out from.

Through the Wuji we can experience the integration of Yin and Yang energies in the body and begin to notice the focal point for these energies in the Hara. It is here that Reiki can be gathered as part of our daily preparation. The Wuji is an incredibly useful exercise that helps us become aware of what we are holding onto that prevents the flow of Ki within.

emptyness 2

Exercise for Wuji 

Place your feet approximately shoulder width apart, heels and toes parallel.Imagine yourself in the saddle of a horse and allow your knees to flex gently

Begin rocking forwards and backwards from your heel to your toes whilst maintaining full contact with the earth through the soles of your feet. This will activate the yong quan [bubbling spring] points in your feet. As you continue to rock gently, allow the hips and pelvis to become fluid and part of the movement.

After a few minutes, allow the rocking to slowly reduce, winding you in, finding the perfect point of balance and stillness.

Allow yourself to become aware of your breath and gently bring your breath deeper down inside your body to your belly.

As you begin to feel what you notice inside that requires unwinding, make minute adjustments to your posture so that your skeletal system is supporting you and your muscles can relax as much as possible.

Become aware of your spine and allow it to extend upwards vertebra by vertebra as it feels supported by the foundations of feet, legs, hips and pelvis below.

Allow your shoulders to open and relax and your arms to sink downwards

feel your neck lengthening and your jaw relaxing. Allow your head to find a point of balance on the top of your spine.

When you feel a synergy between, breath, balance and stillness, whilst staying nicely rooted to the earth, imagine opening the top of your head and connecting with the space above you.

Breathe, relax and feel the connection between the earth below you, the heavens above, your breath anchoring you to the now and Ki flowing through the emptiness of you.

Enjoy

Reiki and the Hara

What separates Reiki from other Ki disciplines that have evolved up to the rediscovery of Reiki by Mikao Usui? The gathering of Qi in Taoist and Qigong practices had the ultimate goal of union with the great primordial oneness. Therefore great emphasis was placed on developing and refining energy through the various energy centres in the body to arrive at a point of reconnection to the cosmos. Chakra theory follows a similar concept of refining the self and ascending through the energy centres, developing self-awareness of our essential nature and awakening our divine consciousness in the crown Chakra. Continue reading

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.