Setting up your perfect day


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


Creating your very own Healing Centre


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

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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

Thanks for listening


Copyright Richard Ellis

Reference material Reiki Styles by James Deacon

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

Reiki And Energy Clearing

This is the third and final blog in my series on preparing yourself for a Reiki treatment. This week I am giving some useful tips on how to clear your energy after a Reiki treatment and alter your perception of the energies you encounter.

In the mindfulness meditation given in my previous blog you will have developed a sense of your own thoughts and feelings as a present day process. The importance of this is to develop self awareness and know what you’re feeling and where prior to the treatment so any changes that occur to your mood or energy as a result of the Reiki experience are attributed to the effects of merging with your client and you don’t think of them as yours. Continue reading

Byosen Reikan Ho (Scanning)

This is the second in my series of Blogs on  preparing yourself for a Reiki treatment. This week I am giving some useful tips on how to develop mindfulness and utilise Gassho Meiso (Meditation) so that we know what we are feeling within ourselves and how this benefits us when doing Byosen Reikan Ho.

Byosen Reikan Ho is a technique which refers to scanning someone else’s energy field to perceive areas of disharmony or disease. Whenever there is a disease in a person there will always be sensations in their energy field referred to in Japanese as hibiki meaning resonance. The premise being that if something exists on the physical level it will also exist on subtler levels either as an emotion in the emotional body, an idea or thought in the mental body or an energy signature in the etheric body.  Continue reading

The Five Reiki Principles

The Five Reiki Principles (Kyogi)

This week I want to talk a little about The Five Reiki Principles that are an important part of our Reiki training and continuing self development both as Reiki practitioners and more importantly as everyday human beings. The five principles form the Gokai which was written by Mikao Usui as a set of precepts that his students recited in Gassho and could govern their lives by. Written in Japanese in Usui’s own hand above, the original Gokai when translated into English goes something  like this;


Continue reading