Reiki broken down to its root Japanese words includes ‘rei’, meaning ‘sacred’ or ‘spiritual’ and ‘ki’, meaning ‘energy’, ‘universal energy’, or ‘life force energy’.
This definition places the energy used in the system of Reiki in context. This energy is not separate from Ki. It is simply the system’s name for Ki. Reiki is Ki in a reverent form.
What is Ki?
There are hundreds of Japanese expressions for Ki. When translated philosophically, it is often described as ‘energy’, ‘universal energy’, or ‘life force energy’.
This universal energy translates to other fields of study just as quantum physics. “A theory of everything (ToE), final theory, ultimate theory, or master theory is a hypothetical single, all-encompassing, coherent theoretical framework of physics that explains and links together all physical aspects of the universe.” from Steven Weinberg’s Dreams of a Final Theory: The Scientist’s Search for the Ultimate Laws of Nature.
Steven Weinberg’s description of the Theory of Everything explains how a Reiki Practitioner can connect to a client miles away and affect their own Ki by connecting to the universal energy we all share.
How is the System of Reiki different from Reiki?
Reiki is sacred energy. The system of Reiki is a product of its originator, Usui Makao of Japan. This system is based on five elements: daily precepts, breathing techniques, palm healing, symbols and mantras, and the receiving of a blessing from a Reiki teacher.
The system of Reiki can help you find your inner soul and learn from it.
Diving into the History of Japanese Reiki
The originator of Reiki is Usui Mikao of Japan, who studied many different forms of religious and spiritual practice including Christianity. Although Usui was greatly influenced by religion, the system of Reiki is not a religion, rather it is a spiritual practice guided by personal experience. Usui’s memorial stone states that in 1922, Usui received divine inspiration while fasting on Mt. Kurama. That same year he established a place of learning in Tokyo.
After Usui’s death from a stroke in 1926, his students continued their personal practice and created a Reiki society with Usui as the first president as a gesture of commemoration. Within a few years, three of his students started teaching others and writing books about palm healing. One of these students, Hayashi Chujiro, opened the first commercial center where paying clients could come to receive healing. Hayashi wrote that he had taught thirteen Reiki teachers by 1938. At this point, all Reiki was still in Japan.
What is Western Reiki?
From 1936 to 1938, Hawayo Takata, an American-born Japanese woman, studied with Hayashi and became a Reiki teacher. Takata took the system of Reiki to Hawaii in 1938, setting up the first foreign Reiki clinic and school. She did not teach the chakra system, but her historical recollections of the system of Reiki varied according to when she related them. It wasn’t until the 1970’s that Takata trained twenty-two teacher students to pass on her teachings. Takata died of a heart attack in 1980. Then her students started creating Reiki groups and associations along with setting up practices.
Coupled with the New Age movement, the absence of Takata’s influence, and the lack of an infrastructure, debate began over the true system of Reiki. During this time, mythological Tibetan teachings were intertwined with the system of Reiki and people began to channel information from spirits and guides in a New Age format. The system of Reiki took on a new life, quite different from its Japanese origins.
Reiki Returns to Japan
During the 1980’s, some Western Reiki practitioners returned to Japan. It wasn’t until the 1990’s that Western researchers realized practitioners of Usui’s teachings were still alive. The rekindling of interest in the old teaching resulted in researching their lineages and what they have been taught back to Usui. It is especially grounding for practitioners to learn and integrate the system’s Japanese roots into their practice.
Who Benefits From the Japanese System of Reiki?
Clients of Caring for Cancer receive Reiki healing from a Reiki Practitioner trained in Usui’s teachings, the purest form of Reiki. Contact us to set up a session or sign up for Level I Reiki training.