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  • Writer's pictureSarah Robinson

Reiki’s origin

Reiki originated almost 100 years ago in April 1922 when Mikao Usui (pictured) saw nothing but light while undertaking his 21st-day of continuous fasting & meditation on Mount Kurama near Kyoto, Japan. He described this experience as being connected to the highest energy of the Universe for which he used the term “Reiki”. He was 56 years old.

In Japanese, “Rei” can be translated as Spirit, Divine, Source; & “Ki” stands for Universal Energy, Universal Life Force Energy. When “Rei” & “Ki” are combined, “Reiki” is translated as Spiritual Energy, Divine Energy, or Universal Energy.

While hurriedly descending the mountain Mikao Usui hurt his toe & applied an ancient traditional palm healing technique called “teate”. The results went far beyond the usual result of “teate”. Instead, the pain stopped almost immediately & the wound began to heal. Mikao Usui concluded this ability was connected to his enlightenment atop Mount Kurama.

Returning to Kyoto, Mikao Usui realised he had found a spiritual connection for himself & access to healing energy which could be shared whenever he wished with those around him. Following some time treating friends & family, Mikao Usui opened a small clinic in Tokyo to give Reiki treatments & also founded the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai. This led him to develop the Healing System & Attunement process so his students could experience his same deep connection. Within a few years he trained approximately 2000 students of whom 21 had attained Master/Teacher level before his death in 1926.

Today there is a Usui Reiki Ryoho (Japanese) lineage & Usui Shiki Ryoho (Western) lineage which can be traced back to Mikao Usui. Similar to a family tree, practitioners attuned in the Reiki Healing System are able to trace their lineage to Mikao Usui.

Recommended reading:

Petter, Frank Arjava, Reiki The Legacy of Dr. Usui, Lotus Light Publications, 1998 (ISBN 9780914955566)

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