A Brief History of Reiki
Reiki: pronounced ‘Ray Kee’ - ‘spiritually guided life force energy’
The traditional Reiki legacy is as ancient as 2,500 BC, maybe older. It thrived during Buddha’s time, later used as a tool to heal the minds and spirits of the monks seeking enlightenment. As Buddhism spread from India, Reiki evolved and changed hands and was almost lost. Often in troubled times, sacred texts and esoteric knowledge go underground, to be kept safe until mankind is again ready to respect such knowledge and use it wisely.
Reiki was rediscovered by Dr Mikao Usui (1865–1926) in Japan towards the end of the 19th Century and he is regarded as the founder of the Usui System of Reiki. It is claimed that by a mystical revelation Usui gained the knowledge and spiritual power to apply, and attune others to, what he called ‘Reiki’, which entered his body through his crown chakra. Initially Usui regarded Reiki as an instrument for spiritual enlightenment, its healing application came later.
In April 1922, Usui moved to Tokyo and founded the Usui Reiki Ryōhō Gakkai (meaning Usui's Spiritual Energy Therapy Method Society) in order to treat people with Reiki on a large scale. On 9 March 1926, while teaching Reiki in Fukuyama, Usui suffered a stroke and died.
According to the inscription on his memorial stone, Usui taught his system of Reiki to over 2000 people during his lifetime, and sixteen of these students continued their training to reach a level equivalent to the Western Third - or 'Master/Teacher' - Degree.
Before Usui's death, Chujiro Hayashi (1880 - 1940), retired Commander, Japanese Naval Reserve, Medical Doctor, and student of Usui Reiki, approached Usui about developing a different form of Reiki that was much simpler. Usui agreed. After Usui's death, Hayashi left the Usui Reiki Ryōhō Gakkai and formed his own clinic where he gave Reiki treatments, taught, and attuned people to Reiki.
It was to this clinic that Hawayo Takata (1900 – 1980) was directed in the 1930s. After Hawayo Takata received multiple Reiki sessions from Hayashi's trainees at his clinic, for illnesses including abdominal pain and asthma, Hayashi initiated and trained her to use Reiki, and she became a Reiki Master on 21 February 1938. Hawayo Takata was a Japanese-American, born in Hawaii, who simplified the Reiki teachings, stressing physical healing and using a simpler set of Reiki techniques.
Hawayo Takata established several Reiki clinics throughout Hawaii and then went on to travel throughout the United States, practising Reiki and teaching the first two levels to others, but it was not until 1970 that Takata began initiating Reiki Masters. At this stage, Takata also introduced the term Reiki Master for the third level. She stressed the importance of charging money for Reiki treatments and teachings, and fixed a price of $10,000 (roughly £6,500) for the Master training.
Hawayo Takata died on 11 December 1980, by which time she had trained 22 Reiki masters.
Almost all Reiki taught outside Japan can be attributed to her work.
From various sources - Messenger Spirit