Blogsite of The British Academy of Reiki

Posts tagged ‘culture’


On Monday in the UK it was a Bank Holiday For the majority of people this mean a day off work (wonderful). If you don’t know, Bank Holidays are so called after the introduction of the Bank Holiday Act in 1871. Banks and many other places of employment would close on these days. Prior to that there were over thirty additional days off from work, so I assume the Act was introduced in order to reduce the time employees had off from work.
These days we live in a hectic world. We rush from A to B with our minds preoccupied with things we “have” to do. We make lists in our minds and run through them over and over again. When we do this we are distracted. We not only miss out on the here and now and what is all around us we also risk becoming ill due to the stresses and strains that we put ourselves under. Our bodies are on heightened alert all of the time when we live like this, our immune system works over time to cope with the stress and our adrenalin levels are high. The body can only cope with so much and at some point the cracks will begin to show. For some this will mean frequent colds, headaches (especially at the weekend when the body is able to rest and you begin to unwind), stomach upsets, gall stones, hypertension and depression and so on. These are just a few of the conditions that can occur when the bodies internal environment is not taken care of.
We must learn to look after ourselves internally. Why and how can we do this? We must realise that we are unable to control all external events around us. At times we simply would not want to and at other times our lack of control can be painful, if for example a loved one is ill and all you can do is sit by and watch them slip away or perhaps a friend has a drink problem and you are unable to convince them to seek help in order to change this self destructive behaviour. At times we must learn to accept that others can and do make wrong live choices.
When we learn to control our inner environment we feel at peace, calm and relaxed. We are better able to cope with the bad things that life throws at us from time to time. We can leant to take control of our inner environment by eating good food, taking exercise, especially Yoga as this will work on the body and mind at the same time and by meditating. Meditation is exercise for the mind, it helps to de-clutter and, most importantly, it helps to slow things down so that you can think more clearly. Meditation on a Bank Holiday, or any day for that matter, is a holiday for the mind.
In my blog next week I will show you how you can learn to meditate properly.

The History of Reiki

Although Reiki is gaining in popularity, there are many who, although they have heard of it, don’t know much about the origins of Reiki. Here is a short history of Reiki and its founder Mikao Usui that I originally wrote for my website The British Academy of Reiki, I hope you enjoy reading it.

Reiki begins with the birth of Mikao Usui in 1865. At this time Japan was undergoing a transformation. Christianity was declared illegal and those who refused to renounce it were executed, most Japanese had to register at Shinto temples. The ban on Christianity was only lifted in 1873 after Japan was forced to open up its borders. Industrialisation led to great change and people sought ways to keep hold of traditions and cultures.
Usui grew up in a village now called Miyama-Cho. He came from a Tendai Buddhist family and he had a sister and two brothers. Usui was a big powerful man who although kind, quiet and compassionate he did not tolerate foolish behaviour and he could be harsh and critical at times. Usui’s family were very poor and indeed, throughout his life he appeared to place little importance on material things. He married and had a son and a daughter. In order to support his family Usui took a number of jobs ranging from public servant, office worker, reporter and eventually a policitican’s secretary where he was afforded the opportunity to travel outside of Japan to Europe, America and China. During these visits Usui was said to have been fascinated with the way people lived their lives and the many traditions and cultures present in the world around him.
Usui also loved to study and he read many subjects including medicine, psychology, numerology and astrology. Usui was searching for the ultimate purpose in life and after many years of studying he became frustrated and on the advice of monks he carried out a 21 day fast at Mount Kurama. Some say that this was where Usui experienced a state of enlightenment however, Usui’s system was not something new to him which came in a flash of inspiration, rather it was rooted in many existing traditions. The original system did not have a name and it is thought that the name was given by the Usui Reiki Ryocho Gakkai (the Usui Reiki Healing Method) which was set up by Usui’s students in 1926 after his death.
Usui’s healing methods become very popular and it was said that he had many students. Some of his students asked him to teach them how to heal and the students travelled from all over Japan to meet him. The older generation in particular liked his methods as they believed that he was keeping traditions and customs alive. Usui’s students came to his house often they would stay for a day or two go home practice what Usui had taught them and return some time later. It could take up to a years to complete reiki first degree only a few students carried on to the second degree and even less to the master level. Reiki was not just a healing method but a whole spiritual practice . Students only moved forward when Usui thought that they were ready. Reiki was seen to be a work in progress throughout a person’s life with the aim to reach the highest level of enlightenment possible.
As Usuis methods become more and more popular the Japanese military became interested in him. Usui was approached and asked to teach the imperial officers ways in which they could help heal themselves if hurt during battle as there was a desperate shortage of medics available. Usui appeared to show some initial reluctance to do this as his system was based on spiritual enlightenment and not a mechanical process. None the less, Usui devised a system of training and he also used symbols for the different frequencies of energy. An imperial officer Dr Chujiro Hayashi was trained by Usui, a Christian he had little interest in using intuitive methods or scanning techniques which were taught by Usui . he opened a clinic which was similar to a hospital ward. Patients were treated with reiki and he documented the results noting the most beneficial hand positions for people with specific conditions. Interestingly, Hayashi still expected his students to be able to use scanning and intuitive techniques.
One of Dr Hayashi’s patients was a woman called Hawayo Takata who lived in Hawaii. She was suffering from a cancerous tumour and a number of other health problems all of which were resolved with reiki. With her good health restored, this once sceptic began to learn reiki herself. Mrs Takata taught 22 people to masters level and they have in turn, taught many others.
Because Mrs Takata was teaching reiki after the second world war, Japan and anything Japanese was not looked at very favourably. To get around this Usui was introduced as a Christian theologian who had sought to develop a system of healing similar to the miracles that Jesus had performed. Western style reiki is now taught on courses throughout the world.