Understanding Reiki

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It is important to understand where something came from to understand what it has become. To that end I want to teach about Reiki itself so you can see what this system evolved from itself.

REI - Spiritual Wisdom

The word Rei has many meanings the most accepted is "Universal". This simply means that it is everywhere and in all things. Rei can also be interpreted as a link to the supreme consciousness.

KI - The Life Force

The word Ki means the same as "Chi" in Chinese, "Prana" in Sanskrit, and "Mana" in Hawaiian. Ki is simply life force energy; it is one of the nonphysical energies that animate all living things.

REIKI - Spiritually Guided Universal Life Force Energy

Reiki is Any Spiritually Guided Universal Life Force Energy, which means Reiki is not limited to healing alone and can indeed include a great many other forms of energy. Basically Reiki is any energy form that helps to animate living things and encourage them to grow.

Reiki is a wonderful gift, something that not only helps is to heal. It also helps us to explore our own lives, it encourages growth and evolution, it can even help to promote wholeness when used in the proper way. Yet this is still just a small fraction of what Reiki is and can do. It is very important for you to understand that Reiki is a guiding force for betterment. However like all things it is only as good as the person who uses it. Unfortunately not everyone uses it for the betterment of all. To understand this you first need to understand how Reiki came about in this world.

It started over a hundred years ago at the end of the 1800's. A Japanese man, who was thought to be a Christian Minister, A Buddhist Monk or a Principal, decided to go in search of the healing system used by the ancient masters. Those like Jesus, Buddha and others. His name was Mikao Usui and all forms of Reiki still use his name to this day. Why it was that Mikao went in search of this ability is not really known for sure. However we do know what happened to him during the journey… at least the basics of it anyway.

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Mikao began his search in his homeland in Asia and slowly began to assemble pieces. He traveled far and wide looking and exploring for this knowledge. It actually took him about ten years of traveling before he realized that what he was searching for could no be found where he had been looking. So as not to return home empty-handed Mikao went to the top of a Sacred Mountain and preyed. There he sat for twenty-one days and nights without food or water. When he awoke he was amazed to find how much tie had passes and even more amazed to find out that he had been given a gift. That gift being the knowledge that he had been in search of. Mikao was taught the basics of what Reiki became. He got taught how to use energy to heal himself and others.

Upon coming down from the mountain Mikao found that he was not really hungry or thirsty, which was a surprise as he had not eaten anything for three weeks. However that evening he found a place to stay with a family near by and was further amazed to find that he could eat without problems. Anyone who has fasted knows that afterwards you have to eat slowly and only a little at a time or it will affect your body. Mikao did not have this problem. This was considered one of the miracles of Reiki. From here Mikao decided it was time to share what he had been given with those in need.

Understand that Mikao was not given the modern form of Reiki, what he was given was the knowledge of using energy. The symbols etc that are an integral part of Reiki today came later.

So Mikao went and set in search of those in need. This search led him to a beggars village. Now at this time and in this culture the poor were separated. The poor of the land huddled together and did whatever they could just to survive. Here indeed were people in need, and this is where Mikao began to share his gift.

After many years of healing, teaching and helping some of the people in the village began to feel like they once again could tackle the world. Slowly but surly people began to leave the village and head back to the cities in search of jobs and opportunities. Yet eventually Mikao started to notice that many of those that left slowly started to come back. This was not something that Mikao could understand, after all he had healed them! He had given what he had been taught and it simply did not seem like is was enough.

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NOTE: What Mikao failed to learn is that if you help someone who does not truly want to help themselves it will fail. Not because the person healing them failed, but because the people who failed did not want to succeed. It is not because they were lazy or dumb; it was because there were other things in the way. There were other issues and ideas that did not allow them to go beyond where they were. If you do not deal with the underlying then there will always be problems later on. Dealing with surface only is not enough.

Anyhow, after seeing this and realizing how many were indeed returning to the village Mikao decided it was time to leave, he was obviously not making enough of a difference. Thus he took his teachings and started to offer them to people who were better off. In other words he went to the city himself and started teaching those who had money and opportunity. Remember at this point Mikao was only using energy and Reiki itself was still unborn.

Over time Mikao found some exceptional students, people who excelled at the healing energy work. It was to these students Mikao passed on all of his knowledge about what he had discovered. It is those students, those first Masters of Reiki that actually changed Reiki into the form it evolved in to today, They were the ones who added the symbols. They added the hand positions and structure of what Reiki became. Now it is important to note that Mikao himself used raw Reiki energy, where this new bread of healing used Reiki structure. Was one better then the other? That is for you to decide on you own.

It was these first Reiki Masters that had formalized the system of Reiki, and it was they that turned the system into a tool of the elite. Reiki was not cheap to learn and indeed required a great deal of time and dedication. It was not that there was a lot to teach, it was that the Masters wanted to make sure those they taught were worthy and dedicated enough to their ideas. It was these Masters however that taught the next generation of Reiki students.

One of these new students was a Hawaiian Lady name Mrs. Takata. She excelled at the art of Reiki and eventually she herself became a Reiki Master. It was her that actually brought Reiki into the limelight, she was the one who took Reiki mainstream. She taught more people then Mikao and the Old Masters combined. As a result of her work Reiki ended up having a name for itself in modern society.

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NOTE: At this point we have a style that has been formalized and taught to many people for a great deal of money and a huge investment of time. Yet it was very different that what Mikao himself taught. Each new generation added or removed things from Reiki, reorganizing the structure to fit their needs and desires. But no one really took the time to figure out why what Mikao taught and what they knew were different. In fact no one even passed on the story in the beginning.

Over time many new students came and went. Many new Reiki Masters were born. All followed the same course as those before them until finally a group of people who themselves were Reiki Masters said, "Wait a minute, this is ridiculous". They took what had cost them so much time and money and started to teach it at a considerably reduced rate. There was a time when Master or Master/Teacher training, as it is sometimes called, cost up to, and indeed sometimes over, $25,000 US. These people had paid that kind of money to learn, however they started to charge only around two to three thousand, a far cry from the amounts required up till this point.

Now as you can imagine those that came before were angry. They were making a lot of money and here were these upstarts that wanted to take that away. So there was born a split in Reiki. On one side you have the Traditionalists who even to this day charge up to $35,000 US for Mastery and you have the Non-Traditionalists who maintain Reiki should be for everyone and charge the lower rates. This spilt survives and exists today. As a result there is a great deal of politics involved between what is Reiki and what is not Reiki.

The Traditionalists feel that they are the only ones teaching Reiki and all other group are lying and stealing from their students. The Non-Traditionalist feel that they are teaching the exact same thing as the Traditionalist and in some ways feel they are teaching more for less. However the truth is that they are indeed teaching the same thing. One group made Reiki available to the masses, while the other kept it for the rich.

The politics to do stop there, today there has been formed a New Split, which has become The Open Door Reiki systems. Not much of these systems are new or advanced, they are fringe systems. What they teach is the exact same thing as the other two, except that they tried to remove the politics from Reiki. They tried to publish Reiki and put its secrets in print, including pictures and explanations of the symbols. This was a great gift to the people but a curse to the Masters. All of them were making money and had power and respect. Some felt that teaching Reiki to the "unwashed masses" as it were, would result in Reiki being ruined. They felt that only those trained could use Reiki properly. So the outcome of the fringe groups was more politics, not less, and so the fight continues on even today.

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However there were other styles of Reiki that came out as a result of this last split. These were The Evolved Reiki Systems. These are styles of Reiki that add more to what Reiki is yet still follow the same basic Reiki mandates. Some of them still get caught in the politics and do not want their secrets shared with the un-initiated. However you must also note that they did indeed bring new ideas to Reiki. One such group is Karuna Reiki. This is a style that is usually only taught to students after completing all that Reiki itself has to offer.  

From this point there came one more new group, this last group being The Next Generation Reiki Systems. These new systems are still based upon the Reiki foundation, however things have begun to change. Some of the NGR systems unfortunately still get hung up on the Reiki dogma and some wonderfully manage to go beyond it. However, all in all they do indeed add a great deal of new ideas and knowledge to what Reiki is. Silverwolf Reiki was one such system, although it was a Left Wing NGR System going well beyond the accepted limits of modern Reiki.

NOTE: There is something else you need to remember about Reiki, it is indeed the energy used in Healing however it is also an umbrella term for all spiritually guided healing energy. As a result there are many healing techniques that in many ways fall under the NGR category yet are not Reiki. Some are systems that people created that bring together many varied healing styles including Reiki and others are in their own right autonomous healing systems. However even though most of the amalgam styles provide a wondrous amount of new techniques and ideas, there is still one flaw, many of the creators of the styles still base everything on what they were taught. This is not always a bad thing however it does need to be mentioned. Many of these new styles fall into the same traps as the old and they sometimes only teach SOME of the knowledge not realizing they have missed the rest. This results in Half Truths, which "Reiki" itself is full of. These half-truths allow a simple understanding of what is happening and how it works but cannot tell you the reality behind the scenes. This is not because the creators and users have no ability to understand the full truth, it is simply because they don't understand that what they are passing on and using is not the full truth. That is the problem with half-truths; they are easily mistaken for the whole truth.

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A very common Reiki half-truth is that when doing a healing energy flows only when there is an intent to heal. In other words "Hands on… Reiki on!, Hands off… Reiki off!" this is even published in some Reiki books in those exact same words. The problem with this is that it limits the Healer. If Reiki only works when "Hands On" what about the other 23 hours of a day? Well according to Reiki… NOTHING. Yet even Reiki teaches that Reiki energy is universal and in all things at all times. A duality which actually hurts the healers.

Let us look for a moment at the whole truth side of things. Reiki is in all things at all times, thus if energy is allowed to flow freely, never being blocked, stopped or clogged then the healers themselves will heal themselves 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If the energy is in constant motion it never needs to stop which means that healing occurs at all times and in all situations (at least within the healer themselves). This is mandatory, if energy stops moving it pools and causes problems. In Personal Growth if you stop learning, it too causes problems. Constant movement means constant growth and healing, thus life improves.

Why is it that many people do not teach this, and indeed promote the half-truth instead? It is because they have not taken the time to open themselves up to life, Reiki and themselves fully. Many people do not know how to open up fully or even that it is possible and allowed. They were taught one thing and they stick to it. To many people Reiki is just a tool, nothing more. Life simply IS and they do not know the joys of being open and self-aware. However Reiki itself prompts people to do these things, it gives hints and ideas that help people evolve and grow. In the end however it is the person who decides what they do and how open they become.

Remember, Reiki is a guiding force, not a controlling one. Reiki deals with healing as well as growth. Each person is unique and different and thus will require different things. There is no set way of doing anything, what works for one may not work for another. Trust in yourself! If guided to try something new why not give it a try? You just might be surprised. No matter what anyone tells you follow your heart. Don't get caught up in politics, it will only hold you back. Be honest and trusting in all your dealing and never follow blindly. Life is what you make of it, not what you have been given. Most importantly of all, Self Awareness is its own greatest reward, however it must be paid for in blood, sweat and tears.

From The Tao-Te-Chi Intensive Healing Course Manual
Copyright May 2003


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