Reiki, what is it? Symbols, principles and schools

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Reiki, ancient origins

Reiki, rei “spirit, soul” and ki “universal energy”, is a method of energy care of Japanese origin, developed by Mikao Usui (1865-1926) in 1922, or even in 1918 according to some. The first publication on the subject in Japan dates from 1919 by Mataji Kawakami in his Reiki Ryôhô to sono kôka (“Reiki and its effects”), however, we find the reiki term used by Mikao Usui in 1924.

Reiki training: the passage of degrees

The teaching of the practice of Reiki is done by a teacher Reiki Usui in the form of an initiation or “harmonisation”, with several degrees. Each level crossing consists of an initiation ritual during which the teacher teaches his pupil certain symbols used during the treatments, according to his level, and carries out on “energetic balancing” so that he can in turn diffuse this “cosmic energy”. It is also important to know that a Reiki Master must provide the list of teachers who have passed on their teaching to him. The different degrees of initiation are as follows:

1st degree: it is about reconnecting to the “universal source”, to acquire the conscious ability to channel the ki, teaching the origin of Reiki, its bases and techniques for oneself and others.

2nd degree: reinforcement of the connection and transmission of symbols favoring the concentration of the mind in order to channel the emission of Reiki from a distance. Help to work on an inner healing.

3rd degree: transmission of teachings and initiations as “master Reiki teachers” (thus potentially rewarding). Sometimes divided into two parts.

The 5 principles of Usui Reiki (Gokai)

Just today (kyô dake wa): 1. Do not get angry (okoru na) 2. Do not worry (shinpai suna) 3. Be filled with gratitude (kansha shite) 4. Do your duty diligently (gyô o hageme) 5. Be benevolent with others, and yourself (hito ni shinsetsu ni).

The different schools of Reiki:

The so-called traditional schools:

Usui-do (“Usui voice”) in 1922 and the Usui te ate (“imposition of Usui hands”) in 1925, the original method of Mikao Usui, recognised by the Diet as not detrimental to the legal exercise of medicine in 1924.

The Usui Reiki Ryôhô gakkai (Usui Reiki Therapeutic Methods Foundation), in the Usui estate after his death (1926). Restricted access, invitation by a member and approval by all members. The teaching and practice of Reiki outside the foundation is forbidden.

Hayashi Reiki by Chujiro Hayashi since 1932, by division with Usui Reiki Ryôhô Gakkai.

Modern schools:

The Usui Shiki Ryôhô (“Usui School Method”) Hawayo Takata, since 1938 by splitting Hayashi Reiki.

The Kômyô Reiki, by splitting the Hayashi Reiki.

The Reiki Jikiden, in the Hayashi Reiki kenkyukai (“Hayashi Reiki Research Institute”) estate and in liaison with Yamaguchi Chiyoko.

Usui te ate: by splitting the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai

The Gendai Reiki: by splitting Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai and Usui Shiki Ryôhô.

There are also many schools not associated with Reiki, and sometimes incorporating other spiritualistic techniques, often commercial and/or in the New Age movement, such as Reiki Shamballah and Reiki Karuna. Regarding the expansion of Reiki in the West, the Japanese-American branch was introduced and developed by Ms. Hawayo Takata and her granddaughter in the 1970s. In Europe, Reiki was imported directly from Japan by Chujiro. Hayashi in the early 2000s.

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