Reiki has it's roots in ancient Tibetan Buddhism and has been reintroduced into our present day culture through this legend: Mikao Usui was a minister and the principal of a Christian school Doshisha University in Kyoto Japan in the mid 1800's. His students questioned him about how Jesus was able to heal others and those who followed him could not. Usui took this question as a personal challenge and after resigning his duties at the university he began his journey to find answers. He went to the University of Chicago where he earned his doctorate in christian theology. Despite the Bible's reference to Jesus's abilities he was unable to find any answers about how to replicate hands-on healing from the Christian literature.
Usui searched through ancient Chinese holy writings and traveled to Northern India where he continued his search. Eventually he returned to Japan where after consulting with Buddhist monks he discovered some ancient symbols in the Buddhist Sutras which appeared to contain the answers to his questions. He showed them to the monks but the Sutras where quite vague so mush so that even the monks were unable to interpet them. They told him that the technique of healing via the laying on of hands had been lost to time. Undaunted Usui traveled to the Holy Mountain of Kuriyama and set on a quest to find his answers. Like Jesus, Buddha and many other spiritual pioneers he went into the wilderness and through prayer, fasting and meditation looked to the Divine to speak to him. On the last day of the 21 day fast Usui faced east and prayed asking God to reveal the mystery of the sutras. Suddenly he saw a beam of light come toward him it struck in the middle of his forehead and knocked him to the ground unconscious. Then he saw millions of colored bubbles of light in pink, blue, lilac all the colors of the rainbow and the Sanskrit symbols appeared before him in gold. As each appeared a name and a use was given and the beginning of the Usui method of natural healing that we know as Reiki began.
The legend continues that as Usui came down the mountain he began to find that he had the ability to heal people. Everyone was amazed as he alleviated the pain of those he touched and they noticed how hot his hands were as he healed them. He went to the monastery where he found the bishop in terrible pain. He laid his hands on the bishop's back and hip while telling him of his profound experience in the mountains. The pain was gone Usui said that it was the Reiki that was lost so long ago was what healed him.
Usui set up a clinic in the slums of Kyoto and spent seven years healing the sick. He then traveled throughout Japan healing with Reiki and before he died he made Chujiro Hayashi the Reiki Grand Master. Hayashi became a doctor and built the Reiki clinic in Kyoto Japan where Mrs.Hawayo Takata came from Hawaii to be healed of a serious illness. After she was healed the knowledge was passed to her and she succeeded him as Grand Master. Before she died in 1980 Mrs. Takata traveled, practiced and taught for many years and made twenty two Reiki Masters in the United States and Canada. Her grand daughter Phyllis Furomoto was her chosen successor and formed The Reiki Alliance which is an international community of Reiki practioners dedicated to the Usui Shiki Ryoho, the Usui System of Natural Healing.
The man who (re)discovered
Reiki and introduced the healing practice to the modern world
Worked closely with Dr Usui and is responsible for bringing Reiki Practice to America, Europe and the Western World.