James Deacon's...... Reiki Pages..............................
(formerly: All Energy-Therapies Web)

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News, Views, and Incongruity-issues.....
Copyright © 2005/11 James Deacon
[Latest addition: Sept. 2011]


# . .. .FIVE Usui-Reiki Symbols ? [Sept 28.11]

Several styles of Reiki teach additional symbols alongside those handed down from Usui-sensei.

Most of these styles clearly identify these additional symbols as being just that - additions to the system.

However, I've noticed of late, there seems to be have been a significant increase in the number of Reiki masters teaching that Mikao Usui used FIVE Reiki symbols.

I have even seen this repeated in a couple of Reiki books ['No names, no pack drill', as they say].

Now, in most cases, the Fifth supposedly 'original' Usui Reiki symbol is claimed to be the lightning-bolt symbol known as "Raku".

Yet Raku played no part in Reiki prior to the 1980's when it was introduced as part of the pseudo-Tibetan Raku Kei Reiki, created by Reiki master Arthur Robertson....

Some other folks who teach that Mikao Usui used Five Reiki symbols, cite the fifth as being a symbol called Tamarasha (or as a few people miss-spell it Tanarasha).

Likewise, Tamarasha, is actually a modern-day symbol borrowed from the KOFUTU Healing system created by Frank Homan in the 1970's ...

The water gets ever muddier...


# . .. .Moving Tales ? [Oct 09.09]

Some people would seem to be at great pains to have us believe that Usui-sensei was a devout, life-long adherent of theTendai sect of  Buddhism. 

Yet for quite some time, these same people seem to have, in the main, glossed over the fact that Usui-sensei's remains are actually interred in a grave in the grounds of the Saihoji temple - a temple belonging to the Jodo sect of Buddhism. 

In what seems like a half-hearted attempt to explain this anomaly, some have suggested that perhaps the Saihoji temple could have previously belonged to the Tendai sect?

Now, Dave King would have us believe that he has the answer:

Dave tells us that recently (Summer 2009), a colleague of his (George Mullen?) visited the Saihoji temple in Tokyo, and discovered that grave-stones from a Tendai Buddhist graveyard had been relocated to the Saihoji temple grounds during 1960-61, when the Tendai site was cleared to facilitate construction of a new subway route.

Now, according to Dave, his colleague also claims that he learnt (from whom, it's not clear) that the Usui family grave, and also the additional grave where Usui-sensei's son, Fuji, is interred, just happened to be amongst the stones brought to the Saihoji temple from the (unnamed) Tendai 
graveyard at this time. 

Problem solved?

On hearing this, my first thought was:  If the Usui grave was only moved to Saihoji Temple in 1960/61, how come the Saihoji temple site is mentioned on the Usui memorial (dated1927)?

[ on the memorial, it states: "Lately, many students came together and decided to erect this memorial in the graveyard at Saihoji Temple..." ]

However, it seems I might have been getting a little ahead of my self:

As it turns out, the story Dave King is asking us to believe is that it was only the Usui graves themselves which had originally been located in the (unnamed) Tendai cemetery. The fact that the memorial stone was indeed originally erected in the Saihoji temple grounds is apparently not being contested...

we are being asked to believe that, while Usui-sensei was buried in a Tendai graveyard, the following year (1927),  the honourable and respectful creators of the memorial stone - instead of erecting it at the grave-site of their beloved Sensei, decided to place it in a totally different graveyard in the grounds of a totally 
different temple - hidden away in amongst some graves with no connection to Sensei at all?

That they chose to omit any reference to Usui-sensei being buried elsewhere - would that not have been somewhat disrespectful in itself? It would mean that future students would be denied the opportunity to pay their respects to Usui-sensei by visiting the grave.

And is it perhaps too convenient that some thirty years after the erecting of the memorial stone in the Saihoji temple graveyard, there just happened to be plenty of space directly beside the memorial, amongst the crowded graves, for both Usui-sensei's tomb (in which his wife and daughter are also interred) and that of his son, to be erected?

In a way, I'm surprised that it was only this year that Dave became aware of the (supposed) relocating of Usui-sensei's grave.

Afterall, he tells us that in 1971, while in southern Morocco with a group of Taoist qi gung students, he met and spent a month training with, a 70+year-old Yuji Onuki.  [Onuki had apparently been a student of Toshihiro Eguchi in the late 1920's, and it seems, was also a Shichidan level (7th Degree) student of Usui-sensei's early teachings. ]  Dave says that, many years later (in the early 1990s ?), when he visited Tokyo, he was able to find Usui-sensei's grave based on Onuki's description of the location of the memorial.

He also tells us that while at the Saihoji temple site on this visit, he met a man who showed him around, then invited him to his home to meet his father – who had been one of Usui-sensei's students in 1923...

Dave was apparently also taken by this unnamed person to private shrine which housed the original copy Reiki principles and also some of Usui-sensei's remains.

On another occasion Dave sells us, he met a man named Tatsumi. Tatsumi, apparently in his nineties, had been one of Hayashi-sensei's students in the late 20's-early 30's...

Dave's colleague, Melissa Riggall is also said to have spent some time studying with Tatsumi.

On yet another occasion, in the mid 1990's Melissa Riggall, as a result of a chance conversation with an innkeepers wife, was apparently introduced to a woman who had studied with Usui-sensei in 1924 – and over the next couple of months was introduced to a total of about 30 people (the majority were apparently women) who had studied with Usui-sensei, Hayashi-sensei or Toshihiro Eguchi. One of these people was the Buddhist nun, Tenon-in. [Tenon-in (aka Mariko Obaasan), Onuki and Tatsumi, would seem to be the prime sources for the information Dave has shared with the Reiki community over the years.]

It seems perhaps a little strange that of all these people apparently encountered by Dave (and / or Melissa) over the years, not one of them ever mentioned the story of the moving of Usui-sensei's grave?


#  . .. .'Usui Sa-ke Reiki' ? [Mar 14.09]

As many Reiki practitioners will probably be aware, the phrase 'Fukuju' is used in a certain modern Japanese style of Reiki in connection with the mental-emotional symbol.

Back in 2005 I commented (in the glossary and The Reiki Code) how Fukuju is also the name of a popular brand of Sake.

Well now it seems that in a book to be published later this year by a well-known Reiki personality, the wider Reiki community will learn some interesting information connecting Usui-sensei's family with, amongst other things... a Sake brewery!

In the mean time, just for anyone planning an alcoholic sightseeing tour of Japan in the near future, you might like to check out the Usui Katsusaburo Brewery in Nemuro-shichō, Hokkaido, which has been producing Sake since the Meiji era...

Then there is another Sake brewery, the Usui Shoten Co., located in Nagano-ken, Chūbu, Honshu.

And (perish the thought that anyone would use a tenuous link to the Usui surname simply as an excuse to become inebriated) a very nice man named Mr. Atsushi Usui can be found producing Sake at the Senkin Brewery Co. in Tochigi-ken, Kanto, Honshu ...

Apparently Sake goes well with Red Herring


# . .. .'Reiki Teddybear' meets 'Voodoo Doll' ? [Aug 29.06]

A US-based Reiki practitioner (who wishes to remain nameless) related the following:
Having recently done the Level II course, and wishing to do some distant treatments for a friend who lived in the next county, this lady decided to try the 'teddybear method' (i.e. using the bear as a surrogate) taught on the course by her RM.
So she borrowed one of her daughter's bears - one the child didn't play with much - and over the following week, 'treated' the bear each evening. Her friend had been suffering from a stiff back, and after speaking to her on the phone and being told that the stiffness had completely disappeared, the lady in question decided to stop the treatments.
A couple of days later, she returned the teddybear to her daughter's room.
About ten days later, she phoned her friend again, to enquire how her back was feeling.
"Great" was the reply, but I'm now experiencing a really strange ache in my left arm - it kind of feels, well, empty..."
So the lady told her friend she would 'send' her some more treatment; and after the conversation, went to her daughter's room to borrow the bear again.
To her surprise, on entering the room, she found her daughter playing 'nurse,' with the particular teddybear as her patient. The bear was now wearing a neatly tied bandage (actually a length of ribbon), so she asked her daughter why.

Seems that a couple of days earlier, the family's five-month old puppy had been playing with the bear, and managed to pull most of the filler out of the bears left arm...


# . .. .Hayashi-sensei's training ? [May.24.06]

It has been claimed by some that, unlike certain other students, Hayashi-sensei did not receive the higher levels of Reiki training/initiation from Usui-sensei

I've often wondered if this was simply a story invented by less-than-generous Gakkai folk in response to Hayashi-sensei decision to leave the Gakkai and set up his own school. ["Our Reiki is better than his" sort of thing?]

Or is it perhaps possible that the story could actually be a modern invention, by some current members of the pro-Gakkai Reiki camp? An attempt to cast doubt on the 'quality' - even the very validity, of the entire 'Western' Reiki lineage? Could it simply have been a ploy - a fiction devised in the hope of creating a level of insecurity in the minds of a great many 'Western' lineage Reiki practitioners concerning how strong/powerful/real their Reiki was, to the point, in fact, where a great many would hurry off to sign themselves up (and hand over the substantial booking fee deposit) for the very next available 'Japanese' Reiki course ?

Well, it certainly does seem to have worked, doesn't it?


# . .. .
The Mythologised Reiki Story and parallels? [Jan.28.06]

Elsewhere on this site I mention how the theme of the 21-day Meditation - resulting in revelation of healing gifts - has parallels in the 'founding' stories of other healing groups.
More recently, in my researches I discovered a further parallel:
In the 'Reiki Story' as told by Takata-sensei, we hear how Usui-sensei healed the physical ills of many beggars and arranged for them to be given employment - enabling them to find their place again in society. However, many that he had healed, in time abandoned their new lives and reverted to their old ways. This lead Usui-sensei to the realisation that in order to effect lasting change, it was not enough to simply heal the body - there must be a spiritual element to the practice...
Now, compare this with the story of one of Usui-sensei's contemporaries: Yamato Shôfû - founder of the faith-healing sect Shôroku Shintô Yamatoyama.

After becoming possessed by the deity, "Yamato no Ôkami," just after WW1, Yamato:
"...not only began treating the pains and ills of the people around him, but found that he had an unusual power which allowed him to effect unfailing cures.… Taking no reward for his work, he cured numerous people of their illnesses.
But many of the people who came to him for healing quickly returned to dissipate lives of heavy drinking and gambling. Seeing this, Yamato realized that healing people of illnesses was not necessarily linked to their larger salvation, and he concluded that the revitalization of one's spirit and the holding of a proper mental state were more important than the curing of physical ills….

Quoted from: Healing in the New Religions: Charisma and `Holy Water' by Masako Watanabe & Midori Igeta [in Contemporary Papers on Japanese Religion , Vol 2, Institute for Japanese Culture and Classics, Kokugakuin University, 1991]


# . .. .
The exact spot where Usui-sensei sat? [Nov.03.05]

Recently some enterprising Reiki-folk have been advertising 'Reiki Pilgrimage' tour-packages to Japan, combining sightseeing in Kyoto with the opportunity to meet 'famous' Reiki people, receive training in either Jikiden, Komyo, or Gendai ho Reiki, and make trips to Mt Kurama.
Seems that the tours also include a chance to receive denju attunements or reiju at what is claimed to be the 'exact spot' on Mt Kurama where Usui-sensei undertook his 21-day shugyo and had the 'Reiki Experience'.

I can't help wondering if it is purely coincidental that the 'exact spot' just happens to be the very place revered as the site where the Kurama deity mao-son no kami arrived on earth?

So how did they suddenly discover that this was the legendary spot where Usui-sensei first experienced the phenomenon that is Reiki?

The fortuitous (and highly lucrative) result of a 'channeling' session, perhaps?


# . .. .
Reiju - and other 'higher' practices? [Sept.06.05]

When the 'Reiki Community' in the western world first learned of the process called reiju being used by Reiki Masters in Japan, we were told that this was the original version of what eventually became the 'Reiki Attunement' or 'Initiation' taught by Takata-sensei. But whereas Takata-style initiation/attunement process (denju in Japanese) was only given at the 'introduction' to each level, reiju was a practice repeated on a regular basis, and was said to have a cumulative effect - ever deepening the quality of the attunement.

It was Japanese Reiki Master Hiroshi Doi who introduced the reiju process to western reiki practitioners. However, at first there seems to have been some confusion (possibly due to language barriers) concerning the exact origin of the reiju method he was teaching. Initially many western Reiki Practitioners were under the impression that the reiju being taught by Doi-san was the original version used by Usui-sensei himself. But this was not the case. And not only was it not Usui-sensei's original reiju, it was not even a version as used by the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai. Rather it turned out to be a procedure developed by Doi-san himself, to emulate the experience of the Gakkai version of reiju - which Doi-san had received on many occasions, but had not actually been taught how to give.

Some time later, Usui Teate teacher Chris Marsh (who claims to be in contact with some of Usui Sensei's original students) also began teaching a form of reiju - which he maintained was the original version [but it is unlikely that this will ever be verified]; and over the last few years, several other versions of reiju have also appeared. Hyakuten Inamoto (of Komyo Reiki Kai), for example, utilises a variety of reiju's, including an 'open' or 'temporary' reiju which can be given to non Reiki practitioners [- this latter is, I feel, based on the 'Healing Attunement' found in some western styles of Reiki] .

As mentioned above, when we in the west first began to hear about reiju we were told it was the forerunner of the denju initiation/attunement process as taught by Takata-sensei.

In its deepest sense, Takata-sensei's denju constituted a 'transmission-ritual' by means of which the Reiki Master conferred the 'Reiki Ability' on the student - both in an actual, practical sense, and in the more spiritual/esoteric sense of passing on to the student the 'spiritual permission' to manifest this essentially sacred phenomenon. This type of 'transmission-process' is something which has a deep resonance with practices central to Japanese Mikkyo (esoteric) tradition.

Now, strangely, while it is claimed by some sources that reiju is actually derived from Tendai Mikkyo Buddhist practice, [in which 'transmission-empowerment rituals' are core to the student/disciple's 'unfolding'] these sources are also now telling us that, rather than being a form of attunement or initiation, reiju is simply a 'blessing ceremony' - that it is not a transmission-empowerment process at all.

Interestingly though, while in one breath effectively downgrading the significance of reiju in the Reiki scheme of things, these same sources in the very next breath intimate that they themselves have been made aware of other 'higher' practices that can take the student to levels of Reiki experience that reiju can not.

Could it be that, with the passing of time - the original enthusiasm about reiju having eventually died down to a level where it is widely realised that reiju (or at least the modernday, 'reinvented reiju') is not all it was hyped up to be - the time has come for the next, new 'big secret', in the shape of one or more of these 'higher' practices to be rolled out (via an expensive seminar, no doubt) to an unsuspecting and ever-eager Reiki Public?


# . .. .'Komyo Kai' Reiki and 'Komyo Ki' Reiki

Recently, on a Reiki forum I read a post requesting a 'distant attunement' for Komyo Ki Reiki. Initially I had thought this a mere typing error - that the person was actually looking to be 'distantly attuned' to 'Komyo Kai' Reiki - or Reiki Komyo Kai: the style of Reiki as developed and taught by Hyakuten Inamoto. I was considering mentioning that Inamoto-san [and I do not wish to get into a discussion re the validity of 'distant attunement' here] was very clear on this - stating that Komyo Kai Reiki does not hold with the use of distant attunement/reiju - however, noticing yet another post mentioning Komyo Ki, I decided I needed to do a little research.

Turns out 'Komyo Ki' Reiki is 'Komyo Kai' Reiki - and then again it isn't...

It seems that Reiki Master Rick Rivard wanted to sell Komyo as part of his 'distant/online training' programme for existing Reiki Masters, but as Inamoto-san doesn't consider distant reiju practice to be part of Komyo Kai [he states very specifically that Komyo reiju is intended for 'in-person' use only], Rick - apparently out of respect for Inamoto-san's wishes - decided to re-brand the 'Komyo Kai' system as 'Komyo Ki'.
The only difference between 'Komyo Kai' and 'Komyo Ki', as far as I can currently ascertain, is that Rick has subtracted the letter 'a' from 'Kai' and added permission for people to receive distant reiju.....


# . .. .Te-ate
and Te-no-hira

Traditionally, the collective/generic term for Japanese forms of hands-on healing is te-ate. [The term can also encompass the use of other manual techniques including manipulation, 'pressure points', etc.]
Reiki is in essence a form of te-ate.
Toshihiro Eguchi, a student of Usui-sensei developed his own form of hands-on healing which he called te-no-hira ryoji.
Now, while accepting that te-ate is indeed the generic, recently, some people are claiming that te-no-hira is the proper term to use when referring to an individual, structured, form of hands-on healing; and as such, are using the term to speak of the practice we generally think of as the 'Reiki treatment' - ie. the 'giving' of Reiki with the hands. (Perhaps the intent behind this is to imply that Eguchi was at least in part responsible for the development of Reiki as a hands-on healing practice, I cannot be sure)
However te-no-hira simply means 'palm of the hand' - in isolation does not actually refer to 'healing', nor, for that matter, does it necessarily even imply 'healing'. In the phrase: te-no-hira ryoji as used by Eguchi, it is the word ryoji which refers to healing/treatment, not te-no-hira...


# . .. .Gokai or Gainen?

The gokai - the Five Principles - are, as we all know, at the very core of the Reiki system. There are several English renditions of the Five Principles, eg:
."Just for today, don't get angry
..Don't worry
..Be grateful
..Work hard
..Be kind to others"

Some renditions are quite literal, some less so, but even if its a version you haven't heard before, whatever the wording, you know there will always be FIVE principles - right?

Well, according to Usui-do's Dave King, you'd be wrong - there are only three.
As most of us are aware, Dave claims to be in contact with one of Usui-sensei's original students, a very elderly Buddhist nun known as Tenon-in.
Tenon-in apparently explained to Dave that something got 'lost in translation' and that the Principles (or rather 'Concepts' - gainen - as Tenon-in is said to call them) should actually be read like this:

1, Today only, anger not, worry not
2, Do your work with appreciation
3, Be kind to people

Now admittedly, there is not much difference here - but, what puzzles me is this: if there were technically only three 'Principles' or 'Concepts' to begin with, then surely they would have become known, not as the gokai (five principles) but rather as the sankai (three principles)?



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