Reiki is an art of energy transference by hand healing originated in Japan by Mikao Usui（1865-1926 ) in 1922. The original term for this practice is Shin Shin Kaizen Usui Reiki Ryoho or “Usui Reiki Therapy for Improving Body and Mind.”
Reiki, as originally practiced, was an energy healing or natural therapy carried out by placing hands on the body. By doing so, the therapist received Reiki energy from the Universe; which was then shared with the receiver. Over the years, Reiki has been practiced with and without touch and various elements have been added to the practice such a crystals, essential oils and massage.
This miraculous energy of Reiki awakens the natural healing abilities of the person who receives it. Reiki is beneficial for physical issues as well as for ones psychological health. Over the past several decades Reiki has become increasingly popular in the World, but especially Europe and the Americas. It has become recognized as an important, effective, Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) in some countries and is offered in over 800 hospitals in the USA alone.
Jikiden Reiki is a return to the origins of Reiki. “Jikiden” means “directly teaching” and this name was chosen by Chiyoko Yamaguchi, a Japanese lady who learned Reiki from Usui sensei’s direct disciple, Chujiro Hayashi in 1938. She was initiated to Reiki at the age of 17.
In the late 1990s, as Reiki’s popularity was increasing, Frank Arjava Petter, an Usui Reiki Teacher and author of several books on the subject, was on a quest to find the true origins of Reiki. Through his research and having lived in Japan, he felt that certain aspects of the practice and the teaching did not resonate with the Japanese culture. After many proper and humble attempts to make contact with someone in the Japanese Reiki Community, Arjava eventually contacted Tadao Yamaguchi and learned that Tadao’s mother, Chiyoko Yamaguchi was willing to teach a Westerner as long as he spoke Japanese. Mrs. Yamaguchi was delighted to learn that Reiki was being practiced world-wide, but surprised by some of the ways it had been altered. As other Westerners followed Arjava in seeking Mrs. Yamaguchi’s counsel, she and her son, Tado Yamaguchi recognized the benefits of creating an Institute and the Jikiden Reiki Institute was established. Mrs. Yamaguchi practiced Reiki everyday of her life from her initiation at 17 until her transitioning in 2003
So what make Jikiden Reiki different?
My personal Reiki journey mirrors that of my teacher, Frank Arjava Petter. I too experienced the feeling that some aspects of the practice did not align with Japanese culture and the explanations as to why were unclear. For example, balancing ones chakras seemed to be a healthy practice, however I did not understand how that would aid in healing a specific challenge or issue. I began to travel and study with a variety of Reiki teachers. From Diane Stein, I discovered that many teachers draw the symbols differently and this was disheartening as I longed for the original inspirations of Mikao Usui. My personal research brought me to Frank Arjava’s Petter’s books and not long after to my first Jikiden Reiki
In Arjava’s book THIS IS REIKI, I had discovered that Reiki was not a secret practice that the Japanese were sequestering from the rest of the world, but rather one that had been driven underground by the Japanese government after World War II. While other hand healing techniques survived under the cover of religious affiliations, Mikao Usui had been clear that Shin Shin Kaizen Usui Reiki Ryoho was not a religion and was meant for everyone who wished to embrace the techniques. I received tremendous insight into the persecution and conflict that drove Japanese Reiki practitioners to share only among themselves.
The Shoden and Okuden Levels are offered consecutively in Arjava’s 5 day workshops. This is how Dr. Chujiro Hayashi taught his classes. Hayashi would travel twice a year to remote villages and initiate those who attended the classes.
The idea that one must pause for 21 days or several months between these two levels was a limitation imposed on the practice at some unknown time by Western teachers.
Jikiden Reiki, again, in the tradition of the original Japanese teaching, requires much more of a teacher than Western Usui Reiki forms. In order to enter a Shihan-kaku level class (Assistant or First Level Teacher) one must practice and document 120 full length/in person Reiki sessions. After becoming initiated at this level, the teacher must teach and be reviewed by 10 students before passing to the Shihan (a teacher of both Shoden & Okuden) level. Previous levels are always repeated before moving to the next, and only a small monetary token is required for the repeated portions. The beauty of this is that all teachers of Jikiden Reiki teach exactly as we have been taught by our teachers and have a well-practiced understanding of history and the techniques.
While I have enjoyed every Reiki class I have ever experienced and honor all the amazing teachers I have worked with, it is Jikiden Reiki that finally gave me the sense that I am complete. In Jikiden Reiki I found the true origins of Reiki, the symbols as Usui first envisioned them, the translation of the Reiki kanji in it’s full meaning, the precepts as they are meant to be recited, Byosen as it is supposed to be experienced by the practitioners hands and the unconditional love for others that is meant to be shared in a healing session.
THIS, (as Mikao Usui is said to have announced at the end of Reiki initiations and as Arjava used as the title for one of his book…) IS REIKI!
Lorraine Meyer is an authorized Shihan-kaku of the Jikiden Reiki Institute of Kyoto, Japan. Her Usui Reiki teaching spans a decade across the US and abroad.
She is currently teaching at The Kent Cook Institute in Davidson, NC and enjoys traveling to teach when she is called up. Lorraine’s website is www.HealingArtsoftheSouth.com
The Secret of Inviting Happiness Through Many Blessings~The Spiritual Medicine for all Illness
In the practice of Reiki we have 5 Principals on which the healing is based.
In Japanese these precepts are known as Gokai. Mikal Usui, the Founder of Reiki observed that is was not enough for him to pass healing energy to others, it was also necessary for them to have a way to actively participate in keeping themselves aligned to a positive way of being. Therefore, Usui, offered these tenets to his students and those he worked with. He suggested they be chanted morning and night as a reminder to the spirit of how to stay in a healthy frame of mind and body.
Today only Kyo Dakewa
Do not anger Ikaruna
Do not worry Shinpai suna
With thankfulness Kansha shite
Work diligently Gyo Wo Hageme
Be kind to others Hito Ni Shinsetsu Ni
When I teach these principals to my students, I do so in Japanese. I do this because,as with any chant, the original sounds the concept is created with seem to have their own magical way of resonating through us. Just as many people who do not understand Latin still appreciate a mass intoned in this hypnotically beautiful language or just as western yogis embrace the sounding of Sanskrit chants, I find my students lean into this simple, yet profound creed in its original language.
I also prefer the Japanese version because, as a hypnotist, I am aware that the original translation into English is not easily accepted by the subconscious mind. We prefer to accept what we “should do,” much more easily than what we “should not do!” If I were to translate these principals into a modern affirmation, I would offer:
In this moment:
I release angry thoughts and feelings
I let go of all worry and concern
I am in a state of grace and grateful for my many blessings
I do my work honestly
I respect all living beings, including myself
However it might be, if these words resonate with you, I invite you to add them in some form to your own daily practice. I can assure you they make a difference in my life and I hope they will in yours as well. Blessings.
*If you are interested in hearing the Principals recited in Japanese, or learning them,please visit: http://www.healing-arts-miami.com/student-resources.html to see Frank Arjava Petter’s video .
Whether your “practice” is Reiki, yoga, meditation or some other wonderful technique, each of these brings the practitioner into the present. Just as we begin our meditation or yoga by altering and tuning into our breath, so too, do we find that when we start a Reiki session our breathing automatically becomes more focused. It is as if we are creating a wave at the center of our being that we will ride throughout our practice.
Simply allowing oneself to “do” the subtle hand positions, without expectation or judgments is a lot like stretching more deeply into a yoga asana. One can feel the energy moving and shifting. In yoga, it is a shifting of the muscles, ligaments and tendons, while in Reiki; it is a breaking down of collected toxins that then move into various places to be released from the body.
Just as there are many forms of yoga and meditation, there are also various ways to work with Reiki energy. Many Western Reiki Practitioners speak of balancing the chakras, while Japanese students and Masters speak in terms of releasing toxic energies from the organs, glands and nervous system. Wonderfully, we have found that a committed practitioner, trained in any technique can affect a change in the overall well being of themselves and others. The key is allowing oneself the time to practice.
The sense of presence and peace that Reiki brings us seems to expand exponentially. Just as meditation becomes second nature and time you begin to crave once you have found a technique you like, Reiki too, becomes a passion that quickly transforms you.
Reiki practitioners are called to practice daily on themselves.Many see it as a way of keeping themselves “clear,” meaning that whatever healing or balancing they themselves are in need of will be taken care of so that once a client arrives to receive a Reiki session, the Universal Life Force flowing through them to the client is unimpeded by any personal need. Others find that a daily self-practice is their special time to tune into themselves, tune out the world and see what comes up. Either way, we are more present for others and ourselves when we are feeling our best in body, mind and soul.
I am often asked if someone needs to have experience with Reiki in order to take a Reiki Class. Perhaps you may be surprised that my answer is a resounding NO! No prior knowledge is required.
I personally had only a five-minute encounter with Reiki about two years before to seeing a flyer for a class at a yoga studio. I’d fallen in a karate class, twisting my ankle and the admittedly adorable teacher came over and asked if he could give me Reiki. I looked into his big brown eyes (and yes, I tell this story in front of my husband all the time,) and thought, “I don’t know what that is, but you can certainly give me some.” Out loud I simply said, “I guess so.” Five minutes later, he told me to put ice on my ankle when I got home but by tomorrow the fall should only be a memory…and he was right! Fast forward two years, to the flyer on the wall, add some curiosity and the next thing I knew I was learning about Universal Life Force and the healing power of Reiki!
Reiki has a way of speaking to our souls and telling us the time is right to explore, and expand our knowledge of the energies around and within us. I always tell my students I am not there to “teach” them anything, I am there to remind them of what they have always known and have simply forgotten. I love watching as students have amazing “AH HA” moments as their hands awaken to the energy moving through them and they begin to sense where to hover or place their hands for the greatest effect. I adore hearing the comments they make as they work with their partners and find they’ve made a mind-body connection, sensing something their partner needs and intuitively assisting them. But perhaps the moments I treasure most are when I hand out the certificates at the end of a long day and see that everyone is beaming, basking in the glow of Reiki energy!
Here in the West, we have Reiki teachers who have blended the Japanese healing technique, Reiki, with the Hindu metaphysical tradition of balancing and harmonizing the 7 major midline chakras. These 7 Chakras are balanced when each contains 1/7 of what we call major midline chakra energy.
For example, let us say you are a MOST loving and generous person, so much so that you cannot pay your rent because you have taken care of others and given all your money away. Most likely you have also “given away” some of your solar plexus chakra energy (self-esteem and personal power.) You are out of balance. In a Reiki session, the Universal Life Force energy that is Reiki would encourage the overage of energy in your heart to redistribute back into your solar plexus, allowing you to take care of yourself and understand that in order to take care of others, you must first be able to meet your own needs.
Many people come to me concerned about “blockages;” I prefer to use examples like the one above to illustrate that rather than being blocked, they are in need of a “tune up,” or more correctly, a “tune in!” With Reiki, we are able to tune into the needs of the physical, emotional and spiritual bodies and to encourage them to come back into the original state of being ~ one of harmony and balance.
Since ancient times in both Western and Eastern traditions, the use of the breath to clear the mind, ease the soul and relax the body has created a multitude of practices. From the simple and well known “take a deep breath and count to ten,” to the more exotic sounding Kundalini practices like Agni-Prasana or “Breath of Fire,” all of us have found comfort, pause or power by changing the way we breathe.
In all my healing work experience, the one constant I have observed is that becoming aware of our breath, happens naturally as we relax into whatever we are doing or whatever we are experiencing. When we are tense, angry and holding toxic energy, we forget to breathe, but the moment we relax, even slightly…the first thing that happens is; we sigh. With that release we begin to breathe more deeply. This is detox at its simplest, but also its most extraordinary level. The breath not only sustains us, it nurtures us and heals us. Oxygen moves through the body and the mind, igniting areas of the brain that may have been neglected by shallow breathing. Old patterns or memories that have shaped our lives are presented to us and we have the opportunity to let them go, or to integrate them into our lives in a positive way.
I combine deep and conscious breathing with meditation, giving myself a place for my thoughts to float away. If a thought comes up, I watch it float away like a leaf on the river of the breath. In my Reiki practice, I often find myself unconsciously matching my client’s breathing rhythm and then as I change my own to one that is deeper and fuller they come right along with me! In my Breathwork classes, I have had the opportunity to observe and hold sacred space as “breathers” release everything from laughter or tears to deeper held anger or old fears. No matter how they, or I use the breath, this simple act of connecting more consciously to our inhalations and exhalations, is the first, and in my opinion most important, step in beginning any detox experience!
I encourage everyone, especially those who do not already have a meditation practice, to take a few minutes, twice a day to sit still, breathe deeply and enjoy feelings that follow!
The translation of the word Reiki most often used is “Universal Life Force.” A Reiki Practitioner is one who has embraced the knowledge that as human beings we have a responsibility towards all things in the Universe, including the well being of others.
The best explanation that I have found of how Reiki works, comes from Frank Arjava Petter. He teaches that the mind knows when the body has a build up of toxins, whether these are toxins that have been consumed, breathed in or are from poisonous thoughts. The mind directs these toxins, usually to our joints first, because we are able to transfer them out of these areas by moving the body. However, sometimes we have such a build up, that dis-comfort/dis-ease or imbalance is formed in the body. In this case Reiki “stirs” the toxins and allows them to be released.
A Reiki Practitioner, one who has used Reiki to clear their own energy, may amplify and pass along this cosmic energy to their clients by a simple “laying on” or “hovering” of their hands. Those receiving are fully clothed. Reiki energy passes from Practitioner to Receiver, activating one of the natural healing processes we all possess. Much like a fever burns away a cold, Reiki encourages the toxins we are holding to naturally pass from our bodies.
Reiki is now being used in over 800 hospitals across the United States. Veterans and Hospice programs are now embracing this work and surgeons, like Dr. Mehmet Oz, recommend Reiki treatments to their patients.
For eight years I have practiced Reiki. For all these years I have described it as a Japanese technique for relaxation. In my classes, I describe this relaxation as so deep that it puts the receiver into a state, not unlike deep meditation, where the mind is quiet and there is nothing, even if only for the briefest moment, for the body to do nothing, but heal.
I stand by these words, but this is only part of Reiki’s effectiveness! In October of 2013, I had the opportunity to study Jikiden Reiki with the inimitable, Frank Arjava Petter. Arjava Sensei, as he is lovingly called his students, spent over 12 years in Japan, researching, studying and teaching the origins of Reiki healing.
Arjava Sensei helped me discover the deeper and even more amazing power of this Universal Life Force to move toxins from the body. In brief, he brought our group to the understanding that Reiki, as simple as it is to share, has the ability to bring about miraculous transformation. The trained practitioner, and by this I mean trained in the Japanese, Jikiden style, which takes much practice, becomes aware of the subtle changes created by the release of toxins harming the body and they are able to concentrate on the area(s) until the release is complete. This process may take days or even weeks of daily sessions, however the commitment by both the practitioner and the receiver is rewarded by improved health. Arjava Sensei is a great example that the difference in this technique is not the way it is shared, but the attitude and fundamental intentions of the practitioner.
I have studied several styles of Reiki and they each allow the Reiki student to explore and expand their intuitive abilities and share calming, balancing energy. They each encourage regular practice, yet Jikiden has given me a new perspective both in application and in my future teaching. I embrace the knowledge that commitment and practice are rewarded as the practitioner becomes ever more sensitive not only in their work, but in their daily life.
If someone had told me ten years ago that tonight I'd be sitting with 28 remarkable people
sharing our hopes, dreams, prayers and healing...I would have said,"Really?
Remarkable! Bring it on!" I LOVE my life, I love those who surround me, those
who have seen my humaness and understand that I while can hurt and be hurt in
one moment, I ultimately find the lesson the hurt came through to teach and
I... surrender, and in asking and receiving forgiveness, we are all lifted up. There
is nothing we cannot do when we are united in love...we are never the same one
moment to the next. So if anyone judges us by what we were yesterday and walks
away...they are missing the wonder of what we will be tomorrow. :) Thank you for listening
my beautiful friends. Namaste. OM
I have been teaching all my life, but have never had the complete satisfaction I get from awakening others to their inherent Healing Energy!