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 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.HealingArtsPathways.com
I have been teaching all my life, but have never had the complete satisfaction I get from awakening others to their inherent Healing Energy!