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What is Traditional Reiki?

Traditional Reiki or traditional Japanese Reiki seems to be described on a number of websites but what does this mean? Let me give you a very brief background in the history of Reiki so you will be able to put this term into context.


Reiki or Reiki Ryoho, the practice of Reiki, originated in Japan around March in 1922. Mikao Usui, the founder of Reiki, became enlightened on Mt Kurama, north of Kyoto after meditating and fasting for 21 days. We do not know anything about Mikao Usui’s childhood or his life before his enlightenment. He created an association, Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai (URRG) in Tokyo in April 1922. We do not know what he actually taught as he did not publish anything nor did he have manuals. Any documents from this time that may hold information, were totally destroyed when the association’s headquarters was bombed during WWII. Very little is known about the URRG as it is a secret society, however, small amounts of information have been leaked over the years.


Mikao Usui’s last student was Chujiro Hayashi. Hayashi changed Usui Sensei’s teachings to create his own when he formed the Hayashi Kenkyu Kai. Traditionally, when teachings are changed by the student then the name of the system changes also. Hayashi Sensei created his own curriculum, and treatments were done on massage tables. His student, Mrs. Hawayo Takata then took Reiki to Hawaii and then mainland USA. Mrs. Takata, originally taught Japanese students in Hawaii so she taught them Hayashi’s teachings but later changed a number of them to make Reiki less Japanese, partly because of WWII and the anti-Japanese sentiment at the time. Further changes were made by other teachers as time went on.


Gendai Reiki Ho is also a Japanese Reiki system. It was founded by Hiroshi Doi. Many Gendai Reiki Ho websites incorrectly have the lineage (a family tree of sorts) going back through the URRG. Hiroshi Doi was a Level 2 Reiki practitioner in the URRG and became a Reiki Master through Neo Reiki in Osaka (as mentioned in Doi’s book ‘Iyashino Gendi ReikiHo – A Modern Reiki Method for Healing). In reality, Hiroshi Doi's lineage should lead back to Neo Reiki which in turns leads back to Chujiro Hayashi. Reiki lineages should show the names of teacher to teacher to teacher.  


So, what is Traditional Reiki? The word traditional means, according to the Cambridge Dictionary, 'following or belonging to the customs or ways of behaving that have continued in a group of people or society for a long time without changing.'  From my perspective, traditional Reiki or traditional Japanese Reiki is referring to the teachings of Mikao Usui. But how can this be when we do not know what his teachings were? We certainly do not have any information about Usui Sensei’s teachings or curriculum from the URRG. As I have previously mentioned, only small amounts of information are available to us. This hardly gives us a complete picture. If the lineage leads back to Hayashi Sensei, then it is not the original Reiki teachings of Mikao Usui. Any Reiki system that follows on from Hayashi Sensei cannot be viewed as traditional.

Komyo ReikiDo is the system that I teach. Yes, it is a Japanese Reiki system that teaches some traditional Reiki techniques however, there are other teachings that are directly from Hyakuten Inamoto and not Mikao Usui, the founder of Usui Reiki Ryoho. Komyo ReikiDo's lineage goes back through Chujiro Hayashi so also not a traditional Reiki system.


Traditional Reiki or traditional Japanese Reiki, has been lost in the annuls of time. Why do some claim they teach traditional Reiki? Something to contemplate.



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