Try out Cat Telepathy technique to spread your Aloha!
Try out Cat Telepathy technique to spread your Aloha!
The following referenced history of Reiki is taken from Reiki, The Healing Touch and has been carefully researched to contain verified information from dependable sources. You have permission to copy and paste this history including the photos on to your own web site as long as you use the entire text and do not make changes to it.
Mrs. Hawayo Takata (Takata Sensei) brought Reiki from Japan to the West in 1937 and continued to practice and teach until her passing in 1980. Because of her devotion, Reiki has been passed on to millions of people all over the world, and the numbers continue to grow! And as you will see, if it wasn’t for her, Reiki most likely would never have been discovered by the West and even in Japan would have been practiced secretly by only a small number of people.
Until the 1990s, the only information we had about Reiki came from Takata Sensei. Her story of Reiki was recorded on tape, and this recording is still available along with a transcript of the contents.(1) In the past most people including many authors simply accepted Takata Sensei’s interpretation of the history of Reiki as accurate without attempting to do any additional research. Because of this, her version of the story was repeated in all the earlier books written on Reiki. (Fortunately many current authors are using more recent historical information.)
In the course of researching the origins of Reiki, I learned that Takata Sensei took liberties with the history of its development. In 1990, for example, I wrote to Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan where Takata Sensei reported that the founder of Reiki, Usui Sensei, had held the office of president. I had hoped to gain additional information that would help us understand who Usui Sensei really was. I also contacted the University of Chicago, from which Usui Sensei had obtained a degree according to Takata Sensei. Neither university had ever heard of him.(2) This disappointing discovery led me to wonder if other parts of the Takata Sensei version of Reiki were also inaccurate. In talking with several early Reiki Masters about this discovery, I was told that Takata Sensei had westernized the story of Reiki by changing certain details and adding others to make it more appealing to Americans.
I continued to seek additional information about the history of Reiki, but attempts to secure it went slowly at first. The main reason for this is that after World War II, the U.S. government had complete control over Japan for a time and banned all Eastern healing methods in Japan and required that only Western medicine be practiced there. The members of the organization Usui Sensei started, the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai, decided they wanted to find a way to continue to practice Reiki. Some of the other healing groups such as the Acupuncturists were able to get a license to practice, but the Gakkai chose not to go through this process. In order to continue to practice Reiki, they decided to become a secret society and practice only among themselves and not talk about Reiki to anyone outside their organization.(3) This made it difficult for anyone to learn about Reiki including the Japanese. In fact, if someone in Japan wanted to learn Reiki after the war, he or she had to travel to the U.S. to learn or had to learn from a Western trained Reiki teacher who traveled to Japan. Because of this, even now most Reiki practiced in Japan is a combination of Western and Japanese Reiki.
This is why an accurate history of Reiki took so long to unfold up to that point in time. Then in 1996, I received from Japan a copy of the Original Reiki Ideals, which were different and more expansive than what had been presented by Mrs. Takata. They included the idea that chanting and offering prayers are important to Reiki practice.(4) In 1997, Arjava Petter’s book, Reiki Fire was published, which was the first of a series of books on Japanese Reiki. He along with his wife, Chetna Kobayashi, had made contact with the Gakkai. They had discovered the location of Usui Sensei’s grave and many other facts including information on the Japanese Reiki Techniques, all of which were revealed in his books and subsequent workshops.
Invited by Arjava Petter, Laura Gifford (now Laurelle Gaia) and I went to Japan in 1997, and with Arjava as our guide, we were taken to Usui Sensei’s grave and Mt. Kurama and much of the new information was explained to us.(5)
In 1999 and 2000 I invited Arjava and Chetna to come to teach workshops on the Japanese Reiki Techniques across the United States. In addition, in November, 2001, I took Reiki I&II from Chiyoko Yamaguchi in Japan, a Shihan (Reiki Master) who received her training from Hayashi Sensei. (She passed on in 2003). In October 2002 I took Gendai Reiki training from Hiroshi Doi—who is a member of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai—and also had two detailed interviews with him.(6) It is from these sources and my continued contact with these and other Reiki researchers that my understanding of the history of Reiki along with how Usui Sensei and Hayashi Sensei taught and practiced Reiki has developed.
A More Accurate History of Reiki
The following is an updated history of Reiki based on accurate, verifiable information. Where possible, sources have been referenced so others can follow up on this research if desired. The history begins with a look at the inscription on the memorial stone that was erected in 1927 in memory of Mikao Usui Sensei, founder of the Reiki healing system.
The Inscription on the Usui Memorial
The Usui Memorial
The inscription on the Usui Memorial, dating from 1927, was written by Juzaburo Ushida, a Shihan who was trained by Usui Sensei and able to teach and practice Reiki the same way he did.(7) He also succeeded Usui Sensei as president of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai. Masayuki Okata, also a member of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai, was the editor. The English translation was done by Tetsuyuki Ono and is reprinted here from the book, lyashino Gendai Reiki- ho, with permission from the author, Hiroshi Doi.
The large kanji at the top of the memorial stone reads: “Memorial of Usui Sensei’s Virtue.” The remainder of the inscription reads as follows:
What you can naturally realize through cultivation and training is called “VIRTUE” and it is called “MERIT” to spread a method of leadership and relief and practice it. It is people of many merits and a good deal of virtue that can be eventually called a great founder. People who started a new learning and founded a fresh sect among sages, philosophers, geniuses etc., named from the ancient times, were all those as mentioned above. We can say that Usui-Sensei is also one of those people.
He started newly a method to improve body and spirit based on REIKI in the universe. Hearing of the rumor, people who would like to learn the treatment and undergo the cure gathered from all quarters all at once. Really, it was very busy indeed.
(Usui Sensei), founder of
the Reiki System of Healing
Usui-Sensei, whose popular name is Mikao and whose pen name is Gyohan, came from Taniai-village, Yamagata- district, Cifu Prefecture, and had forefathers named Tsunetane Chiba who had played an active part as a military commander between the end of Heian Period and the beginning of Kamakura Period (1180-1230). His father’s real name is Taneuji and his popular name is Uzaemon. His mother came and got married from the family named Kawai.
Usui-Sensei was born on 15th August, 1865. Having learned under difficulties in his childhood, he studied hard with efforts and he was by far superior in ability to his friends.
After growing up, he went over to Europe and America, and also studied in China. In spite of his real ability, however, he was not always successful in life. Although he was compelled to lead an unfortunate and poor life so often, he strove much more than before to harden his body and mind without flinching from the difficulties.
One day, Usui-Sensei climbed Mt. Kurama, where he began to do penance while fasting. Suddenly on the twenty first day from the start, he felt a great REIKI over his head, and at the same time as he was spiritually awakened he acquired the REIKI cure. When he tried it on his own body and members’ of his family also, it brought an immediate result on them.
Having said “It is much better to give this power widely to a lot of people in the world and enjoy it among them than to keep it exclusively by his family members,” Usui-Sensei moved his dwelling to Aoyama Harajuku, Tokyo in April, 1922 and established an institute, where the REIKI cure was instructed openly to the public and the treatment was given, too. People came there from far and near to ask for his guidance and cure, and they over-flowed outside, making a long line.
Tokyo had a very big fire caused by a great earthquake in Kanto district in September, 1923, when the injured and sick persons suffered from pains everywhere. Usui-Sensei felt a deep anxiety about that, and he was engaged in a cure, going around inside the city every day. We can hardly calculate how many persons were saved from death with his devotion. His activities of relief, in which he extended his hands of love over to those suffering people against this emergent situation, can be outlined as noted above.
Thereafter, his training center became too small to receive the visitors, so he built a new house in Nakano outside the city in February 1925 and transferred there. As his reputation got higher and higher, it was so often when he received an offer of engagement from everywhere throughout the nation. In accordance with these requests he traveled to Kure and Hiroshima, then entered Saga and reached Fukuyama. It was at the inn at which he stayed on his way that he caught a disease abruptly, and he passed away at the age of sixty-two.
His wife got married, coming from the Suzuki family, and she is named Sadako and has a son and a daughter. The son’s name is Fuji, and he succeeds to the Usui family.
Usui-Sensei’s natural character was gentle and prudent, and he did not keep up appearances. His body was big and sturdy, and his face was always beaming with a smile. But when he faced the difficulties he went ahead with a definite will and yet persevered well, keeping extremely careful. He was a man of versatile talents and also a book lover, knowing well in the wide range from history, biography, medical science, canons of Christianity and Buddhism and psychology up to magic of fairyland, art of curse, science of divination and physiognomy.
In my opinion, it is evident to everybody that Usui-Sensei’s cultivation & training were based on his career of art and science, and the cultivation & training became a clue to create the REIKI cure.
Reviewing the fact, I understand what the REIKI cure is aiming at is not only to heal the diseases but also to correct the mind by virtue of a God-sent spiritual ability, keep the body healthy and enjoy a welfare of life. In teaching the persons, therefore, we are supposed to first let them realize the last instructions of the Emperor Meiji, and chant the 5 admonitions morning and evening to keep them in mind.
The 5 admonitions in question are:
1. Don’t get angry today.
2. Don’t be grievous.
3. Express your thanks.
4. Be diligent in your business.
5. Be kind to others.
These are really the important precepts for a cultivation, just the same as those by which the ancient sages admonished themselves. Usui-Sensei emphasized that ‘This is surely a secret process to bring a good fortune and also a miraculous medicine to remedy all kinds of diseases,’ by which he made his purpose of teaching clear and accurate. Furthermore, he tried to aim at making his way of guidance as easy and simple as possible, so nothing is difficult to understand therein. Every time when you sit quietly and join your hands to pray and chant morning and evening, you can develop a pure and sound mind, and there is just an essence in making the most of that for your daily life. This is the reason why the REIKI cure can very easily spread over anybody.
The phase of life is very changeable in these days, and people’s thoughts are apt to change, too. Could we fortunately succeed in spreading the REIKI cure everywhere, we feel sure that it would have to be very helpful in order to prevent people from disordering their moral sense. It never extends people anything but the benefits of healing long term illness, chronic disease and bad habit.
The number of pupils who learned from Usui-Sensei amounts to more than 2000 persons. Some leading pupils living in Tokyo among them gather at the training center and take over his work, while other pupils in the country also do everything to popularize the REIKI cure. Although our teacher already passed away, we have to do the very best to hand the REIKI cure down to the public forever and spread it much more. Ah! What a great thing he did; to have unsparingly given people what he had felt and realized by himself!
As a result of our pupils’ recent meeting and discussion, we decided to erect a stone monument at the graveyard in his family temple so that we may bring his virtuous deed to light and transmit it to posterity; so, I was requested to arrange an epitaph for the monument. As I was much impressed by his great meritorious deed and also struck by our pupils’ warm hearts of making much of the bond between master and pupil, I dared not refuse the request, but described the outline.
Therefore, I do expect heartily that people in the future generations would not forget to look up at the monument in open-eyed wonder.
— Usuida, in February, 1927. Edited by Masayuki Okada, The Junior 3rd Rank, the 3rd Order of Merit, Doctor of Literature. Written by Juzaburo Usuhida, The Junior 4th Class of Services, Rear Admiral.
Mikao Usui, or Usui Sensei as he is called by Reiki students in Japan, was born August 15, 1865 in the village of Taniai in the Yamagata district of Gifu prefecture, which is located near present-day Nagoya, Japan.(8)
He had an avid interest in learning and worked hard at his studies. As he grew older, he traveled to Europe and China to further his education. His curriculum included medicine, psychology and religion as well as the art of divination, which Asians have long considered to be a worthy skill.(9) Usui Sensei also became a member of the Rei Jyutu Ka, a metaphysical group dedicated to developing psychic abilities.(10) He had many jobs including civil servant, company employee and journalist, and he helped rehabilitate prisoners.(11) Eventually he became the secretary to Shinpei Goto, head of the department of health and welfare who later became the mayor of Tokyo. The connections Usui Sensei made at this job helped him to also become a successful businessman.(12)
The depth and breadth of his experiences inspired him to direct his attention toward discovering the purpose of life. In his search he came across the description of a special state of consciousness that once achieved would not only provide an understanding of one’s life purpose, but would also guide one to achieve it. This special state is called An-shin Ritus-mei (pronounced on sheen dit sue may). In this special state, one is always at peace regardless of what is taking place in the outer world. And it is from this place of peace that one completes one’s life purpose. One of the special features of this state is that it maintains itself without any effort on the part of the individual; the experience of peace simply wells up spontaneously from within and is a type of enlightenment.
Usui Sensei understood this concept on an intellectual level and dedicated his life to achieving it; this is considered to be an important step on Usui Sensei’s spiritual path. He discovered that one path to An-shin Ritsu-mei is through the practice of Zazen meditation. So he found a Zen teacher who accepted him as a student and began to practice Zazen. After three years practice, he had not been successful and sought further guidance. His teacher suggested a more severe practice in which the student must be willing to die in order to achieve An-shin Ritsu-meiwhich.(13)(14)
So with this in mind he prepared for death and in February, 1922, he went to Mt. Kurama to fast and meditate until he passed to the next world. In addition, we know there is a small waterfall on Mt. Kurama where even today people go to meditate. This meditation involves standing under the waterfall and allowing the water to strike and flow over the top of the head, a practice that is said to activate the crown chakra. Japanese Reiki Masters think that Usui Sensei may have used this meditation as part of his practice. In any case, as time passed he became weaker and weaker. It was now March, 1922 and at midnight of the twenty-first day, a powerful light suddenly entered his mind through the top of his head and he felt as if he had been struck by lightning; this caused him to fall unconscious.
As the sun rose, he awoke and realized that whereas before he had felt very weak and near death, he was now filled with an extremely enjoyable state of vitality that he had never experienced before; a miraculous type of high frequency spiritual energy had displaced his normal consciousness and replaced it with an amazingly new level of awareness. He experienced himself as being the energy and consciousness of the Universe and that the special state of enlightenment he had sought had been given to him as a gift. He was overjoyed by this realization.
When this happened, he was filled with excitement and went running down the mountain. On his way down he stubbed his toe on a rock and fell down. And in the same way anyone would do, he placed his hands over the toe, which was in pain. As he did this, healing energy began flowing from his hands all by itself. The pain in his toe went away and the toe was healed. Usui Sensei was amazed by this. He realized that in addition to the illuminating experience he had received, he had also received the gift of healing.(15)
Usui Sensei practiced this new ability with his family and developed his healing system through experimentation and by using skills and information based on his previous study of religious practices, philosophy and spiritual disciplines. He called his system of healing Shin-Shin Kai-Zen Usui Reiki Ryo-Ho (The Usui Reiki Treatment Method for Improvement of Body and Mind)(16) or in its simplified form Usui Reiki Ryoho (Usui Reiki Healing Method). It is important to know that Usui Sensei didn’t create Reiki as there were other methods of Reiki healing in Japan prior to Usui Sensei creating his method and in fact one was called Reiki Ryoho.(17)
In April 1922, he moved to Tokyo and started a healing society that he named Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai (Usui Reiki Healing Method Society). He also opened a Reiki clinic in Harajuku, Aoyama, Tokyo. There he taught classes and gave treatments.(18)
The first degree of his training was called Shoden (First Degree) and was divided into four levels: Loku-Tou, Go-Tou, Yon-Tou, and San-Tou. (Note that when Takata Sensei taught this level, which in the West we refer to as Reiki Level I, she combined all four levels into one. This is most likely why she did four attunements for Level I.) The next degree was called Okuden (Inner Teaching) and had two levels: Okuden-Zen-ki (first part), and Okuden-Koe-ki (second part). The next degree was called Shinpiden (Mystery Teaching), which is what Western Reiki calls Master level. The Shinpiden level includes, Shihan-Kaku (assistant teacher) and Shihan (venerable teacher).(19)
Contrary to previous understanding, Usui Sensei had only three symbols, the same three we use in the West in Reiki II. He did not use a master symbol. This fact has been verified by Hiroshi Doi and by research done by Hyakuten Inamoto, Arjava Petter and Tadao Yamaguchi.(20)
In 1923, the great Kanto earthquake devastated Tokyo. More than 140,000 people died and over half of the houses and buildings were shaken down or burned. An overwhelming number of people were left homeless, injured, sick and grieving.(21) Usui Sensei felt great compassion for the people and began treating as many as he could with Reiki. This was a tremendous amount of work, and it was at this time that he began training other Shihan (teachers) so that they could help him more quickly train others to be Reiki practitioners and help the sick and injured. It was also at this time that he further developed his system of Reiki, including adding the three symbols and devising a more formal Reiju (attunement) process.(22)
The Reiju process was different than the method used now in that Usui Sensei had just one type of Reiju that was given over and over. He didn’t have a different Reiju for each level and there was no Reiju to activate the symbols. It was taught that it is important for the student to get as many Reiju as possible as this was an important way to increase and refine the quality of one’s Reiki energy.(23)
Demand for Reiki became so great that he outgrew his clinic, so in 1925 he built a bigger one in Nakano, Tokyo. Because of this, Usui Sensei’s reputation as a healer spread all over Japan. He began to travel so he could teach and treat more people. During his travels across Japan he directly taught more than 2,000 students and initiated twenty Shihan,(24) each being given the same understanding of Reiki and approved to teach and give Reiju in the same way he did.(25)
The Japanese government issued him a Kun San To award for doing honorable work to help others.(26) While traveling to Fukuyama to teach, he suffered a stroke and died March 9, 1926.(27) His grave is at Saihoji Temple, in Suginami, Tokyo, although some claim that his ashes are located elsewhere.
After Usui Sensei died, his students erected a memorial stone next to his gravestone. (See page 14.) Mr. J. Ushida, a Shihan trained by Usui Sensei, took over as president of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai, and was responsible for creating and erecting the Usui Memorial stone and ensuring that the gravesite would be maintained. Mr. Ushida was followed by Mr. Ilichi Taketomi, Mr. Yoshiharu Watanabe, Mr. Toyoichi Wanami and Ms. Kimiko Koyama. The current successor to Usui Sensei is Mr. Mahayoshi Kondo, who became president in 1998.
Contrary to what we have been told in the West, there is no “lineage bearer” or “Grand Master” of the organization started by Usui Sensei—only the succession of presidents listed above.(28) Among the twenty teachers initiated by Usui Sensei are Toshihiro Eguchi, Jusaburo Guida, Kan’ichi Taketomi, Toyoichi Wanami, Yoshiharu Watanabe, Keizo Ogawa, J. Ushida, and Chujiro Hayashi.(29) Contrary to one version of the Reiki story, Chujiro Hayashi was not the Gakkai’s successor to Usui Sensei, but rather Mr. J. Ushida as previously mentioned. It is also important to note that the first four presidents of the Gakkai who followed Usui Sensei were Shihan who had been trained directly by Usui Sensei, thus assuring that the Gakkai understanding, practice and teaching methods were the same as that of Usui Sensei.
Before his passing, Usui Sensei had asked Hayashi Sensei to open his own Reiki clinic and to expand and develop Reiki Ryoho based on his previous experience as a medical doctor in the Navy. Motivated by this request, Hayashi Sensei started a school and clinic called Hayashi Reiki Kenkyukai (Institute). After Usui Sensei’s passing he left the Gakkai.(30)
At his clinic he kept careful records of all the illnesses and conditions patients who came to see him had. He also kept records of which Reiki hand positions worked best to treat each patient. Based on these records he created the Reiki Ryoho Shinshin(Guidelines for Reiki Healing Method).(31) This healing guide was part of a class manual he gave to his students. Many of his students received their Reiki training in return for working in his clinic.(32)
Hayashi Sensei also changed the way Reiki sessions are given. Rather than have the client seated in a chair and treated by one practitioner as Usui Sensei had done, Hayashi Sensei had the client lie on a treatment table and receive treatment from several practitioners at a time. He also created a new more effective system for giving Reiju (attunements).(33) In addition, he developed a new method of teaching Reiki that he used when he traveled. In this method, he taught both Shoden and Okuden (Reiki I&II) together in one five-day seminar. Each day included two to three hours of instruction and one Reiju.(34)
Because of his trip to Hawaii in 1937–38 prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he was asked by the Japanese military to provide information about the location of warehouses and other military targets in Honolulu. He refused to do so and was declared a traitor. This caused him to “lose face,” which meant he and his family would be disgraced and would be ostracized from Japanese society. The only solution was seppuku (ritual suicide), which he carried out. He died honorably on May 11, 1940.(35)
The following is a summary of Mrs. Hawayo Takata’s version of her early years leading up to her contact with Reiki at the Hayashi clinic:
She stated that she was born on December 24th, 1900, on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. Her parents were Japanese immigrants and her father worked in the sugar cane fields. She eventually married the bookkeeper of the plantation where she was employed. His name was Saichi Takata and they had two daughters. In October 1930 Saichi died at the age of 34, leaving Mrs. Takata to raise their two children.
In order to provide for her family, she had to work very hard with little rest. After five years she developed severe abdominal pain and a lung condition, and she had a nervous breakdown. Soon after this one of her sisters died and it was Mrs. Takata’s responsibility to travel to Japan, where her parents had resettled to deliver the news. She also felt she could receive help for her health in Japan.
After informing her parents, she entered a hospital and stated that she was diagnosed with a tumor, gallstones, appendicitis and asthma.(36) She was told to prepare for an operation but opted to visit Hayashi Sensei’s clinic instead.
Mrs. Takata was unfamiliar with Reiki but was impressed that the diagnosis of Reiki practitioners at the clinic closely matched the doctor’s at the hospital. She began receiving treatments. Two Reiki practitioners would treat her each day. The heat from their hands was so strong, she said, that she thought they were secretly using some kind of equipment. Seeing the large sleeves of the Japanese kimono worn by one, she thought she had found the secret place of concealment. Grabbing his sleeves one day she startled the practitioner, but, of course, found nothing. When she explained what she was doing, he began to laugh and then told her about Reiki and how it worked.
Mrs. Takata got progressively better and in four months was completely healed. She wanted to learn Reiki for herself. In the spring of 1936 she received First Degree Reiki from Dr. Hayashi. She then worked with him for a year and received Second Degree Reiki. Mrs. Takata returned to Hawaii in 1937, followed shortly thereafter by Hayashi Sensei and his daughter who came to help establish Reiki there. In February of 1938 Hayashi Sensei initiated Hawayo Takata as a Reiki Master.
To summarize Takata Sensei’s Reiki background, she traveled from Hawaii to Japan to tell her parents about the death of her sister. Having been diagnosed with several ailments, the main one being asthma, she was guided to Hayashi Sensei’s clinic in Tokyo and after receiving four months of Reiki treatments was completely cured.(37) She wanted to learn Reiki in order to continue treating herself and also to take it back to Hawaii to share with others. Hayashi Sensei allowed her to work at his clinic and also began giving her Reiki training. She worked one year at the clinic and eventually received the Shinpiden level (Reiki Master). Hayashi Sensei officially acknowledged this in Hawaii on February 21, 1938, and also stated that she was one of thirteen Reiki Masters trained by him.(38)
Takata Sensei practiced Reiki in Hawaii, establishing several clinics, one of which was located in Hilo on the Big Island. She gave treatments and initiated students up to Reiki II. She became a well-known healer and traveled to the U.S. mainland and other parts of the world teaching and giving treatments. She was a powerful healer who attributed her success to the fact that she did a lot of Reiki on each client. She would often do multiple treatments, each sometimes lasting hours, and she often initiated members of a client’s family so they could give Reiki to the client as well.
It was not until after 1970 that Takata Sensei began initiating Reiki Masters. She charged a fee of $10,000 for Mastership even though the training took only a weekend.(39) This high fee was not part of the Usui system, and she may have charged this fee as her way of creating a feeling of respect for Reiki. She said that one should never do treatments or provide training for free, but should always charge a fee or get something in return. She also said that one must study with just one Reiki teacher and stay with that teacher the rest of one’s life.(40) In addition, she said that she did not provide written instruction or allow her students to take notes or to tape record the classes and students were not allowed to make any written copies of the Reiki symbols. She said that this was because Reiki is an oral tradition and that everything had to be memorized.(41) While this is generally true, she didn’t always teach the same way and in at least one class she allowed her students to take notes and gave them handouts.(42)
It is not certain why she said Reiki is an oral tradition or why she taught Reiki this way. What we do know from our research in Japan and the research of others is that these rules are not part of the way Usui Sensei or Hayashi Sensei practiced Reiki. In fact, Takata Sensei received a Reiki manual from Hayashi Sensei indicating that the oral tradition was not how Hayashi Sensei taught.(43) In addition, Takata Sensei taught Reiki differently from how she had been taught. She simplified and standardized the hand positions so that every treatment would be the same. She called this the “foundation treatment,” containing just eight hand positions.(44) She also eliminated the Japanese Reiki Techniques.
It is also likely that she is the one who changed the attunement process by creating a different attunement for each level, indicated that the attunement empowered the symbols and added the Master symbol, as these features were not taught by either Usui Sensei or Hayashi Sensei.(45)
Before Mrs. Takata made her transition on December 11, 1980, she had initiated twenty-two Reiki Masters.(46) These twenty-two Masters began teaching others. However, Mrs. Takata had made each one take a sacred oath to teach Reiki exactly as she had taught. This made it difficult for most of them to change, even though some of her rules made it more difficult to learn, which seemed to go against the nature of Reiki.
This version of the history of Reiki from Usui Sensei to Mrs. Takata relies on verifiable information that has taken a long time to reach the West. In addition to the reasons for this mentioned earlier, there are a number of others. After Hayashi Sensei died and World War II ended, Takata Sensei stated that all the other Reiki Masters in Japan had died during the war and that she was the only Reiki Master in the world.(47) Therefore, most people refrained from researching the history of Reiki, thinking she was the only authority. Many of the Masters she initiated also discouraged people from doing such research, stating that it was not needed, as their knowledge of Reiki was complete. Add to all this the fact that the Gakkai had become a secret society along with the linguistic, cultural, and geographic barriers that separated the United States from Japan, and it is easy to see why most authors simply accepted her story as true without seeking verification. Most did not realize that the organization started by Usui Sensei still existed in Japan and that contact with them, while difficult, was still possible.
Reiki since Mrs. Takata
Reiki energy is very flexible and creative, treating each unique situation with a unique response and working freely with all other forms of healing. The Reiki energy itself provides a wonderful model for the practice of Reiki. This began to be acknowledged gradually after Takata Sensei passed on. In the mid-1980s, Iris Ishikura, one of Takata’s Masters, trained two Reiki Masters at a more reasonable fee and made them promise they would also charge a reasonable fee. The Masters trained by Ishikura at this lower fee began training many other Masters in turn. Out of this group, many were open to change and began allowing the wisdom of the Reiki energy to guide them in the way they should practice and teach Reiki. Because of this, restrictive rules began to fall away. Reiki classes became more open and more supportive of the learning process. Workbooks were created, notes and tape recordings were allowed, reasonable fees were charged, and many began studying with more than one teacher. All this generated greater respect for Reiki. It also increased people’s understanding of Reiki and improved their healing skills. With lower fees, the practice of Reiki began to grow quickly and spread all over the world. It is estimated that there are at least 1,000,000 Reiki Masters in the world today with well over 4,000,000 practitioners, and the numbers continue to grow!
I learned Reiki I on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1981 from Bethel Phaigh, who had learned from Mrs. Takata. In 1982, I received Reiki II from Bethel. I loved Reiki and started a Reiki practice. Because of the high fee for Reiki Master training at that time and other restrictive rules, I did not think that becoming a Reiki Master was part of my spiritual path. However, Reiki has a way of guiding us in the way we should go, and through a number of coincidences and fortunate circumstances I met Diane McCumber in 1989. She was a Reiki Master of the Ishikura lineage and was charging a very reasonable fee to train Reiki Masters. I took her training and began to teach.
I chose to allow the Reiki energy to guide how I would teach. Rather than adhere strictly to the rules set by Takata Sensei, I wanted to do everything I could to help my students learn Reiki and use it in a way that was right for them. If they wanted to start a Reiki practice or to teach, then I wanted them to be as successful as possible.
To further this purpose, I took everything I had learned about Reiki to that point, organized the information and placed it in a class workbook that included drawings of the Reiki hand positions, which I then gave to my Reiki students. I have continued to expand and update the workbook until it evolved into the workbook you are reading now.
From the beginning, I encouraged students to take notes and to tape record my classes; I openly answered all questions and actively encouraged my students to do well. I taught the value of developing one’s intuition and having confidence in one’s experience and personal decision-making abilities. Knowing that one can always learn more, I continued to study Reiki from others and eventually took the Master Training from four additional Masters including two from Japan. This added to my understanding of Reiki, as each teacher had gained many unique insights about how Reiki works and how to practice it. I make it a point to acknowledge the value of other teachers and practitioners. In my travels, I continue to exchange Reiki information with them, looking for new information to use and pass on to others.
Because I based my Reiki practice on the process of working in harmony with the qualities and values apparent in Reiki energy and following Reiki’s guidance in carrying out my plans, my classes were filled with students right from the beginning.
A newsletter was started in 1990 that continued to grow in size and readership and in 2002 became the Reiki News Magazine.
Wanting to maintain high standards for Reiki, I started a teacher certification program (now called our Professional Licensed Teachers program) that required additional training and takes about three years to complete.
In 1995 a website was started (www.reiki.org) that now offers over 300 free articles on Reiki and lots of resources for those wanting to practice or teach Reiki. We also have a web store, which offers class workbooks, Reiki tables, and other products. (www.reikiwebstore.com)
We began the Center for Reiki Research in 2009 (www.centerforreikiresearch.org). Staffed by seven Ph.D qualified researchers, it contains references and summaries of all Reiki research studies published in peer-reviewed journals, a description of over 70 hospital Reiki programs, and many useful articles and other features to help those interested in promoting an evidence-based understanding of Reiki. We’ve also started our own research study on pain in orthopedic patients due to be completed in 2012.
In 2010, we created a professional Reiki Membership Association (www.reikimembership.com). The current membership of over 1800 Reiki practitioners and teachers offers Reiki sessions and classes across the U.S. and in some foreign countries.
2 See http://www.reiki.org/Download/TakataLettersAnd Documents.pdf
4 Toshitaka Mochizuki, Iyashi No Te [Healing Hands] (1995), p. 227, ISBN 4-88481-420-7 C0011 P1400E; “The Original Reiki Ideals,” Reiki News (Fall 1996); and page vi of this manual. To order the Original Reiki Ideals: http://www.reikiwebstore.com.
7 Tadao Yamaguchi. “Excerpts from Light on the Origin of Reiki” Reiki News Magazine (Spring 2011), p. 19. Included in this article is a photo of the 20 shihan taught by Usui Sensei. The text below the photo indicates that these are the students of Usui Sensei who are authorized to teach in the same way he taught. Juzaburo Ushida is in the photo.
12 “Searching the Roots of Reiki,” The Twilight Zone (April 1986),: p. 140-143. This article can be viewed on the web at http://www.pwpm.com/threshold/origins2.html. (Note that this Japanese magazine is no longer in business.)
14 In an alternate version of this story it is said that Usui Sensei’s personal life and business had failed and that he had gone to Mt. Kurama to meditate to gain clarity on what to do to solve his problems. See Takai, “Searching the Roots of Reiki,” p. 140-143.
15 Doi, Iyashino Gendai Reiki-ho, Modern Reiki Method of Healing, p. 35. This story has been passed down within the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai. According to Doi, it is also written in “Kaiin no tame no Reiki Ryoho no Shiori” (Guide of Reiki Ryoho for the members), September 1, 1974.
16 This is based on the translation of an original document written by Usui Sensei. See: http://www.reiki.org/japanesetechniques/5principles.html
24 Go to Reiki News Magazine (Spring 2011), p. 18 for a photo of Usui Sensei and the twenty Shihan. Note that while all in the photo were authorized to give Reiju, some were not Shinpiden. In those days some of the centers did not have a Shinpiden to give Reiju so Reiju was taught to the leader of the center.
38 This information was recorded on Mrs. Takata’s Reiki certificate and in Mrs. Takata’s handwritten notes dated May 1936. A copy of her Reiki certificate is included in the article “How Hawayo Takata Practiced and Taught Reiki” located on page 157.
46 Before she died, Takata Sensei created a list of the twenty-two Masters she had initiated. They are: George Araki (deceased), Dorothy Baba (deceased), Ursula Baylow (deceased), Rick Bockner, Barbara Brown (deceased), Fran Brown (deceased), Patricia Ewing, Phyllis Lei Furumoto, Beth Gray (deceased), John Gray (deceased), Iris Ishikura (deceased), Harry Kuboi, Ethel Lombardi (deceased), Barbara McCullough (deceased), Mary McFadyen, Paul Mitchell, Bethel Phaigh (deceased), Barbara Weber Ray, Shinobu Saito, Kay Yamashita (Mrs. Takata’s sister), Virginia Samdahl (deceased), and Wanja Twan.
The text above is reprinted from Reiki the Healing Touch byWilliam Lee Rand. Permission is granted to reprint the text onto your web site as long as you use the entire text and do not make changes and indicate that the source is from www.reiki.org.
Important: Spirit guides have specialties… Like you and me.
Today marks a special turning point in the lives of countless people around the world who have discovered that spirit guides are real. Spirit guides are brimming with wisdom from the Universe itself and because of their positive natures, are only interested in helping solve people’s problems and free them from their present limitations in life.
Spirit guides are among the wisest beings to ever walk the celestial planes… And they are ready to give you a hand!
I have helped thousands of people achieve their dreams and goals in life through traditional Japanese Reiki and other specialized therapies like meditation.
In my long practice with people from all walks of life, I have discovered that one of the most instrumental factors that help people overcome virtually any obstacle in life is the presence of a guide.
People who have a positive guiding influence in their lives recover from problems more quickly and are happier and more successfully in life as well.
Sadly, not everyone has another person to guide them during troubled times. Nine times out of ten, people feel lost and alone when it comes to solving their own problems and finding vital answers to life’s biggest curveballs.
I know this because I have been there myself. Having more stressful questions than answers can sap a person’s energy so much that even the smallest flicker of hope can go out …
What if I told you that you never have to be alone again and even if you feel that the whole world is against you, there will always be someone who will stay right beside you, guiding you so you will succeed?
I am not talking about imaginary companions here… I am talking about awakening your mind’s consciousness so that you can begin to freely speak to your very own spirit guides.
Spirit guides have existed far before the birth of mankind and will continue to exist long after the last human walks the Earth.
Spirit guides are known by many names. For thousands of years, man has been aware that there are powerful beings that freely cross the cosmos and are even capable of bearing messages from the Source.
The ancient Greeks called spirit guides cosmic messengers, tasked with bearing truth and knowledge to humanity. Other cultures understand spirit guides as guardians of wisdom and of the gates of heaven and hell. Western culture knows them simply as guardian angels – beings of light and goodness.
At each turning point in human history, man has never forgotten to record the existence of spirit guides or angels. Why? The answer is simple: spirit guides continue to assist humans in their endeavors and the most receptive humans are rewarded the most.
People who know how to speak to spirit guides and ask the right questions are able to maximize their many advantages in life.
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions then you will most certainly benefit from having your own spirit guide. And “yes”, spirit guides can even protect you from harmful entities that are just waiting for the right time to cause problems in your life.
You hold in your hands the power to change your personal destiny. Your spirit guide awaits your call … and if I can be of service to facilitate that connection, contact me.
Wishing you the best days of your life, now and always,
My show, “This Week’s Aloha Spirit Message Says “Fly Low” For Now” on “DA COCONUT WIRELESS” is airing 07/01/2015 on BlogTalkRadio. See the details and set a reminder at http://tobtr.com/s/7741467.
“Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.” ~ Anne Frank
Heal others through laughter and joy. Laughter is a natural medicine – it lifts our spirits and makes us feel happy. Laughter is contagious. It brings people together and helps us feel more alive and empowered. Laughter therapy aims to use the natural physiological process of laughter to help relieve physical or emotional stresses or discomfort.
“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” ~ Victor Borge
Death has everything to do with how we live. The honesty and grace of the years of life that are ending is the real measure of how we die. It is not in the last weeks or days that we compose the message that will be remembered, but in all the decades that preceded them. Who has lived in dignity, dies in dignity.
“There are those who forget that death comes to everyone. For those who remember, all quarrels come to an end.” ~ Buddha
Alan Watts had a singular way of dispersing our illusory convictions about infinitely important dualities, such as belief vs. faith … or, money vs. wealth … or, productivity vs. presence … or, ego vs. true self … selfishness vs. gratitude … or, stimulation vs. wisdom … or, profit vs. purpose … or, the notions of hurrying and timing. In his essay “Does It Matter? Essays on Man’s Relation to Materiality (1970)”, Watts said:
“Just exactly what is the “good” to which we aspire through doing and eating things that are supposed to be good for us? This question is strictly taboo, for if it were seriously investigated the whole economy and social order would fall apart and have to be reorganized. It would be like the donkey finding out that the carrot dangled before him, to make him run, is hitched by a stick to his own collar. For the good to which we aspire exists only and always in the future. Because we cannot relate to the sensuous and material present we are most happy when good things are expected to happen, not when they are happening. We get such a kick out of looking forward to pleasures and rushing ahead to meet them that we can’t slow down enough to enjoy them when they come. We are therefore a civilization which suffers from chronic disappointment — a formidable swarm of spoiled children smashing their toys.”
He later addressed the last duality related to Timing thus: “there is indeed such a thing as “timing” — the art of mastering rhythm — but timing and hurrying are … mutually exclusive.”
Check in to yourself, BE PRESENT with what’s going on inside as you go into your day or relate to others …
“The prevalent sensation of oneself as a separate ego enclosed in a bag of skin is a hallucination which accords neither with Western science nor with the experimental philosophy-religions of the East.” ~ Alan Watts
Do something nice for someone today without expecting anything in return. Approach each person with the same, simple phrase — “I want to do something nice for you today.” Meaningful, ordinary human contact and respect is the remedy to dehumanization. Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness.
From what I’ve seen during 46 years of working with clients who are suffering from depression, medication has been the least effective treatment. In fact, many of my clients come to me because the medication isn’t working and is causing multiple detrimental side effects.
So what does cause depression, and what’s the best way to treat it? These are the five major causes of depression that I’ve discovered.
1. Emotional self-abandonment
The most common cause of depression is self-abandonment, both emotional and physical.
You are emotionally abandoning yourself when you stay focused up in your head — ignoring your feelings — rather than being present in your body, attending to your feelings.
You emotionally abandon yourself when you judge yourself, allowing your programmed ego mind to be in charge, rather than your present, loving self.
When you turn to addictions to avoid and numb your feelings, you are emotionally abandoning yourself, and you may be physically abandoning yourself — depending on the addiction.
When you blame others for your feelings and try to make another responsible for your happiness, safety and self-worth, you are emotionally abandoning yourself.
If you treated an actual child this way, he or she would likely be depressed. The same thing happens on the inner level with your inner child.
2. Physical self-abandonment
You abandon yourself physically when you:
Regularly eat sugar and processed foods
Overconsumption of sugar likely contributes to depression, and most processed foods turn to sugar in the body. You are physically abandoning yourself when you don’t eat fresh, clean organic food.
Don’t get enough sleep
It’s also well known that a lack of sleep causes depression. When you aren’t disciplined enough to get adequate sleep — or you’re putting too much caffeine or other stimulants in your body, preventing sleep — you are physically abandoning yourself.
Don’t get adequate exercise
Studies indicate that exercise itself is often enough to decrease depression. When you are not disciplined enough to get regular and adequate exercise, you are physically abandoning yourself.
Don’t drink enough water
A lack of adequate hydration can cause both anxiety and depression. You are physically abandoning yourself when you don’t drink enough water. Try to drink a half ounce of water per pound of body weight per day.
Expose yourself to toxins
Consistently exposing yourself to toxins, such as chlorinated drinking water, GMO products, pesticides, food additives, asbestos or household mold, is physically self-abandoning and can cause or add to depression.
3. Unhealed trauma
Severe depression can result from unhealed trauma from childhood abuse and neglect, or from unhealed traumatic events that occurred as an adult. You’re abandoning yourself when you don’t do all you can to get the help you need to heal trauma.
There are many excellent trauma therapies currently available to support you in healing trauma. When you allow fear or self-judgment to get in the way of healing trauma, depression may result.
4. Lack of connection with others
Loneliness is often a major cause of depression. Keeping yourself isolated from others, or not doing all you can to meet like-minded people, is unloving to yourself. We are social beings and sharing with others is vital to our well-being.
Being in a disconnected relationship can be as lonely as being alone — and sometimes even lonelier. If you are often lonely in your relationship, then you need to find a way to get the help you need to either improve your connection with your partner or leave the relationship.
5. Over-reactive microglia
Microglia are cells in our brain that are part of our immune system. In his book, Total Recovery, Dr. Gary Kaplan says all trauma to the body — whether it’s from self-abandonment, abuse, illness, surgery, junk food, chemical exposure or environmental toxins — has a cumulative effect on the microglia.
When trauma has accumulated in the microglia, a single triggering incident, such as a minor surgery, can cause the microglia to become over-reactive, which then causes depression and chronic pain. All of the causes listed above can be contributing factors in causing the microglia to up-regulate. In order to down-regulate the microglia, you need to focus on healing each of the above issues.
Instead of avoiding these issues with medication, why not learn how to heal them? The results might amaze you!
If you feel comfortable with technology, ask an elder in your life if there is a technology you can help them learn. If you do not feel comfortable with technology, reach out to a loved one and give them an opportunity to share some of their knowledge with you.
Seniors who feel like today’s technology has left them in the dust are hitching a ride with a philanthropic gaggle of students who, in their spare time, are helping older generations return to the fast lane with their iPods, iPads, smart phones and computers. A group of teenagers who never knew a world before computers launched Wired for Connections/Mentor Up … designed to help senior citizens understand the basics of modern-day devices.” Incredible stories are surfacing from these interactions. For example, the teens helped a 93-year-old man contact a Jewish friend he used to protect from bullying just before World War II and enabled a 69-year-old artist to find photographs of Monet’s garden in Paris which she has dreamed of seeing all her life. Sean Butler, the 16-year-old who initiated this program, insists: “I’ve learned more during these sessions than I’ve taught…for me, just talking with them and learning their stories is what draws me back every time.”
Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.
~ Henry Ford
Featured photo: Sean Butler, 16-year-old sophomore at Carmel (Calif) High School, mentors Judy Dudley on how to use her smart phone. Photo by Dennis Taylor
CARMEL, CALIFORNIA – Seniors who feel like today’s technology has left them in the dust are hitching a ride with a philanthropic gaggle of students who, in their spare time, are helping older generations return to the fast lane with their iPods, iPads, smart phones and computers.
A group of teenagers who never knew a world before computers launched Wired for Connections/Mentor Up, a club at Carmel High School in California, designed to help senior citizens understand the basics of modern-day devices and bridge part of what they perceive as the intergenerational divide.
Sean Butler, a 16-year-old sophomore, initiated the program two years ago, offering to share his tech knowledge in 45-minute, one-on-one mentoring sessions with members of the nearby Carmel Foundation, a membership organization for people 55 and older dedicated to facilitating successful aging by providing a broad spectrum of interactive activities and services. The sessions are provided free to member of the Foundation, which was founded in 1950 and now has more than 3,000 members.
Carly Rudiger, 17, a junior at Carmel High in California, teaches Jenifer Bovey, 69, how to use her iPad. Photo by Dennis Taylor
Carly Rudiger, a 17-year-old junior, joined Butler at the beginning of this school year and took his concept to another level, creating a full-fledged club at Carmel High. The pair oversees a group of about 15 classmates who, in exchange for community service credits, volunteer regularly to share what they know with any member who signs up. The waiting list has close to 50 names.
“I was probably 5 years old the first time I sat down at a computer,” Butler said. “It didn’t take me long to start figuring things out because I wasn’t afraid to play. It’s easier to learn technology if you’re not afraid of it and what holds a lot of older people back is that they’re afraid they’re going to mess something up if they play around and experiment. They don’t realize that most of the time you can just undo what you just did and get back to the place that you want to be.”
Seniors register for the classes (usually held on Saturdays), bring their device, an iPhone, Android, iPad, laptop or virtually anything else they’d like to learn more about, and receive hands-on instruction from their young mentors.
“I don’t come with my own agenda,” Rudiger said. “They ask me questions how to do this or that and I try to help them understand as many of those things as possible during our 45-minute session. I try not to overwhelm them with too much information because they can come back for as many sessions as they want.”
Before entering the mentoring program, the Carmel High contingent goes through “sensitivity training,” which, among other things, includes activities designed to help them better understand their aging pupils.
“One thing we did, for example, was smear a pair of glasses with Vaseline, so we could get an idea of what it might be like to have the kind of vision problems that some older adults live with every day,” Rudiger said. “We also taped fingers together and put tape over fingertips to try to replicate problems they might have with their hands. It can be frustrating to watch how slowly some of them are when they try to type, but the sensitivity training taught us that typing can be very difficult if your fingertips are numb.”
The graying “students” say they tend to learn much more during one-on-one instruction than they do in group classes they have tried. The fresh-faced “mentors” engage with a generation of people they barely knew before.
“I mentored a 93-year-old guy one day who started telling me about a Jewish kid he knew back in high school, right before World War II,” Butler recounted. “I guess the kid got bullied a lot and this man used to protect him.”
“I helped him find an article about his old friend online, and his reaction was really cool. It was pretty amazing for him to discover what his old friend became, and that made it exciting for me. We even found an email address so he could reconnect with his friend after all these years, which made him very happy.”
Carole Bestor, a 69-year-old hairdresser from Pacific Grove, received an iPad from her husband as a gift, but never used it until she sat down with Rudiger for a pair of 45-minute sessions. Her eyes widened and sparkled as her mentor helped her discover the possibilities of the device.
“It was really exciting to learn how to use email. I’ve always been a person who sends a letter or a card through the mail, but now I can email my daughter and also my girlfriend, who I went to high school with,” she said. “But I think the most exciting thing I learned about was Pandora, a place on the Internet where I can listen to music by anybody I like. I listened to Adele and Jennifer Lopez today.”
Rudiger helped Bestor discover that her tablet has a camera and showed her how to use it. Together, they took a selfie. Bestor, an artist, then learned how to surf the Internet to find hundreds of photos of Monet’s garden in Paris, something she has longed to see all her life.
Judy Dudley, who declined to give her age, used part of her 45-minute session with Parker to get acquainted with “Siri,” the Apple Corporation’s “intelligent personal assistant and knowledge navigator” that uses a natural language user interface to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform other tasks by delegating requests to a set of Internet services. “Siri” (a Norwegian name meaning “beautiful woman who leads you to victory”) answers commands from a smart phone in a female voice.
“It’s amazing,” Dudley said. “I just got this (application), and my granddaughter showed me a little bit about it, but she told me I was going to need a lot of help. I took a class at the Apple Store, but it was very confusing. Then I found out I could come here. These kids who are mentoring us are much smarter than we are about this stuff. None of this is natural to me, but Sean grew up knowing it, and he’s taking me step-by-step, telling me exactly what to do, making it all very easy.”
Carmel resident Ellyn Gelson, 69, and her 79-year-old friend, Bill Roulette of Woodland Hills, brought a higher level of tech savvy into the same session (she has owned a computer since 1997 and once had a Palm Pilot; he still uses the first-generation iPad), but got a worthwhile education from Butler and 17-year-old Carmel High senior Caroline Lahti.
“I learned a lot of things today that I didn’t know before,” Roulette said. “I discovered how to access the app store, and how to maneuver around the different applications. I found out how to get rid of stuff I don’t want anymore. And these kids taught me how to use my iPad to email photos and also to Skype. I never realized I could do those things.”
The teenage mentors are two-time recipients of a $1,000 grant from the American Association of Retired Persons, which this year included an all-expense-paid trip for Butler and Rudiger to AARP headquarters in Washington, D.C.
“I can honestly say that I feel like I’ve learned more during these sessions than I’ve taught,” Rudiger said. “I mean, obviously they’re taking in all this information and hopefully applying it every day but, for me, just talking with them and learning their stories is what draws me back every time. I love having those conversations.”
There are thousands of people out there with the same degree you have; when you get a job, there will be thousands of people doing what you want to do for a living. But you are the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life. Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk, or your life on the bus, or in the car, or at the computer. Not just the life of your mind, but the life of your heart. Not just your bank account, but your soul.
People don’t talk about the soul very much anymore. It’s so much easier to write a résumé than to craft a spirit. But a résumé is cold comfort on a winter night, or when you’re sad, or broke, or lonely, or when you’ve gotten back the chest X ray and it doesn’t look so good, or when the doctor writes “prognosis, poor.”
You cannot be really first-rate at your work if your work is all you are.
So I suppose the best piece of advice I could give anyone is pretty simple: get a life. A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger paycheck, the larger house. Do you think you’d care so very much about those things if you developed an aneurysm one afternoon, or found a lump in your breast while in the shower?
Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze over the dunes, a life in which you stop and watch how a red-tailed hawk circles over a pond and a stand of pines. Get a life in which you pay attention to the baby as she scowls with concentration when she tries to pick up a Cheerio with her thumb and first finger.
Turn off your cell phone. Turn off your regular phone, for that matter. Keep still. Be present.
Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work.
Get a life in which you are generous. Look around at the azaleas making fuchsia star bursts in spring; look at a full moon hanging silver in a black sky on a cold night. And realize that life is glorious, and that you have no business taking it for granted. Care so deeply about its goodness that you want to spread it around. Take the money you would have spent on beers in a bar and give it to charity. Work in a soup kitchen. Tutor a seventh-grader.
All of us want to do well. But if we do not do good, too, then doing well will never be enough.
As Mark Twain once said,”What is joy without sorrow? What is health without illness? You have to experience each if you are to appreciate the other. There is always going to be suffering. It’s how you look at your suffering, how you deal with it, that will define you.”
“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.” — Kahil Gabran
Each of your Chakras has its own unique “personality”, each controlling a specific aspect of your life. So if you’re experiencing any form of physical or mental shortcomings, limitations or challenges in your life, there’s a high chance one of your Chakras is weak or closed.
But how do you tell which of your Chakras are strong, and which need repairing? Simple–take a good look at the circumstances in your life.
Use the guide below and evaluate yourself.
The Foot Chakra influences your unique life experience.
Location: Below the feet
The little known ‘Foot Chakra’ or Chakra 0 that supports you in standing and living your truth.
Energies: Earth, grounding, structure
You know your Foot Chakra is STRONG when you stand by your convictions and beliefs. You are grounded and focused on the tasks at hand, and get things done your way in a timely and efficient manner. You are able to manifest and attract to you what is needed, grounding your positive desires and affirmations and live a life of comfort.
You know your Foot Chakra is WEAK or CLOSED when you face difficulty manifesting the things you want in life. You have trouble accomplishing things and feel unsure of your convictions or directions. You suffer from lack of focus and drive, which may be stopping you from making decisions, facing up to challenges or generally moving forward with your life.
The Root Chakra influences your career and money mindset.
Location: Base of the spinePrimarily influences your career, money mindset and sense of belonging.
Energies: Earth, grounding, focusing, centering
You know your Root Chakra is STRONG when you love your career and get rewarded for being so good at it. Everybody envies you for your uncanny ability to make, save and invest money. You always have more than enough money to go on holiday and buy what you want, without feeling guilty afterwards. You always feel wanted and loved by your friends and family, and you feel good about yourself when you look in the mirror, both physically and emotionally.
You know your Root Chakra is WEAK or CLOSED when you’re stuck in an unfulfilling and unrewarding career, and you never seem to have enough money–which leaves you worried and in debt. Spending money is a harrowing experience for you, as you doubt your ability to budget effectively. You suffer from weight or body issues, which leave you feeling unworthy and uncomfortable in your own skin.
The Sacral Chakra influences your sexuality.
Location: Lower abdomen
The energy center of sexuality and pleasure.
Energies: Water, energizing, charging
You know your Sacral Chakra is STRONG when you see sex in a positive light, as a glorious, pleasurable and healthy activity. You enjoy passionate, frequent and long-lasting sex with your partner. Orgasms are mind-blowing, and you and your partner often orgasm at the same moment. You make time to have sex at least a few times a week, even if you’ve been married or attached to the same person for years. You are always able to attract the right partners–compatible people who nourish you, fill you with joy and make you a better person.
You know your Sacral Chakra is WEAK or CLOSED when the thought of sex conjures images of guilt and pain in your mind. You rarely have the time or inclination to have sex, and when you do, it’s lackluster. You and your partner rarely orgasm at the same time, and premature or delayed ejaculation may be a frequent problem. You struggle to see yourself as ‘sexy’, and sometimes wonder how anyone could desire you. Your partners are often wrong and incompatible for you, and you find yourself wondering if you’ll ever find “the one”.
The Personal Power Chakra influences your self-esteem.
Location: Above the navel
Influences your personal power and ability to channel
Energies: Fire, energizing, charging, lends energy
You know your Personal Power Chakra is STRONG when you are admired for your confidence and healthy self-esteem, both in your career and personal life. You’re never afraid to speak your mind, and you empower those around you to do the same. Your family, colleagues and community see you as a charismatic individual, determined to use your charisma and power for making the world a better place.
You know your Personal Power Chakra is WEAK or CLOSED when you struggle with self-esteem issues, and feelings of unworthiness. You tend to question yourself when faced with important decisions like whether to move to another city, change your career, get married to your partner or to have children. You feel like a victim in the world, and often feel powerless to circumstances and other people’s desires. You may also suffer from frequent stomach pains and stomach anxiety.
The Heart Chakra influences your relationships.
Location: Center of the chest
The Chakra for love, relationships and self-acceptance.
Energies: Water, calming, soothes, relaxes
You know your Heart Chakra is STRONG when you enjoy comfortable, loving and empathic relationships at home, at work and in your community. You get along with your family. Your friends see you as a reliable person. At work, you’re known as the one people can talk to. You feel a heartfelt sense of gratitude for how wonderful your life is, and feel compassion for all around you.
You know your Heart Chakra is WEAK or CLOSED when you tend to sabotage your relationships with distrust, anger, and a sense that you’ll lose your independence if you rely too much on others. You may struggle with commitment, experience frequent fights or misunderstandings with your loved ones, and always keep yourself “on guard” in case you get hurt by someone.
The Throat Chakra influences your self-expression.
“The Chakra of your “true voice”
Energies: Water, calming, soothes, relaxes
You know your Throat Chakra is STRONG when you are good at voicing out your thoughts, ideas and emotions to those around you. You’re admired for your willpower and strong communication skills, and your conviction to speak the truth, even if it may be uncomfortable to some. Your career and personal life are enriched as a result.
You know your Throat Chakra is WEAK or CLOSED when you constantly feel like nobody cares about your opinions, and that you have nothing of value to say. You’re likely to be known as the ‘quiet one’ in your professional and social circles, and you frequently settle with following other people’s opinions. You often suffer from a blocked and sore throat.
The Intuitive Chakra influences your intuition.
Location: Center of the forehead
This Chakra acts as your inner compass
Energies: Air, meditative, intuition, promotes thought
You know your Intuitive Chakra is STRONG when you are able to make accurate intuitive decisions and evaluations about your career, your family and the intentions of other people. You often know things without knowing exactly how you know them, and you have a clear sense of direction and clarity in everything that you do. You have a vivid picture of where your life is headed, and the people around you are likely to rely on you for guidance and advice.
You know your Intuitive Chakra is WEAK or CLOSED if you feel lost and helpless when faced with decisions and judgment calls. You are indecisive, uncommitted and unconfident of the decisions you end up making, because you have a history of making the wrong ones. You feel spiritually lost, and your true purpose is unclear to you. You often get headaches and feel tension in your brow area.
The Crown Chakra influences your connection to source.
Location: Top of the head
The Chakra of divine consciousness.
Energies: Air, meditative, intuition, promotes thought
You know your Crown Chakra is STRONG when you perpetually feel connected to a higher power, be it God, Universal Consciousness or simply your higher self. As you go through your daily life, you are always reminded that you are being watched over, and you feel immense gratitude for the universal love and appreciation you feel towards yourself and others. Others describe you as “glowing”.
You know your Crown Chakra is WEAK or CLOSED when you feel little or no connection to a higher power, and always feel alone. You feel unworthy of spiritual help, and perhaps even angry that your higher power has abandoned you. You often suffer from migraines and tension headaches.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), alongside Ayurveda, is one of the two oldest established paradigms of herbal medicine that people still practice. “It is the second-largest medical system in the world after Western medicine,” according to Alan Tillotson, Ph.D., R.H., a Chinese herbalist in private practice in Wilmington, Delaware, and a prominent member of The American Herbalists Guild.
The history of Chinese herbalism is one of persistent and ongoing processes of observation and refinement of ideas in the real world. Centuries of formulation of theories, and testing of these theories in practice, have resulted in the system we recognize as Traditional Chinese Medicine today.
Fundamentally, the ancient sages concluded that “like increases like”. In other words, an external factor, when introduced to the body, will create a similar reaction in the body of the person experiencing the change. For example, going out into the cold weather will make your body cold. Battling the wind will make your metabolism instable. Eating heavy food will make your body heavy. This seems obvious on the surface, and it is ultimately pretty easy to grasp intuitively, but putting together all the intricacies of every possible effect of every possible natural medicine on every possible person is a daunting task. This metaphor of energetics creates a system that is complex enough to represent the tremendous complexity of the human being, yet simple enough in concept to be useful.
Energetic evaluation of the body is based on experiencing the body with the human senses. Since everyone experiences the world in subtly different ways, it takes centuries, potentially, for a consensus to develop among practitioners about any given remedy. It creates a structure in which herbs can consistently be identified and understood. According to energetic systems, including TCM, the sum total of an herb is the important consideration.
For example, we may know from modern science that an herb has antibacterial activity. We want to give that herb to treat an acute bacterial infection. But we also know that the herb tends to increase body temperature — it is “hypermetabolic, or “hot”. If the patient has a fever, or is a person who is particularly prone to develop inflammation that is difficult to control, we would think twice about using that specific herb. It might kill the bacterium very nicely, and treat the infection, but the whole person would be worse off as a net total than before we started. Instead, we would seek out an herb that would kill the infection, but which had a “cooling” energy. This difference in approach can make a world of difference in clinical practice, and gives us an invaluable tool in managing a case for the best in the long term, and in treating the person as a whole human being. We don’t want to make people better in the short run, while we make them worse in the long run.
The properties of herbs are collated systematically according to their energetics — taste, temperature, effect before and after digestion and similar factors.
The TCM system of health care begins with a differentiation of the individual’s energetic situation, starting with the most basic divisions, and extending the process of differentiation to a great degree of individuality.
TCM is based on the principle of unconditional, unifying energy of all phenomena. Called “qi” (pronounced “chee”), it is ephemeral, active, constantly changing and warm. Qi is vital energy, the basis for all organic life, and for all inorganic substances, as well. It is the animating force that gives us our capacity to move, think, feel, and work. When one is young and energetic, one has abundant qi, but as one’s qi declines with age, one becomes subject to degenerative diseases and lowered vitality. This concept of qi is the basis for the success of TCM in the area of health maintenance and longevity.
Qi is all about movement, evolution and change. It’s ephemeral, so we perceive its effects, not its substance. It is associated with movement, odor, sound and form. It is connected with the intuitive, unlimited and spiritual qualities of life. The great symbol of qi is the sun, the most unlimited source of energy we experience in daily life.
In the Chinese view, the primary principle of health is recognizing and promoting the flow of qi and eliminating its blockage. All TCM techniques, whether herbs, diet, acupuncture, or others, are ultimately aimed at balancing qi.
Each person is a garden in which doctor and patient together cultivate health. Every being has a unique ecology to be planted, tilled and tended. Like a gardener uses compost, water and weeding to grow robust plants, TCM uses acupuncture, herbs and food, seeking to tenderly nurture and nudge the entire garden back into harmony, to recover and prolong good health.
TCM views people as worlds in miniature, so it seeks to improve our capacity to balance and replenish our own capabilities. TCM minimizes the erosion of our soil by enriching it, makes the most of the flow of nutrients by increasing circulation, and helps avert blocks that obstruct the movement of bodily fluids and energies. Therefore, TCM anticipates problems by upholding our interior landscape.
Contrast that worldview with that of contemporary medicine, which looks for “busted” parts to replace. Typically, modern conventional medicine intervenes only after a crisis arises, whereas TCM aims to correct depletion and stagnation at earlier stages, avoiding greater problems later on.
While Chinese medicine excels at enhancing recuperative power, immunity, and the capacity for pleasure, work, and creativity, it can remedy ailments as well.
According to Chinese cosmology, the whole of creation is born from the marriage of two opposite principles, Yin and Yang. Earth and Heaven, winter and summer, night and day, cold and hot, wet and dry, inner and outer, body and mind are reflections of this pairing of opposites. Creating and maintaining a harmony between these opposites means health, good weather, and good fortune, while disharmony brings disease, disaster, and bad luck. The entire aim of TCM is to restore harmony, in the world and in the body.
TCM is based upon a universal notion, expressed in nature in bi-polar terms Yin and Yang. Energies that characterize the complementary yet opposing materialization of all phenomena, yin and yang are the most basic divisions of energy in the universe. That which is above corresponds to a below; heat is complimented by cold, night is pursued by day. In all of manifest creation, qi is divided and apparent in duality.
The concept of yin and yang pervades all of traditional Chinese thought, not just in medicine, but in other forms of science and art as well. The concept of yin and yang is the idea that everything has its opposite.
We might think of this as two basic forces operating in nature. One force is an outward, expansive, linear, positive force that changes things. The other is an inward, contractive, downward, negative force that is hidden and unmanifest. The outward force is the yang force and is associated with heaven, light, up, daytime, male traits, function and so forth. The inward force is the yin force and is associated with such things as darkness, winter, nighttime, female traits and structure. All matter and energy in the universe can be represented on the spectrum of yin merging into yang. Health is yin and yang in balance.
Taste is one way of deciding which herbs have the needed actions. It represents a sensory method of ascertaining the biochemical action of a given herb or food, in other words, the remedy’s “energy”.
The five tastes include pungent (spicy), salty, sour, bitter and sweet.
We do not actually have taste buds for pungent. It is called a taste, but is more correctly an irritation of the tissues- a mouth sensation. Spicy taste stimulates, warms and dries dampness. It is used in conditions of excess dampness (mucus) in the lungs, which are associated with the metal element. Spicy taste increases digestion, circulation and secretions.
Salty foods, such as seaweeds, bring out the yang flavor of food and provoke a yang effect in the body. Salty taste retains fluids, moistens tissue and supports the kidneys. It softens masses, such as cysts and benign tumors, and relaxes muscles.
Sour taste is found in foods containing organic acids. Sour taste enhances digestion, especially of proteins. It also enhances liver function. Sour also dries mucus, tightens tissues, stimulates digestion and promotes bile flow. The concept of sour taste also incorporates the tissue sensation of astringent, which is the tightening and drying of tissue.
Bitter taste is, all in all, detoxifying and anti-inflammatory. Bitter remedies can be used in small doses before meals as a digestive preparation, stimulating secretion of digestive juices and provoking both appetite and efficient digestion. Bitter taste is cold, so is used to “clear heat”- reduce inflammation, in Western terms.
Sweet taste is nourishing, so is used to tonify. It builds, feeds and harmonizes tissue. The waste byproducts of this building process are acid, though, so we need to be conscious of keeping the body pH balanced when we are in a rebuilding, healing, phase.
An important factor of Chinese energetics is the temperature of the disease. TCM classifies herbal actions based on temperature, and the concept includes influence on metabolic rate and effect on actual body temperature.
A good way to understand the broad concept of temperature is a spectrum from hypometabolic (cold) to hypermetabolic (hot). As the metabolic rate increases, more calories per minute are burned. Temperature and all other biological processes increase. The opposite is true for the cold direction.
Less extreme conditions are classified as warm or cool and most illnesses fall in this range.
TCM always has something to offer for nagging chronic complaints that bother us. Western medicine may heroically rescue us, but Chinese medicine can protect and preserve our health every day. These two great systems offer a great set of complements to each other.
INNOVATE. A kite flies because of pressure dynamics in the air, but the string facilitates that condition. Cut the string and it will crash. In other words, constraints can be guides. Placing limitations on processes is not normally associated with innovation. However, as explained in this article, setting boundaries and playing within them can foster creative solutions to complex problems, encourage a sense of humility in acknowledging the things that one cannot do, and even drive one towards “perfection”.
There are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge.
In procession we walked through the Temple Karnak, all of us in white from head to toe. In silence we walked past columns and statues, silent witnesses of times past and present. As one by one we walked through the gates of Aten and climbed above the temples mounds to find a place to position ourselves in wait for the morning sun to rise. As Ra peeked over the horizon, we were greeted with light. The essence of the Bornless One blazed upon us all. His essence washed upon us as each in turn reflected His light back to the universe. In unison we praised.
This journey has awakened within me the memory of my existence, my secret within. my Light within. My reason. My lifes journey.
~ Grandmaster Jorge Enriquez
live for this moment
before the moment passes
before the moments gone
i seek to walk in the light
carry the banner to shatter the darkness
shadow he walks beside
lightens the load when heavy of conscious
choose what to do with your life
look deep inside and you might discover
the holiest secrets reside
just wake up and…
live for this moment,
before the moment passes
before the moments gone
before the moment passes
before the moments gone
gone, gone, gone gone gone gone
i seek to walk in the light
carry that weight when no one will bother
to take the time looking for signs
forgot to remember to answer the questions
what should i do with my life
do i care if i rise, care if i fall, care if i try, care if i die, care if i live, care if i fly
how could it be that the harder i search, the fewer i find with spirits aligned
living a life, not of my design
learned that in time it’ll all be alright
sometimes the only one willing to put up a fight
and if thats what destined, then ill earn my own lessons
the prize in the pieces, the silence that seizes your breathe
when you live in regret.
the spirit that takes you when you surrender and you’ve forgotten all of your stress
this second to notice, just savor the moments cuz when it is gone there will be nothing left
if this is the road I’m sent down to travel you now on this mission i’ll give it my best
give it my best, til the day that i rest, or the day that i’m gone, remembered in song
maybe its all just a moment in time, frozen in time for those listening (listen-on)
still i have my healthy doubts,
but one thing i know,
if we just could let go, we might just…
live for this moment,
before the moment passes
before the moments gone
before the moment passes
before the moments gone
live for this moment,
before the moment passes
before the moments gone
before the moment passes
Before this moment passes
before this moment passes
~ Grandmaster Phillip Fraser
There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic.
~ Anaïs Nin
… And yet, as that mosaic becomes complete the enlightenment process would be as if it were being experienced instantaneously. It all comes down to that moment when you make that connection with that innermost part of your Self. To place yourself in the front row, before your God … it’s all about that moment of communion. And, once had, it is never lost.
~ Grandmaster David Crawford
Whenever I administer either a Reiki treatment or perform reflexology on a client, oftentimes the only acoutrements I use are Moxa sticks and my personal blend of massage oil. Moxibustion therapy was first introduced to me decades ago by my allergist, who became a licensed Acupuncturist at the University of Beijing. It is simple and surprisingly effective treatment for everything from allergies to arthritis, and the positive feedback I’ve received from administering these treatments are the reasons I maintain this practice.
I use the same brand Moxa stick as pictured here. You will find them and similar products at your local Chinese herbal shop, or online. They are inexpensive, so be sure to buy them in bulk because you will find you will be using them daily once you get used to how they work on the body.
Moxibustion is a very old, traditional Chinese medicine therapy employed by acupuncturists. It plays an important role in the traditional medical systems of China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and Mongolia. The artemisia leaf or mugwort (known as ai ye or “doctor’s grass”) is the herb used in moxibustion. It is believed to emit yang energy when burnt. Since ancient times it has been burnt to disinfect and keep sterile the air to prevent the spread of infectious disease in hospitals and patient treatment centers.
An important attribute of artemisia leaf (ai ye) is its ability to penetrate moisture and dampness. In ancient times, Chinese armies used this knowledge to find underground springs during times of war, when constant movement made easy sources of water unavailable. Soldiers would burn argy wormwood and wait for the smoke to settle. Where the smoke accumulated they would dig a well for water. Chinese medicine also takes advantage of this special property to help dispel dampness from the body. Herbalists associate dampness with decay and toxin retention because it is extremely conductive to fungi growth.
The effects of acupuncture and moxibustion are unique because they do not add any additional elements in to the body. Instead, moxibustion simply re-adjusts the body’s natural mechanisms to effectively raise their functioning ability by promoting the flow of qi, viz., by warming the meridian channels with the moxi stick, you are supplementing qi and activating blood circulation, thereby relieving the cold, which alleviates pain and promotes vital functions to cure deficiency. Because moxi treatments do not introduce foreign elements in to the body, they are the purest and most natural forms of treatment.
Suppliers usually age the mugwort and grind it up to a fluff; practitioners burn the fluff or process it further into a cigar-shaped stick. They can use it indirectly, with acupuncture needles, or burn it on the patient’s skin.
How to Use:
Ignite a moxa stick at one end and place it two to three centimeters away over the treatment site to bring a mild warmth to the local place, but not burning, for some fifteen minutes until the skin becomes slightly red. You can either manually hold the stick, or use smaller sticks or discs that are inserted into wooden applicator boxes that either sit atop the skin or are strapped onto the client.
Contraindications of Moxibustion:
1. Excess heat syndrome, or Yin deficiency syndrome, with heat signs are contraindicated to moxibustion.
2. Scarring moxibustion is prohibited on face and head, and the places closest to the large blood vessels.
3. Pregnant women are not administered moxibustion in the abdomen and lumbosacral regions.
Channel your child-like self and ask a courageous question about the world! Share your question as a comment to this posting, or with your family and friends, and feel free to post their responses here, too.
Do animals like sheep and cows have accents? Why do we cry? Is new technology always good? The art of asking big questions often comes from brave little people who are innocent to the complexities of the answers. Sometimes, it takes a whole book and the world’s leading experts to respond to these simple yet profound inquiries about life, nature, and the cosmos …
“Joy in the universe, and keen curiosity about it all – that has been my religion.” — John Burroughs
Years ago, we didn’t have to try so hard to stay connected. People lived in neighborhoods, and there weren’t many strangers that didn’t ultimately become friends. We watched over one another with relationships built upon a foundation of shared interdependence, ensuring plenty of kindness to go around. Sadly though, through our own scientific progress, we now live in an age of ‘connected disconnection.’ Even the most basic of needs are provided by faceless entities. But, at what cost?
“We are all so much together, but we are all dying of loneliness.” — Albert Schweitzer
This is how nurturing kindness through personal connection looks … how ’bout it?