Personal Responsibility and Being Reiki: further discussion
Once again we must thank Heather Alexander for the post that started a great discussion on personal responsibility, being Reiki, nonduality, and more. And we thank Reiki authors Pamela Miles and Bronwen and Frans Stiene for contributing their comments. This week we hear from Pamir Kiciman of Reiki Help blog, who is also a featured contributor on intent.com:
I feel like 'medical' Reiki has been greatly advanced by someone like Pamela & this is a very good thing. She has carved out a special place in the interface of these two worlds. I respect that enormously.
I do agree that the evolutionary practices of Reiki are integral to its hands-on practice, and that without these practices hands-on Reiki is untethered.
I also feel that only the hands-on practice of Reiki isn't sufficient for true personal evolution.
As for the historical context...I can understand how right around WWII one might practice caution with a teaching of Japanese origin. What I don't understand is why Takata, who taught into the 70s, didn't bring the West up to speed on the uniquely inner & nondual practice of Usui's Reiki.
The answer seems to be that what she received from Hayashi didn't include these teachings.
Takata has a revered place in the history of Reiki. Yet, I'm frustrated by her legacy which is repeated stubbornly in book after book, and website after website, perpetuating core untruths about Reiki & Usui's history.
As for America being exposed to nonduality (apart from the names cited by Bronwen & Frans)...
Wikipedia: The first Japanese temple in Hawaii was built in 1896 near Paauhau by the Honpa Hongwanji branch of Jodo Shinshu. In 1898, Japanese missionaries and immigrants established a Young Men's Buddhist Association, and the Rev. Sōryū Kagahi was dispatched from Japan to be the first Buddhist missionary in Hawaii. The first Japanese Buddhist temple in the continental U.S. was built in San Francisco in 1899.
The American Transcendentalists and associated persons, in particular Henry David Thoreau took an interest in Hindu and Buddhist philosophy. In 1844, The Dial, a small literary publication edited by Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, published the first English version of a portion of the Lotus Sutra; The poet Walt Whitman also admitted to an influence of Indian religion on his writings.
Perhaps the most significant event in the 19th century history of Buddhism in America was the Parliament of the World's Religions, held in Chicago in 1893. Although most of the delegates to the Parliament were Christians of various denominations, the Buddhist nations of China, Japan, Thailand, and Sri Lanka sent representatives. Buddhist delegates included Soyen Shaku, a Japanese Zen abbott; Zenshiro Noguchi, a Japanese translator. (End Wikipedia.)
This list is long and the story of American Buddhism continues strong to this day.
The Parliament of the World's Religions held in Chicago in 1893, also brought Swami Vivekananda to the States, representing Yoga & Advaita Vedanta, the yogic version of nonduality.
The Yoga tradition was later firmly established in the US by Paramahansa Yogananda, who lived out his years in America, establishing the headquarters of his work in Los Angeles.
As with Buddhism, American Yoga thrives today.
It seems to me that it's high time to stop being a Takata apologist, and take seriously the place Reiki & Usui have in the world's wisdom traditions.