All Reiki is Usui Reiki
By Marianne Streich
Last fall I took a Reiki class with an instructor from Japan. During the class a fellow student began a question with, “I was trained in Usui Reiki….” The instructor quickly responded, “All Reiki is Usui Reiki.”
Reiki has taken myriad forms since Mikao Usui developed his natural healing method in the 1920’s, Dr. Hayashi expanded it within the context of his medical training, and Mrs. Takata introduced her variation of Hayashi’s work to the West in the 1930’s. There are now countless expressions of Reiki throughout the world—numerous schools, numerous lineages, numerous programs, and as many individual expressions as there are practitioners. No matter the expression it takes, ALL Reiki IS Usui Reiki. There is only one requisite—that the practitioner be attuned by an instructor who traces his or her lineage back to Usui Sensei. The path of that lineage is of much less consequence than where it leads.
Yes, it is important to seek instruction from competent teachers who are actively involved in the practice of Reiki, who give thorough instruction, continually grow in their own knowledge and practice, willingly answer questions, and are committed to supporting students in their Reiki journeys. Equally important, I believe, is what we do with the instruction we are given. If we are to reach our full Reiki potential, Reiki training is simply a springboard, a place to begin what will inevitably become a very personal journey, if we are willing to embark upon it. The lineage with which we are associated is but the beginning of that journey, the catalyst that impels us forward. It is not an end in itself.
Whatever our lineage, ultimately, Reiki itself is our best teacher. Although we learn a great deal from instructors, mentors, colleagues, articles and books, I believe it is through actual practice that Reiki reveals itself to us in a profoundly personal way, teaching each of us individually the best way to work with it. We need only to yield to its healing grace and allow ourselves to learn its lessons.
Recently, a client told me that during the treatment she had lost all sense of my having a physical body and “saw” me, hands and body, as only light. Not long after that, while I was receiving a treatment from my Reiki exchange partner, I became aware through closed eyelids of a bright light beside the table. At first I thought it was a lamp that I hadn’t been aware of previously, but then I realized that the light was my exchange partner. My sense of her body was of a dim shadow outlined within a bright field of light. This, I believe, is the goal of Reiki—that we merge with the energy to the degree that we become not only channels for Reiki, but Reiki itself.
I believe we achieve this deep connection, not because of the particular lineage we bear, but by cultivating consciousness. Some of the ways we can cultivate the consciousness of Reiki:
- Attempting to vibrate at the very highest level possible in every situation. This means choosing compassion not only when we are giving a treatment to a client, but also when someone cuts us off in traffic.
- Adhering to the highest ethical standards in our practice of Reiki and in our personal lives.
- Refraining from judging others or comparing ourselves with others so that we may know them and ourselves as Light.
- Engaging in a personal spiritual practice, including a daily meditation or quiet time.
- Daily Reiki self-treatment and a deep commitment to our own healing on all levels. (Elaine Grundy’s research, reported on in the February issue, is a powerful testament to the effectiveness of self-treatment.)
- Receiving Reiki from other practitioners. The most profound healing and the deepest personal insights have come to me during treatments from my Reiki exchange partners.
- Continually expanding our knowledge and understanding of Reiki.
- Giving Reiki treatments. I am most open to the lessons Reiki has to teach me while I am giving treatments to others.
- Remaining awake and aware to Reiki’s lessons and trusting and acting upon the messages we are given.
We owe it to ourselves to be the best we can be. In striving for excellence, we are richly blessed, and we bring ever-greater blessings to our world.