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Wednesday, September 07, 2011

In the footsteps of Takata

Photo courtesy of Rick Bockner

By Eileen Dey

What might it have been like over 30 years ago to be the last Reiki master student to receive training with Hawayo Takata? Where might you be now? 

Since his powerful attunement experiences of years past, Rick has been an active member in the Reiki Alliance, as well as cultivating his career as a well-known guitarist, songwriter and performer who has spent over 50 years exploring folk, blues and early jazz styles of music.

He began playing guitar when he was seven. Some of his teachers have included Pete Seeger, Mel Bay, Stefan Grossman, and Woody Mann. Rick was a member of the seminal 60’s San Francisco band, Mad River (Capitol Records). He is known for his lush fingerstyle arrangements and penetrating, intelligent lyrics.

He grew up in St. Louis, Missouri (USA) where his father worked as a social worker, using the music of Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, and Pete Seeger in his work with children. Seeger was a frequent house guest, and the family home was a stopping point for some of the best folk and blues musicians on tour in the 50’s. Music was in the home and Rick soon became attracted to learning the guitar. 

Later in his career, Rick gravitated toward the study of Reiki. His teacher was Hawayo Takata. Mrs. Takata has been revered by many Reiki practitioners and masters as the teacher who brought Reiki to the West. She had initiated 21 Reiki masters between 1970 and 1980 when Rick attended Mrs. Takata’s last advanced Reiki class and received his master attunement a few months before she left this world. He became her 22nd and last master student.

At each level, Rick experienced profound changes in himself and his own worldview. 
In my conversations with Rick, I've come to understand that he is devoted to the original way that Reiki was taught and which was brought forth to the US as  Hawayo Takata first taught.
He is committed to the way of the Reiki Alliance, and their protocol for learning each level with plenty of practice in between.

I know myself, after practicing Reiki over 15 years from a Takata-taught teacher, the benefit of learning the 'old school' method of working with this system. By spending time practicing between levels and advancing when one is truly ready, one is able to integrate the wisdom of each Reiki symbol.

The power of tradition is inherent in this method and I feel, allows each student ample time and ability to integrate the learning according to their own style.

Eileen Dey, M.A., LMHC, is a licensed mental health counselor and founder of the only state licensed vocational school of Reiki.


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