One reasons I was so drawn to Reiki was that it promised a way of helping others. Of course I learned that Reiki was “first of all for myself,” but that did not mean that it wasn’t also for others or invalidate my initial motivation.
I restate the obvious, the world of Reiki teaching and practice has expanded and changed amazingly over the past several years. A significant number of Masters have had as a value the faithful practice and teaching of what they received. Notably, Phyllis Furumoto as Mrs. Takata's successor, and the greater number of Mrs. Takata's other masters.
How often have I given some answer to this question, usually short and in person. After over thirty years of practice I am still exploring the meaning of Reiki, and by Reiki, I mean the practice of Reiki, Usui Shiki Ryoho.
For those of us who knew Hawayo Takata and learned The Usui System of Reiki from her, she was the embodiment of what the Usui System was about. Now there are many of us who have practiced the system for 25 – 35 years in a disciplined and committed way. Out of this experience we are beginning to understand the breadth and depth of the practice.
When Mrs. Takata used the work "reiki", she was sometimes referring to the "energy" and sometimes referring to "The Usui System of Reiki Healing". Often I and others do the same thing today. If we understand that there is difference, then it is no problem because we know from the context of the sentence which we are referring to. Let me talk a little about the difference.
When I was first doing Reiki, I spoke about it as natural healing or holistic healing. Healing, healing, this word kept coming up! What did it mean? I went to the dictionary and found that the root is from the Greek word meaning whole. Here I had a simple understanding: Reiki heals by making things whole again. This concept I found helpful. It gave me a direction to try to understand my experience of Reiki and some of the teachings of Mrs. Takata like: "Reiki will go to the root of the problem."