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The Usui System of Reiki: A Return to the Sacred

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.

Some years ago, Phyllis Furumoto gave voice to our common experience of four aspects of the Usui System: healing practice, personal growth, spiritual discipline, and mystic order.

For me, the practice began as a healing art with a physical healing focus. By practicing on myself and others, I began to learn about healing. I saw that the energy of Reiki touched all aspects of our humanness – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. I began to see healing occur in all these areas of people’s lives. Often healing focused on one specific area during a given time.

I saw and experienced the awakening of intuition, psychic sensitivity, new levels of body awareness, an inner sense of wholeness and at the same time paradoxically a clearer sense of personal woundedness and brokenness. I recognize all of this as part of the healing process supported and stimulated by the practice of the Usui System.

The practice also highlighted for me those things in my life that do not serve my growth and healing. This awareness begins to move beyond the personal to relationship, community, planet. The awareness moves out like ripples of water in a pond that a stone has fallen into.

From realizing what does not serve life, we begin to come more consciously to a sense of natural law or natural order that we have moved away from. The process of healing is also a process of understanding. As we understand more clearly the nature of human life and life on this planet, we can then act in ways that are more healing simply because they are in harmony with natural order or what some refer to as Divine order.

Part of our growth in understanding is coming to know and accept our brokenness, our individual and collective pathologies. We are children of an age of knowledge, great technological advances and power. One of the myths that drives this quest for greater technological advancement is the need for and the belief in security. This modern myth says: “We can create what we need, we can understand the world, we can control it and therefore we can be secure. Mystery does not exist, it is only unexplored territory and soon we will conquer that territory and then we will be even more safe and secure.”

The practice of the Usui System brings us back in contact with mystery. It brings us back to a sense of awe and wonder in the face of that which we know is bigger than and beyond the scope of the human mind. It is in standing in relationship to mystery that the sense of the sacred is again awakened and nurtured in us as human beings. It is here also that our pathological need for understanding, control, and security begins to die.

For many of us this doorway back to the sacred opened with our experience of initiation in the Usui System. This sense of sacredness grew to include the symbols, the practice, the form, the connection with the Divine Source of life through the energy we call Reiki.

Again as the ripples of healing move outward in the pond of my life, I am coming to understand little by little that all of my life is sacred, that each moment is a call to join with Mystery. I begin by seeing that my relationship with my children my wife, my community in Reiki, the community of man, all are sacred.

My practice of the Usui System allows me to see and understand. It supports me to live in a way that honors this sacredness little by little. Here is where my work begins, and it is work. Reiki heals me enough so that I can see what my work is to further the healing process. It is bringing my thoughts, my actions, the use of my time into harmony with natural or Divine order. I can do this only by awakening little by little to the sacredness of each moment, each meeting, the relationship I have with each person, place, and thing. What could be more healing? What could be more work!

Copyright 1995, Paul D. Mitchell