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Reiki – The Energy, The System

by: Paul Mitchell

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.

Reiki as “the energy”

Reiki is a Japanese word that Mrs. Takata translated as “universal life energy” or “God-power”. “Universal” is an important word, it means everywhere, common to all, shared by all things. “Life energy” is the mysterious energy of life, the energy that gives, maintains, and sustains life. We have an interesting problem here. When you define something, you are not supposed to use the words you are defining in the definition. But when I say “life energy” is the energy of life, I am doing just that! The reason is that we are speaking of something that is so elemental, so basic, so universal, that there are no other words.

“God-power” is the same concept from another perspective. God-power is also universal, there is no energy of life that is not God’s power.

We see that there is no living thing that does not have “reiki”. If it did not have “reiki” it would have no life. All human beings have “reiki”, the energy. Not all people have “reiki”, the Usui System of Reiki Healing.

The Usui System of Reiki Healing

Dr. Usui received a special gift, he became a conduit for universal life energy so that he could access a greater concentration of life energy and focus it on himself or pass it to another. The result of receiving this energy from Dr. Usui was that healing often occured. Out of his experience he developed a system, form of treatment and a form of passing on his ability of accessing the energy of life to others.

The system is what enables Dr. Usui’s experience, his gift, to become ours.

Here is a simple anology.

There is wind. Wind blows. Wind is a movement of air, an energy. If we stand in the wind, we feel it on our face. We see leaves of a tree move as a result of the wind. The wind just is.

If we build windmill, we can use the power of the wind for a specific purpose, pump water, generate electricity, and so on. The windmill is a “system”. It is a mechanical system that uses this free flowing energy of wind and focuses it for a specific use.

Dr. Usui’s “system of natural healing” focuses this free flowing energy of life for our use in healing – self and others. Without his system, we would be less able to access in this unique way universal life energy.

We can look at the windmill and identify the essential elements that make it work to do what we want it to do. This is true also of Dr. Usui’s system. As we have received this system from Mrs. Takata, we have been able to identify nine elements of the system: initiation, treatment form, symbols, the five precepts, spiritual lineage, money, history, form of teaching and oral tradition. Working together in a dynamic way, just as the parts or elements of a windmill work together in a dynamic way, these elements bring us the contact with universal life energy in a form that brings us healing, growth, and happiness.

As a student of Mrs. Takata’s, I know that healing, growth, and happiness was her wish for all of us and why she spent her life practicing and teaching Reiki, the Usui System of Reiki Healing.

Copyright 1999

Paul D. Mitchell