Usui Shiki Ryoho can be described as a Healing Art, meaning that the practice arose from a need to resolve a basic question of humanity at that time. Mikao Usui formulated this question as “How did Jesus heal?” As a result of practicing Reiki for many decades, we could re-phrase the question as “How can each of us heal our individual suffering while contributing to the evolution of humanity?” The system continued to develop through Chujiro Hayashi who influenced the practice because of his being a medical clinician. Healing, in the Japanese culture, naturally included more than just the physical body.
Hawayo Takata was a gifted practitioner and student. Her total surrender to the practice and her unwavering trust in the way that Reiki, the energy, worked within her, the students and clients, gave the system a way to be tested in the context of another culture, through the societal revolution that occurred after the second world war, and on thousands of individuals. When she delivered this system of practice to her group of masters in the 1970s, they in turn spread the practice, this Japanese Healing Art, around the world. The word “Art” indicates that the practice becomes a way of living, not a just a skill applied only when needed. Value received by the student is in direct correlation to the amount of daily practice on self and others, through mental and spiritual teachings of the 5 Precepts, and the surrender to Reiki, the energy, which moves the individual into a clearer alignment with the authentic Self. In the practice of the Reiki Principles (or Precepts), self-reflection and conscious choice call the students back to their true selves. Thus the Healing Art becomes a part of the fabric of the student’s life. The student is consciously creating a balanced way of living and being in relationship with the self, other human beings and the earth with all of its living creatures.
Phyllis Lei Furumoto, as Lineage Bearer, has carried the Practice into what has become a global community with many different layers of practice. From Reiki taught as a folk art (treating family and friends), can emerge a call for a professional level of practice. This development calls for thoughtful preparation.
Right now medical treatment and the folk art healing practices are coming together to support the human desire for maximum physical, energetic and spiritual health. For the beginner Reiki student, there is the folk art: Reiki being first for the self. For the student who moves into public practice, treating others outside the circle of family and friends, the treatment is in a dedicated treatment space. Money is exchanged for treatments, and Reiki becomes a treatment model. As the public practitioner becomes more educated and more experienced, the practitioner may be hired by institutions of health care such as hospitals, hospices, or centers for treatment of specific conditions such as drug and alcohol dependency.
Professional practitioner training and educational programs are beginning to be formed at the time of this writing. This is the cutting edge for Reiki practice: to maintain the fullness of the folk art practice while treating the public through the mandate of other healing practices. What this will take is the student/practitioner and the public to see Reiki as a way of restoring wholeness on all levels of the human being. The inspiration of Mikao Usui, the desire of Chujiro Hayashi to “heal” rather than “repair”, and the unwavering trust of Hawayo Takata is our legacy in this next step of the practice.