Mikao Usui 1865 - 1926
Reiki was rediscovered in the mid 1800’s by a Japanese born Buddhist monk, Dr. Mikao Usui. While teaching in a college, Dr. Usui ("Usui"as he was most commonly known) was asked by a student how Jesus facilitated the healing miracles that he performed. The question had planted a seed and set Usui out on the path to answer ‘that question’. Usui was determined to learn the secret healing so that he may help others and his journey took him to many countries.
During his journey Usui traveled to the holy mountains of Kori Yama where he fasted and meditated for 21 days in order to attain a high altered state of consciousness which he believed would empower him with the healing energy. On the morning of the 21st day, Usui was beginning to become frustrated with his situation. As he was about to give up and leave, that a great spiritual energy came down into the top of his head and he became enlightened. The energy also bought with it Reiki Ryoho, which is the ability to heal.
Usui returned to his monastery but decided after a few days to go to a beggar city, in the slums of Kyoto, to treat beggars and help them lead a better life. He spent 7 years in the slums, treating many illnesses. However, he noticed that the same individuals were returning. When he asked one of them why they had not started a new life he was told that it was much easier to go on begging than carry the responsibility of starting over.
As a result, Usui learned two very important elements: healing of the spirit and the responsibility of the healee in the healing process. He had realized that while concentrating on healing the body, the spirit was remained unhealed. He believed that Reiki could only truly benefit those who could embrace a life of complete healing. Therefore, he made a decision that those who wanted to receive Reiki needed to be willing to make a mental commitment to healing as well as a physical commitment. It is this premise, on which Usui's Reiki principles are based.
Usui was a Christian minister in Japan, though he was Japanese. He was the head of a Christian Boys School in Japan. One day some of the students asked him if he believed in the miracles of healing which Jesus did. Being a Christian minister he answered "Yes". They asked if he knew how Jesus had done this, "No" he said.
With this, he resolved to find the way in which Jesus had healed. This immediately set him on a journey of many years. Studying first at Christian schools in the US, for where else to learn of Jesus, but with no results. In the Christian schools the method was not known.
It was suggested he study Buddhist writings since the Buddha had also healed.This took more years studying at a monastery in the Orient. Nowhere could he find the answers. In Japan he toured many temples asking for knowledge of how the Buddha had healed. At each one the priests said they were more concerned with spiritual than physical well being. In one small monastery he found some ancient Sanskrit writings from India (or perhaps Tibet). After a few more years of study, he felt he had come to an understanding and that to go further required in depth meditation. He declared to the monks of this monastery his intention to fast and meditate for 21 days at a nearby mountain and that if he did not come back they should come and get his body.
He went to the mountain and gathered 21 stones with which to count the days. Each day he would throw away a stone and in this way count the time. On the 20th day nothing had come as yet and he threw away the last stone saying "Well, this is it, either I get the answer tonight or I do not". In the night on the horizon he could see a ball of light coming towards him. The first instinct was to get out of the way, but he realized this might just be what he was waiting for, so allowed it to hit him right in the forehead. As it struck him he was taken on a journey and shown bubbles of all the colors of the rainbow in which were the symbols of Reiki, the very same symbols in the Tibetan writings he was studying but had been unable to understand. Now as he looked at them again, there was total understanding.
After returning from this experience he began back down the mountain and was, from this moment on, able to heal. This first day alone he healed a broken toenail, his own starvation, an ailing tooth, and the Abbots sickness which was keeping him bedridden. These are known as the first four miracles.
He wanted to use these abilities to help others, he spent the next seven years in the beggars section of Tokyo healing the poor and sick people there, sending them to a priest to assist finding them employment, and elevating them out of poverty. After the seven years he noticed familiar faces, those of people whom he'd healed long ago who were back again. Asking them, they complained that life outside beggartown was too hard and that it was much simpler to beg for a living. They had thrown away the gift of health, as if it had no value, to return to the supposed comfort of the life they knew.
This threw Usui into a quandary and he returned to the monastery. From this he realized he hadn't taught gratitude along with the healing. That he'd focused on the physical ailments without dealing with the spiritual matters. The people did not understand the value of the gift he gave them.
Usui returned to the monastery for forth time of reflection and planning. After some time in the monastery he developed precepts. In this new plan, he traveled around the countryside from village to village. In each one he stood in a public place during the day holding aloft a lit torch. When people told him he didn't need a torch in daylight, he answered was he was looking for the few who are interested in improving themselves. In this way he traveled around teaching and healing, working both with the spiritual healing as well as physical healing.