Dr. Mikao Usui
In the mid–1800s, Dr. Mikao Usui was the Dean of a Christian seminary in Kyoto, Japan. One day he was questioned by one of his theology students, as to why the healing with the hands, as Christ had done was not possible for them, when Christ had said to go forth and do as he had done. Unable to answer his student’s query, Dr. Usui gave up his job and began to research the phenomena of healing with the hands. This search continued over a period of 20 years, as he journeyed to India, Tibet, China and even Chicago, reading everything he could find on healing, and gaining great theoretical knowledge, but not the key to actually being able to heal by touch.
After returning to Japan, he discussed the matter with an old, wise abbot who was very interested in the results of his search. They decided that since all intellectual avenues had been covered, Dr. Usui should go up onto the holy mountain and fast, pray and meditate. Dr. Usui did this, and when nothing happened for 20 days, on the 21st. day Dr. Usui went through a metaphysical experience that finally gave him the fruits of his long search. A series of events that occurred as he descended the mountain, revealed to him that he had actually acquired the ability to heal with his hands. He hurried to his friend the abbot, who was in great pain with arthritis of the knee joint. When Dr. Usui held his knees for a few minutes, the pain vanished.
Dr. Chujiro Hayashi
In great excitement, the two wondered how best Dr. Usui could use Dr. Hayashi this great gift, and decided he would go and work in a beggars’ colony. A few years later he found old faces returning, and when he questioned them as to why they were returning to that miserable place, he was told that begging was easier than working for a living. He left the colony to teach and treat Reiki, and also formulated the five principles that are taught to all Reiki trainees. Before his death, he chose Dr. Chujiro Hayashi, a physician and an ex–marine commander, to succeed him as Reiki Grandmaster. Little is known of Dr. Hayashi’s early life. He is credited with systematizing the full body Reiki treatment, and dividing the Reiki training into three degrees. He opened a Reiki clinic in Tokyo and had teams of Reiki practitioners working on patients.
Madame Hawayo Takata
One day an American lady of Japanese descent came to Dr. Hayashi’s clinic. She had come to try Reiki as a last resort. Madame Hawayo Takata had serious physical problems (gallstones, appendicitis, asthma and tumors) and was generally run–down and depressed after several personal losses, beginning with her husband’s death 6 years ago, when she was only 29. Over a period of several months she was treated at the Reiki clinic, and recovered completely. This fact was borne out by her medical check–ups at the hospital where she had originally been admitted. She begged to be allowed to learn this miraculous therapy so she could continue to treat herself and help others after she returned to her home in Hawaii. Madame Takata was not only taught Reiki, but her enthusiasm and commitment so impressed Dr. Hayashi, that he even traveled to America and made her a Reiki master. Shortly before his death, he called his family and friends and announced that Madame Takata would be the Reiki Grandmaster after him. Madame Takata died in 1980, and the tradition of Reiki is continued by her granddaughter Phyllis Furumoto, and an American lady, Barbara Webber Ray. Whenever Reiki is practiced, the three Grandmasters are thanked, along with one’s own Master, as a mark of respect. In the intervening years, Reiki has spread the world over, to be learnt and used by anyone who is willing to accept this powerful yet extremely simple tool of healing.
Though there are some people who proclaim themselves grandmasters even now, it is believed that the traditional office of the grandmaster of Reiki now no longer exists. In the intervening years, Reiki has spread all over the world, and is considered a prime method of holistic healing an easy but extremely powerful technique to be shared to anyone who will accept it.