The Founder of Usui Reiki: Getting to know Mikao Usui
“…As we stand on the shoulders of the Reiki Masters that have gone before us, we act as important custodians of Usui Reiki and Mikao Usui’s incredible legacy…” – Garry Malone, Founder of the RHA
Reiki has gained worldwide recognition as a powerful holistic healing technique, and we can trace its origins back to one remarkable individual named Mikao Usui. Whilst Reiki energy has flowed through all things since the beginning of time, it is only in the last century that we have reconnected with this source of vitality thanks to Usui-Sensai, as he is respectfully known. His life story and contributions have left an indelible mark on the world of alternative healing. In this blog post, we will delve into the life of Mikao Usui, the founder of Reiki, and gain a deeper understanding of the man behind this transformative practice.
Pin this for later! Mikao Usui – The Founder of Reiki
Early Life and Spiritual Quest
Mikao Usui was born on August 15, 1865, in the village of Yago in Japan. His childhood was marked by curiosity and a thirst for knowledge. As he grew older, his search for spiritual truth intensified, leading him on a journey that would ultimately result in the rediscovery of Reiki.
Usui’s background was diverse – he dabbled in martial arts, studied medicine, and explored various spiritual teachings. His open-mindedness and willingness to embrace different perspectives would play a pivotal role in the creation of Reiki.
The Path to Reiki Enlightenment
It is said that in April 1922, after fasting, praying and meditating for 21-days, Usui was given the gift of Reiki on Mt. Kurama, a scared mountain north of Kyoto, Japan. Tradition tells of a great bright light, which came down from the sky and hit his Third Eye Chakra, awakening an understanding of how to work with and harness the Universal Life Force.
Inspired by his experience, Usui dedicated himself to understanding this energy and how is could be channelled for natural healing and wellbeing. He began sharing his knowledge and helping others experience the healing energy he had encountered.
And so the Usui Lineage began
Usui first practised this healing method on himself and his family and friends, before sharing his insights and teachings with students in Japan, opening his very first Reiki clinic in Harajuku, Aoyama, Tokyo. It wasn’t long, however, before he had to move his Training Centre to a much larger healing space outside of Tokyo, when word of this “miraculous medicine of all diseases” spread. His reputation grew rapidly, and people travelled from far and wide to study with him.
When a devasting earthquake stuck Tokyo in 1923 causing firestorms and catastrophic destruction, Usui and his students offered Reiki treatments to the victims of the natural disaster. In order to meet the increasing demand for Reiki, Usui started to teach a simplified form of Reiki to the public in order to help treat the survivors of the quake. He knew he would have to develop a method that could be understood and and accepted by any religion or culture, so he fashioned a system without any attachments to a set doctrine, dogma or religious belief. This made Reiki universal. It was accessible to everyone, regardless of background or status, and so easy to learn that it could be taught and passed on simply by word of mouth.
Usui travelled throughout Japan healing the sick and teaching his healing method. He went on to train more than 2,000 students and initiated twenty to the level of Reiki Master/Teacher (Shinpiden) by the time of his death in 1926 at the age of 62. Many of these students began their own clinics and founded Reiki schools and societies, including Dr. Chujiro Hayashi, a medical doctor and retired naval officer who established a clinic in Tokyo after Usui’s passing. And so, the Usui Reiki lineage began and the future of the Usui system of healing was preserved.
Founding Reiki and Its Principles
Mikao Usui’s teachings and practices became the foundation of Reiki as we know it today. He laid down the Five Reiki Principles (also known as the Five Reiki Precepts) – simple spiritual guidelines aimed at promoting harmony and balance in life.
Indeed, even though hands-on healing is perhaps the most talked about element of the Usui system of Reiki, it is just one component of the teachings that he passed on to his students. Certainly, it is believed that Usui spent considerable time training his students about the importance of meditation and energy awareness before imparting any healing techniques. Self-healing and spiritual development were always a crucial part of his Reiki practice.
He gifted us powerful meditations including the Gassho meditation and the practice of Reiji Ho to enhance intuition and sensitivity to energy. And is believed to have tailored his sessions to the individual needs of each of his students. It wasn’t until later that formalised hand positions, the attunements procedures and the Reiki Symbols were introduced to help work with Reiki energy.
The key thing about Usui’s approach to healing was that it was a holistic endeavour, encompassing the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of a person. This holistic perspective set Reiki apart from other healing modalities of the time.
Mikao Usui’s legacy is a thriving global community of Reiki practitioners and recipients. The practice has continued to evolve and adapt, spreading to various corners of the world. Usui’s teachings have inspired countless individuals to explore their own healing potential and connect with the universal life force energy.
While Mikao Usui’s exact teachings were initially passed down orally, his legacy has been preserved and expanded upon by subsequent generations of Reiki practitioners and masters. Various Reiki lineages have emerged, each with its unique interpretation of the practice, yet all rooted in Usui’s original teachings.
5 Things You Should Know about Mikao Usui:
Although the history of Reiki may differ across sources, at the core of Mikao Usui’s story is tale of a compassionate soul on a life-long journey of personal and spiritual development. Usui never claimed to be the sole source of the healing energy but rather a conduit for its transmission.
- Multifaceted Visionary: He was a great seeker of knowledge, and his studies spanned many disciplines and traditions including Martial Arts, Shugendo, Christianity, Tendai Buddhism and Shintoism.He was also a scholar and educator with a keen interest in world religions and philosophies. Usui’s teachings attracted a diverse group of students, including medical professionals, spiritual seekers, and even members of the Japanese Imperial family.
- Humility in Practice: He insisted on practicing Reiki daily and emphasized self-healing as a crucial aspect of the journey. He gifted us a set of principles we could return to each day to find more peace, and also gave us meditations to develop mindfulness and enhance energy intuition. Usui’s practice included expressing gratitude through the “Gassho” position, which was a way of honoring the divine within and around him.
- Teacher to All: Usui believed in teaching Reiki to as many people as possible, aiming to empower individuals to take control of their health and well-being.
- Global Footprints: While Usui’s origins were in Japan, his teachings have reached every corner of the globe, creating a diverse and connected community.
- Ancestral Roots: Usui traced his lineage back to the samurai class, which might have contributed to his discipline and commitment to the path he embarked upon. The samurai were known not only for their martial skills but also for their unwavering commitment to principles like honor, loyalty, and discipline.
Pin this for later! Mikao Usui – The Founder of Reiki
Why Usui’s Legacy Matters Today
As we explore the realms of complementary healing, it’s essential to acknowledge and honor the contributions of individuals like Mikao Usui, who have paved the way for greater well-being and connection to the universal energies that surround us.
Mikao Usui’s legacy is a timeless reminder that healing transcends cultural boundaries and that the pursuit of holistic well-being is a journey worth embarking upon. In a fast-paced world, his teachings encourage us to reconnect with ourselves and embrace balance. Usui’s story is a testament to the power of one individual’s dedication to making a difference – a power that resonates with those seeking both personal transformation and the betterment of the world at large.
Usui’s gift of Reiki invites us to explore our innate healing potential and rediscover the harmony that resides within us – and in a era marked by constant upheaval and relentless stress, this invitation is more important than ever before.
Thank you Mikao Usui.
Like this article? Share your thoughts in the comment box below!
And for more Reiki resources, be sure to connect with the Reiki Healing Association on Instagram, where we post daily Reiki inspiration and advice for healing and growth as a Reiki Practitioner or Reiki-enthusiast! And don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest, where we are pinning positive affirmations and empowering quotes every single day.
Have you read the latest issue of Universal Life Magazine yet? As Members of the RHA you get Exclusive Access to the Magazine, and to access your copy all you need to do is log in to your Member’s Area. You can get a copy of the magazine if you subscribe to our newsletter too!
More Articles For You
- The Beautiful Cho-Ku-Rei: Power in the Palm of Your Hand
- Reiki Vision Board: Releasing the Magic of Vision Boards with Reiki
- Self-Care for Reiki Practitioners
- Just for today I will be Grateful – How to Live Each Day with Gratitude
- Setting Up Your Week For Powerful Reiki Sessions
- What to Expect during a Reiki Session: Our Members Share the most common experiences