Reiki (pronounced ray-kee) is a spiritual healing tradition of laying on of hands begun in the early 1900's by Dr. Mikao Usui in Japan. Dr Usui was born in Taniani, Gifu District, Japan. After an enlightenment experience on Mt. Kurama, Dr. Usui founded a healing method that we call Reiki. He opened a school in Tokyo in 1922 to teach this method, the Usui Shiki Ryoho System of Natural Healin, with sixteen being initiated as masters before his death in 1926. One of the sixteen, Dr. Chujiro Hayashi, was the teacher to Mrs. Takata following a stay herself in a Reiki Clinic. She eventually brought Reiki to Hawaii in the 1930's, making reforms by adding a westernized presentation for greater acceptance. Mrs Takata initiated 22 masters and these are the ones who spread Reiki throughout the West. As of 2018, there are 64 different forms of Reiki being practiced worldwide.
Reiki has been translated as 'universal life energy' and is the subtle energy that underlies our existence. It has been referred to by many names in other cultures and applications such as prana, mana or ch'i. While this energy is impersonal and powerful, it is also embued by consciousness. Many energy healing systems advocate for balancing and strengthening energy flow to help encourage good health, however traditional Reiki is not 'energy work' but a divine, spiritual 'laying on of hands'. This flow is not manipulated by the initiated practitioner and requires no skills beyond a willingness to let Reiki flow, accomplishing what it will as a compassionate consciousness.
The experience of a Reiki session is very calming, mild, peaceful, simple and loving. I believe this is a reflection of the Reiki Principles that Dr. Usui used as the basis for teaching students a spiritual focus to live by, as well as to help support and transmit healing to others. These principles stand as a coherent pattern of wholeness and align with the Reiki symbols which Dr. Usui 'saw' in his spiritual experience. These symbols express the intent of the Divine to 'show up' in our lives and honor the integrity of each person's purpose in life.
The Reiki Principles have been rewritten over time yet hold the same basic instruction towards life:
Joel Goldsmith (1892-1964) was a spiritual teacher, author and healer. Both he and his father experienced healing through Christian Science practitioners. Many years of spiritual experiences and much study lead him to write the book The Infinite Way which was based on lectures to students and clients/patients and transcribed first into booklets. His teaching reveals the principles he felt brought one closer to the Divine. Many books are still in publication, some being: Invisible Supply , The Art of Spiritual Healing, and Living the Infinite Way.
According the Wikipedia, "Goldsmith stressed contemplative meditation practice in his teaching. The method he generally taught involved short frequent meditation periods throughout the day. He told his student of 18 years, Walter Starcke, that the main reason to meditate was that through reaching the inner silence one could hear the still small voice and receive its intuitive guidance. His teaching also stressed spiritual healing through conscious contact with God." Goldsmith didn't offer a specific protocol but emphasized a personal journey of experience, not relying on ritual or dogma.
Ishwar C. Puri and Surat Shabd Yoga
Ishwar C. Puri (1926- )was born in Punjab, India, coming to the United States to attend Harvard in the 1960's and returning to work in government until his retirement. At the age of 9, he was initiated by Great Master Hazur Maharaj Baba Sawan Singh Ji into the practice of Surat Shabd Yoga, a form of spiritual practice in the Sant Mat teachings. In retirement, Dr. Puri founded ISHA, the Institute for the Study of Human Awareness, and now resides in the Chicago area. He travels all over the world giving spiritual discourses, many of which can be viewed on his Youtube channel . "Meditation is the art of withdrawing our attention from experience to the experiencer. Meditation is the art of reversing the direction of attention from the illusion to the reality of consciousness." ...Ishwar C. Puri
Surat means "attention" that is, an outward expression of the soul. Shabd is the "word or logos" sound and light current or audible life stream that one hears internally and is likened to the Word or Logos in Gospel of John chapter 1 verses 1-5. Yoga means "union". This site offers a comprehenive explanation and history of Surant Shabd Yoga
Simplicity of approach and emphasis on personal connection with the Divine are mirrored in these three practices. There is much information online if you choose to delve in more deeply.