Reiki, A New Direction
By William Lee Rand
of significant changes taking place in the Reiki community - and the
public in general - I believe Reiki is on the verge of the acceptance
many of us have dreamed of, yet never thought possible. Reiki, over
the next several years, could become so universally accepted that whenever
a challenge comes up, most people will immediately think to use Reiki
to solve it. As the acceptance of Reiki continues to evolve, I believe
it will become a commonly accepted practice in medical care, (see last
month's article, Reiki In Hospitals)
education, business, law enforcement, government, the military- even
world politics! This, of course, would signify a dramatically transformed
world. I know many of you think this is a little far fetched, but let
One of the key factors causing lack of harmony amongst groups was the lack of an accurate and verifiable history. Without solid facts, all we had to go on was the Westernized perception of Reiki history – and that was so inadequate it did not even provide a firm connection to Reiki’s origins in Japan. This version raised many doubts about history of Reiki and caused some to even question if Dr. Usui had even existed.
However, the discovery of Dr. Usui's grave, and especially his memorial stone, (see The Usui Memorial, Fall, 1997) has given us verifiable information about him, how he discovered Reiki and how he practiced it. These discoveries (see Discovering the Roots of Reiki, Fall, 1997) have helped to heal the distrust among the various factions of the community, and have strengthened our universal understanding of Reiki.
Additional information about the history and practice of the Usui System of Reiki has been provided by several Japanese Reiki masters, whose non-Western lineage goes back directly to Dr. Usui. These masters have indicated that many of the restrictive concepts, promoted in the West as part of the original Usui system - including the idea of a Reiki Grandmaster - appear to have been added after Reiki was brought to the West and are, therefore, not a valid part of the original system.
Obtaining these historical facts has created a tremendous freeing effect on most Reiki practitioners (we must respect those who chose to ignore the restrictive rules; their actions are now validated by these historical discoveries) and firmly establishes that no Western group or person is in charge of Reiki. It also confirms that all Reiki groups have value. Most followers have found these discoveries to be a wonderful revelation. Some practitioners from different lineages and organizations who previously would not talk to each other due to wrongly perceived differences, are now communicating freely, exchanging ideas and support. Where once there was confusion and conflict, now there is wonderful growing feelings of freedom, empowerment and community.
newly proven heritage is also leading to a greater confidence being
felt about Reiki in general. Many practitioners are becoming inspired
to invest more time and energy into the development of their Reiki practices.
True feelings of joy are welling up in Reiki people all over the world
as they realize that because of this new supportive spirit within the
Reiki community, their desire to help others can now be more easily
accomplished. The Reiki community is becoming reoriented into a stronger,
more vital force that is able to share Reiki with the rest of the world.
value being provided by recent discoveries concerning the history of
Reiki, is adding to a process that has been developing over a longer
period of time. When Reiki first began being taught in the West, it
was common for a $10,000 fee to be charged for the Master level training.
The high fee was thought to be a necessary part of the Usui system (one
of the ideas that has proven to be false). However, in the mid-80s Iris
Ishikura, one of the Masters initiated by Mrs. Takata went against this
rule and began charging a much more reasonable fee, and in some cases,
she even taught the Master level free of charge. The result was the
Masters she taught, taught others, also at a very reasonable fee allowing
Reiki to spread very quickly. At times it appeared to be growing almost
exponentially. Reiki has now spread all over the planet and is now practiced
by well over one million people, and the numbers continue to grow.
I can remember when I first started practicing Reiki in the early 80s. Whenever I began describing the practice of Reiki, I found people would appear noticeably distressed. I often got the impression the uninitiated thought I was a charlatan and what I was practicing was sacrilegious. Today, however, I not only find a genuine interest in Reiki, but that most people have at least some awareness of Reiki. Now, when I tell people about what I do, they almost always have a positive , or add that they know someone who practices it. More and more frequently, I am meeting people who have taken Reiki classes.
This trend was brought into focus by a research report done by Dr. David M. Eisenburg of Boston's Beth Israel Hospital. His study found that in 1990, 80 million people in the United States had used one or more forms of complementary health care, including Reiki. This group had spent more than $14 billion out-of-pocket for this care. This shift in public acceptance appears to be increasing as more and more people are becoming aware of the value of Reiki and other forms of complementary care.
Doctors, nurses and other licensed health care professionals are taking notice as their patients are asking questions about alternative forms of healing and many professionals are accepting its value. In fact a growing number of doctors and nurses have taken Reiki training and routinely including Reiki along with standard medical procedures (see Reiki in Hospitals, Winter 97).
of the public's acceptance, the news media are now taking a positive
attitude toward Reiki and have featured spots on Reiki. This is a far
cry from the past when, if Reiki was mention at all by the media, it
was presented as a weird practice done by people on the fringe. I have
recently seen a number of television spots on Reiki and have personally
received a growing number of requests for interviews.
When they are made aware of the positive results Reiki has provided, the scientific community often dismisses these results as only the placebo effect. These unfair perceptions about spiritual healing are dispelled in a new book, Spiritual Healing, Scientific Validation of a Healing Revolution, by Daniel Benor, M.D., which is now available.
In his book, Dr. Benor describes more than 190 scientific experiments, over 2/3 of which show positive results. Many; were conducted as double blind experiments which rule out the placebo effect and others were done on plants which are known not to be effected by placebo. Some of these experiments have been replicated.
I believe that once the scientific validation of spiritual healing is widely disseminated, Reiki will become more respected and the demand for Reiki training will rise dramatically. It will more easily find its way into use by every area of society. There will be opportunities to develop Reiki programs, specifically designed for education, business, law enforcement, government, the military and world politics.
This validation and acceptance will open the door to more scientific research, which in turn will produce many new discoveries. Reiki displays many qualities that science cannot explain. Because of this, research into Reiki is bound to lead to new theories about the nature of reality. This will revolutionize how mainstream society thinks. And , this in turn will create new attitudes, values and beliefs in every area of human activity.
effect, the wide spread acceptance and use of Reiki, which is beginning
to take place now, will greatly quicken the manifestation of the paradigm
shift that we have been waiting for. Reiki will create peace on Earth
and provide benefits we haven't even thought of. It will help usher
in the greatest era the world has every known!
However, some Reiki Masters have begun teaching with reduced standards and few ethical principals. They teach classes of an hour or less in duration, with little offered except the attunement. We have received reports that all levels of Reiki including One, Two and Master are being taught in one weekend or even in a day by some Masters. This leaves the students of those classes with little understanding of what Reiki is, or how to practice it. These students go on to attempt to practice Reiki without all the necessary information or training, simply abandon Reiki or even worse, pass the debased training they received onto others.
some motivated, yet ill-informed students who realize that important
information was missing from their class do seek out reputable teachers
to receive additional training, this should not have to happen. There
have been other reports of Reiki Masters misrepresenting what the student
will receive in class, unfair competitive practice between Reiki Masters,
the use of Reiki as a foil for sexual and child abuse and other ethical
problems. As Reiki becomes more popular, and the general public begins
to become interested, it is important that these challenges be resolved
before they worsen. If these problems are not solved, the general public
may develop a negative attitude toward Reiki. The positive potential
Reiki offers to solve humanities problems and help create the wonderful
world describe above, could be greatly reduced or even lost.
I have been networking with a small group of people who have expressed interest in establishing such an organization and will keep you posted about what develops.
From Reiki News, Spring 1998