Mrs. Takata Talks About Reiki
Mrs. Takata brought Reiki from Japan to the West in 1938. Until 1982, Reiki was an oral tradition in the West with no written record of its history of teachings. Until recently, all current information about the history Reiki has come to us through the spoken word of Mrs. Takata.
In 1996 and 1997, more direct contact was made with Reiki masters in Japan including contact with the Reiki Ryoho Gakkai which is the original organization started by Dr. Usui. This new information has given us a more accurate understanding of the history of Reiki.
Below is a transcript of a tape recording of Mrs. Hawayo Takata telling some students about the history of Reiki. The recording was made in 1979 when Mrs. Takata was 78 years old. This was a year and a half before her transition.
The tape from which this transcript was taken, Mrs. Takata Talks About Reiki, can be ordered.
This transcript is presented as part of the The True History of Reiki research project, which supports efforts to investigate, collect, and share information about the historical roots of Reiki and its relation to others systems of healing.
Through historical research, some of the details in the story below have been shown to be inaccurate. For a discussion of some of these historical details, see an Autumn 1996 article "The Original Reiki Ideals" in Reiki News. Also see the sidebar "Was Dr. Usui a Christian?" in the first chapter of Reiki, The Healing Touch by William Rand. The most up to date information is now available in The Spirit of Reiki written by William Lee Rand, Walter Lubeck and Arjava Petter
Mrs. Takata's Talks About Reiki
This is the story of Dr. Mikao Usui who is the originator of the Usui Reiki Ryoho. That is in Japanese, which means the Usui Reiki system of natural healing. At this time in the beginning of the story Dr. Usui was the principal of the Doshisha University in Kyoto. Also, minister on Sundays, and at the University they had a chapel. So he was a full-fledged Christian minister and my teacher was Dr. Hayashi, who was his pupil, and also he carried on the work after Dr. Usui’s passing. So in other words Dr. Chujiro Hayashi was his #1 disciple, and this is through Dr. Hayashi that I have learned about Dr. Usui. I have never met him and he said that Dr. Usui was a genius, very, very brilliant, intelligent - a great philosopher and a great scholar.
One day, on Sunday, he was at the podium giving Sunday service- a lecture and that day he found there were about a half dozen students on the front pew. Usually the students of the University sit in the back. Then he said, "Good morning, everybody, I am going to deliver our regular Sunday sermon." Then one of the boys raised his hand and he recognized him, and he said "Yes, what is it?" and this young man said:
“We. who are sitting here are some of the graduate students which are going to ? in two months- will be leaving this school, we'll be graduating[from] this University. But we would like to know for our future, whether you have absolute faith in the Bible." And Dr. Usui said "Certainly! I do! And that is why I'm a minister and I accept the Bible as it reads."
So Dr. Usui was surprised to be asked. And then the boy said, "I represent this group, this graduating class and we would like to know more about your faith. Is it because you absolutely have faith in the Bible that you accept the Bible as written?" And he said "Yes, of all I have faith. And also I have studied the Bible and therefore, I believe." Then the boy said, "Dr. Usui, we are young people in our twenties and we have a very big future. And we would like to clear this once and for all –and if you have so much faith in Christianity, should I believe and [do] you believe that Christ was able to heal by laying on hands?" And Dr. Usui said, "Yes, I believe." Then the boy said,"We would like to believe as you do, we would like to have that kind of a faith but we ask you, you are our great master and great teacher. We honor you and we respect you. Please, give us one demonstration." So Dr. Usui said, "What kind of a demonstration?" He said, "We'd like to see you heal the blind or heal the lame or walk on the water." And Dr. Usui said, "Although I am a good Christian and I have faith and I accept the Bible as it is, and I know Christ did it, but I cannot demonstrate because I did not learn how to do it." So the boys said, "Thank you very much. Now we shall choose our way and what we believe in. We can only say that your belief in the Bible is a blind faith, and we do not want to have blind faith, and then to live all our lives, we want at least to see one demonstration so that we will be able to follow you, and accept and to have faith like you."
So Dr. Usui said, "Well, this I cannot demonstrate at this time. Let us not argue about it but some day I would like to prove it to you. And when I find the way I shall come back and I shall show you and I can demonstrate, I hope. And with this, I resign as of now. Immediately I will step down and I will put in my resignation as minister of Doshisha and also [as] principal of this University. Tomorrow being Monday, I shall start on a visa. And I shall go to a Christian country to study the Bible, and to study Christianity in a Christian country. And I might find the answer. And when I do, I shall come back. And I shall let you know that I can do what you have requested." And he said “good-bye”. And he left the church as of that time. And next day Dr. Usui started to apply for a visa, and he chose America. And when this was all done, he took the boat, and he came and traveled by train, and he entered the University of Chicago. He studied philosophy, but number one, he wanted to study Christianity and also the Bible. And when he went to the studies in America, he found that the Bible and the Christian school that he went to were identical, the teachings were the same. And he could not find in the Christian Bible even in America where Christ had left a formula for the healing.
So being in this University where they had philosophies of the world, he went into other philosophies. He studied Hinduism, Zoroastrianism and of course, religion. When he came into Buddhism he found a passage where it said that Buddha healed by laying on the hands. He healed the blind, tuberculosis, and also leprosy. When he found this out he said "I should further my studies in Buddhism and to find out whether Buddha has left any kind of a formula for the healing art." So Dr. Usui spent seven years in the United States and then he said, "It is time for me to go back to a Buddhist country and to study Buddhism and find the formula." And when he arrived in Japan he did not waste any time. He landed in Kyoto, where he lived before, and he went to all the great monasteries, and even today Kyoto is a mecca of temples and it is the seat. At that time Nara was the seat of Buddhism but Kyoto had the most people and the biggest monasteries in Japan. And so he decided to visit to every single one.
So, he started with the most biggest temple, the Shin and when he arrived there he met a monk, and he said “does the Buddhist bible or the Sutras, do the Sutras say that Buddha healed? Is it written down in the Sutras that Buddha had healed leprosy, tuberculosis, and the blind, by laying on of hands?" And the monk answered, he said "Yes, it is written in the Sutras." He said, "Have you mastered the art, can you do it?" And the monk said, "Well, in Buddhism, physical is very important, but we consider the church, or ministry, is to minister the people so they have better minds. We want to straighten their minds first so they'll become more spiritual and then show more gratitude and learn all, the better things of life. And this is a temple or a church, and we monks do not have time for the physical in reaching the spiritual growth, spiritual healing is first." Dr. Usui bowed and said, "Thank you." And he walked away and he went to the, [to]Kyoto. Then he went also to the different temples and everyone had the same answer. They said "Yes, it is registered in the Sutras, and therefore we accept and we believe that Buddha was a healer. But, we are trying to heal the mind first, and therefore we do not know anything about healing the body."
After days and days and months of search Dr. Usui was very depressed. But he did not give up. He said, "I have one more place to go." And finally he learned it in a Zen temple. And when he approached the temple, he rang the bell, and a little page boy came out. And he said "I would like to speak to the highest monk of this Grand Temple." He said, "Please come in. And who are you?" And he said, “I am Mikao Usui. And I would like to study Buddhism, and therefore I would like to meet the monk." So the message was delivered, and when the monk came out, he was about a seventy-two-year-old monk, very lovely face like a child, innocent-looking, beautiful face, kindly voice, and very gentle and he said, “Come in. And so you are interested in Buddhism." He said "Yes, but first, I would like to ask you a question. Does the Zen believe in healing?" He said, "Yes, we do. It is written in the Sutras that the Buddhists that the Buddha did it, and so in Buddhism we have the healing." "Well, can you heal the physical self?" He said, "Not yet." And so he said, "What do you mean by ‘not yet’?". He said, "Oh, we monks are very very busy, giving (ah) discourses and lectures and preaching so that the mind can be attuned for the spiritual level. And we want to better the mind first before we touch the physical." "And then how are you going to get the physical training?" He said, "That will come. We have not given up, although we do not have it yet. And therefore the Zen prayers in our chanting of the Sutras are very necessary in our faith, [it]is stronger than ever and we have not lost it, and someday, during our various meditations, that we shall receive that great light and then we shall know. Then we know we are ready, but don’t at the present. We are striving for it, but we know we are not there. But before our meditation ends and before I go into transition I am sure it will be all enlightened and I will be able to do it." And he said, "Thank you very much." He said,"may I come in and stay here and study all the Sutras that you have? And also I would like to hear your lectures on Buddhism because I was a Christian minister and I have faith in the Christian Bible and I’ve looked all over and yet I could not find any formula of healing - though I believe that Christ did it, and I still believe it." And so the monk said,"Come in." And he said "I would like to join your monks, your priests and then study here."
It took him about three years to go all through the Sutras in the temple. And when meditation hour came Dr. Usui sat with the other monks in hours and hours of meditation. And then it became very vivid to him that this was not enough, so he told the monks, "Thank you very much for your very good help and for keeping me here, and I shall like to stay on and I would like to further my studies." And the monk said, "You are most welcome, because we believe in what you are searching [for] - we believe too! And the only thing that we are doing is - besides prayer - we meditate a lot to receive that. But, if you want to further your studies, you just do it, right here in this temple."
So he said [to himself] "the Japanese character that is written in the Sutras, all these characters, originally these came from China. We have adopted the Chinese characters as Japanese characters, and so (like)when you read the Sutras, you cannot understand, but it’s just like English people reading Latin. You know it, but the characters are read as written." He could do it. So finally he went very deep into the Chinese characters and became a master of the Chinese characters. And after that was completed, he said, "Not enough." He said, "After all, Buddha was a Hindu, and therefore" he said "I should study the Sanskrit. And if I study the Sanskrit, there may be something in Sanskrit, taking notes by the Buddha's disciples, because Buddha had many, many disciples, and that's how the scriptures were written."
And so, when he went into studying the Sanskrit, and when he later studied very hard to master it, he found a formula. Just as plain as mathematics. Nothing hard, but very simple. Like two and two equals four, three and three equals six, as simple as that! And so he said, "Very well,(he says) I've found it. But now, I have to try to interpret this, because it was written 2500 years ago – ancient! Because I don’t know if this will work or not. But I have to go through the test. And going through this test," he said, "I cannot guarantee myself whether I will live through it, or not. But if I don’t try the test," he said," everything will be lost. We'll go back to zero." And so he talked it over with the monk, and the monk said, "Yes, you are a very courageous man. Where are you going to test this, right in this temple?" He said, "No. I would like to go up into the mountains," and this was in Kyoto also. And he went up to Mount Koriyama. And he said "I will test myself for twenty-one days. And if I do not come back on the night of the twenty-first day, on the twenty-second day morning, send out a searching party into the forest to find my body. I will be dead."
And so, with that farewell, he left, and he said "I shall go on three weeks meditation without food - only water. So he took some water up and he climbed up in the mountains where he found a stream that was close to water, and therefore he sat under a big pine tree and he started his meditation. But before he sat down, he had no timepiece, no watch, no calendar, and so how was he going to know twenty one days? So he gathered twenty one small rocks or stones and then piled it in front of him. And then his water jug, and he knew where to get more water if this ran out. And there he started his meditation, and so he said, "This is the first day." and then he threw one rock away. And that's how he counted his days.
And he said he expected some kind of a phenomena but he didn’t know what. He didn’t know what to expect. And all this time Dr. Usui, very faithfully, he read the scriptures, chanted, meditated, and then he only drank the water. And then every day came, then another day. Finally came the morning of the twenty-first, that was early morning. And he said "The darkest of night is in the earliest of morn, before sunrise is the darkest." That's how he did this. There was not even one star, no moon or any kind of a light. He said the sky was dark, just as dark as it could be. And when he finished his meditation and he said he opened his eyes and looked into the dark sky, and all he was thinking was,"This is my last meditation."
And then he saw a flicker of light only large as a candle light, in the dark sky. And then he said, “Oh! Now, this phenomenon is very strange, but," he said, "it is happening, and I am not going to even shut my eyes, or, I shall open my eyes as wide as I can, and to witness what happens to that light." And the light began to move very fast towards him. Then he said, “Oh, the light! Now I have a chance to shirk the light, or dodge. What shall I do?" Then he said, "Even if the light strikes me, and if I fall (I don’t know), or if the impact is so severe that I might drop back, or I might burn." He said," this is the test" he said " I am not going to run away, I'm going to face it." And when he faced it, he began to brace himself more (you know), and to say that: "Come! If this is it come and hit me, I am ready." And with that, he relaxed and, his eyes wide open, he saw the light strike in the center of his forehead and naturally he said ,”I made a contact he said . He fell backward because the force was so great! But then he said, "I died, because I had no sense, no feeling, my eyes just…, and my eyes were open but I couldn't see." And then he said, "I don’t know how long, how many minutes I was down, but" he said," when I looked," he said "that light was gone but I could see it was beginning to have daylight and far away I could hear the roosters crowing. And far away I could see that there were movements and then I know there was going to be dawn pretty soon."
Then he happened to look a little on the right side and then he saw from the right side of his face, millions and millions of bubbles all came out, bubbling up, bubbling up, bubbling up, bubbling up, millions and millions and millions of bubbles! And these bubbles all had colors. And they had the colors of the rainbow. And he said they danced in front of him and then they went to the left and when that went he saw another streak of light - this time he says "the color of another rainbow," he said "the blue came out, and then went through the right, to the left" and then he said "the lavender came out," and then he said "some rose came out, and then the yellow came out," and he said he was counting those colors, and it had the Seven Colors, all seven.
And so Dr. Usui said, "Whaa! This is a phenomena! I was blessed today." Then last of all, he saw the great white light come from the right, and then like a screen they just stood right in front of him, like a screen. And when he glued his eyes to the screen, he said, what he had studied in the Sanskrit, what he saw and studied in the Sanskrit, he said, one by one flew out, and then in golden letters, he said they just radiated out in front of him as if to say, "Remember! Remember!" And so, he said, he didn't even blink his eyes but he just studied and studied and he said, "Yes!" he said. Then this one went to the left, (and) another came out. And all what he had studied and learned out of the Sanskrit moved in front of him as if to say, "This is it, this is it. Remember! Remember!" And so he just glued his eyes. And he said he felt no pain, no hardship, and he said he felt no hunger, no pain. He said, "I began to feel my body would float." And so in all this phenomena had passed on, and he said, "I must close my eyes and for the last meditation and he did." And he could see all the glowing letters in front of him. And so he said, "Now, I can open my eyes and throw away the last stone." And he said, "I'm going to stand up." And he stood up. When he stood up and tried to place his feet on the ground, and he said, "They are strong. I fasted for twenty-one days but, he said, I feel I can walk back to Kyoto." which was - in Japanese[units of distance], seventeen miles is almost about twenty five miles. "But I will reach there before sundown." And he found that [it was] as if his body had had a big dinner last night. And he said that his stomach, he said, "Well, that is the first miracle, I'm not hungry. And I feel very light." Then he dusted all the pine cones and the dust and stuff.
Then he picked up his cane and his straw hat and he went down the mountain. And when he went down the mountain (and) almost to the foot of the mountain. Well, he stumbled on a little rock and then lifted his toenail. The blood began to splurt out, and he felt pain. Then he said, just like anybody else would, "Ah, I hurt myself." And he took his right hand, and he held the toe. And when he felt the toe, he felt some beating "thump, thump, thump, thump" as if there was a heartbeat. Then he kept on holding it, then he said the pain began to go away. And then the blood stopped flowing. And so he said okay, two hands and he held it with two hands. And then when all the pulsation was gone, and all the pain was gone, then he saw that the blood had all dried up, but the toe had gone back to its normal position, but he could see where all the blood had come out. Then he said, "That is the second miracle."
"Now," he said "I must look for a snack bar." And when he looked around there was a bench with wool blankets and an ashtray, [a] Japanese ashtray is a big box, with pipes on the bench; you have pipes, that’s all. And when you see that, in any strange place or in any park, that means ‘welcome’; wool blanket is a welcome: "Please sit here. There is a snack bar close by."
And so he set his cane and his straw hat and he sat down and then he looked around, he looked around. And in the right hand corner he found that there was a snack bar, and a very old man. He had an apron on, unshaved, starting the charcoal stove, you know, like the Japanese hibachi. So he walked up to him and he said, "Good morning, old man." And the man said, "Good morning, my dear monk." He said "you are early." He said, "Yes. I would like to have that box of rice, with a Japanese leftover rice in a bamboo box made, you know. And then they put the rice in there and a cover there like that rice box. If you have any leftover rice from last night, I would like to have that rice, and as soon as you make the tea, I would like to have that piece of nori that you made today. I would like to have that nori and also some (ah) salted cabbage and also (ah) dried fish if you have any." (That's a regular Japanese breakfast.) And he said, "I shall wait for you at the bench."
And so the old gentleman said, "I would love you to have the rice but you have to wait until I make a soft rice gruel, like mush." He said, "According to your dedication," (that means Dr. Usui was dedicated to be[ing] there) "many people go up this mountain, this is known as a very famous mountain for meditation. And when they come down in seven days, one week of meditation, the beard is much shorter, and then some do two weeks, but according to your dedication you've been up there three weeks. And when you do not eat for twenty one days," he say "I cannot let you have that rice, and that hot tea and all those things to go with [them] because you're going to have acute indigestion, and when you have that,” he says, “ I have no medicine, and I cannot help you. And therefore, since it is seventeen miles away in the city of Kyoto, there are doctors. But I cannot reach the doctor. So therefore”(he says)” you have to wait.”
So Dr. Usui said, "Thank you, you are very kind. But I think I shall try it." So he crawled to the table, and went for that rice pot. He carried it, because he didn't want the old man to take away. And left it by his wood bench. And he waited, and in a few minutes the old man gave up already, He said, "Well, if he wants to do it his way, fine." So he sent the girl, it was his granddaughter, about fifteen years old, and she brought out the tray with the rice bowl, chopsticks, and hot tea, pot of hot tea and with all the other ingredients to go with the rice. And so she put this on the wood bench. But this girl was crying - tears running down, and not only that - her face was swollen. And she had a big towel here, tied up here like rabbit ears. And so Dr. Usui looked at her and said, "My dear young girl,(he said) why do you cry?" She said, "Oh, my dear monk, three days and three nights I have a toothache so bad that I cannot stop my tears. And I cannot eat. I didn't have any kind of a food for three days and three nights. And it hurts so much I cannot stop my tears. And yet the dentist is so far away, I cannot ask my grandfather to take me seventeen miles to Kyoto. And therefore I have to just suffer and cry. But I can’t stop my tears." So Dr. Usui stood up and began to dig into her cheek and said, "Is this the one? Is this the one?" Then when he came to the right one she said “Yes, yes, yes.” “Oh, all right!”. Then he put his hand there. And then the girl began to blink, blink the eyes, and she said, "My dear monk, you have just made magic!" He said, "How do you feel now?" She said, "The toothache is gone!". "Is it really? Are you telling me the truth?" She said: "Yes, I do not have to shed tears any more. I can stop crying." And then she took off the rabbit ears and wiped her face. And by that time Dr. Usui put two hands on. And then he said, "Now, I think you are well." And the girl smiled, thanked him, and went to the grandfather. And she said, "Grandfather, I took off my rabbit ears, the toothache is gone. And he is no ordinary monk, he makes magic!" That's what the girl said.
So the grandfather came out, wiping his hands on the apron, and he said, "My dear monk, you did us a great service. You just did magic on my granddaughter, stopped the toothache. We are so grateful, oh we are so grateful! Because she was suffering. And for our gratitude," he said, "the food is on the house. And this is all we can offer, because we do not have much, you know." And Dr. Usui put his hands together and said, "Thank you! I accept your gratitude. Thank you very much!" And he said, "All right, now, for my food!" And he stirred the rice bowl, and then put the hot tea and started shoveling with the chopsticks. And he ate happily, so the people didn't disturb him while he ate. But they were wishing that he wouldn't have any kind of indigestion. So Dr. Usui enjoyed his breakfast this way, and he said, "Now,(he said) this is the fourth miracle. The third miracle was the toothache gone." And he said, “I have no indigestion.” He said, "Now, I’m ready to start on my seventeen mile hike and by sundown I shall reach the temple according to schedule." And he did.
And when he did, he knocked at the doorbell, and that little page boy came out. And he said, "Dr. Usui, we are so happy that you are home, because if you did not come home tonight, you know we were going to send a searching party tomorrow morning as you requested." You see, all these little monks in the temple, they are about six to ten years old. They go in when they are six years old to study Buddhism. And they are very, very witty and very smart, you see, but that’s how he tried to tease him. And he said, first thing Dr. Usui said, "How is our dear monk?" "Oh, he's suffering from arthritis and backache, and this is a cool evening, so he is hugging the chapel stove, and he is under silk covers." This is what the little page boy said. "So if you go and take a bath, and while you do this, we'll lay out your clean clothes and warm up your food. And after you’ve eaten your dinner, then you will visit the monk, who will be waiting for you. And he will be very happy to know that you are home and I shall deliver that message. So, go take your bath." And so he did.
And after his dinner, he went to see the monk. And the monk was sure in bed, hugging the chapel stove. He said, "My dear monk, I am back." The first thing he asked was "How was it? How was your meditation?". "Success." That is the only word he could use, was ‘success’. And the monk said, "Oh, I feel so happy, I feel so happy," he said, "Let me hear about it." And so he said, "Yes, and while I talk to you, (he said) I would like to put my hands on top of the silk covers," where he had the silk futon covers on him. And then told him all about what had happened, and from the time he sat for meditation and on the twenty-first morning, and what has happened throughout the day. And then it was late at night already when he said, "Very good, very good, we shall hear more about it, and let me think tonight, " the monk said. "And by the way, my pain is all gone. I can sleep now. I can leave the stove alone, my body feels wonderful! I feel that I am very, very full of energy," and so he said, "This is what you call Reiki.’ He said “Yes, Reiki.”. “So… we’ll talk more about it tomorrow morning after our breakfast." (And) so Dr. Usui had a good night’s sleep, and so the monks next morning after breakfast, first thing Dr. Usui said, "What shall I do to experiment with this?" And so they talked over and over and other monks came in, and they decided that the best place for him to experiment was to try and go into one of the very big slums in Kyoto.
And so they chose one of the largest slums, and in the slum they found all kinds of diseases, even leprosy. And so he went there as a monk, dressed up like a monk, but as a vegetable peddler. So he had one basket of vegetables in the front, and one in the back, and then he had a pole, and he carried that. And he walked and went into the slum, and all the beggars came out. And he said, "Oh, we are having a different kind of a guest today!" And so Dr. Usui said, "Please, I would like to be one of you, I would like to live here." And so, they looked at him and said, "If you want to stay here, we have a chief. And so we shall call him." So like in any gypsy camp you find a gypsy chief, you know, of the clan. And in this slum there was also a chief. So, when this chief was there, he came and he said, "I understand that you want to live here and become one of us." He said, "Yes." "He said, "If that is the case, all right, let me have the vegetables." And he took all the vegetables. And he said, “No need to wear new clothes here.” He said, “ Bring the initiation clothes.” And so they brought the rags, dirty, smelly rags. And then took off all his clothes, and when they undressed him, they found a money belt on him - money belt, and also the chief smiled, and he said. “You see, my eyes are really sharp and keen” he said. “I could see all through those shining new clothes, new skirt, new kimono, and a cloak you know. I could see the money belt. And that has to be released.”
And so he released it and so the chief took it. Then he said, “All right, bring the clothes. And put on the initiation clothes.” And he said, "All right, now obi - and put the obi around." Then he said, "Now, you have gone through the initiation and you can stay here. But what are you going to do?" He said, "I will not beg for food outside of this compound. I would like you to give me a cottage by myself where you can send patients and I am going to heal." "Very good, that's a wonderful exchange for food. All right, we will feed you three meals a day, and give you a place to stay and where all the sick people visit you. We need it. And we have all kinds: impetigo, we have all kinds of diseases, even tuberculosis and leprosy. You’re not afraid to touch them?" He said ,”No, I am a healer”, he said. So, I shall work from sunup to sundown, and therefore I want my meals brought up here. This is a very, very good thing." So this pleased the slum chief very much, and of course they took all the money and everybody divided the vegetables and stuff, and that was fine.
So Dr. Usui started the next morning, and he started to do it. But before he started, he chose his clients. All the ones that were sick got in a group, and then he chose young people, because he felt if they are young, the cause must be shallow. So he started to work on the cause and effect, cause and effect. And he was right! The older the person and the deeper the disease, he found it took many days and months. And so, when he worked on the shallow cases, in about a week they were all better and ready for a new life. So he said "You go to this address." And this was the temple, the Zen temple. "And ask for this monk and he will give you a new name and he will give you a job. And you go into the city or anywhere they assign you, and become an honest citizen and forget the slum. Now that we have helped you physically, you are a complete whole." You see?
And so this went on for years. So Dr. Usui had lots and lots of experiences. So, to make a long story short, if you ask me, was he successful? Was he a success? Far from it! Because Dr. Usui when he left Kyoto and his ministry, he left in search of how to heal the physical. He thought he was a very good minister, so when he came back and went all the way to the temple, searching, there all the monks said, "Spiritual first, the mind first and physical second. So why should we bother with the human body when we have medicine and doctors?"
So Dr. Usui was disappointed, because that was not his aim. His aim was to do something for the body. So he forgot the spiritual side. And then all these people went out of the slum. They weren’t easy - he was there seven years. One evening twilight he found himself at the Dejo[?]. So he walked around the compound to see how much accomplishment. Then he found a familiar face. He said, "I don’t know your name but your face looks familiar." And he said, "You too, and you too!" "But I don’t know your name. Who are you?" He said, "Oh, you should remember. I was one of the first guys that came here and got healed, and then you sent us to the temple. And when you sent us to the temple they gave us a new name, and we had a new job, and so we became honorable citizens and then we worked."
(And) so Dr. Usui was disappointed, he received the greatest shock of his life. And he just threw himself on the ground, and there was a mud puddle, but he didn't, he had no choice, he just threw himself. And he said he cried and cried like a little child, and he said, “Oh, what did I do?” He said: “I did not save a soul. So the physical is number two and the spiritual is number one. Therefore, all the churches in Kyoto were right! They were right and I was wrong. And therefore I am going to heal, absolutely heal! No beggars, no more beggars, no more beggars. And it was my fault for making them come back here as beggars." He blamed himself, he said. "So while his head was in the mud puddle, he began to think and he said, "I forgot to teach them before they left - gratitude. All you beggars are here because they are people only greedy, greedy. Greed, greed, greed, greed. Want, want, want - nothing to return, and nothing to show gratitude."
So, therefore, the five ideals were born at that time. And the ideals are: Just for today, do not anger; just for today, do not worry; number three, we shall count our blessings and honor our fathers and mothers, and our teachers and neighbors; and honor our food; we shall not waste any food, because food is also God-given, although the farmers they do cultivate it. But if you do have famine, you do not have food. But we just have to show gratitude towards food. And then, number four, make an honest living. We have to work in order to make an honest living, this is number four. And number five is to be kind to everything that has life. These are the five ideals of Reiki, it was born at that instant when Dr. Usui recognized his failure.
And so he said, “If I had taught them the spiritual side of it first, and then healed the body,” he said, “ it would have been effective.” But now all his patients were coming back. He said, "How many years did you work outside?" "A couple years." "How many years did you work?" "Only about a year and a half. But it's easier to fill up my stomach rather than work," he said. "Begging is a very easy profession. And(he said) I fill up my stomach better than working and hustling by myself." And therefore he said, "Beggars are beggars - no more Reiki. No more healing." And that is when Dr. Usui walked out of the compound.
And then he made a pilgrimage all over Japan, you know the main island part from the north to the south on foot. And he chose a big mall, where the people will be there. And he took a torch, and lighted the torch and he would be walking up and down the mall where there were thousands of people. So, one young man would come to him, and he said, "My dear monk, if you are looking for light," he said, "You don’t need that torch. Today we have a lot of sunshine. This is a beautiful day," he said. "You don't need this torch light." He said, "We can see." He said, "Yes, that is very true. But, I am looking and searching for people that have very sad, depressed minds. People are unhappy. I am searching for people that need this light to brighten their hearts and to take away their depression, and cleansing their character and their mind and body. And so, if you want to hear this lecture, come to the church."
And so he visited every temple this way, on foot. And into one of his favorite suguoka[?] you know, in one part of Japan, that's when he met Chujiro Hayashi, he was a retired Naval reserve. And he was a commander in the Navy. And when he heard Dr. Usui speak this way, he got interested, and so he attended his lecture. And when he attended his lecture, Dr. Usui kind of pointed him out after the lecture, and he said, "I see that you are a man (ah) that is a leader." He said, "Yes, I am. I have just served my time as a navy commander in the Imperial Majesty’s force. And now, I am reserve in the navy, so I have earned all that." So he said, "But you are too young to retire. So why do you not join me in this crusade, and then to help people? I think you would be a very good person to do this." And so Dr. Hayashi said, “Well, I will try. If you recommend so,” he said, “ I am interested too.” And at that time, Dr. Hayashi was only forty-five. And so he walked with Dr. Usui all over. He said that he was with him, I don't know, I forgot how many years, but until Dr. Usui died, went into transition, and when he did, and he said I need to go and Dr. Usui announced that it was Dr. Chujiro Hayashi that was going to continue this Usui System in the art of healing.
This is the life story of Dr. Usui, which I have heard from Dr. Hayashi. And during his reign Dr. Hayashi never changed the system. It is even until today, and even my students, and my followers, learned this art of healing at the Usui Reiki Ryoho and in English, the suffix[?] is Japanese, but it is the Usui System in the Art of Healing. And this word ‘Reiki’ is [a] Japanese word, but in English it is ‘Universal Life Energy’. But I use it as Reiki because I learned in Japan, and therefore I still continue to say it in the short word ‘Reiki’.
Dr. Usui had this experience at the beggars camp. And when he was down in the mud, his body in the hole - that's when his thinking came out and he said, “Ah! I have made a great mistake.” He said. “ All the churches were right - spiritual first. And here (he said), I did not preach the spiritual side, but I was so interested in healing the body that I just thought the best thing was to do the healing to make them well enough to appreciate, so that they could go out into the world as normal people.” But he failed. And when he failed, these five ideals were born. And in these five ideals, where did the beggars fail? The beggars have no sense of gratitude. And therefore, he said, "I’ll heal it! No more free treatments! No more Reiki, Reiki, Reiki, or classes, because they will never learn to appreciate." And this is very true, that Dr. Usui forgot at that moment he was so happy that he could do it. And so he said, "The seven years of experience, I shall charge it to bad experiences which I could not master. “Therefore,” he said, “ no more Reiki - free, free.” He said. “ Everything has to be on the upper-upper, so that we will have a good mind, and a good body, good mind and body to make a human being a complete whole.”
And this is very, very true. Because in 1936, when I came back from Japan, and Dr. Hayashi had warned me. He had warned me, he had said, "Whenever you become a master, never do it free because they will never use it, because it was free. Because it was free, it has no value." But once again, I asked my teacher: “Dr. Hayashi,” I said, “ will you permit and consent that I have one class free? And that is for all the people that have helped me through this year of sorrow and my sickness.” I said, "I would like to teach them and give them a free lesson in Reiki so that they could benefit." So Dr. Hayashi said, ”Now that you are well, you can return your gratitude by giving them treatment when needed, but not to say I'll hold a class for you people, and then to use it, and then to benefit yourself because,” he said, “that will never be acceptable.”
Now with that understanding, I said to myself, "Well, I have to try." And so the first people that I gave free lessons [to] were my best friend and relatives. They were my in-laws. All my in-laws had free lessons, and then all my neighbors, they had free lessons. And then when my two sisters came, I said “Wait, wait.” I said. “ I'm not going to teach you yet.” So, my sisters were kind of upset, and said, "Well, we heard here from all your neighbors and all the in-laws that you taught them something really wonderful." But I said, "I have to see their success too." So I said, "At this moment, I will say no for the moment." Then I waited. One day I was hanging my laundry, then the neighbor came and said, "My daughter didn't go to school today, because she had a little stomach ache. And so I brought her. I said, "why don’t you go in and give her a treatment?" So, I said, “Why? Why did I teach you? Why don't you try? You don’t even try!!”. She said, "No. Why should I? You're the expert here that lives next to me. So, it's easier to bring her to you than do it myself because I know she'll get well." And so that was one disappointment. And then on the other side of the town, another one said, "Oh, my daughter has runny nose and the teacher said ‘go home because it’s contagious, she has the flu.’ And so I brought my daughter, I want you to give her a treatment." I said, "Didn’t I teach you?" She said, "Yes. Well, why should I, when I have a car and can run to you? You're the expert here, and when you do it I know they are going to get well." And so I said, "You never even tried to use it?" She said, "No, why should I?" You see? No gratitude whatever! And believe it or not, I hid in my house and I cried. And then I looked towards Japan, and bowed my head to Dr. Hayashi, and also towards Dr. Usui's grave. And I said, “Forgive me for being wrong. I did not help any person because they did not accept this gratefully and spiritually, because they didn’t spend a penny.” And so I said, “ It is very sad, but I will turn them down hereafter, so that I will make them use it.”
Then after three months my sisters came again. And they said, "Now, do you have time?" I said "Yes, I have time. But do you really want to learn Reiki?" And so my sisters said, "Yes, we heard good things about you, but what is it, that all your in-laws know Reiki, and [why] not your own flesh and blood?" "Because there is a fee." "Oh, there is a fee. How much?" I said, "Three hundred dollars." And so she said, "Well, I don't have that kind of money right now. So I have to go home and ask my husband." I said, "Very good. And you don't have to pay me cash [all at] one time, but (I said) you can pay in installments. But I will not go to your house to collect the money. Every payday you come [to] my house.”
So, my sister was in a little… not so happy, happily …; she went home, she talked over with her husband, and she said her husband said, "Did you ask your sister that you would like to learn Reiki?" And my sister said to her husband, "Yes." “Well, if you had asked her that you want to learn Reiki,” he said, “[then] you pay the fee. And ask her; you will pay her by installments. And if she says she is not coming here to collect the money, you take the money to her, which is proper. That is proper, everything is proper. And so you’d better do it and that is my answer." That's what he said. Because he said it was okay, my sister came back and then she said, "Yes, we will pay you in installments, $25 a month," she said. "Fine, fine. I'll help you. Just leave [?], that's all."
And so, my two sisters learned, and they paid me in installments. I didn’t feel really very happy about this, but it was the principle that I had to follow. And then what happened, the first time her daughter had asthma, she said, because she had paid such a big price, she had to use it. "I couldn’t take her to the doctor. You know, sister, it worked! And I am happy, I learned, and it worked. And she will sleep better again and [?]good[?]." So, I said, "Now you get your lessons?" She said, “Yes,” she said. “ I came to apologize, you know, for not being happy-happy and being radiant over it, until I experienced it. But I know why you charged me. I know. Because you wanted me to be good, and a good practitioner, and then I do not have any more medicine bills and doctor bills, I don't have to go to the hospital every time she has a cold, or every time she is asthmatic, or every time bronchitis or a stomach ache.” And she said, “You know, I have three children. And so,” she said, “ now I understand why, and here today, I hang my head down very low, and then I come to thank you and I appreciate it so much, I'll make good use of it.” And she did!
Today she is a very, very successful woman. She has not failed in her business. She has her own business. And then she's a great healer, yes. And then she said that “Everlasting I have this power, everlasting. It was the cheapest investment rather than buy a car.” She said. “ Couldn't be any cheaper than this!” she said. And every time she sees me she says, “I give you Reiki." She gives me treatments all the time…every day if I am with her. You see? And that is the gratitude.
And all today when I have seen these twenty-four people that I have given the free lessons, not one of them are successful. Not even in business or in their health. And therefore, my teachers were right, they were absolutely right.
[end of tape]