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The Life of Mikao Usui

Dr. Nidhi Luthra

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In 1924 Usui began teaching a simplified form of Reiki to the public, in order to meet this demand. Two of his most notable students of this form included:

Toshihiro Eguchi, studied with Usui in 1923. Eguchi was the most prominent of his students and he reportedly taught thousands of students before the war. It is largely through Eguchi that Reiki has continued on in Japan.

Chujiro Hayashi, studied with Usui in 1925, just a year before Usui’s death. Hayashi was one of the first of Usui’s non-Buddhist students. Hayashi was a Methodist and had very strong beliefs, and was not open to the esoteric nature of what Usui was teaching. Usui eventually sent Hayashi on his way. Hayashi used the knowledge he learned from Usui to open a healing clinic in Tokyo. He readapted some of the format of Usui’s teachings and developed a more complex set of hand positions suitable for clinic use. His clinic employed a method that required several practitioners’ work on one client at the same time to maximize the flow of energy. One of Hayashi’s ways of getting practitioners for his clinic was to give the First Degree initiation Attunement in return for 3 months.

After this period he would offer the better students the Second Degree for a further 9-month commitment. Those who completed this had an opportunity to receive further training. After 2 years further commitment (which involved an apprenticeship under Hayashi) they were taught all the initiations /attunements and were allowed to begin to teach the first level. In lieu of money changing ands, each student had to work for Hayashi one eight hour period, once a week, for the duration of the commitment.

Usui quickly became very busy as requests for teachings of Reiki continued to grow. He traveled throughout Japan (not an easy task in those days) to teach and give Reiki Empowerment. This started to take its toll on his health and he began to experience mini-strokes from the stress. He knew that he would soon die. So, one day while in his office in Tokyo, he gathered all of his documents and materials on Reiki (including his class notes), his diary and the collection of sacred Buddhist texts and placed them in a large lacquer box. He gave this to Watanabe, whom he considered his foremost student and dearest friend. He then left for a teaching tour in Western Japan. Finally, on March 9, 1926, while in Fukuyama, he died of a fatal stroke; he was 62 years old.

His body was cremated and his ashes were placed in a Temple in Tokyo. Shortly after his death, students from his Reiki Society in Tokyo erected a memorial stone for him at Saihoji Temple in the Toyatama district of Tokyo.

According to the inscription on his memorial stone Usui taught Reiki to over 2,000 people. Many of these students began their own clinics and found Reiki schools and societies. By the 1940’s there were about 40 Reiki schools spread all over Japan.

Most of these schools taught the simplified method of Reiki that Usui had developed. Another, The Reiki Qakkai, continued to maintain the esoteric tradition. These practitioners have not brought their work out to the public and uphold a deeply spiritual basis for their work.The Secret Method Inviting Blessings The Spiritual Medicine of Many illnesses For Today only, do not anger, do not worry, Be filled with gratitude.Work hard, do your best, be kind to people.In the morning and at night join your hands in prayer (gassho), Pray these words with your heart, and chant this with your mouth.Use the path of Reiki to change your mind and body for the better.
- Mikao Usui, the founder of Reik

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