The last week in May, my family went on vacation, and stayed in a quiet little beach house in Sandbridge, VA for a week. It was lovely to be by the ocean and have some time away. I had brought my netbook, in the hopes of blogging and getting some other writing done a little bit each day. However, that was not to be. My hard drive crashed and died the first day of the trip.
That left me with the books I had brought. Not a bad trade.
I’d like to present to you with some of what I learned from having time to read some really fascinating books!
This post will highlight the first of three books I read.
The first book I enjoyed is “Reiki: The True Story: An Exploration of Usui Reiki” by Don Beckett.
In this book, I learned all about the “original” of the “original Reiki method.” That is, Reiki the way founder Mikao Usui taught it. I found out something really fascinating!! Mikao Usui did not use symbols. He did not use hand positions. Reiki was meant as a personal enlightenment practice. Healing was a side benefit, and it was done by intention. Usui taught different people individually, and each was taught a little differently from the last, because Usui varied his teaching to fit the experience, frame of reference, and ideal usage of Reiki for each student. There was no formalized system, no defined rituals.
This is extremely significant to me for a number of reasons. First, because Practical Reiki, the method that I use and teach, does not use hand positions or symbols. Its main emphasis is on intention and attention. Quiet, gently focused observation is the best state of mind for practicing. It sounds to me as if Practical Reiki is very much like Mikao Usui’s Reiki.
Second, Usui Reiki as it’s taught in the United States, follows Mrs. Hawayo Takata’s teaching method. She brought Reiki to Hawaii and introduced it to the West. She taught structured ritualized Reiki, including the addition of hand positions, symbols, and lots of formalized procedures. Practical Reiki differs so much from this version of Usui Reiki that many have treated me as if I am teaching a rogue or rebellious form of Reiki – as if I’m going against tradition by not using those things. Takata’s method of Reiki, which is also William Rand’s version, the most commonly taught in the US and many parts of the world, has become accepted as the “original authentic Usui Reiki.” But I have just learned that it’s not.
Turns out that Practical Reiki is closer to the original Usui Reiki than the method most accepted as the one that’s widely taught here. Not sure whether to laugh or yell, “SEE!!!?” I believe I did both several times as I read.
While in VA, my family visited the Edgar Cayce Institute in Virginia Beach. It’s a really fascinating museum and huge metaphysical library dedicated to the work of a man whose channeled information filled hundreds of volumes of texts. I brought a few copies of my book, and soon as I showed it to the woman who runs the gift shop, she immediately placed an order for the store and asked for an autographed copy for herself. Two visitors to the museum who were nearby asked if they could buy a copy from me too, and I gladly shared. It was a great experience, and helped to validate that what I’m teaching is needed and meaningful.
I’m training Practical Reiki instructors now as well as students, so that more people can share this accessible healing modality. And Usui was right – it’s a method to personal enlightenment besides being an excellent way to help oneself and others receive healing. My Practical Reiki for Nurses course is approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing to offer CEs to nurses and massage therapists. I’m training instructors for that course too.
Reading Beckett’s book was like a nod from the Universe and a blessing from Mikao Usui himself.
More book reports will follow in future blog posts!