Traditional Reiki vs non-Traditional
Being a Reiki healer is a great practice of healing, but it’s not the only kind of Divine Holistic healing in the world. Asia doesn’t have the corner market on that kind of healing practice and to my knowledge, they’ve never claimed to be the one true Divine holistic healing method. There are many variations of Divine healing and each one has its own name, process and approach. Some don’t like being called Reiki because they believe it takes away from their own traditions and history. Understandable. When you have a tradition that you feel passionate about maintaining, what you call it has meaning.
By the same token, simply calling something “Reiki”, doesn’t make it Reiki. It is up to you as a student or someone looking for healing services to determine what is appropriate for you. But you should know a little about what you’re asking for so you know what is Reiki and what isn’t.
I’ve taken many forms of holistic, or what can be called Divine Energy, healing methods through my half century of living. So I have a small portfolio of healing modalities to compare each one against. For me, Reiki (traditional Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki) fits best with me and what I feel most connected to within my own soul.
But each form of Divine healing modalities has its merits and not one is more or less valid or effective than the other. So as with anything in the spiritual world, what rings true to you, is what’s important. And how you express those views will determine how effective your perspective is on your spiritual journey and path toward enlightenment. As well as you path toward helping others to heal.
I’ve made no bones about being a traditionalist. I was trained by Rev. Beth Gray and John Gray both of whom are Masters of Hawayo Takata. And Wilma Donald a Master from Arlene Green who’s Master was Beth Gray. That’s about as traditional of a lineage as you can get within the scheme of things.
Most Traditionalists I have met are open minded about other healing methods. They don’t close a view to new ideas or innovations. But they, like me, put a lot of emphasis, weight and importance onto the traditional methods of Usui Shiki Ryoho.
Let me quickly explain this as it’s defined by the Reiki Alliance.
Reiki is a Japanese word translated as “Universal Life Energy” by Hawayo Takata. She brought the possibility of a relationship with this energy to us through Usui Shiki Ryoho, a healing system founded by Mikao Usui in the early part of the 1900’s.
Usui Shiki Ryoho can be translated as “the Usui System of Natural Healing.” Until the mid-1990’s, this was the most common translation and was used by nearly all of the various forms of hands on healing practice that came from Hawayo Takata’s teaching. At this time, Phyllis Lei Furumoto decided to return to the Japanese title of the practice to identify the form of practice and the system that she teaches: Usui Shiki Ryoho.
One might think of it this way; There’s something to be said for Tradition. Keeping to the ways of a specific form or practice and understanding has a value. Leaving it intact and as close to the historical nature of its original teachings not only helps to preserve the information, but it allows the value of the “tradition” to stand on its own through the test of time.
That’s not to say that even within a tradition of doing something that new thoughts or perspectives can’t be included. They can, and in fact they often help an individual share that which has already been established, tested and has stood up to the test of history and facts. Innovations don’t have to change what’s traditional in order to make it better or more effective. Tradition gives value and importance to something, especially something that maintains its wisdom through its practice, the change of time and thought. If it can live up to these changing standards, which Reiki can and does, there’s no need to reinvent it or alter its practice to make it more than it is. It already is the All and the Everything of its form of healing.
One of my students explained during a Reiki Level I training session that she practices Cyrstal Reiki. When asked what this is, she said it’s using the Divine energy through the crystal to enhance it and focus its energy. Now that sounds nice, but here’s my question; if Reiki is using Divine energy, it’s already the All and Everything. How do you enhance “God energy”? And more importantly, why would you need to try?
In Usui Reiki, YOU as the channel, are the crystal that focuses the energy for healing. It does not need to be enhanced, because it is already the All and everything. So to me, she didn’t fully understand Usui Reiki and what its practice tries to teach.
Additionally, it indicated that what she was practicing was a form of Crystal healing. Which is fine and I’m not taking away from that modality. I teach and practice Crystal healing for those who feel drawn to its procedure and energy. But simply putting the label “Reiki” onto something, doesn’t make it Reiki.
It’s perspectives like this that weakens the modality known as Usui Reiki. So when someone calls what they do Reiki, but they don’t adhere to the traditional form of Reiki, I don’t question their ability or what they are providing. I do wonder if they understand what Reiki really is.
Sadly there are many people who picked up a book about Reiki written by someone who never took traditional classes and hung out a shingle. They took the label Reiki to profit on the name, and they began teaching what they called Reiki. That sadly began the watering down of Usui Reiki and of course traditionalists say, the watering down of Reiki as a healing modality. Seems like everything now is called Reiki, even if it doesn’t share the Reiki methods or approach.
That doesn’t make every non-traditional method bad or watered down. But at the same time, sticking to tradition doesn’t make it old or antiquated either.
There will always be a difference of perspective and view from traditionalist like me and the new thought crowd who have moved away from the tradition. And that’s ok, it’s what makes the world interesting. But I think it’s important to remember that Usui Reiki doesn’t claim to be the top, the only, the end all or be all of healing methods. It claims to be one of many methods that utilizes Divine energy to help people, animals, situations, places and anything else that may need positive energy, to find the healing it needs.
What rings true or what you feel drawn to is what’s important to you to follow. For me that’s following and adhering to tradition, at least in the form of Usui Reiki. You can read about my approach and view of Usui Reiki on Spring’s Haven at Usui Reiki – An Introduction To The Art of Healing.
The Reiki Alliance (reikialliance.com) is the official organization that tries to maintain the Usui Tradition as it was taught by Miako Usui known as Usui Shiki Ryoho. The alliance is headed by the Office of the Grand Master which was founded in 1993 after Phyllis Lei Furumoto, the recognized lineage bearer, and Paul David Mitchell, recognized as Head of Discipline, formed a partnership to maintain the strength of the system brought to them by Hawayo Takata. ~ from ReikiAlliance.com
In order to be accepted into the Alliance, a Reiki Channel must be able to prove their lineage and demonstrate their knowledge and practice. Additionally, as with any professional organization affiliation, there are dues for recognized members. I have applied to the Alliance and began the process of affiliation. I have been through the first interviews and I have been provisionally approved for membership. You can also follow The Reiki Alliance on Facebook.
Phyllis Lei Furumoto, the recognized lineage bearer, is the grand-daughter of Hawayo Takata.
In December 1980, Hawayo Takata died, leaving 22 masters to carry on her work. There was a question Takata Sensei left. Who was her successor? For some of the masters, she had told them clearly that this was to be Phyllis. For others, they had heard nothing. For Barbara Weber Ray, she had been told that she would be the successor. This seemed to be the beginning of a break in the solidarity of the circle of masters. Through the next years, as Phyllis was recognized by many of the masters, two distinct practices emerged, one emphasizing the 4 aspects of the practice and the other concentrated on the healing technique. ~ from UsuiShikiRyohoReiki.com.
You can also follow Phyllis’ Blog
Paul Mitchell, the recognized as Head of Disciple of Usui Shiki Ryoho.
Paul learned Reiki from Hawayo Takata in 1978. He later became one of the twenty-two Masters she initiated before she died in 1980. He shares the Office of Grand Master with Phyllis Lei Furumoto and, as Head of Discipline of Usui Shiki Ryoho (Usui System of Natural Healing), holds the place for maintaining the teaching and practice of the system as taught by Hawayo Takata. ~ from UsuiShikiRyohoReiki.com.
And you can also follow Paul’s Blog.
Which ever perspective you take to practice Reiki, make sure you are gaining the knowledge you need for your spiritual path. Investigate your teacher, or practitioner by talking to them. If they feel offended by your questions, then they may not be reliable. Any one who has taken the time to go through training and the expense of certification will have no problem talking to you about their lineage, whatever it is. They hold pride in what they’ve accomplished and they’re more than willing to share their views and perspectives. Then it’s up to you to decide what you want, need and where you want to spend your hard-earned money! Good luck!
© 2014 Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D. Springwolf Reflections / Springs Haven, LLC. All Rights Reserved.