7 years of Jikiden Reiki (and no signs of the 7year itch)


Since Jikiden first came into my life 7 years ago, I think it is fair to say that I have benefited from and been changed by the practice on a daily basis, as have many others through me. This photo was taken in 2006  in Frank Arjava Petter’s house in Duesseldorf, when I attended my first ever Jikiden Reiki training event with Tadao Yamaguchi. (Since then I have attended many). I am posting it here, because the sheer delight I felt on discovering Jikiden Reiki is palpably visible. Delight at the quality of the training and deep insight into the roots, nature and essence of Reiki practice in a way that was tangible and practical, and very much applicable, and to be applied to, everyday life. Beaming with energy after five days of learning with Yamaguchi sensei and Arjava sensei, feeling like a ball of blueish-whitish light. (I’m the girl grinning from side to side sitting to the right of Tadao sensei).

My first Jikiden Reiki training with Tadao Yamaguchi in Duesseldorf , June 2006. I'm the person with the big grin on my face to the left of Mr Yamaguchi.

My first Jikiden Reiki training with Tadao Yamaguchi in Duesseldorf

Memories are flooding back as I see images of this year’s training with Yamaguchi sensei in Frankfurt popping up on facebook, with participants contacting me who have this incredible experience for the first time.

Recently I had a nice surprise when colleagues on LinkedIn unexpectedly congratulated me on on 7 years of dedication to Jikiden Reiki. This struck me like a bolt from the blue,  as time has just flown by since my first training in June 2006. There are definitely no signs of a 7 year itch as far as I’m concerned: I am as passionate about jikiden as ever.

So what am I getting from my keen involvement with Jikiden Reiki? Let me warn you: the list is bound to be long. On a personal level: I am definitely not the same person I was before I discovered Jikiden Reiki. A couple of weeks ago a friend stopped me in the street to tell me about a conversation she had had with one of her children: Her primary school aged daughter had asked her if I ever got angry. Because the girl had only ever seen me with a smile on my face, she believed that I would probably even smile when telling my kids off. Although not quite true, this lovely story made me smile even more. I am no saint and I can definitely (although rarely these days) blow my top, but it is true that I feel (and therefore probably radiate) a quiet undercurrent of  happiness most of the time. Like anyone else, my life has its complications and is by no means always easy. But I do feel quietly happy a lot, and I credit Jikiden Reiki for that. I love my work helping people return to physical and mental health with Jikiden Reiki treatments in my clinics in the Scottish Borders and in Edinburgh, and I love passing on these simple yet invaluable skills to others in my Jikiden Reiki courses and I love the effects the practice has on my life  and on the lives of those around me.

What other changes have I noticed about myself? Some of the qualities I have acquired through daily Reiki practice include patience, groundedness and more of an ability to see situations from multiple perspectives simultaneously; meaning I can better see and feel perspectives other than my own. When confronted with challenging situations, I don’t tend to panic and can usually think on my feet. Having been at the receiving end of  two nasty scams last year and again this year, I don’t tend to waste much time or energy on negative states of mind such as getting angry or upset (although worry can be a little harder for me not to engage in), instead finding the people and tools that can support me in effectively dealing with the situation.

Although I was lucky to receive a very good education and being naturally quite articulate, I don’t come from a privileged background, and have never been particularly confident (that is, unless I teach Jikiden Reiki). Being wired on the sensitive side and shy by temperament, I have been reluctant to reveal too much of myself. I remember with a chuckle how, when I first learned Reiki in 2003, I would keep this fact closely guarded private information only to be shared with the trusted few. This is funny, because several years later (and thanks to a process of constant, and sometimes painful, personal growth) I seem to have no choice but to fly by my true colours and to step out into the public domain bearing witness to what I know to be true. Wanting to share my my passion for Jikiden Reiki and its potential to help  people live healthier happier lives, simply by tapping into their own, innate, healing ability. Recently my efforts to bring Jikiden Reiki into environments that at first contact may not always be open to energy healing (such as conventional medicine) again triggered my fear buttons, but having done so successfully, the experience is helping me to slowly, steadily and incrementally close the confidence gap.

I am aware that I’m making it sound as if I had life all sussed, which is definitely not true. (However, for me, this makes a nice change from usually being hyper conscious of my shortcomings and failings). Just ask my friends and family and the people close to me for a long list of my flaws. All I am saying is that I have changed for the better since I became involved with Reiki practice, and I see positive changes in others, too. In my experience, the tools offered in Jikiden Reiki practice, such as the Gokai, giving and receiving physical Reiki treatments, reiju, Sei Heki treatment and hatsurei ho, as well as enabling us to practice Reiki for improved physical health, offer great opportunities for ongoing personal growth, too.

Not without reason, it seems to me, has Mikao Usui named his method ‘Shin Shin Kaizen Usui Reiki Ryoho’ (Usui Reiki treatment method for the improvement of body and mind) and described the practice as his ‘secret method to invite health and happiness.’ What could be more holistic than finding your authenticity, your stable, unfazed  core and your rootedness in compassion: all side-effects of dedicated Reiki practice. 

To be continued…

If you would like some sense of the physical healing benefits of Reiki practice, here are a few links you might like to follow:

Rehabilitation from Spinal Injury
Jikiden Reiki and Autism
Jikiden Reiki for Chronic Illness

Jikiden Reiki training with Tadao Yamaguchi in Edinburgh September 2013

After the seminar with Tadao Yamaguchi in Edinburgh September 2012If you would like to benefit from the amazing opportunity to learn Jikiden Reiki directly from Tadao Yamaguchi, please contact me through this website.

Feedback from last year’s training with Yamaguchi Sensei

Stressed and overwhelmed? Discover Reiki for self-care, contentment and resilience


Why I’m so grateful to have Jikiden Reiki in my life

A guest post by Elaine Rainey

AFTER COMING TO THE END of a lengthy busy period at work, I’ve been dedicating some time to long and luxurious Reiki self-treatment.  For me, it’s a rare treat to set aside exclusive time for such things and it feels wonderful.  As I place my hands on my body, I can feel the tension easing in my shoulders, the heat building up in my body and something gently softening in my chest.  I’m feeling so grateful to have Reiki in my life, making me feel so good.

Elaine Rainey, ecologist

When I look back through my diary at what I have achieved over this past few months, I’ve surprised myself at how I have managed to navigate this with my mind and body remaining in such a good place.  It reminds me of author and film producer Jeff Brown’s words:

“There is a time to adventure heartily into new possibilities, but there is also a need for quiet integration time on the self-creation journey. We can have all the peak experiences we want but the real work happens between the peaks, while laying down and integrating on the valley floor. Growers are inch worms. Lasting transformation is an incremental process, one soul-step at a time. This may frustrate us, but it’s the only way to craft an awareness that is authentic and sustainable.”

Jeff’s words made me realise that this is exactly what I have been doing over this past few months, slowly but surely keeping Reiki integrated into my life, whenever and wherever I could, in the spaces between the busyness.  And it has paid off with a level of productivity that I didn’t think would be possible a few months ago, when I looked out towards the daunting list of tasks that lay ahead of me.

The purpose of this story is not to advocate Reiki as another ‘tool’ to help us become more efficient, productive versions of ourselves.  It is simply to express gratitude to a simple yet powerful practice that, if committed to over time, can transform our lives.

Jikiden Reiki training has been one of the best investments that I have ever made for my health and wellbeing.  I am so grateful for the many ways that my Reiki practice has changed my life.  For me, however, the most wonderful change has been to the level of contentment I now feel.  This is not a kind of contentment that succumbs to the ebb and flow of life’s experiences.  This kind of contentment has resilience, it’s authentic and unwavering.  It’s the kind that has slowly crept up on me while I’ve been faithfully placing my hands on my body, night after night, in dedicated, regular practice.

Elaine RaineyElaine Rainey works as an ecologist and Jikiden Reiki practitioner and junior teacher based in Scotland, UK. Jikiden Reiki is a traditional style of Japanese Reiki, making a strong effort to keep the practice as close to its original form as possible. Elaine works with fellow Reiki practitioners and teachers to promote the benefits of Reiki, to support others through their healing journey and to encourage people to learn this wonderful healing art for themselves.

In September 2013, you will be able to learn authentic Reiki with Yamaguchi Sensei , the head of the Jikiden Reiki Institute in Kyoto, right here in Scotland. Until 2000, this level of in-depth understanding of Reiki practice had been locked inside Japan, with the first Westerners training in Kyoto in 2000, and it was only from the early 2000s that Tadao Yamaguchi started travelling to many Western countries to spread Reiki in its original Japanese form.

Jikiden Reiki Training with Tadao Yamaguchi in Scotland
Edinburgh 6th September – 9th September 2013

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If interested in this incredible training opportunity contact Gisela Stewart.

Discovering Jikiden Reiki. How training with Tadao Yamaguchi helped one woman to tap into her natural healing ability to help herself and others


A guest post by Ruth Hinks

Ruth Hinks at the Jikiden Reiki training with Tadao Yamaguchi in Edinburgh

Ruth Hinks at the Jikiden Reiki training with Tadao Yamaguchi in Edinburgh

“As far back as I can remember, I have always sought balance and harmony in my life and nurtured a strong desire to, ‘make things better’ for my nearest and dearest.  Whether calming babies or returning to flight, birds stunned against the window pane, being able to help others has been motivating and rewarding for me.

However, in recent years, I had a growing feeling that there was more – more depth and breadth – to whatever it was I could do.  A feeling that I was on ‘the cusp of discovery’, but had no idea what it was.  Sometimes it really felt as if I could help someone with a headache or a neckache, but other times I wondered if it were my imagination or just wishful thinking?

I’d heard about Reiki: been given insights and even a book recommendation by complete strangers as well as reading books that I’d come across quite by chance on my own.  With this information, I realised that what I was trying to do was to connect with  Universal Energy to help others get better, but I questioned whether I was on the right track, as any healing outcomes lacked consistency or confidence on my part.  I needed guidance.

A serendipitous visit to The Eastgate Theatre in Peebles put Gisela Stewart’s flyer about Jikiden Reiki in my path.  Interest and curiosity piqued, I found on Gisela’s website that Jikiden means, ‘directly transmitted or passed down from one’s teacher’.  So, in the case of Jikiden Reiki, there is a direct lineage from the founder, Mikao Usui.  The Jikiden Reiki being taught today is as close as can be, in clarity and simplicity, to the Reiki taught by Usui Sensei, Hayashi Sensei and Chiyoko Yamaguchi.  This I found very appealing.  And then, the exciting news that Tadao Yamaguchi, whom I’d read about in my research, was coming to Edinburgh to teach Shoden and Okuden.  If ever there were a case of, ‘The Master appears when the student is ready’, this felt like it!  I contacted Gisela straight away to secure my place to study with Mr Yamaguchi.

Next, I saw a portable treatment/ therapy table for sale in the small ads at my local supermarket.  Another gentle shove along the path!

Tadao Yamaguchi and Rika TanakaThe four day training course with Tadao Yamaguchi in Japanese, with translation by the delightful Dai Shihan (Teacher) Rika Tanaka, was a wonderful experience.  Hungry for this new knowledge that I’d been searching for, I soaked up everything like a dry sponge.   The others on the course, many of whom were repeating or had come to Jikiden via Western Reiki, were very warm and open people – their energy was palpable.  It was wonderful to be in the same room with so many like-minded people and I felt instantly at ease.

It struck me how accessible and ‘everyday’ Tadao Yamaguchi made Jikiden Reiki feel.  With stories of how his Mother, Chiyoko Yamaguchi, gave healing to all members of the family when he was a small boy, he illustrated how Reiki was essentially the natural First Aid.  There is very little ‘theatre’ to Jikiden Reiki – just immediate, effective help flowing in response to compassionate intention.

Leaving the training sessions each day, I felt on a natural high: truly alive with a raised vibration.  Centred, grounded and with improved balance, I felt better equipped to cope with anything and everything.  It really gave me confidence when Tadao Sensei said that it didn’t matter how long someone had been giving Jikiden Reiki, the healing energy flowing from a newly qualified practitioner is  the same as from one with many years experience.  What does increase with regular practice and experience is one’s ability to sense the levels of ‘Byosen’, the build up of toxins which are the likely cause of dis-ease in the body.

After the seminar with Tadao Yamaguchi in Edinburgh September 2012Since training with Tadao Yamaguchi in August/ September 2012, I’ve felt privileged and able to help all members of my family, including our Border Collie who comes to me daily.  I’ve also been able to help close friends who’ve been open to, ‘give it a go’ and have been delighted with the positive feedback.

Distance healing, learned at Okuden level, has proved very helpful also: from treating a headche in the U.S., to easing a tender coccyx incurred snowboarding in the French Alps!  I’ve been able to help calm agitation in palliative care and help to bring a sense of peace to a relative at distance as he experienced the passing of his Mother.  It’s amazing to be able to feel that you can help someone even though you can’t be with them in person.

Closer to home, my Husband has been the recipient of Jikiden Reiki healing on a regular daily basis.  Just 3 months after I’d studied with Tadao Sensei, he  slipped on the ice, falling badly and rupturing his patella tendon.  Surgery was required to repair the knee and he was in a full plaster cast, then a high-tech brace for almost 3 months.  During this time it has been wonderful to be able to help reduce the inflammation and ease the pain for him and for me, to feel, beyond doubt, that I really am assisting the healing process.

At the time of writing this, he is just recovering from a second operation to remove the wires from his knee.  He is now able to walk without any means of knee support.  With physiotherapy and continuing Jikiden Reiki treatments he hopes soon to dispense with the crutches.

In my experience there are no down sides: Jikiden Reiki benefits both the practitioner and the recipient of the healing energy.  My own health and sense of well-being have improved and I feel more calm and less easily stressed.  The more people who learn Jikiden Reiki, as is Tadao Yamaguchi’s Life Mission, the better for everyone in their community.


Tadao Yamaguchi teaching
Tadao Yamaguchi is coming over from Japan to Edinburgh to teach Jikiden Reiki in September. For more information about this unique opportunity to learn Reiki directly from Mr Yamaguchi  and to benefit from his close connection to the original teachings and his extensive experience, please contact Gisela through the contact form of this website. For training in London, contact Rika Tanaka.

Further reading: Thoughts on  learning Jikiden Reiki from Tadao Yamaguchi

After a spinal injury: Getting back into the saddle with Jikiden Reiki treatment


As someone who has been riding since childhood, Mags Fenner has been no stranger to falling off horses, then getting back on her feet, and into the saddle. Reiki practice on the other hand she wouldn’t have had much time for, thinking it to be a bit wacky and the domain of hippies. A chance encounter with Jikiden Reiki teacher and practitioner Gisela Stewart at a networking meeting gave Mags reason to think again. As her pain levels (from having fractured her spine a few weeks before) noticeably improved with just 10 minutes of casual treatment, she was ready to find out more about Jikiden Reiki. But let Mags tell her own story:

“In February of 2012 I fell off my horse. Having ridden most of my life,  I’ve had falls before; the reality of hitting the ground, at speed, from 5ft up was nothing new to me. As a kid  I was taught to always try to roll and land on my side. Unfortunately, on this particular morning my landing was not up to scratch and I realised as soon as I hit the ground that I had seriously hurt myself. An ambulance journey and trip to A&E confirmed that I had shattered a vertebrae at T12 (this is the last of the Thoracic vertebrae, it’s in the middle back).  It was a stable fracture, meaning that the spinal cord had not been compromised and that there would be no lasting paralysis. But it was an incredibly painful and debilitating injury nonetheless.

I spent 6 days immobilised on a spinal bed. Meals were placed on a towel on my chest and I fed myself with a spoon. I was rolled onto my side twice a day (and the same throughout the night) so I could be washed down and checked for sores. I had painful injections each day to prevent blood clots and I was heavily medicated for the intense pain. It was very scary and very claustrophobic. After six days I was put in a brace and helped to sit up. I managed 10 minutes before the pain and dizziness forced me into bed again. However, there was no stopping me and the next day I managed to shuffle a few steps around the ward and 3 days later I was discharged and home.

I was so happy to be back home and out of the hospital, but it wasn’t long before home itself began to feel like a prison. I had to wear the brace 24/7 and would do so for the best part of 3 months. I had no strength; lifting even a plate of food was impossible. I had to be dressed and washed; I was physically incapable of doing these things for myself. I couldn’t walk far – literally I was counting steps; 20 one day, 50 the next. I couldn’t drive, obviously. Suddenly the ward at the hospital seemed like the most social of spaces and I missed it. I was beginning to feel very low and this wasn’t helped by the fact that my son was due to deploy to Afghanistan. The doctors added anti-depressants to the list of painkillers and other meds.

Some weeks later I was asked to attend a 4N Business Networking launch. I had begun to offer freelance PR and Marketing services just before the accident and I thought this could be a great way to re-launch myself and also to break the monotony and get out and meet people. So although it was only a matter of 8 weeks or so since my accident I dosed myself up with painkillers and took myself off to “network”. And how fortunate that I did; for a chance meeting there introduced me to Gisela Stewart and Jikiden Reiki. From that first meeting until now I have been amazed (and thankful) for the opportunity Gisela has given me to experience Jikiden Reiki.

I am a traditionalist when it comes to medicine and although I had a vague idea about Reiki, it was not something that I had ever experienced before – or, to be honest, something that I particularly wanted to experience. Reiki to me meant vaguely hippy people with a faint whiff of 1960’s incense. Not so for Jikiden Reiki!

Jikiden Reiki practitioners know about the body and how their Reiki practices can best help the body to heal. I undertook a course of Reiki treatments to run alongside the physiotherapy and hydrotherapy provided by the hospital. The hour long treatments themselves are soothing and relaxing. The longer term benefits of each Reiki treatment meant my body felt easier, more supple and less ‘weighty’, my back pain would diminish and then disappear. Not only that; my stress related headache would be gone, I would feel less swamped by my problems. And the insomnia which was becoming a habit would not occur on Reiki days. In fact, after three treatments I felt so much better that I ditched the anti-depressants (and I haven’t taken any since – some 8 months later).

For me Gisela’s Jikiden Reiki treatments came along at just the right time. I believe that they dovetailed with my hydro and physiotherapy sessions to give me the ideal rehabilitation treatment. In a perfect world, I would love to see Jikiden Reiki being included as an option for anyone involved in rehab, the benefits to me were clear and as tangible as those I received from physio.

Mags FennerA final word, I was lucky to have fantastic nursing in the hospital and really supportive friends and family who made sure I was never alone at visiting time and sat with me even when I was at my lowest ebb. They encouraged me to think positive which is a huge part of any recovery. Some months into my rehab, I was distraught when told my one doctor that ‘at your age’ – I was 46, maybe I would have to settle for 80% recovery and not ever be able to bend to do my own laces up, or put on my socks; to accept that I just wouldn’t be able to function as I had before the accident. I am happy to report that this doctor was wrong. Thanks to hydro and physiotherapies, Jikiden Reiki and my own hard work, I can do my own laces up and I do function at the same level as my pre-accident self (with some very minor adjustments). And happily, I recently got back on a horse! “

Mainstreaming Reiki – Lessons from the Mindfulness Movement


 A guest blog by Elaine Rainey

The Healing Power of Reiki image

When Mikao Usui founded the method of Reiki Ryoho in the 1920s, he was determined not to keep it for his own benefit but to share it with society.  He believed that Reiki should be made accessible to everyone, to help people improve their physical wellbeing, peace of mind and happiness*.  This was an unusual position to hold in a culture where keeping such things within the family (in order to protect the wealth that could be generated from it) was common.

If we are to carry on the legacy of Mikao Usui, what are our options for bringing Reiki to society at large, so that all can benefit?  What steps can we take to avoid the pitfalls that might discourage the general population from giving Reiki a try?

If we consider the mindfulness movement, pioneers such as Jon Kabat-Zinn have integrated mindfulness into the mainstream with so much success that it is now widely used in a variety of settings, from hospitals to prisons to staff wellness programmes within large multi-national companies.  It has taken decades to achieve such success, but if we look back to the formative years, it becomes clear that the mindfulness pioneers had developed a winning formula from which to work.

The Editorial within the latest edition of Buddhist journal Shambhala Sun contains a useful insight into how the pioneers of the Western mindfulness movement presented their practice in the early days, in order to remove potential barriers that would prevent it from filtering into the mainstream. They focused on communicating the following three principles that they hoped would make the practice as accepted, universal and helpful as possible:

1. It is secular (available to all, regardless of belief).

2. It is evidence-based (validated by personal experience and sound science).

3. It is beneficial to our lives right now (to our health, happiness, families, society etc.).

If we consider these three principles in the context of Reiki, it becomes clear that our goal is arguably very much the same and that we have much to learn from how the mindfulness movement has approached the task that we as a community now have ahead of us.

1. Reiki is secular: Mikao Usui stated in the Kokai Denju that “all living things possess this incredible ability”.  Once trained, anyone can practice Reiki, regardless of their belief system.

 2. Reiki is evidence-based: Small but reputable studies on the benefits of Reiki are emerging (see http://reikiinmedicine.org/medical-papers/) but we have yet to see good quality, large scale studies demonstrating its efficacy. However, this should not leave us disheartened.  As a community, we have many success stories to tell.  Such testimonies may not be appropriate for convincing the medical community of the efficacy of Reiki but for the general population, a well-articulated testimony from someone they trust can have much more impact than a piece of published research ever could.  Numerous testimonials have been published showing the different ways in which Reiki has helped people. For example, you can read about Reiki for stress management at http://on.fb.me/VlvfB8, Reiki with Autism at http://bit.ly/11f5s4z or Reiki in acute trauma at http://on.fb.me/WMDc3z.

 3. Reiki is beneficial to our lives right now: Once we learn Reiki, we can use it right away to support ourselves, our friends, families and communities.  The energy is the same whether we have been practicing for years or for just a few days.  Being a beginner should not be seen as a barrier to efficacy.  Once we have Reiki in our lives, it will always be at hand when we need it, helping us to cope with whatever challenges life throws at us.

In continuing the legacy of Mikao Usui, we all have an important part to play.  Whether Reiki stays exclusively within our hearts, shining out towards others and speaking to them without words; whether the impact stays exclusively within our families or whether it extends to the setting up of research projects within our local communities or further afield; we are all contributing to positive change, to the changing of hearts and minds in such a way that Reiki will one day be considered as truly integrated into society at large.

* Taken from the Kokai Denju, a rare interview with Mikao Usui (the founder of Reiki practice) about the system of Reiki.

Elaine Rainey
Elaine has been a Jikiden Reiki practitioner for a number of years and has recently become a Jikiden Reiki teacher (Shihan Kaku).

You can connect with her on her facebook pages ‘Jikiden Reiki Treatments’ and ‘Song of Reiki’

Chronic illness: How to get the best results from Reiki treatment


Jikiden Reiki at Ladysmith  Physiotherapy

I’m amazed what even just three or four Reiki treatments can sometimes achieve. A month ago I saw a client three times in quick succession, who had been frequently ill for over two years and despite regular check-ups with her doctor and repeat medication, unable to get to the root cause of her problem. Tired of being ill almost constantly, she was willing to commit to the three sessions in quick succession that I had recommended.

We were going to reassess the situation after the initial boost, but it turned out that this was all the help she needed. Usually, chronic scenarios require a little more patience and commitment. However, this lady left feeling better after just three sessions. I am convinced that she would not have had the same results with the same number of treatments if given at weekly or fortnightly intervals. In my experience, to maximise chances of improving long-standing conditions, consecutive treatments are key.

In Jikiden Reiki seminars, when talking about the history of Reiki, we teach that Chiyoko Yamaguchi and her sister Katsue went out into the community for treatment on consecutive days, and working in this way fits well with the concept of byosen, a way of observing the body’s response to Reiki treatment that is a corner stone of Jikiden Reiki practice.  While byosen is strong, get back to the problem area as soon as possible (not a week later, as is the common expectation). It seems (from a discussion I followed on LinkedIn), that one of Mrs Takata’s students, Virginia Samdahl, also encouraged working in consecutive sessions. While substantial commitment is required from both practitioner and client, experience shows that using Reiki in this way is more likely to get the desired results.

On the related subject of chronic pain, internationally respected author and champion of integrative healthcare, Pamela Miles, recently refused to be impressed with a 40% improvement  after Reiki treatment, suspecting that even better results might have been achievable with a few more sessions. In my opinion, based on treatment experience and my understanding of Jikiden Reiki,  people who commit to an initial program of consecutive sessions or sessions scheduled in quick succession, can sometimes improve considerably. Learning Reiki themselves at this point, they can then self-treat for maintenance. If only there were a way of funding blocks of let’s say four to six sessions in quick succession, perhaps to be repeated once or twice (as required), so that more people suffering from chronic conditions could experience this type of shift.

You may also like to read:

Why the one-hour-a-week treatment model may not always be what you need

Check here for opportunities to learn Jikiden Reiki in Scotland in 2013

Staying Calm in the Midst of Chaos


How Reiki can help with the current unrest in the world

Amanda Jayne

Amanda Jayne’s article was first published on her website LearnJikidenReiki in October 2011. Anticipating presidential elections in the US, and in the wake of hurricane Sandy causing untold suffering and uncertainty, her subject seems as pertinent now as it did a year ago.

“There are huge movements rising up all over the world at the moment in what looks like ever-increasing chaos.  Dissatisfaction with political systems, corporations, economies, worry over environment and nuclear leaks, and vast differences in opinions on the way the world should look and what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’.  My guess is that there is more to come during this period of change and I find myself speaking to a number of people who are concerned about the future and what it may hold.
There may be more chaotic energy in the coming times – or there may simply be a period of quiet change.  Whichever it is, it is clear that change is happening right now and that we are all a part of it, perhaps more than we know.  What is also clear, is that each and every one of us can and will contribute to what takes place in the world.  Some will protest and march for change, some have already taken to the streets, some will write, discuss and argue in the virtual world of the internet and some will find themselves caught up in the fiery energy of violence or disruption in communities.  There will be people who sit back and watch the changing world, thinking it has nothing to do with them, while others still may feel helpless or ignore what is happening around them.

All are contributing to what takes place in the world.  It is simply the way of things.   Our wants, attitudes, fears, joys, actions, connections, emotions and thoughts are contributing right now, whether we are aware of it or not.  Fear and hate breed fear and hate, contributing to chaos; while moving into greater awareness and greater peace contribute to just that.  As one of my teachers, Ron Hulnick says, “Every time one person resolves one issue, the whole of humanity moves forward.”

It’s good news that everyone plays a part because all we have to do is decide if the way we are currently being in our lives is what we want to contribute to the world or not.  This doesn’t mean we have to sell our houses and build an eco hobbit house in the wilds of Scotland (though I would love to!), neither does it mean we must chastise ourselves over every negative thought or fear that passes through our lives.  What it does mean, is that we can begin to bring awareness around our reactions, how we are feeling and what we are allowing ourselves to think into our lives.   It means that we can remind ourselves when we are feeling off-centre, or find ourselves in worry or panic over the news, that our greatest decisions and ability to discern truth comes only when we are heart centred and calm.  There are many practices to help us come back to centredness and Reiki is just one of them, but I highly recommend it.

Usui sensei’s intention when creating his Reiki method ‘Shin shin kaizen Usui Reiki Ryoho – Usui Reiki Treatment Method for the Improvement of Body and Mind’, was to help people to peel off the layers of ‘stuff’ we all accumulate during life, physically and mentally, so that we are no longer led by ego and come into alignment with our true selves – with Source.

For this he created and used three things:

a)  Physical treatments to assist the body in eliminating toxins that build up and cause illness, to help with pain and skeletal misalignment and to calm, soothe and release emotion.
b)  Psychological treatments that help the mind to let go of issues, beliefs, unhelpful thoughts and negative associations or habits it has been holding on to.
c)  The gokai – the five simple principles that point us towards living well in each moment of now.
You can download an updated copy of my simple practical guide to living the gokai here.

In short, Reiki can be used simply as an everyday tool to help us stay well when we are healthy and get well when we are not, but it can also be used to help us awaken, to move into greater peace and bring us to calm centredness in the midst of what appears to be chaos.

Usui sensei saw that the world reflects the people in it, and therefore the greatest change can be brought about not by sending Reiki to a situation or an environment, but by giving Reiki to people.  As each individual changes, the world changes.

No matter how complicated a situation looks, the only energy that can positively contribute and transform chaos is love.  Love does not mean I won’t take action or speak out, neither does it ignore what is before me.  Whether I am faced with an everyday family situation, news of a disaster or a decision about my involvement in a movement in the world I give myself Reiki, feel the energy in my body and I ask myself these simple questions:

– Is this thought coming from love or fear?
– Is this decision based on love or fear?

It brings amazing clarity.”

Amanda Jayne

After the event: Thoughts on learning Jikiden Reiki with Tadao Yamaguchi


at the 2012 Jikiden Reiki seminar with Tadao Yamaguchi in EdinburghDare I admit it? (I’m shy about this ): After a week of becoming fluent at hearing Japanese (but not understanding much unless translated), I have started teaching myself Japanese with the help of an Oxford University language course I got for Christmas two years ago. Will I stick with it? I hope so. In an already busy and committed life, and with my memory letting me down left right and centre, this has proven too hard before. Perhaps the effort of memorising a new language will offer a cure to my memory problems? (Thinking neuroplasticity here, and forever the optimist!)

Anyway, my language course tells me (and I’ve heard this before) that “you won’t hear Japanese people use first names often, except within the family or between close friends.” How generous of Tadao sensei (and formerly Chiyoko sensei) to treat their students as family. I love the community building aspect of Jikiden Reiki. From each Jikiden Reiki seminar I have attended (and that’s quite a few since I first discovered Jikiden in 2006), I have come home having made new wonderful and lasting friendships. After the seminar with Tadao Yamaguchi in Edinburgh September 2012I also love the humility of a teacher who keeps pointing his students to the potential within themselves and knows that this can be realised with the help of reiju and a little dedicated effort.

Anyone can do Reiki

This is what Tadao Yamaguchi sees as Mikao Usui‘s legacy. Even beginners can use Reiki successfully. Tadao sensei’s mother, Chiyoko Yamaguchi, who had learned Reiki from Chujiro Hayashi at the tender age of 17 and had practised on a daily basis for over 65 years, used to stress that the Reiki coming from her and the Reiki coming from you and me is the same energy, and that perhaps the only advantage an experienced practitioner has is that they may feel the body’s healing response a little more easily. At the recent training in Edinburgh, Mr Yamaguchi emphasized that with lots of practice, any practitioner can get to this level within half a year or so. To me, this feels both humbling and incredibly matter of fact, the reality of someone who deeply appreciates Reiki, having grown up nurtured by it from before birth, but to whom energy healing is also as natural as water and air. No need to make a fuss or be all mysterious.  Since in essence, Reiki is completely natural, in harmony with nature, and everyone’s birthright. Therefore, from a purely Reiki point of view, there are also no reasons not to give Reiki. The ability to do so is completely natural, too, and part of being human. Most of us simply need a gentle reminder of what is already there.

One of my students commented that training with Tadao Yamaguchi to her felt much more ‘serious’ than attending a seminar with Amanda Jayne or myself (the content of Jikiden Reiki seminars always being the same of course, regardless of who is teaching). It’s true, Tadao sensei definitely has gravitas. But also so much lightness and humour. Attending training with Tadao Yamaguchi and Rika Tanaka, in my experience, is always highly instructive, and also so much fun.

I also like the fact that Tadao sensei is so dedicated to transporting the

Japanese values and attitudes behind Reiki practice

In Japan, the student teacher relationship lasts a life-time, and in 1930s Japan, students would meet up with their teachers once a month if they could. They also repeated the seminars several times, to consolidate their understanding of the content and to receive further reiju.  (Tadao Yamaguchi  has many photographs of the early seminars with Chujiro Hayashi which prove this). The concept of repeating the same training can at first seem strange to students from Western countries. However, practitioners who have done so invariably comment how much they had missed first time round and how their understanding has deepened.

As the feedback from the Jikiden training with Tadao Yamaguchi keeps coming in, I find myself thinking about what it takes to be a student of Reiki. The founder of the practice, Mikao Usui, deliberately placed himself on the second rung of the achievement ladder, there always being more room for growth and development. And really, how could one ever be anything other than a student of Reiki? Nonetheless, I have a lot of respect for teachers and practitioners of long standing experience with westernised Reiki (sometimes 20 years or more) who have the humility to go back to the Japanese roots of the practice, and it’s always nice for me to hear when they find the experience rewarding.

Tadao Yamaguchi will be a guest speaker at the Mindful Peace Forum in Dundee on Friday.

 ” Wonderful, thorough, clear, transparent training/teachings withTadaoYamaguchi.”
Thank you again for arranging the seminar with Tadao.  It was very well run and I felt I learnt a tremendous amount.  However I think there was so much to take in I also lost a lot.  When he next comes I think I need to repeat so that I can catch up on what I missed so please keep me posted when you arrange another visit.
Thank you for a marvellous seminar. I was fizzing with Reiki, thank you Mr. Yamaguchi.”
Had a wonderful 4 days Gisela…..thanks very much for organising it all very much appreciated. Hopefully Tadao will teach again in Scotland???
Photo credits: Thank you to Katrin Brauer for kind permission to use some of her lovely photographs taken at the end of this year’s Jikiden Reiki training with Tadao Yamaguchi in Edinburgh

Reiki ~ The Most Natural Thing in the World


Natural Healing with Jikiden Reiki“Reiki ~ the most natural thing in the world.” This is how I would summarise the essence of Jikiden Reiki and the jikiden approach to Reiki.

Passing on the teachings of Dr. Chujiro Hayashi, Reiki is seen as essential, perfect human nature, in harmony with creation. Reiki as a healing method and as a spiritual path helps find the way back to this pure state. Step by step ‘as if peeling thin layers of paper’. Physically, Reiki energises the body so that the natural cleansing processes can function optimally.

Having grown up with Reiki from an early age, for the Yamaguchis Reiki is as natural as water and air, yet something deeply appreciated. This is the sense I get yet again while rereading Tadao Yamaguchi’s book ‘Light on the origins of Reiki’.

Related reading: Is Reiki physical or spiritual?

No need for words: Whether you process your feelings by talking or in silence, Reiki can help


Reiki trip to Japan

Reiki works so well with very different personalities: those who have a need to talk through their experiences (who often gain considerable clarity with Reiki treatment), and those who choose to keep their inner landscape private. Importantly, Reiki works equally well for those people who prefer privacy, a way of processing feelings and experiences without going into or sharing their ‘story’. Over the years, I have worked with Reiki with a number of very ‘private’ clients, what a relief to them not to have to talk….and still come out so much lighter.

photo credit: Zlatica Retzler