Looking Back With Gratitude, Moving Forward With Hope

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Thank you, what a year it’s been!

Sandy Burnham

At the beginning of the year I was honoured to accompany my long-term client, student, mentor and, dare I say, friend, Sandy Burnham, on the final lap of her journey with cancer. Aileen Jardine and I had been privileged to be able to give her frequent jikiden reiki treatments. Sandy had been very publicly supportive of Jikiden Reiki. And she taught me much about grace.

Infinite love and thanks.

Reiki Documentary: Hand Healing, are you serious?

Reiki Documentary Premier

In the spring I was given the opportunity to make a documentary film with Emily Macinnes, an incredibly talented, perceptive and sensitive documentary photographer and a wonderful person to work with. Please check out her website, she has such a gift for telling deeply touching stories through the medium of photography. (And has now proven her hand at film making, too.)

Our 25 minute documentary ‘Hand Healing: Are you serious?’ was premièred at the First Jikiden Reiki World Congress in Barcelona in August and was very well received.

I want to give heartfelt thanks to Tadao Yamaguchi for his encouragement, belief in us and support, without which I would not have been able to overcome my (at the time pretty crippling) fears. I am so grateful to the sponsors who have contributed towards the cost of making the film. (So far, about half the required amount to cover expenses has been raised. If you would like to become a sponsor, please get in touch).

Most importantly, I am infinitely grateful to the people who have been willing to tell their stories on camera: of initial skepticism, doubt and then very real, tangible healing outcomes with Reiki.

Many people have spoken to both Emily and myself after the screening, giving us such positive feedback. To me the most encouraging comment was from a Paediatric Surgeon, who said that if anything would make her want to look more closely at the potential of Jikiden Reiki for healing, it would be the kind of testimonials that we captured in our film.

Hand Healing, are you serious? A Reiki documentary

I now look forward to working with Emily again some time in 2015 to plan the online and offline launch of our project. The hope is that it will help change perceptions and open the minds of many more people to the benefits of Reiki.

1st Jikiden Reiki World Congress in Barcelona

Was it the line up of speakers, amongst whom were internationally respected leaders and authorities in the field of Reiki and energy work? Was it the newly emerged facts about Reiki history that Yamaguchi sensei shared at the Conference? Was it the fact that the first day of the Congress coincided with Usui sensei’s birthday, which we duly celebrated? Was it meeting old friends again some of whom live in countries far away, and having the opportunity of nurturing new and old connections? Meeting colleagues from all over the world (21 countries to be precise)? Was it the remarkable City of Barcelona?

Chiyoko Yamaguchi’s Tribe

Chiyoko Yamaguchi's Tribe

It was all of these things that made the Congress a wonderful experience, and it was so much more:

To me it was Chiyoko Yamaguchi’s grounded, unpretentious, simple, deep love of Reiki that was at the heart of this Congress, bringing people from so many different parts of the world together to be part of Tadao sensei’s vision to share Reiki in its orginal Japanese form with the world. I am truly grateful to be part of this global tribe.

4th Annual Jikiden Reiki Seminar with Tadao Yamaguchi

September saw the 4th Annual Jikiden Reiki Training with Tadao Yamaguchi in Edinburgh. We’re so lucky that he chooses to train new and existing practitioners here in Scotland every year!! Here’s feedback from one of this year’s new students: “Thank you for arranging such a beautiful seminar, with such wonderful, lovely souls. I’m still smiling ! I really had no idea how truly amazing it would be. It all flew by so quickly ! I’m only just starting to digest all the information and the whole feeling of those marvellous 4 days.” ~ Helen Kelly

Tadao Yamaguchi in Edinburgh 2014

It’s true, the trainings bring together amazing people for an amazing experience (and very solid, authentic, Reik training) every year.

Tadao Yamaguchi has promised to be back next year! (Watch this spot)

Simply Jikiden Reiki Borders Treatment and Training Studio

2014 has not only seen my 2nd anniversary working from the Ladysmith Physiotherapy Clinic in Innerleithen, but also my 5th Anniversary this November of working from Tweed Chiropractic Clinic in Galashiels.

Simply Jikiden Reiki Centre in Galashiels

Even better, my dreams are coming true: For years I’ve fantasized about my own Simply Jikiden Natural Healing Centre. And this summer I have taken on a beautiful large treatment room under the Complete Health Borders umbrella, which is big enough to hold practice events and seminars: The Simply Jikiden Borders Studio!
We’ve had our first monthly Reiki share there in October, which felt great. Now I am looking forward to regular monthly Reiju kai events and biannual seminars in Galashiels in 2015.

Ending the year on a festive high

On the first Sunday in December we held our  2nd Scottish Jikiden Reiki Christmas Gathering in Edinburgh. We had a lovely Christmas lunch and Reiju kai afterwards (by popular vote this will now be an annual event!).

Jikiden Christmas Gathering

MarikoportraitMany thanks to fellow Shihan Mariko Tanaka Pollock for her presentation on Shinto and her irresistibly charming invitation to visit her home country of Japan for the 2nd World Congress in Kyoto in 2016.

Folks start saving now, this is going to be unmissable!

Wishing you all a joyous and relaxing holiday period and the very best for a healthy, prosperous and happy 2015.

With much love
Gisela xo

You may also want to read : How I got into Reiki, part 2

It’s about a woman on a mission to help spread Reiki 🙂 Our documentary film project will hopefully take this mission one step further. Watch this spot in 2015!

4th annual Jikiden Reiki Seminar with Tadao Yamaguchi in Edinburgh


What drew me to Jikiden Reiki was the simplicity of the method passed on unchanged from the original teachings, the quality of the theoretical concepts and the Yamaguchis’ experience in successfully treating people year after year.” AMANDA JAYNE

Jikiden Reiki offers a useful approach for conditions that are notoriously difficult to treat in medicine.” JENNY VERINDER, paediatric nurse and health visitor

 Are you looking for effective tools to boost the body’s natural healing ability?

JIKIDEN REIKI  gives you the skills to engage the body’s amazing natural capacity for healing. Reiki in its original Japanese form: pure, simple and effective. The training is clear and comprehensive, giving you the tools to use this simple hand healing modality on yourself and on others with confidence. Reiki Course with Tadao Yamaguchi in Edinburgh

Tadao Yamaguchi is the head of the Jikiden Reiki Institute in Japan. His mother Chiyoko learned Reiki from one of the original teachers, Dr. Chujiro Hayashi (a trained medical doctor and Navy officer).  Together they founded the Jikiden Reiki Institute with the intention of spreading authentic Japanese Reiki, and Tadao Yamguchi has been working tirelessly ever since to help people worldwide discover authentic Japanese Reiki as an effective natural healing method.

For information on the course syllabus click here.

 Edinburgh 6th-9th September 2014

Shoden (1st level): 6th & 7th September
Okuden (2nd level): 8th & 9th September

Shihan Kaku (Assistant Teacher): 10th September 

Course organiser Gisela StewartCourse Organiser Gisela Stewart
gisela@simplyjikidenreiki.co.uk
01896 870277     Rika Tanaka portrait2
Course language Japanese, translated into English by Rika Tanaka. The training with Mr Yamaguchi is also available in London (28th-31st August). Contact Rika Tanaka for details. Teacher training in London: Shihan Kaku 1st September, Shihan 1st & 2nd September

Cost:

Note: The fees for training with Yamaguchi sensei are slightly higher than with other Jikiden Reiki teachers because of his costs in coming over from Japan. Shoden: £230 Okuden: £280 Shihan Kaku: £650 Shihan: £550

Teacher training

is only available to candidates who have completed their Jikiden Reiki training and meet a number of strict criteria and requirements, including sufficient treatment experience (120 hours on 40 different clients). There is no fast-track to becoming a fully qualified Jikiden Reiki teacher.

What others say

Thoughts on learning Jikiden Reiki with Tadao Yamaguchi

How training with Tadao Yamaguchi helped Ruth to tap into her natural healing ability

Hand Healing? Are you serious?

Do you already practise Reiki, or are you a Reiki Master?

This article explains why Jikiden Reiki may be of interest to you.

How is Jikiden Reiki different from Usui Reiki?

What makes Jikiden Reiki training special?

Tadao Yamaguchi teaching in EdinburghPractical, treatment focused training, allowing unique insight into the cultural and spiritual roots of Reiki practice.

Simple, practical healthcare tools to support yourself and others. Ongoing local support from teachers to help develop skills and confidence.

Suitable for complete beginners and experienced Reiki practitioners.

The Jikiden Reiki curriculum is likely as close as it is possible to get today to how the founder of the practice, Mikao Usui, taught.

Original Reiki, nothing added nothing changed. Passed on in its original integrity.

A global supportive community of practitioners.

Students are accredited by the Jikiden Reiki Institute in Kyoto, Japan.

Places are limited. You can secure your space by requesting an Institute approved booking form from the course organisers and paying your non-refundable deposit.

Click here to book you place now

Jikiden Reiki course with Tadao Yamaguchi in Edinburgh 2012

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

IMG_5953

If interested in this incredible training opportunity contact Gisela Stewart.

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’

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

How is Jikiden Reiki different from Usui Reiki?


Mikao Usui SenseiAnd what would an Usui Reiki Master get from taking this class? How often have I been asked this question in person or by email. This time, though, I have been asked in a public way, so I thought I had perhaps best answer in public, too. First of all: Jikiden Reiki is Usui Reiki, as this simple hand-healing method started with Mikao Usui in Japan in 1922. ‘Jikiden’ means directly transmitted, and in the Japanese language and culture, is a term that refers to a traditional art form,  passed on carefully from teacher to student without changes.

Chiyoko and Tadao YamaguchiChiyoko Yamaguchi, who had learned Reiki from one of the teachers trained by Usui Sensei, Dr. Chujiro Hayashi, and her son Tadao decided to pass on what they had learned from Dr. Hayashi after they had met with many Western Reiki practitioners and realised how much the practice had changed, with so many new elements having come in that orginally had nothing to do with Reiki practice, and with notions that they considered fundamental to Reiki practice either not known at all or marginalised.

What would a Usui Reiki master get from taking Jikiden Reiki training? I have taught a number of Reiki masters, who have hugely appreciated what we teach and who found that it has clarified many questions for them and deepened their understanding and their practice. I have also met  one or two who were happier with their own way of doing things.

So, I will answer your question from my personal experience, as ultimately we choose what’s right for us, and that’s individually different isn’t it. Having trained in Western Reiki to master level first (which in itself was a wonderful experience, and Reiki as a healing practice ‘caught’ me straight away), I could nonetheless sense the inconsistencies and felt uncomfortable at being given tools with applications that I knew from experience, worked just fine, but didn’t know where they were coming from. Incidentally, I have heard Phylllis Furomoto express what seems to me a very similar frustration at her experience of learning Reiki from her grandmother, Hawayo Takata, in two interviews.

I want to make it very clear that we have no criticism of Mrs Takata and are deeply grateful to her for having found a universal format (i.e. devoid of it’s original (Japanese) cultural and spiritual context) that allowed Reiki practice to successfully spread in many countries around the world. But in different historic circumstances from those Takata sensei found herself in in Hawaii and America just after the World War II, we can now gain access to the specific Japanese cultural and spiritual roots of Reiki practice, and for me that is important, as it makes the practice intelligible and trustworthy, and allows for deeper understanding.

Just for the record, I’m not saying that only Jikiden Reiki training allows for understanding of Reiki practice, and I have seen many practitioners grow deep roots and insight into the nature of Reiki simply from consistent practice (the path that Takata sensei recommended).  I had also realised a thing or two about Reiki practice and Reiki treatment in this intuitive way that weren’t being taught in Western Reiki. (My first Reiki Master had learned  in the 1980s, just a few steps away from Mrs Takata). You can imagine my delight when I found these confirmed, explained and elaborated upon in the Jikiden Reiki teachings.  In my opinion though it was perhaps the fact that Reiki was passed on without its Japanese roots that has also opened the door widely to  misunderstandings and to Reiki becoming amalgamated and confused with so many other ways of thinking about energy work. Instead of blending everything with everything else until we end up with grey, why not simply accept that there are many paths to healing, and different windows to truth (and keep our window clean)?

Again, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that combining Reiki practice with other healing modalities or other thought systems is necessarily wrong and must never happen. But we are now in a situation where Reiki has become amorphous and personally, I can understand why anyone with their critical faculties intact might dismiss this wonderfully simple and accessible healing modality after a 20 minute browse on the internet. Jikiden Reiki is very much about keeping the practice as much as possible to how it was conceived of by its founder, and there’s a rigour and discipline in Jikiden Reiki that I see as a mark of respect to the original teachers.  Reiki was born out of an experience of enlightenment and crafted as a healing method from a broad knowledge base of different traditions. Mikao Usui prided himself in the simplicity of the method he had created, and to me this is one if its incredible strengths.

Frank Arjava PetterAsked why he hasn’t founded his own school of Reiki, internationally respected Reiki teacher, researcher and author Frank Arjava Petter gave the following answer in a recent newsletter: “Personally I don’t see the point in adding another new form of Reiki to the confusion because I think that trying to improve upon “soul energy”- Reiki- is quite inappropriate. Let’s be respectful instead to what we have been given by Usui Sensei and those who carried the torch after him.”

So without being able to reveal the details of Jikiden Reiki practice (you will appreciate that these are being passed on directly from teacher to student), what are some  of the aspects that I most appreciate about Jikiden Reiki?

I value the conceptual framework for how Reiki energy interacts with the diseased body and think that it has great practical value. In Jikiden Reiki, we don’t work with set hand positions, but instead  focus treatment on the areas where there are accumulations of toxins (byosen), using Reiki to help the body break them down and eliminate them more effectively. From a jikiden point of view, a toxin free body tends to naturally show a quick healing response and is quite capable of looking after itself. Yet, living in the 21st century it’s almost impossible not to experience toxin overload. Training practitioners to develop sensitivity in their hands so they can find the problem areas in my opinion is an invaluable asset, as working directly on the problem areas tends to get faster results when illness is already manifest and is also a skill of great value in preventative health care.  Using Reiki early on, perhaps we never need to experience the more serious conditions that may develop if we don’t regularly clear the build up of toxins. And what a blessing to have the means to do this in our own hands!

While the concept of byosen can easily be taught in a week-end workshop, you will appreciate that the skill of effectively reading a client’s body comes with time. This most useful perception skill is subtle at first and really begins to unfold with practice, ideally on others, not just oneself. Once fully developed, the ability to sense byosen gives useful insight into the natural healing process, and helps the practitioner make important treatment decisions: where to focus treatment and for how long. Are we dealing with a chronic problem or is it acute? How long to stay in the same area during a session, and how many sessions will be needed? Don’t get me wrong: We are not medically trained and cannot diagnose the nature of the problem or name your disease. We simply decide  where focusing Reiki treatment is most useful, and can assess healing progress and frequency of treatments needed for best results based on the changing sensations in our hands. On a number of occasions, the ability to sense byosen has also helped me to find areas where emotional trauma was stored in the body, and for this then to be safely released with Reiki treatment.

Going back to why adding more isn’t always a good idea and may create clutter where there once was clarity, I really admire the simplicity of the healing system created by Mikao Usui. Once the original context and intentions have been re-inserted into Reiki practice, we simply don’t need to worry about many of the complicated debates found in Western Reiki (on issues such as grounding or protection for example) as we realize that the answer has already been built right into the core of Reiki practice. “In the Western mind everything seems so complicated”, Chiyoko sensei once said. I  love the elegance of a system that takes care of complexity in the simplest possible way.

Personally, I also like that spirituality in Jikiden Reiki is implied in everything, as natural as water or air, and therefore need not be shouted from the roof-tops. (My colleague, Amanda Jayne has written a wonderful blog post on this, which I would encourage you to read). Instead we focus on becoming compassionate by working on ourselves. For this we have the Gokai, or 5 Reiki principles, which Arjava Petter describes not only as a road-map to enlightenment, but also as a reliable compass of our progress, indicating where we still need to work on ourselves. And this, at least in my case, is very much work in progress, and helps me to keep humble and real.

I had already mentioned how grateful I am for the insight Jikiden Reiki allows into the tools that we use in Reiki practice. This is a far different experience from being given shapes and words and their application. Learning about the context from which these tools were taken and their inherent meaning and function not only makes sense of the treatment methods we use (physical, psychological and distant) but also allows for a unique insight into the philosophy behind Reiki practice and the world view underlying it.  It is also here that we find the answers to issues that have become very complicated and involved in Western thinking about Reiki.  Again, everything fits so elegantly and addresses the task at hand in such a straightforward way.  Sei Heki treatment for example accomplishes incredible results, even with long-term mental or emotional patterns, and knowing the background to this treatment method it becomes clear how this can be achieved in such a simple way. I am of course not saying that you will find scientific explanations here, and you probably don’t expect this. I find Jikiden Reiki spiritually trustworthy and offering a coherent system though.

Ultimately, everything we do in Reiki practice is designed to bring us back, gently and at our own pace, to our original state of perfection and oneness, and Jikiden Reiki offers simple and effective tools along this way.

 

Why we really don’t need a Guru


relaxing after the Jikiden Reiki seminar

Once in a while, quite often actually to be honest, I ask myself what it is that I value so much about Jikiden Reiki. There are many answers to this question. Today I want to focus on the power of being ordinary. Of simply being yourself. Continue reading

Stop, and do Reiki!


In Jikiden Reiki, we teach a special technique used only for First Aid: cuts, grazes, bruises, sprains and even burns. It works beautifully and tends to get fast, clean healing results. The bleeding stops more quickly, and sometimes you can literally watch the blood congeal and a crust form in front of your eyes. It’s as if watching the healing process through a time-lapse camera. As a mother, I have plenty of personal experience here using Reiki to deal with the countless scrapes and grazes that come with early childhood. Continue reading

Japan needs our continued support


As Japan is hit by another earthquake and another tsunami warning is in place, the people of Japan need our continued help. Please send your prayers and help practically. Donating to aid the relief work is as easy as clicking here.