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What is Reiki

"Everyone is born with the right to be healthy and live with happiness, and the path of Reiki helps us to fulfill that right." --Roberta R. Barnes, Reiki Shihan

In Japan, in the early 1920s, Mikao Usui developed Reiki-ho (Reiki method) as "the way to make mind and body healthy on the basis of Universal Reiki".* Reiki is the vibration of love and harmony of universal energy. Reiki-ho is not only a wonderful "healing technique", but also "an effective way to raise spirituality and to create a positive life". Reiki brings all within and around the body into balance, surrounding with harmony, and helps in personal relationships. It enhances mental clarity in the workplace. I have had students say to me, "Reiki is making such a positive difference in my life".

The Reiki (ray 'key) practitioner's body is the instrument through which universal energy flows drawn by the magnet of any imbalance in the mind, body, or spirit of the person, animal, or plant receiving. Neither Reiki practitioners nor teachers can direct the flow of Reiki.

No worry has to be given to harm coming from Reiki. It will only flow when needed, and will never give a negative reaction with any prescribed medication, or require a person to drink extra water, as with massage.

Clients often speak of feeling a gentle soothing heat from the Reiki practitioner's hands going deep within, but warmth is only one sensation that may or may not be experienced. The stresses of everyday life can rob our bodies of vital energies and Reiki replenishes those energies. Reiki will flow to any person even if he or she does not believe in Reiki. Reiki travels to where the need exists, and touches all the cells that it passes through in a positive way. It goes to the core of the illness, within the nucleus of the cells, to begin healing. It does not simply mask the symptoms of an illness.

Reiki is not a substitute for any professional medical care, but is used in balance with medical or psychological care and expedites the recovery process. Reiki practitioners who are also medical professionals, in hospitals initiate Reiki while doing conventional medical practice or therapy treatment. Reiki speeds recovery in all types of trauma. More and more hospitals welcome Reiki practitioners coming in to assist in the healing process of those patients that have requested it. Reiki can help those people in nursing homes and in assisted living facilities to adjust to his or her new environment.

It is commonly believed it was on Mt. Kurama where Mikao Usui meditated and connected with the vibration of universal energy he named Reiki in March 1922, some records say 1921 but Reiki did not exist anywhere in the world prior to Mikao Usui's second or true awakening. Over the centuries, there have been countless forms of hands-on-healing. Using universal energy to heal has perhaps been happening for over 40,000 years, and there are other energy systems used today for healing. In 1923, Usui-sensei created the society, which still exists in Japan today, Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai. Reiki is not connected to any religion. It is a spiritual practice, which complements all.

Mikao Usui was born August 15, 1865, left home in his youth, traveled, married and had two children, and held numerous jobs. Hiroshi Doi said he was called a person of free will. Usui-sensei passed away in his sleep after a long day of giving treatments, March 9th, 15th year of Taisho (A.D. 1926). *** His secular name is Usui Mikao and his Buddhist posthumous name is Reizan-in Shuyo Tenshin Koji. A Buddhist priest of the temple where the deceased use to belong customarily gives a person upon death, a Buddhist posthumous name. His Buddhist name is typical of the Japanese Buddhism sect Jodo shu. All those that knew him spoke of him as a very intelligent man, but there are no records of him ever receiving a doctorate or who decided "Dr." should be placed in front of his name. I was taught Sensei is a term of respect for an honorable teacher, so I am content to use that. Legends surrounding Reiki and created myths about Usui-Sensei are plentiful, but the natural healing wonderment of the energy Mikao Usui named Reiki overshadows all.

Anyone can learn to allow Reiki to flow through him or her from a person who has satisfactorily completed the highest level of the style he or she chose to practice in accordance with the Usui Reiki Ryoho tradition. The highest level in today's world is usually the fourth, but I have been told that before Reiki-ho began to move out of Japan in the late 1930s there were many more levels to be completed before one was considered to be a teacher. Reiki is not a skill so there are no schools as we think of them in this country, but a Reiki teacher will have a certificate and a lineage going back to Mikao Usui.

It is often heard that once a person has had his or her channel opened to Reiki s/he should devote his or her life to Reiki. Devote does not mean to earn an income from Reiki. Gendai Reiki-ho and Komyo Reiki, the methods I teach most frequently, teach how to make Reiki-ho a way of living in the home or at the job. Reiki can help a person to develop relationships that are more positive. Reiki allowed to flow into the work place can make workdays more enjoyable by helping to remove obstacles and developing productive relationships. Each of the levels I teach, except for the Pre-Shoden for children, includes a minimum of twelve hours of instruction which focuses on self-care practices that bring the mind, body, and spirit into balance and nurture a person's positive natural talents, abilities, and gifts. The path of Reiki helps each individual to develop in a positive way that is best for him or her, a wonderful way of honoring the uniqueness in each of us.

Reiki may sound complicated with so many people introducing so many different things into their practice, but it is not. The wonderment of the universal energy Usui-Sensei named Reiki resonates with life energy, enhancing everything positive one does in their life, and works in harmony with other positive energies. Reiki is a spiritual path we travel for our own growth. It enhances skills, and can bring wealth in many forms. Are there people in the world that have read a book or watched a video, and know the subject well enough to pretend they have had their channel opened? There will always be pretenders in the world, but any person having had their channel opened will have at least one certificate, and easily be able to give their energy and technique lineages back to Usui-Sensei.

The Gokai, or five precepts, or principals, is the backbone of Reiki. The five short lines are five ways to invite happiness in your life now (today), which can touch the past and future in a positive way.

About the Author
Roberta Barnes is a Certified Reiki Shihan/practitioner in several styles of Usui Reiki Ryoho including Gendai Reikiho and Komyo Reiki, and is a Certified Herbalist. All her life Roberta has naturally been what some call intuitive. She has worked with herbs since the 1970s and received her first Reiki master/teacher certificate in the late 1990s. She opened Natural Healing & Learning Center June 2002.

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