The History Of Reiki


Reiki is an ancient healing method with its roots in Tibetan Buddhism, and re-discovered by Dr. Mikao Usui in the late 1800's.  The story of Dr. Usui's search for this ancient knowledge is based on oral tradition as told by Mrs. Hawayo Takata and others.


Mikao Usui (1865-1926) was the principal of the Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan, and a Christian minister.  


One day, when asked by his students how Jesus had performed his healing miracles, Dr. Usui found he was unable to fully answer their questions, and this was the beginning of his search for understanding that would lead to the Reiki healing system.


Dr Usui soon quit his job and travelled to the United States, Europe, and Northern India to study ancient Christian, Chinese and Buddhist manuscripts, obtaining the necessary language skills to fully understand each culture's ancient, historical texts.  He was unable, however, to find the answers to his questions, and he returned to Japan.


Dr Usui want to live in a monastery in Kyoto, where he could continue his studies.  It was there that he found ancient Sanskrit symbols and formulas in old Buddhism Sutras that were to answer some of his questions.  But the information for empowering the symbols was missing.


Following talks with the Abbot, Dr. Usui decided to go to the sacred mountain, Kuriyama, to fast and meditate for 21 days in the search for enlightenment.  When he found a place on the side of the mountain, he put 21 stones in front of himself to act as a calendar, removing one stone for each passing day.  During his time there, he read the Sutras, sang, and prayed.  Nothing unusual was to happen until this last day there.  


In the darkness just before the day dawned, as Dr. Usui prayed, he saw a bright light moving rapidly towards him.  The light hit him in the forehead at the third eye chakra, and he saw millions of rainbow colored bubbles, and the Sanskrit symbols were drawn in front of him in golden light.  He was then given to understand how to activate and use the symbols for healing.


When Dr. Usui returned to normal consciousness, he realized his questions were now answered, and his healing work could begin.  It was on his trip down from Mt. Kuriyama that he first of four miracles occurred.  As he walked down the path, he stumbled and injured his foot.  Instinctively, he put his hands to the injured toe, and the pain and bleeding stopped.  


At the bottom of the mountain, he went to an inn to order a large meal to break his fast with.  He was warned that this was unwise after so long without food, but he was able to eat it without ill effect.  This was his second miracle.


His third miracle happened when he encountered the owner's granddaughter who had a bad toothache.  Dr. Usui placed his hands on her swollen face, and the pain and swelling went away after a couple of minutes.


When he returned to the monastery, he was told the Abbot was in bed suffering from an arthritic attack.  Dr. Usui laid his hands on the Abbot and healed him, performing his fourth miracle.


Dr. Usui soon left the monastery and went to the slums in Kyoto to begin healing the injured and the sick who lived there.  He spent several years in the slums, healing the people, but time and again he saw the same faces returning.  Discouraged, he asked them why they kept coming back, and they told him it was easier to be sick and live as a beggar than it was to be healed ad earn a normal living.  Dr. Usui realized he had made a mistake:  He had healed their bodies but not their minds and attitudes.


From this recognition, he formed the Reiki affirmations.


Dr. Usui soon afterwards left the slums to travel and teach Reiki to the people, bringing the knowledge of how to heal to those that wanted to be healed.  Dr. Usui died in 1926 and is buried on temple grounds in Kyoto.


Dr. Chujiro Hayashi (1878-1941) was to become one of Dr. Usui's closest friends and students, taking his place when he died.  Dr. Hayashi opened the Reiki Healing Clinic in Tokyo, where people with severe illnesses could be treated around the clock with Reiki from one or more practitioners.


Mrs. Hawayo Takata (1900-1980) was to encounter Dr. Hayashi when she travelled from Hawaii to Japan to be treated for a tumor and several complications.  During preparations for the operation, her intuition told her the operation was unnecessary.  After consulting with her doctor, she was transferred to the Reiki clinic, where she was treated for several months.  When she was healed, she decide to learn Reiki from Dr. Hayashi.


Mrs. Takata eventually returned to Hawaii to live and practice Reiki.  It is Mrs. Takata who is credited with bring Reiki to the western world.  When she passed away in 1980, she taught 22 Reiki masers in North America.  There are now over a million practitioners in the U.S. and Canada.  It is unknown how may there are worldwide practicing privately, in clinics, and in hospitals.








Reiki With Carol Longacre, LLC

Carol Longacre, Reiki Master/Teacher

Des Moines, WA


Seattle, WA.