By Shalandra Abbey
Strange how the little island of Kaua‘i, one of the most remote locations in the world, would be the place where Reiki Natural Healing, Usui Shiki Ryoho, decided to be born into the Western World. In 1936, Reiki didn’t choose the larger islands of O‘ahu or Maui. The sacred Japanese practice of Reiki chose the mother island of the Hawaiian chain for birthing this great gift to the children of the Western World.
What is Reiki? If you were to ask Hawayo Takata, the little lady from Kaua‘i who brought Reiki to us from Japan, she was known to say, “It is God power.” How does it work? She would place her hand on you and then remove it and simply say, “Reiki on — Reiki off.” Then she would end the discussion.
Mrs. Takata went to Tokyo, Japan in 1935 for surgery. However, instead of having the operation, she was healed by Reiki Natural Healing. Her Reiki practitioner, and later her sensei, Chujiro Hayashi, gave her the explanation of the healing art of Reiki. “After you are initiated into Reiki an automatic flow of healing energy comes through your hands. Whenever I feel the contact, it comes through me to you — these, he held up his hands, are the electrodes, Reiki then revitalizes and restores the balance of your entire system. I receive healing before you do.”
Hawayo Takata assisted many people on Kaua‘i to heal many ailments. She would say, “Reiki can help a person who is sincere in a desire to stop drinking excessively, smoking, to lose or gain weight, establish a normal balance of good health.”
Takata had connected so deeply to the healing energy of Reiki and had shared Reiki with so many people, that when Dr. Hayashi was ready to make his transition, he called his student back to Japan and recognized her as his successor to carry on the oral tradition of Usui Shiki Ryoho as it was entrusted to her. She was recognized as the next lineage bearer of Reiki Natural Healing.
As late as 1970, she was the only Reiki Master teaching in the Western World. Takata was soon to be 70 years old, and felt there needed to be more Reiki Masters to carry on this sacred spiritual discipline. She began to initiate masters. Before she made her transition in December 1980, two weeks before her 80th birthday, she had initiated 22 Reiki Masters. One of them was her granddaughter Phyllis Lei Furumoto, whom she recognized as the next lineage bearer of Reiki. Today, Phyllis makes her home in Tucson, Ariz.
These masters formed The Reiki Alliance to meet regularly and assist each other to uphold the sacred practice of Reiki Natural Healing as it was entrusted to us. This organization continues today, and is now an international, professional organization of Reiki Masters. All Reiki Masters in the Western World taught Reiki in this manner until 1992, when changes fast and furiously began to happen.
In 1988 Reiki found me while I was living in Florida. I received many treatments and my First and Second Degree Reiki training. I then began having dreams of moving to Hawai‘i to complete my Reiki Master training. So much magic happened to get here that I wrote a book about it, “Living a Life of Reiki,” available at Kaua‘i Museum and at www.ReikiHawaii.com.
Ten years after Takata made her transition, in 1990, I arrived on Kaua‘i, where I completed a one-year Reiki Master training and practiced Reiki full-time for 16 years. I would spend hours sitting under a coconut tree, talking story with many of Takata’s students and clients. Today, I enjoy sharing these stories that bring so much aloha to the world and to the practice of Reiki.
As is the custom of Reiki practice, students are taught three degrees of Reiki with the final being a minimum of one year training to become a Reiki Master. Līhu‘e resident Kaeo Bradford started her First Degree training with me in January 2011, and started her one-year minimum training as a Reiki Master Candidate November 2015. During this training, candidates organize events for their Reiki Master, just as they would for themselves, which offers a smooth changeover when the candidate completes training and is initiated a Reiki Master.
Kaeo and I would like to invite you to attend a complementary Reiki Introduction and Demonstration at Kaua‘i Hospice Sept. 22, 2-4 p.m. Call Kaeo at 256-8839 to confirm your attendance.
This events is followed by a weekend First Degree Reiki class Sept. 24 and 25 and a Second Degree class, for students who have practiced First Degree Reiki for a minimum of three months, Sept. 27 and 28 at Happiness Planting Center in Līhu‘e (Old Immaculate Conception School). The classes fill quickly, so early registration is recommended. Visit www.ReikiHawaii.com for class registration and more information.