Saturday, November 23, 2013

Learning Reiki in the 1930s

When Takata had received Reiki for 6 months, she was ready to learn! But...
Though she was of Japanese descent, they considered her 'American,' & Dr Hayashi was reluctant to accept her as a student.

Again, she spoke with Dr Maeda, & pleaded her case. "If I don't have my health, I have nothing!" She was determined to learn! So Dr Maeda took traditional writing materials, a brush, Sumi ink, & wrote Hayashi a letter, stating her sincerity.


Frank Arjava Pettier & Tadeo Yamaguchi's book 'The Hayashi Reiki Manual'  includes information from the handbook Hayashi gave his students. The authors also recount Tadeo's mother, Chiyoko's memories of studying Reiki with Dr Hayashi. The full story of her experiences are told in chapter 2 of that book. Since she studied around the time Mrs Takata was learning Reiki, we can imagine the classes were very similar.

Chiyoko's Uncle, Mr Wasaburo Sugano, was the first of their family to study Reiki, beginning in 1928, in Osaka. With the expense of travel & lodging added to the tuition, he asked for the seminars to be brought to their area - Daishoji, district Ishikawa. Her elder sister Katsue had already begun Hayashi's seminars in 1935, while Takata was receiving treatment at the Main branch in Tokyo.

Chiyoko had recently graduated from High School, and was eager to learn. Other Branch members, including Chiyoko's older sister Katsue were present as well.

The students were asked to sit in the Seiza posture (formal Japanese sitting style, on one's knees) with their eyes closed, sitting up straight on Zabuton (cushions) - of which there were 3 rows with 5-6 cushions in each row. The room was dark, & each student put their palms together in Gassho - prayer position. The attunement ritual, Reiju, was performed, with those giving the attunements placed a hand on their head from behind, then placed their hands around the student's hands.

After Hayashi entered the room, the students chanted the principles in unison three times:
kyo dake wa (Just for today)

ikaru-na (do not get angry)

shinpaisuna (do not worry)
kansha shite (be thankful)
gyo hageme (work hard)
hito-ni-shinsetsu-ni (be kind to others)

The the room was darkend, & Reiju began, with Hayashi performing the attunemant ritual first, followed by others who held Shihan (teaching) status. Hayashi Sensi chanted poems written by the Meiji emperor during the attunement.
After the Reiju was complete, the particapants formed a Reiki Mawashi - sitting in a circle, with each person placing their hands on the person in front, allowing the Reiki to circulate.

At this point, the verbal teachings began. Like my Reiki master, Analyse, Dr Hayashi used the image of a muddy stream when explaining the natural clearing process - water may look clear, but there's mud under the surface. Flushing this, or removing the mud on the top, the stream will appear clear, but there will still be mud ... repeating the process, eventually the stream will clear. So it is with the body, with toxins.

In the afternoon, the students began to practice doing Reiki, using a rattan bed Reiki Tables, 40 cm high, which allowed the practitioner students to sit on the floor while offering treatments. They were taught to 'listen' for sensations in their hands, & sometimes in their own bodies, alerting them to areas needing attention. Hayashi Sensi encouraged his students to practice steadily to become more sensitive to Byosen, feeling these troubled areas.

Other teachings included lessons on making the hands more sensitive, lectures in anatomy and organ function, and giving treatments. The teachings lasted 5 days, & Chiyoko continued to attend monthly seminars, and the 'special ones' when Hayashi returned each Autumn & each spring.

Close to the time Mrs Takata finished her training, Chiyoko was granted Shihankaku in the spring of 1939, & Shihan (teaching level) that fall. Her son, Tadao and Frank Petter established Jikiden Reiki seminars to pass on the teachings & ideas from Usui Sensei & Hayashi Sensei.

My friend Margo Vance Borland was albe to take one of Petter's West Coast seminars, & shared gleanings from that workshop with several oher Reiki Masters, myself included, about 10 years ago.

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