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Therapy Related Articles & Notes

Reiki in Japan and "Jikiden Reiki"
Author: Amanda Jayne 2004

It is interesting how what is considered "alternative therapy" in one country is virtually mainstream in another. Here in Japan health treatments such as acupuncture, bone setting or Chinese herbal medicines are widely accepted as a treatment choice yet something like Reiki, born in Japan and popular in the West, has been greeted with extreme caution, polite smiles and sometimes just plain fear. Understandable to a certain extent as the Japanese kanji used for the word Reiki literally means something like "spirit of the dead". I'd be more than a little sceptical too, wouldn't you?

It wasn't until I had been in Japan for a year and had already forgotten what it was like for a train not to arrive the exact second it was scheduled that I remembered that Reiki originated here. I had tried to find a teacher I felt happy to learn with many times before when I was travelling. Having found an Indian guru who I didn't feel comfortable with and a Nepalese man who assured me it was necessary to "plant a seed" in me before we start (I left quite quickly) I had kind of given up on the idea.

Then, as luck - or life - would have it, I met up with a Buddist lay-monk, who teaches Reiki, in Starbucks. To avoid any confusion, I will just explain here that we met in Starbucks, but he doesn't teach Reiki over a café mocha. I first learned Reiki through him and although I was happy with the Reiki I had learned, I still felt that something wasn't quite right for me.

A few months later I discovered that there was an old woman and her son living here in Kyoto who had just started to hold Jikiden Reiki seminars. Mrs Yamaguchi learned Reiki from Hayashi sensei, Usui sensei's most widely known student, when she was just 17 years old. She had been practicing Reiki for over 60 years when I nervously entered her small apartment in the middle of Kyoto. On meeting her, my nerves dissolved immediately. She was so warm and gentle and seemed to radiate Reiki energy and love. Thankfully I managed to suppress the urge to hug her before I'd even struggled to say hello in Japanese (a long process with far too many letters involved for my liking). I knew instantaneously that this was the place and these were the people with whom I was going to learn and study Reiki healing. It just felt so right.

Jikiden Reiki is based on Chiyoko Yamaguchi's 60+ years and her son, Tadao Yamaguchi's 40 years of practical experience. The seminars are a replication of those attended by Chiyoko Yamaguchi when Hayashi sensei was teaching. I think the main difference between Jikiden Reiki and Western Reiki is the simplicity. The emphasis is on treatment and Jikiden Reiki teaches only the 3 symbols Hayashi sensei taught and emphasises the meanings behind the symbols. Its simplicity is what makes it feel so strong and pure for me.

I have been learning with the Yamaguchi's for almost 2 years now and although sadly Mrs Yamaguchi passed away in August last year, her son, Tadao Yamaguchi continues to teach his mother's Reiki in the same way. His humility, encouragement and ability to answer any question about Reiki with an honest, gentle wisdom continues to inspire me.

Recently, more and more people in Japan are starting to realize that Reiki is not tantamount to witchcraft and that it is a practical treatment that is effective for those who want to use it in the home to keep their children and family healthy, for those who just want to stay healthy or for those who have clearly pronounced health problems that they want to work on. Mr Yamaguchi has published a book here about his life and Reiki and his hopes for a World in which Reiki is used side by side with Western medicine in hospitals and as the principal form of treatment at home, resulting in a significant reduction in medical waste among other things. He has also published a book in English with Frank Petter entitled, 'The Hayashi Reiki Manual', which details his family connections with Reiki and his mother's first seminar with Hayashi sensei in the 1930's.

The essence of Reiki is Reiki, however and wherever you learn it. I truly believe this. However, because Jikiden Reiki feels so right for me in its pure and honest simplicity and because meeting and learning with Chiyoko and Tadao Yamaguchi has had such a profound effect on all areas of my life, I feel that I want to tell others about it and give others the opportunity to learn from and ask questions of Mr Yamaguchi. I am happy to be able to say that Mr Yamaguchi will be holding seminars and talks in England in September 2004. If anyone is interested, please contact me, Amanda Jayne, at jikidenreiki@hotmail.com or contact Sandy Catford at sandy@reiki-works.com. You may also wish to look up the Jikiden Reiki website at www.jikidenreiki.co.uk

I promise there will be no mention of planting seeds!

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