Spare Change News
You are your only master,
and discover your master.
So far, I have discussed how I came to Reiki, my initial skepticism nagging curiosity about the practice, the disputed founder Dr. Mikao Usui and his Reiki principles of “do not worry, do not anger, honor your parent, teacher and elders and show gratitude to everything.” Now I will continue by going more in depth about Dr. Usui’s background and how he was said to have founded Reiki.
After being challenged by one of the students regarding healing and the Bible at the Christian school where Dr. Usui is said to have taught, he became frustrated with his inability to provide the answers to questions about faith and healing. He was in want of something more concrete than the blind faith that he practiced at the time, so he went on a spiritual expedition. In his devotion to finding spiritual truths, Dr. Usui travelled to the U.S.before uncovering some truths in Japan. He found an old Indic version of the Sanskrit language, penned by the disciples of Guatama Buddha. In these sutras, or scripts, there was a description of the methods, symbols and formulas the holy man used to heal. According to Lubeck’s story, these symbols play an integral part in the healing practice of Reiki.
In his book, “Way of the Heart,” Lubeck continues to tell Dr. Usui’s story. Even after discovering the Sanskrit sutras, he writes, Dr. Usui was not satisfied. He felt that “he was still missing one thing!” He had the desire to directly heal people using “the laying of the hands” model. He was told by a monk in the monastery to visit “the holy mountain of Kurayama…in order to meditate and fast in a special manner.” The monk also told him to trust in God to bestow upon him access to the healing power. “Dr. Usui then went to this mountain for 21 days, and just as he had hoped, on his last day…a bright ray of light came down to him from heaven, struck his forehead and filled him with strength and vitality.” I know, I know, but I’m not making this stuff up. Hang in there I promise you it’ll pay off in the end. After he had been struck by the light, the symbols he formerly greeted in the ancient Sanskrit text were “shrouded in shining energy bubbles.” He knew then that he had “access” to Reiki: the universal life energy.
In sharp contrast to Lubeck’s recount of Dr. Usui’s beginnings, Frank Arjava Petter offers the idea that Dr. Usui, until this day, is considered to be “a fabled creature shrouded in mystic fog.” One thing that is for sure is that he was human just as we are. But he admits that not much else is known about the man. First of all, Petter essentially disarms Lubeck in remarking that Usui was Christian despite his spiritual searching. Rather than constructing a fable-like account of Dr. Usui and how he invented the discipline now known as Reiki, as Lubeck does, Petter offers more demographic type information, as well as some of the philosophies behind Usui’s life process and beliefs. He states that Usui’s main learning process in …reaching an internal source of wisdom, as well as an internal understanding that one can only get when you follow your own instincts gained from living your life and following your own will. And that was in part fundamental in connection with his Reiki ideologies.
Speaking of will, let’s take this time to define free will, soul, and spirit; all three correlate in some way to Reiki and its philosophies. “Free will” is defined as choice and power and it happens in the present. “Soul” means purpose and direction; it’s what gives us our spirit. And “spirit” allows us to see our higher consciousness, motivates our dynamics of being. Now I must confess that these definitions are borrowed from Professor Ferguson of UMass Boston, whom I mentioned earlier. I took his class on the mind-body-spirit connection. I found him to be very inspirational and to possess a quiet but penetrating intelligence.
One of Ferguson’s often repeated lessons was to “never give energy to what you don’t want.” He calls it the “law of neutrality.” Don’t be for or against, just be. And then truth will come to you.
I discovered in my research that Reiki has its roots in Buddhism. In Jack Maguire’s book Essential Buddhism, he elucidates the interrelatedness between Reiki and Buddhism. He avowed that it might be helpful to mention that the founder of Reiki, Dr. Usui, was a Buddhist. Hence to understand the origins of Reiki, it’s logical and imperative to understand the origins of Buddhism. Buddhism is considered to be of one the top five most popular religions in the entire world, the others being Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Hinduism. Buddhism has existed for 2500 years. It has been far more ubiquitous beyond its homeland of India than any of the other world religions. That’s why some experts consider Buddhism to be “the oldest world religion.”
Maguire defines the word “buddha” to mean “the awakened one.” It derives from a Sanskrit word,from the “Indo-European root that gives us the English word bud.” He adds that the Buddha managed to “bud” and then “bloom” into total consciousness…;” he became enlightened. Then Maguire offers that “the amazing truth of the matter is that we are all potential buddhas, perfect and complete right at this moment, but very few of us realize it.
“I used to eat feelings of incompletion and restlessness for breakfast. Then one day, I made a conscious choice to grab my feelings by the shoulders and shook them, just hard enough for them to fall out of place, so that they then could fall back into place. And in order for that to happen, I knew that I would have to command myself to do some deeply spiritual soul searching. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to stand on the side lines and be directed by the ray of light. Besides, I haven’t even opened any one of the windows in my heart for it to get in and permeate my being. Consequently, I also knew that I had to eventually assume some control over myself, over my life, over my light.”
In describing Buddhism, Maguire declares that Buddhism is not like Christianity, Judaism and Islam, religions of the book or the revealed word. Let me briefly describe Zen meditation, since it is our next topic of discussion. According to Random House Dictionary, Zen is defined as a Buddhism movement that emphasizes enlightenment by means of meditation and direct intuitive insight. Maguire quotes Vietnamese Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, who in his own wisdom said that “our own life” is the instrument in which we experiment with truth. In other words, eventually we release what we put into our bodies. If we simply stared at our meals instead of eating them, we would feel empty inside. I can study Reiki all I want, but if I don’t live it, I might as well have not even opened up a book to study it. So I will be my own master, in that I will set myself free of my perceived limitations and embrace the grandeur that is the Reiki light, love and joy!
JACQUES FLEURY’S book: “Sparks in the Dark: A Lighter Shade of Blue, A Poetic Memoir” about life in Haiti & America was featured in the Boston Globe & available at www.lulu.com. His CD “A Lighter Shade of Blue” with the folk group “Sweet Wednesday” to benefit Haiti charity St. Boniface is available on iTunes. Contact Jacques at: firstname.lastname@example.org and visit him at: www.facebook.com/thehaitianfirefly.