Reiki literally means "Rei" - Universal or Higher,"Ki" - life force. Reiki as a discipline and healing method is believed to have originated in Tibet several thousand years ago. The form of Reiki we know today was systematized in Japan by Dr. Mikao Usui, who did extensive research into the ancient methods during the mid 19th century. Dr. Usui was intensely interested in the nature of healing as demonstrated by Christ and the Buddha. He began a quest that included spending time at Christian and Zen monasteries as well as studying Tibetan documents.
The culmination of his search occurred at a Zen monastery during a 21 day retreat in the mountains. There he experienced a vision during his meditation that revealed the Tibetan healing symbols. Upon his return to the monastery, he was able to heal the abbot of intensely painful arthritis.
Dr. Usui was committed to both healing others and teaching the healing techniques to develop other healers. One of his key students was Dr. Chujiro Hayashi, a retired naval officer.
Dr. Hayashi worked closely with Dr. Usui for many years in developing the Reiki teaching
system. In the 1920's, Dr. Usui chose him to be his successor to carry on the Reiki work.
Dr. Hayashi founded a Reiki clinic in Toyko, where he treated many people.
In 1935, a Japanese-American woman (whose home was Hawaii) named Hawayo Takata, visited Dr. Hayashi's clinic. She had been scheduled for surgery in Japan due to a critical
health problem. On the day of the operation, she experienced a voice (which she attributed to
her late husband) telling her repeatedly not to go ahead with the surgery. She was directed by her doctor to a nearby Reiki clinic. There she was treated over several months. Although initially skeptical, she was impressed by the experience of the energy being transmitted and the undeniable evidence of her cure. She asked Dr.Hayashi if she could learn the Reiki techniques to take back to Hawaii. Dr. Hayashi eventually agreed despite his reservations regarding her nationality and sex. Mrs. Takata undertook a year apprenticeship during which she received her First and Second Degree Reiki initiations. In 1938, she was made a Reiki Master by Dr. Hayashi when he visited Hawaii.
Over the next 30 years, Mrs. Takata practiced Reiki in Hawaii and brought it to US mainland. In the last 10 years of her life, she initiated 22 Reiki Masters who would spread Reiki throughout North America and Europe. Her granddaughter, Phyllis Lei Furumoto, was asked by a group of
these Masters, to be Grand Master of the Usui tradtion, seeking to preserve the original form as taught by Dr. Usui and passed on by Mrs. Takata. Other branches of Reiki were developed by
some Masters, but all Usui Masters use this original form.
DevaEssence Reiki follows the Usui tradition and traces its lineage directly back through
Phyllis Lei Furumoto to Hawayo Takata.