This article first appeared on the old
Holistic Vancouver Board, listed for Articles under Holistic Vancouver -
Healing Vancouver. It was contributed on Tuesday May 31, 2005 08:46 PM by Jennifer
Lundin Ritchie (Thanks Jen), a member of the Vancouver
This article is © Copyright 2005 Jennifer Lundin Ritchie
Contributed by Jen on Tuesday May 31, 2005 08:46PMSubmission by Jennifer Lundin Ritchie
from the Power-of-Intention-Holistic-Health dept.
May’s Vancouver Area Reiki Masters Gathering attracted about a dozen Reiki Masters, and in my opinion, was the best Masters Gathering I have been to yet. After a meditation including a new energy cycling technique, we learned how to give Reiju, did a Reiki Exchange, and listened to Anneli Twan talk about the early days of Reiki in Canada, and the blessing she received from a lifetime of Reiki.
The Vancouver Area Reiki Masters Gatherings’ Organizer, Rick Rivard, began the meeting talking about how the Gatherings came to be and how Anneli was invited to speak this particular evening. Now that the Gatherings are getting larger, Rick has decided to start booking guest speakers on a regular basis. I think this is a great way to connect to different histories, methods, and techniques.
The meditation was led by Peggy. It was a method of cycling energy she learned from the Washington Psychic Institute which incorporates both grounding (Earth) energy and spirit (Reiki) energy. Many Masters commented during the Exchange that the technique was quite useful in bringing them to the present moment and connecting them to Reiki in a very secure, stable, confident way.
The next portion of the Gathering I found particularly interesting. Rick taught us all how to perform Reiju, which is a simple attunement or empowerment, meant to be performed often. In 1996 Reiki Master Dave King taught Rick and a friend, Don Barnett, an old attunement method used by Hayashi in 1931. Don had the idea to modify this attunement, which was used for Reiki I, by only using the first part of the attunement ceremony. Rick started using this new attunement technique with his students and friends, who playfully dubbed it "Rick-ju". Then a year later (1999), when Hiroshi Doi was visiting Vancouver, Doi-Sensei grabbed Rick’s hand and performed a similar technique on him. Rick was surprised, since he had planned on demonstrating the Reiju technique the next day at the 1999 URRI Conference! (Years later, Doi-sensei told Rick that the process had simply "come to him one day".) Rick mentioned that he learned more about Reiju over time, including Japanese Reiju techniques, some of which were used in the old society. He said different teachers modified the ceremony over the years. Like a Daoist empowerment, Reiju is seen as a way to “top up” how much energy a student or practitioner can hold. So it is traditionally done frequently, with the Master offering as much energy as possible (like an open faucet) and the student taking only as much as (s)he can during that session (like filling a cup – sometimes the cup will be more full than others and therefore need more or less energy). In this way, it is like performing a Reiki session; however, it is different in the way that it is an attunement.
I had always been intrigued by the concept of Reiju, but since it had never been a part of my Reiki Master training, I didn’t know much about it. I also wondered how I could learn it, if my Reiki Teacher didn’t know it. So here was a wonderful opportunity to stretch my training. To my delight and surprise, Rick mentioned that the use of Intention is quite important to replace the parts of the Reiki Attunement Ceremony that are missing in the simpler Reiju attunement. This was the first time I had heard the concept of Intention being mentioned in a Reiki context. So naturally – as anyone who knows me would know - I was quite pleased. He said to use a strong Intention without trying to force the energy.
My partner in Reiju was Reiki Master Lee Dutta. First he did Reiju on me, and then I on him, all under the patient guidance of Rick. Then Lee and I discussed what we felt, both as giver and receiver. It was an amazing experience that I am so grateful to have been a part of. We both felt a shift in our energy after the Reiju.
SYMBOLS & LEVELS
It was a natural progression for the group to discuss Reiki Symbols and Levels. Many of us were curious how the Reiju related to the regular Reiki Attunement Levels (I, II, III/ART, IV/Master). The Reiju seemed to carry all levels of Reiki at once. Usui said that the student already had all the symbols within them, and simply learned the names and functions later. So at the beginning (perhaps equivalent to today's western Level I?), Usui would allow the student to try to use and experience the different Reiki flavours or energies (represented to us now in the West via the symbols), and then later (perhaps equivalent to today's western Level II?) he would begin to explain what the symbols were, what they meant, and how they were used. The regular Reiki I Attunement we use today actually contains all the levels and symbols, just like Reiju. The difference in Attuning to Level II is that the student learns to crank up the amplitude of what they already have. The Symbols Attunement was actually Eguchi’s idea. Usui’s method was quite flexible and fluid, and not dependent on formal levels. That way a student would gradually, and in his/her own time, come to a greater ability and understanding of Reiki. However, as many people know, Usui’s contemporary was Jigoro Kano who developed Judo. Usui's student Tenon-in (who is now 108) says they were encouraged by Kano to create structure and levels as he did in Judo. So Usui did begin to structure his teachings more, however, since he was partial to a fluid tradition, there were still many more "levels" than we use today. But that is a whole other article! ;)
GUEST SPEAKER: ANNELI TWAN
Anneli Twan is a lovely lady who exudes real inner beauty and authentic heart. She is not as soft-spoken as her mother Wanja, however, she has inherited that lovely quality that just makes you want to smile and go give her a hug. I had met Anneli previously at the Hand-to-Hand Exchange’s Reiki Retreat in April 2003, along with her mother Wanja Twan, and another of Takata’s Reiki Master students, Rick Bockner. However, I didn’t really get a chance to hear Anneli’s perspective on early Reiki in Canada, since the focus of the retreat was on Wanja and Rick.
ANNELI’S EARLY JOURNEYS IN REIKI
Anneli passed around several 8x10 photographs of Takata-sensei’s classes and gatherings in the 1970s. Little Anneli was never far from Takata’s side in any of the photos. She mentioned how the 5 Reiki Masters that Takata Attuned in Canada were friends, and knew each other well, since the Reiki community was so small in those days. Few people know that although Takata taught many many students in her practice, she only attuned 5 Reiki Masters in Canada, and 17 Reiki Masters in the States. One of these Canadian Masters was of course Anneli’s mother, Wanja Twan. Anneli herself took her First Degree of Reiki in 1979 at Barbara Brown’s house in the Kootneys of British Columbia. Anneli recalled it was in the middle of nowhere, where one lady was convinced they must be witches and tried to enlist the help of the local minister to stop whatever it was they were doing. Anneli was 10 years old.
She said Takata taught each level 2 hours a day for 4 days. Most people let out a startled gasp at this. But Anneli assured everyone that Takata was an exceedingly efficient teacher. What she remembered most about being a child in Takata’s classes was that when that little Japanese fireball said “jump”, everyone jumped.
Anneli took her Second Level at the urging of her mother, to help out with Wanja’s Reiki classes. Since Takata had passed away in 1980, Wanja attuned Anneli to Level II with the help of Rick Bockner, in Argenta, BC. In 1982 Wanja spontaneously moved the two girls to an ashram outside Bombay, India. Neither Anneli or her sister got to finish their schooling because of the constant globetrotting, but she claims she wouldn’t trade her experience for anything. She also added that both she and her sister went on to complete their schooling at a later date, and even went on past high school.
In 1984 she took her Master’s Level from her mother, with the help of Takata’s granddaughter, Phyllis Furumoto. By 1985, Anneli had taught her first Reiki class. She was 16 years old. And yet, she never really taught Reiki full-time, as her mother does. She had many jobs and traveled a lot.
Once her brief history with Takata-sensei was recounted, Anneli then read a letter from Takata to Wanja dated 1980… the year of Takata’s death. The ever feisty 80 year old mentioned her busy teaching schedule which took her all over the world, and mentioned that Reiki gives on the confidence to make anything possible. She then elicited a response from the Gathering by signing the letter “Reverend Takata”. This of course led into a discussion of the meaning of such a signature. Anneli said that Takata became a Revered for business reasons. As with many Japanese, her religion seemed quite flexible as far as accommodating whatever beliefs served her at the time. Anneli guessed she was most likely Buddhist. However, Anneli noted that Takata always used the terms God, Great Spirit, Creator, Universal Energy and even Reiki interchangeably in her teachings. She was a spiritual lady, but thought that the message was much more important than the specific words she used to teach it with. The reason Takata thought it was best to become a Reverend and refer to God a lot was because that is what people in North America in that era could understand. If she was teaching today, after the New Age movement, Anneli mused, she would likely be teaching it differently again. Rick spoke up at this point to note that original Japanese Reiki was very flexible. Even though Takata was a very spiritual person, Anneli recalled that her Reiki classes were all about the physical. She taught “First Aid” Reiki. She would only talk about spiritual matters in private.
In fact, most of Anneli’s early experiences with Reiki were for physical ailments. When her mother had Level I and II Reiki, she treated her kids for illnesses like earaches. In response to my question, Anneli said she could feel something going on even then, as most kids and animals can. After she took her First Degree with Takata, she stuck like glue. She knew something big was going on.
Anneli proudly pointed out her husband Don, who had been sitting quietly in the back row of the Gathering. They now live in Hope, BC, with three sons. She said they initiated her two oldest sons to Reiki about 12 years ago. Since Takata had said that kids should be initiated around the ages of 4-5 years, Anneli took her sons to Hawaii and had them initiated there at that age. Those boys are now around 15-17 years old. She said all three of her boys grew up used to Reiki, since their grandmother does it all the time. At the same time, they had trouble sitting still long enough to get a treatment!
Anneli still teaches, and has just released a booklet titled “Early Days of Reiki: Memories of Hawayo Takata”, which is a set of stories and anecdotes about Takata collected by Anneli through a series of interviews with both Takata’s students, and people who were touched by her. It also contains many of the photographs that Anneli brought today, of Takata and the early Reiki classes in BC. You can order and/or buy this book online at http://www.holisticvancouver.com/news/”.
THE BEST FOR LAST
I have left the best for last: what has Anneli really gained from a lifetime of Reiki? Her answer was touching and insightful. I spent some time re-reading that section of my notes, and drew a star next to it, trying to soak the message in deeper. Each time I read it, I am inspired and my heart opens a little more. I dare to believe that I too could achieve this blessing. Even though Reiki has already given me so much, I think that if this was the only blessing I got from Reiki, the whole journey would have been worth it.
Anneli said Reiki gave her an inner knowing that everything is ok. It gave her a base, a foundation of contentment in her life. This came from really owning the Reiki Principles, especially “Just for today I will not worry”. She explained how different it is to simply say it, or to really “get it”. As a worrier myself, my heart had been longing for her message:
“Once you get that worry out of the way, everything else falls into place”
- Anneli Twan
Now, I have only been a Reiki Master for three years, and Anneli has been one for twenty. She is a person I really admire as someone who seems to have found her authentic self, and is content with what (who) she has found. Although I have been on the journey to authentic self for a decade, I know I don’t exude the peace and beauty that Anneli does. Anneli’s comment to that effect made me smile. She said that Takata exuded an undeniable and powerful presence, however, “Takata was connected to Reiki about 45 years, so I have at least twenty years to catch up to her! Over that time, you grow as a person, spiritually, mentally, everything.”
So I suppose I have nothing to worry about… I still have 17 years to catch up to Anneli.
Anneli also introduced the recent book she had written and published, which contains comments and memories from many students of Mrs. Takata.
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