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Threshold Notes -- Reiki Lineage

Last Updated: January 28, 2013         RETURN TO THRESHOLD NOTES iNDEX

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This Note is one of a series where I give my ideas on aspects of Reiki and/or energy work. The pages are intended to give some "food for thought" and some are only my viewpoint. While a number of facts may be included, you should decide for yourself how much (if any) of the content feels right to you.


Reiki lineage didn't used to be a concern as most masters outside of Japan could easily trace their teachers' teachers back to Hawayo Takata.  In Japan, your teacher was likely close in line to one of Usui's students like Eguchi, Hayashi or one of the 2 admirals - Ushida and Taketomi - the original URR Gakkai presidents.  And since your teacher probably lived in your area you really only had one option for your Reiki training.

Recently a student remarked on a Reiki Master friend he had met who told him she was 6th generation.  I thought about that and explained that in some fashion I suppose I could claim 4th and 5th generation through a couple of my teachers.  But I also explained that this did not really mean too much as there was no guarantee that the Reiki energy or teachings of one's teachers had remained the same as those throughout the lineage.

Teaching Lineage When Hawayo Takata began teaching Reiki outside of Hawaii, her master students were essentially claiming a teacher-to-teacher lineage.  In the beginning this was accurate as each student taught exactly what Mrs. Takata had taught them and their Reiki energy was probably very close to that of their teacher. But Takata sensei was known to change what she would share from master to master student.  And in comparing notes, it's obvious that not everyone was taught the same thing by her students as time went on.  The 5 Canadian masters of Mrs. Takata were able to keep most of their teachings, symbols and attunement methods similar for a time as they mostly lived near each other and would share things.  Other master students of Mrs. Takata mostly lived apart and their teachings might vary.

But once Phylliss Furumoto was accepted by most of the Takata masters as the lineage bearer and the Reiki Alliance was formed, others like Barbara Ray went their own way.  Also, the Reiki Alliance began to change things, not always explaining why they did so.  One example was in the way Takata-sensei would allow students to take Reiki 1 and 2 in the same week while she was teaching in an area.  But by the late 1980's it was now required by the Alliance that you would have to wait 3 months in between levels, and even accumulate a certain amount of healing experience before being allowed to progress.  And apprenticeships were part of the norm at master level.  Other Reiki teachers would also add in ideas and techniques from methods they had used or learned from natural healing, shamanism or other sources.  This kind of subtle change was seldom accompanied by explanations or even the names of the originators of the changes. 

The same process had happened over time in the original Reiki society, the URR Gakkai.  And when some masters like Eguchi, Hayashi and Tomita went out on their own, they developed their own systems that differed from the Gakkai's.  I wrote an article on the amount of change that seemed to flow through Reiki almost from the time of its creation right to modern day.  Change seems to be the one constant aspect of Reiki.

Energy Lineage Another myth is that the Reiki energy you receive is what Usui Sensei originally used.  In Japan, it is not uncommon to see some teachers use an energy lineage, claiming to use the Reiki energy of a certain teacher, whether they have completed teacher level training with that person or not.  Examples of this are Gendai Reiki, Komyo Reiki, Vortex Reiki and Jikkiden Reiki.  In one case a group uses a lineage of the Eguchi line, even though Eguchi walked away from Reiki in 1927 and formed his own system called Teno Hira Ryoji.  One of the masters of that group I had hoped to bring to Canada had given us a lineage that went back through that line, even though her teacher was actually taught master level by Arjava Petter in 1993.

What became alarming to me and then over time, just more of an interesting experience, was to discover that different branches of Reiki even in Japan, had a different feel to their Reiki energy.  Not only that, but students of the leaders of that branch (even current teachers) did not always have the same energy as their own Reiki teacher.  As I understood what was happening I wrote another article on how I felt one could perfect the transfer of certain Reiki energies through attunements or reiju (if this was desired).  I made this teaching an important part of my own master level classes.
So with all of this change, I certainly don't feel that any one set of teachings or any one particular Reiki energy is better than the rest.  People seem to get the teachings and version of Reiki energy they need at the time, and often this is good enough for their own needs.  But relying on a certain teacher-to-teacher or Reiki energy lineage, or even a certain generation back to Usui, does seem to be not a very useful method to determine which teacher you should train with.  I feel that if you can find out a little bit about your teacher, what he or she teaches, what others thought of their training and the Reiki energy used, this might give you a better idea of whether the person is best for you at this time.  Also, I might suggest you trust your inner feelings on the person and the class, what you feel in your heart, and use that as a strong guidance reference.    smile

Here are links to some of the web pages mentioned in this Note:
Training History/Lineage         Usui Reiki Ryoho Techniques          Why So Many Reiki Styles?     
Teno Hira Ryoji         Perfecting Reiki Attunements and Reiju         Reiki Training Information
Richard (Rick) Rivard

If you have comments or suggestions, Contact Me.   I will try to answer them all.

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