WHERE DID REIKI COME FROM?
The Japanese word Rei stands for ‘Spiritual’ and the word Ki denotes ‘Universal Energy’. This speaks to the same concept as the Chinese words Jing Qi Shen, which form the foundation of Chinese Traditional Medicine. Both the Japanese and Chinese traditional healing systems are rooted in the ancient North Indian system, from the Sanskrit tradition. It is also in the Sanskrit Upanishads where humankind learns about the soul body (jiva) and its soul minds (chakras), its energy (kundalini) the nadis and meridians, etc. Plato and Socrates (500BCE) also developed the notions of the immortal soul and reincarnation–which was a standard worldview for almost 1,000 years until the Roman Catholic Government outlawed the philosophy.
Today, almost every system of alternative healing has roots in the ancient Sanskrit wisdom, which has served humankind for millennia. Most cultures that adopted the ancient wisdom, simply translated the Sanskrit into their own language, retaining the same concepts. But not so in the West. Traditionally, westerners do not respect roots and ancient wisdom in the same way as easterners do. Over the past 100 years, westerners “invented” (some say, concocted) alternative sounding systems based on scanty glosses and misunderstood insights into ancient wisdom of soul and spirit therapeutics. No human society has ever had so many different spiritual healing systems as we see today in the West. It is a veritable zoo out there, replete with new age terms and terminology that boggles the mind, which is probably what the inventors are going for, because perhaps it impresses western people—or something like that.
Reiki is a western construct that started in the 1940s. It is rooted in the Japanese folk tradition of spiritual healing and spirituality (mostly via Buddhism), which comes from ancient Sanskrit sources. Even in the 1950s, it was not possible to get a Reiki Master Level attunement in Japan, because Japanese people did not teach and certify their traditional healing in that way. In fact, anyone in Japan regarded as a rei ki master healer had learned the deep art under the local village’s master for many years, but all people indulged in the healing arts as a lifestyle—not knowing that in the west one can be certified for that. Traditional healers live a lifestyle, a spirituality, and cultivate habits that make them healers and keep them healing. Rei ki healing in the Japanese tradition was certainly not something learned in schools, and especially not over a period of thirty hours—it is, and was a lifestyle of devotion, beauty, mysticism, dedication and personal sacrifice.
Reiki, as we know it today in the West, is an aspect of most spiritual therapies based on ancient wisdom. It is a small aspect, just a little part, but it is good, helpful and beautiful. Western healers and teachers may not be ready for more of the whole thing, and that may be exactly why Reiki is so popular in the West—it is quick and easy, it is the cell phone app version of an entire program.
Reiki, is very much part of Atman Jiva Citikasa healing regime and tradition. Reiki techniques, as it is known and certified in the West, comprises about 15% of the Atman Jiva Citikasa course and healing regime. Original Reiki spirituality, which is generally not practiced in the West, even by ‘healers’, comprises about 40% of Atman Jiva Citikasa spirituality, lifestyle and worldview. Reiki adds two elements that make it different from Atman Jiva Citikasa, and we do teach those two elements in our course, for practitioners who may want to use it. The two elements are: 1) deference and reverence to the person said to have “founded” Reiki in the 1920s, and 2) mystical symbols based on Japanese writing.
REIKI MYSTICAL SYMBOLS
Students of Atman Jiva Citikasa are free to use mystical symbols from any of the ancient Sanskrit, Chinese or the recent Japanese Reiki traditions. What is important is not the symbol itself, but the spiritual anchor, the empowerment, and the attunement. In the ancient traditional rite of empowerment, our master teachers take care of that aspect.