Usui was a gentle, warm man who studied medicine, religion, psychology, spiritual teachings and eventually he became a spiritual teacher. Even though Dr. Usui was not an academic doctor he was named a doctor out of respect.
The story and origin of Reiki has many variations. The following is a synthesis of the story of Dr. Usui’s discovery.
At certain stage of his life, Dr. Usui’s attention was intensively directed to healing miracles of Jesus and Buddha. It occurred to him that Jesus and Buddha were performing same body and spirit healing miracles utilizing unknown life-force energy. Dr. Usui began to study Buddhist manuscripts. He was searching for answers to the nurturing questions of the nature of mysterious healing energy of two Masters.
Dr. Usui went to Zen Monasteries asking questions to monks without getting satisfying answers. To have unlimited access to Buddhist Sutras by Dr. Usui’s request he was admitted to the Zen Monastery. There he started form Japanese translations. Later on to have better understanding of Sutras he first learned Chinese language and eventually the language of Buddha – Sanskrit. From those scripts Dr. Usui learned the principles and symbols of Buddha’s healing energy, but what he was missing was the actual power of healing. Dr. Usui began to meditate upon receiving healing power. One night he got a commandment to climb the holy Mount Kuri Yama and to remain there fasting in meditative state for 21 days, what he immediately did.
Dr. Usui climbed designated place facing east. To count passing days he placed 21 small stones in front of him. Each day just before the sunrise (by some sources just after sunset) he threw one stone. He spent 20 days reading Sutras, chanting, meditating and praying for enlightenment and answer to his questions.
On the final, 21st day, Dr. Usui saw a shinning light approaching him from above. The large beam of light was getting closer to him to finally stuck his third eye. At that moment Dr. Usui saw millions of colorful light sparkles and among them glowing in gold light Reiki symbols appeared. At that moment he received information about each symbol and a commands how to preserve them.
Dr. Usui understood that he was just enlightened and that he received the answer to his question of mysterious healing energy of Jesus and Buddha. Dr. Usui received as well the first Reiki attunement.
When he was rushing down the mountain he stubbed his toe on the rock. Instinctively he grabbed his foot in both hands and held it for few minutes. Bleeding stopped and pain went away. This was the first time when miraculous healing power of two Masters, The Reiki Healing power, was used by Dr. Usui.
On his way back he stopped at a home serving pilgrims. Young girl with a bandage wrapped around her face approached him. After short conversation Dr. Usui knew that since few days the girl was suffering from severe toothache. He asked if he could help her and after she agreed Dr. Usui put his hands around her jaw. In few minutes the swelling went down and she was relived of pain.
Few days after return to his monastery Dr. Usui decided to go to the slums of Kyoto to treat beggars. He stayed there for seven years dedicating entire days for healing all kind of sicknesses. Except for healing, Dr. Usui was teaching people hot to start new life, taking responsibility for themselves. After certain time, however, Dr. Usui noticed that he was seeing the same faces; faces of people treated once before. He asked them why they were returning to slums and an old life style. In response they told him that “new life style” demanded too much responsibility and concern and being beggars is much easier.
Disappointed Dr. Usui left the beggars kingdom.
He was deeply discouraged and upset. When wondering what went wrong, he realized that Reiki healing energy cannot be given without request. He realized that no healing can take place without recipient firm will and readiness for treatment, not only Reiki healers work, but also recipient has to be ready for following changes in his/her life. There has to be thankfulness for the given energy.
Soon after Dr. Usui took a torch and went walking in Kyoto. He was stopped many times and asked why he was carrying the light during the sun shinning day. His response (and idea) was to search for openhearted people that are seeking enlightenment. He wanted to gather those people around to teach them all knowledge that he received about Reiki and the Light.
In 1922 Dr. Usui started healing society and in 1925 due to high volume of clients he built the clinic outside Tokyo, in Nakao. In that year Dr. Usui attuned Second Great Master – Chujiro Hayashi. Dr. Usui died in 1930 having attuned 16 Great Reiki Masters. Hayashi run the clinic till 1940. There came Hawayo Takata of Hawaii which eventually succeeded Hayashi and taught Masters in United States and Canada.