然而，我最近了解到高田並不總是堅持口傳心授的傳統。我從愛麗絲( Alice Picking) 寄來的郵件中發現。愛麗絲於 1975 年 6 月在新澤西州櫻桃山參加了高田女士的靈氣 I 課程。在這堂課上，高田沒有提到口傳的傳統。相反，她向她的學生提供教學講義並允許他們做筆記。我收到的資料中包括高田給學生講義的副本，以及愛麗絲做的筆記。她還寄出了由高田簽署的靈氣證書、幾封高田的手寫信件、一個郵戳的信封，以及20名學生的班級名單。經過與班級名單上的幾個學生交談，他們驗證了愛麗絲發給我的信息。
這是 1977 年高田的感謝信。 Alice Picking 寄給威廉的包裹中包含高田寄給資助她課程的人的一封感謝信。高田在其中感謝所有幫助她推廣靈氣的人，並表示她將退休。最後補充說她已經教授了三位靈氣大師來“繼續這項崇高的工作”。這很重要，因為這表示了她沒有任命這三人為掌管靈氣的宗師(Grandmasters)，也沒有以任何官方身份接替她，而只是為了繼續進行靈氣的工作。
Despite the myths she created, it’s important to remember that Takata was an excellent healer and that she accumulated invaluable experience over her 40 years of practice.In addition, the system she created, though different than what she had been taught, is an effective healing system. it's important that we have a clear idea of how she practiced for historical reasons, but it also has value because of the usefulness of her healing and teaching methods.
Therefore, it's important that we forgive her for the confusion some of her methods created and honor her for the value of her legacy. One of the myths that Takata created is that Reiki is an oral tradition. Although she herself had been given a manual by Hayashi, she made it a rule that students not be given anything in writing and should not be allowed to take notes or tape-record Reiki classes.
This requirement prevented accurate records from being created about how she taught. Since her students had only memory to rely on, over time, changes developed in how Reiki was practiced and taught. In addition to variations in how her students remembered information, Takata sometimes changed what she taught from class to class.
All of this has created confusion within the Reiki community about the history and practice of Reiki and has allowed many conflicting ideas and systems to develop. Only through careful research, including interviews with her few surviving students and information from her two biographies has it been possible to discover how she did actually practice and teach. This information is provided in an article researched and written by Marianne Streich:“How Hawayo Takata Practiced and Taught Reiki” (Spring 2007).
However, I recently learned that Takata didn’t always teach the oral tradition. This fact came to me by the way of a packet I received in the mail from Alice Picking. Alice had taken a Reiki I class from Takata in June 1975 in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. In this class Takata mentioned nothing about an oral tradition. Instead, she provided instructional handouts to her students and allowed them to take notes. The packet I received included Alice’s copy of the handouts Takata had given students, along with the notes she had taken. She also sent her Reiki certificate signed by Takata, several handwritten letters from Takata, along with a postmarked envelope, and the class list of 20 students. I talked with several of the students on the class list, and they verified the information Alice had sent me.
After receiving her training from Hayashi Sensei during a yearlong internship at his clinic in Japan, Mrs. Takata brought Reiki to Hawaii in 1938. She became an accomplished healer, practicing and teaching Reiki until her passing in 1980, a period of over 40 years. This was a great accomplishment, as her work prevented Reiki from falling into obscurity after World War II, and allowed Reiki to become established as a popular practice. It has since grown to include millions of practitioners worldwide.
After World War II, circumstances in Japan greatly curtailed the availability of information about Reiki. Takata became the main source. Takata changed the system of Reiki from what she was taught by Hayashi Sensei. According to John Harvey Gray, one of her Master students, Takata told him she had simplified the system, making it easier for Westerners to learn.1 This included eliminating the hand position system she had been taught and replacing it with seven or eight positions, which she called the foundation treatment. She also left out many of the important healing techniques she had learned from Hayashi Sensei.
Even though she had changed Hayashi’s system, the dominant idea she promoted to most of her students was that she was teaching the unaltered system created by Usui Sensei. There were also factual errors in her version of Reiki history. Not having any other source of information about Reiki, students were inclined to believe her. This idea continued to be promoted by some of her students after her passing, thus perpetuating misinformation and discouraging research into how Reiki had been practiced by its founders.
Fortunately, curiosity prevailed and in the 1990’s several researchers including Toshitaka Mochizuki, Frank Arjava Petter and Hiroshi Doi began providing professionally researched and verifiable information about how Hayashi and Usui had practiced Reiki. This information included the location of Usui Sensei’s grave and memorial stone, and contact with the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai in Japan. We now have a much clearer picture of the history and practice of Reiki. Today, most of the original methods are being taught by various Reiki schools.
Opposite Page: Takata Letter from 1977. Included in the packet from Alice Picking was a letter Takata sent out to those who sponsored her classes. In it Takata thanks all who helped her promote Reiki and states she will be retiring. Added at the end is the statement that she has created three Reiki Masters to “carry on this noble work.” This is important because it indicates that she didn’t appoint these three to be Grandmasters who would be in charge of Reiki, nor that they would be her successors in any official capacity, but that their purpose was simply to carry on the work of Reiki.
Apparently she changed her mind about retiring and about having only three Masters. She created many more (a total of 22) and continued to practice and teach until her passing at the end of 1980.
The concept of Grandmaster of Reiki didn’t develop until after Takata passed. Soon after her passing, Barbara Weber Ray, one of the 22 Masters, declared that Takata had appointed her as Grandmaster of Reiki. This title was not a part of the Usui system, and Ray offered no meaningful proof to support her claim. Shortly after this, a group of Takata’s Masters asked Phyllis Furumoto if she would be the Grandmaster, and she accepted. Because there was little authentic historical information about Reiki at this time, many people accepted the concept of Grandmaster, but as research revealed the facts, this idea lost credibility within the Reiki community.
After Usui Sensei’s transition in 1926, the practice of Reiki was preserved by the organization he started: the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai. However, after World War II, strict laws were passed about healing that required one to have a massage or medical license to practice Reiki. Rather than conform to this requirement, the Gakkai decided to continue as a secret organization. They stopped giving public lectures and advertising, and the members talked about Reiki only among hemselves. They would admit new members to join their group and study Reiki only as replacements for members who died. Once one became a Shinpiden or Master, he or she wasn’t allowed to teach or even talk about Reiki outside the Gakkai. They also had strict rules governing who was allowed to be a member.
Because of this, it was very difficult for anyone to find out anything about Reiki in Japan after World War II and almost impossible to learn it. The Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai remains a secret organization even today, and no one outside of the Gakkai is giving the same attunement that Usui Sensei gave.
As a result of this secrecy, Takata became the main source for training and information about Reiki from 1940 until the early 1990’s. Those in Japan who wanted to learn Reiki turned to Western Takata-style teachers who traveled to Japan to teach, or they took classes in the USA. Reiki sessions have been exchanged between Gakkai members and those from the Takata lineage, and these sessions indicate that both styles seem to provide a similar level of healing ability. Tadao Yamaguchi, who learned from his mother, Chiyoko, teaches a Reiki style whose lineage goes directly to Hayashi Sensei and attempts to closely follow his teaching.
However, most Reiki teachers in Japan today are teaching a combination of Japanese and Takata-style Reiki.