When I found out about the letters exchanged between Saicho and Kukai, I was just blown away. Imagine two young monks, carefully chosen, to travel to China to study Buddhist teachings and to bring back the select texts to Japan. The year was 804! This is the beginning of a journey of friendship, hope, anticipation, collaboration and rivalry. One of the monks was Saicho, later to be the founder of Tendai School of Buddhism, the other was Kukai, the founder of Shingon school of Buddhism. Even though the storm separated their ships and they each went their own separate ways in China, the passion and dedication of these two men, unknowingly, impacted the history of religion in Japan and in some subtle ways our practice as Reiki practitioners.
Usui Mikao, the founder of Reiki, was a Tendai practitioner all of his life. Tendai was brought to Japan by Saicho in the 8th century and names Nagarjuna as it’s patriarch. Apart from the belief that the lotus sutra is Buddha’s perfect teaching it also teaches meditation based on esoteric elements. It is interesting to look at the 10 major precepts of Tendai and see their correlation to Reiki and it’s 5 precepts.
Gyo is a word very few westerners are familiar with, if at all. It is a Japanese word and carries meanings such as Harsh, Severe and Austere. Gyo can be found in martial arts and spiritual discipline and is an ideal expedient tool through which complete focus may be applied to the task at hand by applying the Mind to it.
Frans Stiene discusses with Jiryo Sensei his experiences with traditional Japanese ways and relates them to the system of Reiki.
Surely it is about time that new, yes NEW, Reiki books stop calling Usui Mikao, Dr Usui! Call him Mikao Usui, Usui Mikao, Usui Sensei but can we stop calling him Doctor? Please?
It makes the system of Reiki look like some shonky practice with a snake-oil seller as the founder. Using the title ‘Doctor’ for Usui Mikao in society today is misleading for clients and students, giving Reiki a medical air that it does not have.
Frans and Bronwen Stiene interview Reverend Jion Prosser, a fully ordained American Tendai Buddhist priest.
Some people believe that Usui Mikao, the founder of the system of Reiki, was a Tendai practitioner, if not a Tendai priest.
This particular meditation is said by some to have been practised by Usui Mikao while meditating on kurama yama or hiei zan.
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