Book Reviews, Wider news articles

A review of ‘Reiki and Japan: A Cultural View of Western and Japanese Reiki’

For my recent 50th birthday an old school friend and his wife, who have no experience of reiki brought me a gem of a book: Reiki and Japan by Masaki Nishina. I was a little skeptical on being given this present; apart from Wanja Twan’s publications, the reiki literature I have read is generally dull: certainly informative but hardly riveting! However, I have a daily commute of 2 hours and I thoroughly enjoyed the time immersed in this book.

The history of Dr Usui as told by the Japanese Tradition first spiked my interest of wanting to know more; continuing with the Gakkai and the parting of Chujiro Hayashi, with whom reiki would not have been as far spread as it currently is. This episode and the events that follow cement in my mind how important Chujiro Hayashi has been; from whom birthed Western Reiki as taught by Hawayo Takata and Japanese Jikiden Reiki from the Yamaguchi’s.

The history of Hawayo Takata and the changes she made both in terms of reiki practice and of the reiki story left me feeling cheated at first: that I’d been sold untruths. Further reading of Hawayo Takata’s situation and of her good intentions helped still my upset and stirred my interest to know more and read on. The differences of both pro and con between Japanese and Western Reiki are interesting particularly the dropping of intuitive techniques from Western Reiki with the adoption of prescribed hand positions, which was judged as more suitable to the Western mind. Being Western trained and intuitive by nature, it intrigued me to hear this and reflect on how I have developed my own practice of reiki.

The explanation of Japanese culture and Shinto heritage was fascinating, as the author says: “There is a distinct inevitability to Reiki being birthed in Japan. In fact, it could only have been discovered in Japan.” The belief that all living things are naturally with reiki; that no one can give you reiki; that lineage is irrelevant, since no one can give you what you already have really challenges and liberates my Western perspective! As opposed to the Star Wars version, Masaki Nishina prefers to say “Remember, the force is always with you”. With reiki, as nature teaches us ‘being’ is most beneficial, so I don’t push or try to heal or to do anything perfectly; I just relax and allow reiki………….

The author Masaki Nishina was raised in Tokyo and spent some time living in the United States. He was first drawn to Western Reiki, made a complete change of vocation from a physicist to a therapist and later trained in Jikiden Reiki. These dualities of experience and the humility with which he writes add to the value of his words and the sincerity they carry.

I would thoroughly recommend the enquiring mind to read: Reiki and Japan. I was left inspired to read more, particularly of Shinto and of Jikiden Reiki. Happy reading…………

Living in awe of nature…………the Japanese Way, Shinto.


Wider news articles

Twenty Years with Reiki

Martin, with Olga Sampson and Wanja Twan in Kaslo, BC, Canada
Martin, with Olga Sampson and Wanja Twan in Kaslo, BC, Canada

This month I celebrate twenty years with reiki! It is quite unbelievable looking back to when I first learnt reiki in Melbourne, to where I am today. At that time I had been travelling through Asia and had a one-year working visa, for stay in Australia. I’d left England thinking I’d find the answers to life and in many ways I did, but not what I expected. I thought a good woman was my salvation and I met a few of those; but leaning reiki was the real gift of all that searching. At that time I was still controlled by addiction, so life wasn’t straightforward, things had to get a lot worse before they improved! But improved they have, beyond my expectations and with the constant presence of reiki.

Throughout the years I’ve had regular contact with other reiki people, with personal friendships developing through share groups and retreats. All have made life that bit more fun and meaningful.

For a long time I kept my practice of reiki more personal, with occasional treatments for close friends, family and pets. I was able to bring some comfort to my mother, who suffered with chronic arthritis. She used to like reiki for her feet, after which the pain with walking was eased. My old pet dog was a pedigree who lived 17 years; 12 years is considered a good age for a dachshund – I wonder how reiki contributed to his long life?

The last couple of years I’ve followed a yearning to open up and share more reiki; this has manifest in practicing reiki for a living.

Over a year ago, I met Olga at her North London reiki share. Through our meeting, we’ve developed a relationship and we are both very happy, together. Last autumn we travelled to Canada for an adventure staying with friends for two months of reiki, Native American ceremonies, BC wildlife and Wanja’s stories. Near the end, I was initiated a reiki master by Anneli Twan, enabling me to teach others!

In December I was honored to initiate my brother and soon after, a long-term client with reiki level one.

Life isn’t always easy, as I thought I was choosing 20 years ago, but today I feel alive. I often wake up and feel I have an adventure ahead of me: what will this day bring? I have a good life today and all the more enriched with reiki……enriched with love.

Reiki Share

A special reiki share

The gathering at Olga's
The gathering at Olga’s

Continuing on from previous years, Olga Sampson organised this months reiki share on the same day as Wanja Twan’s birthday. As part of the share, the group of us sent distant healing to Wanja; I’d spoken with her the previous evening and knowing many people from across the globe were also sending, she said she’d be taking a lie down at that time.

Wanja was made a reiki master by Hawayo Takata during the autumn of 1979, since that time reiki has touched many lives, either directly or through her lineage. As soon as I started sending, I had images of the time I’d spent with Wanja last year and felt joy; it felt like a fitting way to give back a little.

Taking part in a regular reiki share has really helped me to develop and maintain a sense of community, with others who practice. I tend to go once a month and enjoy the connection with others; I get the chance to practice and receive a reiki treatment.

Reiki shares are typically held by masters for their students and those who are inquisitive and / or interested to learn. If you are interested to learn reiki or would like to attend a share, please contact Martin.