Reiki and Shamanism

This article is about Reiki and shamanism.

 Was Mikao Usui a Shaman?

Reiki and shamanism - Shinto gate - Torii

The founder of the Reiki, Mikao Usui has intensively dealt with Japanese shamanism. According to many sources, he was also a Shintô priest. Shintô 神道 is the Japanese shamanism. Shintô literally translated means ‚The Way of the gods‘. That says that everything is animated in nature, every tree, shrub, stone, river etc.
If you go through the forests of Japan or climb the Kurama mountain, you come to many small shrines of natural deities, which can be in addition to worshiping, also ask for something. In front of such a shrine there is at least one gate, which is called Torii. There are sometimes stones on it. This is the sign that you can throw a stone upon the torii. This shows the spirits that one asks for admission. Only when throwing succeeds and the stone remains on the shrine, one may step through the gate. However, if you throw down other stones, you have to throw them up again. This can sometimes take a while, but when you’re in your spiritual heart and in a meditative attitude, it goes faster.
The waterfall meditations that Usui made on Kurama Mountain is a Shintô ritual, strictly speaking, it is a combination of shamanism and Tantric Buddhism, which also includes shamanic practices. Since Usui was a monk of Tantric Buddhism in the Tendai school, he dealt with various healing arts, magical Taoism and the ‚way of the magicians‘ Shugendô 修験道.

Shugendô – The path of  magic ascetics

Shugendô is a shamanic-magic ritual practice in the mountains and forests to gain supernatural abilities. So one of the practices is climbing a mountain that has a rock wall on one side. At the top, a rope is tied to the feet of two persons. One then sits on the rock and meditates and the other meditates as well, but neither sitting nor standing, but hanging head first, hanging down the rock with his hands in the Gasshô Mudra, i.e with hands folded in front of the heart.

Usui combines with Reiki ways and traditions

Reiki and shamanism stone formation - photo by Dr. Mark Hosak

Usui has shown us that the combination of several effective ways or traditions of Shintô, Shugendô and esoteric or tantric Buddhism can be useful if a common thread is followed. In Reiki, the common thread is helping others and themselves with Reiki power. In particular, there are also so-called mental exercises to gain supernatural abilities in the field of action and perception, such as the ability of giving Reiki from a distance and the perception of how the recipient is feeling and what he needs.
There is a great treasure hidden in the union of methods or spiritual traditions, because there are always exciting parallels to discover. It also gives rise to new ideas, to become more creative, to learn again and again and to look at things from a different perspective. Searching and finding or self-finding also goes on and on.

Shamanism in the Reiki characters

The connections between Reiki and shamanism are already shown in the characters for Reiki, as they represent an ancient symbol of shamanic rain magic. Shown here is a shaman performing rituals to make it rain. The rain is generally for any form of spiritual blessing. Therefore, with Reiki and shamanic rituals, it is possible to ask for individual blessings and to perform spiritual healings beyond the normal possibilities of Reiki. Of course, Reiki will continue to be used.
If you want to deepen your knowledge in Reiki, are curious about the exciting relationships between Reiki and shamanism, and want to learn how to expand your reiki practice with shamanic healing and rituals, the Reiki and Shamanism seminar takes place yearly.

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