The sources of Mikao Usui
As well as the Reiki research has revealed that the sources from which Mikao Usui himself has drawn, which includes a number of spiritual traditions, so it has also flowed into the style of Shingon Reiki. The basis of course continues to be traditional Usui Reiki.
Tantric Buddhism in Shingon Reiki
Tantric Buddhism is the third major development in the history of Buddhism. The original Buddhism is the small vehicle called Hinayana or Theravada. Simply put, this is the eightfold path to enlightenment and the meditation of mindfulness and insight called the Vipassana.
The development based on this is the big vehicle, the Mahayana Buddhism. Mentioned in simple terms there, the bodhisattva thought is added to the teachings and practice . This means that you renounce your own enlightenment until you have also helped all other beings on the right path. Compassion and wisdom play a crucial role here.
The third development is finally the secret vehicle, the Tantrayana Buddhism. Tantra means secret and hidden. There sophisticated meditations, contemplations and rituals with a multitude of possibilities and effects are added to the mentioned vehicles. These are effective tools of the mysteries of body, speech and mind. Here, the power of many figures of spiritual beings is called into the rituals through symbols using mantras, siddhams, mandalas, yantras and sanmaya forms.
According to the inscription on the memorial stone of Mikao Usui, the primary goal of the Reiki healing method is to gain psychic abilities of natural endowment (Siddhi) through meditation (mental exercises). Then it is important to support the needy and to accept a prosperous life. This in turn happens with the Buddhist healing art of Tantric Buddhism.
Mikao Usui himself was a monk of Tantric Buddhism of the Tendai School. In this respect, it is not surprising that in the inscription on the memorial stone at his grave concerning the spiritual development and practice with the Reiki healing method, reference is made to the contents of Tantric Buddhism.
The connection to the roots of Reiki has largely been lost on the journey of the Reiki healing method to the West and only came to light again through Reiki research.
This ancient yet new relationship between Reiki and Tantric Buddhism is now an important part of Shingon Reiki. This means that meditation, healing rituals, and spiritual exercises to develop extrasensory abilities, from the Buddhist healing art, have been incorporated into Shingon Reiki seminars. So starting from the 1st level Shingon Reiki simple, but at the same time highly effective techniques of Tantrayana are practiced. In every other Shingon Reiki seminar, be it the 2nd level, the advanced training or even the Reiki Master, more such content is added. The beauty of it is that the contents of Tantric Buddhism in Shingon Reiki are easy to learn and apply due to the repetitive structure of the basic technique.
Shamanism and Magic in Shingon Reiki
Japan is a country that has shown in Japanese cultural history that it has always absorbed new cultural influences from abroad, without rejecting the old culture and religion.
In Japan, for example, there is an indigenous shamanism and folk magic that can be traced back to the Jômon culture (about 10,000 BC to about 300 AD). During this time apparently also the Japanese pyramids arose. At least since the fourth century, there must have been a lively exchange with the Chinese mainland, as the hill tombs of the Kofun period (about 300-538) the Chinese feng shui had from the shamanic-magical Daoism as a model. This shows that Japanese shamanism adopted elements of Chinese shamanism at a very early age.
From this eventually developed the Japanese shamanism called Shintô. Which means ‚the way of the gods‘. The basic idea is that every tree, every stone, every rock, every river and so on has a soul. Thus, Japanese shamanism is to a great extent a worship of nature and of all living things.
In 538 (or 552) Buddhism was introduced to Japan via Korea. Instead of rejecting the old gods, they were worshiped at the same time as the Buddhas. Over the centuries, this has repeatedly led to combinations of spiritual teachings called syncretism.
One of them is the development of the ‚Mountain ascetics Way‘ called Shugendô. It contains shamanism, magic, Chinese Taoism and Tantric Buddhism. Coincidentally, the Kurama Mountain is a spiritual center for the practices of all the above described spiritual paths of Tantric Buddhism, Shintô and Shugendô. Therefore, buildings and gates of Buddhism and Shintô appear side by side on the way to the summit. Strictly speaking, Kurama Mountain is not just a mountain, but a large area of mountains and hills called Kurama in its entirety. Keeping behind the known area, the north light, training area of Shugendô. There is a rock with a steep wall where two ascetics each tie a rope to their feet. While one sits on the mountain and holds the rope with his foot, the other ascetic lets himself hang up side down the steep wall. He holds his hands in Gasshô and prays to the Tengu, the long-nose forest spirits, so they may eat his illusions.
Not necessarily this practice, but elements from the Shintô, Shugendô and Daoism can be found in the traditional Reiki techniques handed down from the Usui Reiki Ryôhô Gakkai. These contents have been incorporated into Shingon Reiki, because they belong to the sources from which Mikao Usui himself drew.
In all Shingon Reiki grades and seminars there are shamanic elements of traditional energetic cleansing (purification), energy intake, circulation and rituals in connection with nature as well as the spirits of nature. Thus, in the 1st level Shingon Reiki there is already an earth healing ritual and the possibility of distant healing without symbols.
Usui Reiki Ryôhô in Shingon Reiki
Mikao Usui called his healing method Usui Reiki Ryôhô. This means Usui Reiki method of natural healing. This includes his teaching and practice in the original, as it is still practiced and taught to this day in the Reiki society founded by him, Usui Reiki Ryôhô Gakkai (short: Reiki Gakkai). Unfortunately, Reiki Gakkai members and teachers are not allowed to share their knowledge and experience with non-members. Nevertheless, the original knowledge has wandered through a few channels to the outside. There are also some official statements about Reiki from Reiki Gakkai. Since I myself am a Reiki master for two Japanese Reiki styles, this knowledge has flowed into Shingon Reiki in theory and practice.
Usui Shiki Ryôhô in Shingon Reiki
When Ms. Takata spread the Reiki healing method in the West, she called the Reiki healing method Usui Shiki Ryôhô. That means Usui System of Natural Healing. This is the most prevalent Reiki system in the West. Since I myself was initiated into this system by Sigrid Fuhrmann in 1993, the basis of the Shingon Reiki is based on the teachings of Ms. Takata.