Like many ancient healing arts, Reiki is steeped in mystery and its true origins have not been and will never be able to be traced. We can, however, use the information that is available to us to begin piecing the puzzle together and learning where this beautiful art of spiritual healing came from. We do know, however, that Reiki originated in Japan. A wise Japanese doctor by the name of Usui founded one of the first Reiki foundations that we know of. Where Dr. Usui learned the spiritual healing art of Reiki is unknown, although many people learned from him and after becoming Reiki masters, succeeded in presiding over the foundation that he created.
Many people associate Reiki with Buddhism, since both are peace and awareness oriented. Reiki, however, is not religious. It is considered religiously neutral and has no roots in any religion, even popular Eastern religions, despite the similarities. Dr. Usui himself was schooled in many religions, including Buddhism and Christianity, and brought only spirituality to the healing art form of Reiki. He did not create the foundation of Reiki on any one religion – instead, he created the foundation of Reiki based on the spirituality that many religions seem to share.
As Reiki became more and more popular in Japan, it began to grow and take on new shapes. The spiritual healing art was modified time and time again by many Reiki masters who continued to develop the art to suit their needs and the needs of their patients. The evolution of Reiki was a positive one – it helped shape the various forms of Reiki that are available to patients and students of Reiki today. A variety of spiritual aspects were added to the art of Reiki during its evolution, making it one of the most comprehensive healing arts available today. Reiki masters began using their own inner guided spirituality and concepts that they had learned from other spiritual healing techniques and added them to the Reiki art of spiritual healing much like one would add additional clay to a ball of clay. Reiki kept growing and evolving and continues to do so today.
Because of the evolution of Reiki, especially when Reiki moved out west, no Reiki master today can learn the original Reiki art form that was founded by Dr. Usui. Some Reiki variations have been streamlined to offer more of the original curriculum that Dr. Usui had developed, but as the different Reiki masters who succeeded Dr. Usui added their own spiritual wisdom, there is no single “original Reiki” art. This can however, be considered beneficial. Reiki masters all over the world have found that by continuing to add spiritual teachings and awareness to Reiki, it gains more energy and power, allowing Reiki masters to tap into this enormous abundance of force and use it to heal their patients. Although the history of Reiki remains clouded, the fact that Reiki is one of the most powerful spiritual healing arts practiced today is not.