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Brief History and Origin of Reiki

Updated on December 10, 2013
The Reiki Percepts
The Reiki Percepts | Source

Origins and Development of Reiki

The origin of Reiki can be traced back to the life of Gautam Buddha. For Buddha and later for many other senior Monks it was a natural ability that developed as they grew spritually. But it was not called Reiki at that time. It was the way of the Enlightened ones. It was an expression of their compassion.

Over a period of time it became a process that Buddhist Monks used to help new students in progressing in spiritual life faster, the same process was also used to help monks who fell ill to get back to good health. There were variations in the process used by the monks depending on their location and school. The symbols and process they used were similar but not exactly the same.

In the mid ninteenth century a Buddhist Monk by the name Mikao Usui discovered this process while practicing spritual dicipline. He was born in Japan and he wanted to walk on the path of Lord Buddha. He wanted to help as many people as possible and show them a way to get rid of all suffering.

Buddha attained enlightenment by the process called Vippasana. In this process you are able to get rid of all impurities of body / mind and know your true nature. At the end of this process a student reaches a state called Nirvana. In this state you have all knowledge, all power and you have total freedom.

Once you reach this state or even close to it you want other people to experience it as well. With this intention Buddha and senior monks would pass on divine energy to clean and energize the chakras of their deciples so that they can progress faster. When the deciple falls sick the same energy was used to heal them.

Over the years the process under went many changes. Senior monks also started to teach the process to their diciples. But it was not taught to everyone. It was taught only to serious students.

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The History of Reiki & Dr Mikao Usui's contribution

After years of meditation Mikao Usui attained enlightenment on a mountain in Japan called Mount Kori-yama. This is where he fasted and meditated for 21 days prior to attaining Nirvana. After that he wanted to help as many people as possible. He started healing people and over the years he started to teach this healing process to his students. He knew that not everyone will be interested in spiritual growth but due to compassion on people he started to spread this knowledge and named it Reiki.

During his lifetime he developed this system of natural hands on healing such that it could be learnt by anyone who want to learn it. He started to pass on the power to his students and his students helped in developing the system further. Over the years many people got attracted to Reiki for its ability to heal the physical body or to heal the mind and they got stuck at that level. Many others knew the real benefit of Reiki and used Reiki to stay healthy and grow spiritually.

Mikao Usui read various Buddhist scriptures and found many surtas where the formula for self realization was described in detail. He taught the essence of this formula in a form that could be used by anyone in this modern age.


  1. Reiki is an ancient art
  2. The purpose of Reiki is spiritual growth
  3. Reiki can heal the body and mind
  4. Dr Mikao Usui re-discovered Reiki
  5. Reiki is practiced all over the world
  6. Reiki is constantly evolving

The Story of Reiki

Mikao Usui travelled all over Japan and studied various Buddhist scriptures. Some were is Japanese, some in Chinese and some in Sanskrit. He found the process of healing in the Sanskrit sutras from India. He would often go to meditate in solitude on mountain tops. This time he again decided to go for a 21 day fast and meditation for spiritual advancement.

This time he decided to go to the top of a sacred mountain named Kori Yama. He took 21 stones with him when he started his meditation. At the end of each day he would throw away 1 stone. In this way he completed 21 days and on the last day when he completed his meditation he saw a bright white light coming towards him. This light was coming from the Universe and it was spiritual in nature so he later named it Reiki. But on that day when the light struck him on his forehead he fell unconscious.

The following morning when he was coming down the mountain he hurt his toe. As soon as he placed his hands on the injured area the pain disappeared and the blood stopped flowing.

At the foot of the mountain he decided to eat something in an inn where he heard a small girl cry due to toothache. When he laid his hands on her face, her swelling receded and the pain disappeared miraculously.

In this way he healed many people and then he also started accepting students who wanted to learn Reiki. He also opened a clinic where he healed people and taught Reiki to his students. Many of his students also started to accept and teach students and in this way the knowledge of Reiki started to spread all over the world.


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