Book Review: The Reiki Sourcebook 2008 Revised Edition by Bronwen & Frans Stein

The Reiki Sourcebook 2008 Revised Edition by Bronwen & Frans Stein

Hello PaganPages readers. I go by Jadaja Talios on the Internet and in the pagan community. I just finished reading ‘the Reiki Sourcebook’ by Bronwen & Frans Stein. At first I had trouble getting into the book but then I did.

One thing that caught my attention was confirmation of something that I have been saying for sometime now due to my experience with magick, especially after I had learned to center and ground. That something is that “All things are made of energy,” as quoted on page 6 from the source, ‘Chinese Medical Qigong volume 1’ by Professor Jerry Alan Johnson( paraphrased on my part).

I’m a solitary, eclectic Wiccan and specialize in healing and protection. The first time I heard of Reiki was when I came upon a book by Christopher Penczak called ‘the Magick of Reiki’. I learned quite a bit about Reiki that I didn’t know before.

The creator or originator of Reiki, Mikao Usui, lived from 1865-1926 and was 61 years old. On May 9, 1926 Mikao Usui died of a stroke. Actually I should use the proper Japanese naming convention, surname first, then first name last which would make it Usui Mikao. Usui was a Tendai Buddhist lay priest, he didn’t live in a monastery, and had martial arts training.

Usui sensei (his students called him sensei not himself for it means teacher amongst other things) traveled around the world and had some training in china, possibly even in Qi gong.

Reiki originally was the name for the healing energy that the ‘Reiki’ healers used not the name of the healing modality itself. Usui sensei only called it a healing method.

In April 1922, Usui started teaching Reiki after spending twenty-one days on Kurama Yama, in meditation during the month of March. Also in April of 1922 Usui created the Usui Reiki Ryhoho Gakkai (which means Society of the Usui Spiritual Energy Healing Method) and was it’s first president.

Usui Sensei had twenty-one teacher students. One of the more famous was Hayashi Chuijiro (Japanese convention). Hayashi taught a Japanese woman that was born in Hawaii in 1900. That woman’s name was Hawayo (named after Hawaii) Takata. She was the first person born outside of Japan to have been taught Reiki.

Hayashi and his daughter went to Hawaii with Hawayo when she went back home. Hawayo taught twenty-two teacher students herself, including at least one of her sisters.

In 1980, Hawayo died and her grand-daughter, Phyllis Lei Furumoto, invited the other twenty-one teacher students to a meeting one and a half years later. Not all of the teacher students showed up. Of the teacher students that did show up, it was decided by those there that Phyllis Lei Furumoto be Hawayo’s successor. They didn’t know that there were still traditional practitioners in Japan and decide Phyllis was the grandmaster of Reiki.

From 1980 on, there have developed many ‘traditions’ of Reiki and there are too many even to try to talk about in a simple book review.

The Reiki Sourcebook has a decent bibliography and lists of various Reiki associations, centers, newsletters, and Internet sources.

The Reiki Sourcebook was a pretty good book, albeit a bit too textbook like for me to truly get into like I have many other books. I think the authors have done as thorough a job as they can and they continue to do more research. They publish revised versions when they find sufficiently new information. The first edition of this book was in 2003 and this is the 2008 edition that I have reviewed. Since I haven’t read the first edition, I can’t give a comparison of the two editions at all in this review.

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