Comparing Mikao Usui’s Teachings with Seishin Kenkyu Kai

Frans Stiene English 3 Comments

Seishin Kenkyu Kai was started by Kuwabara Toshiro (1873-1906). According to Christopher Harding, in Religion and Psychotherapy in Modern Japan, Seishin Kenkyu Kai was centered around four concepts:

  1. Mind is energy, a moving agent inherent in everything. Everything living or not, has a mind.
  2. Each mind can affect other minds.
  3. This understanding of mind can be applied to the universe.
  4. If we stop worrying and become free from all distracting thoughts, the stable mind will appear in us. This stable mind is an offshoot of the great mind of the universe. When we enter this state we can work wonders.

In these four principles, we can see many similarities with Mikao Usui’s teachings.

1 – Mind is energy

This is the same as what Mikao Usui taught. There is a note from a student of Mikao Usui which says, “Everything in the Universe possesses Reiki without any exception.” We can see that in essence, Reiki means True Self means pure mind.

2 – Each mind can affect other minds.

Hon sha ze sho nen is about Right Mind, or a state of oneness. In this way we see that Usui was showing how each mind can affect other minds.

3 – This understanding of mind can be applied to the universe.

Another note from a student of Mikao Usui states, “We humans hold the Great Reiki that fills the Great Universe.” We can see that Usui was teaching that we affect the universe, and the universe affect us.

4 – If we stop worrying and become free from all distracting thoughts, the stable mind will appear in us. This stable mind is an offshoot of the great mind of the universe. When we enter this state we can work wonders.

One of the Reiki precepts is “do not worry.” In fact, all of the precepts are about the mind. From this we can see that Usui was reminding us that it is our unstable mind which separates us from our True Self. When we are aligned with our True Self, we can access our inner ability to heal. 

Some Japanese Reiki researchers say that Mikao Usui took his precepts from a book written by Bizan Suzuki in 1914 but I personally do not believe this. The concepts of the precepts were very common at that time, especially around the late 1800’s/early 1900’s. As we can see, Toshiro-san also used the concept of worry in his teachings, and he died in 1906! The concepts of Gyo (practice but often incorrectly translated as work), compassion, and anger were also very common concepts must earlier 1914. At this time in Japan there were many people starting to open up old esoteric teachings and they all shared common threads.

Comments 3

  1. Hi Miriam,
    Seishin Kenkyu Kai means “society for the research of mind”. It was like Mikao Usui’s teaching a spiritual practice and hands on healing around the time Mikao Usui was around.
    It was a big group, they even published monthly journals.

    Mikao Usui was a very small fish in a much bigger pond of people who were teaching similar stuff. He only had about 2000 students while some of his friends and associates had about, for example, 50.000 students.

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