Ponderings on Hiroshi Doi’s interview in the Reiki News Magazine, March 2014

Frans StieneArticles, English 15 Comments

pondering 1

There is a wonderful interview with Hiroshi Doi in the Reiki News Magazine, it includes some very interesting things which are important for the Reiki community.

Hiroshi Doi begins by telling us that Usui-san didn’t have a standard curriculum for his teachings. The length of each training was dependant on the spiritual progress of the student with lectures being given on a one-on-one basis.

For me this is a very important statement. Most traditional spiritual teachers eventually teach their students individually based upon each student’s spiritual progress. As we are all unique with different needs and capabilities, this makes perfect sense.  

Knowing that Usui-san also used this method of personal teaching, it is reasonable to understand that his students would have studied a variety of teachings or methods depending on their progress. Which would explain why Usui-san may have guided Buddhist and martial art practitioners differently to those students who, for example, were in the navy.

Maybe this is why some students of Usui-san knew about the 大 光 明 Dai komyo level III symbol and mantra, and others not.     

Today, Hiroshi Doi states that the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai doesn’t know or use the Dai komyo, however I am aware Hiroshi Doi met an Aikido Shihan whose deceased grandfather was a student of Usui-san. The grandfather explained that Shinpiden students were called individually into Usui-san’s room and shown the 大 光 明.

This is a perfect example of Usui-san teaching students individually, dependant upon their spiritual progress.

Hiroshi Doi also talks of Usui-san lecturing individual students about Anshin Ritsumei. My question is this… if Usui-san was an enlightened person do you think he would simply talk to his shinpiden students about Anshin Ritsumei rather than teach them deeper methods for achieving this state for themselves? If he did teach practices as well as talk, then I wonder what methods he might have employed? Hiroshi Doi answers this by explaining that Usui-san didn’t have a curriculum and that Usui-san’s training depended on the student’s progress.

As we’ve already discussed, this means Usui-san taught accordingly to each student’s capability. Therefore, there is the very real possibility that Usui-san taught even the Gakkai practitioners and teachers differently, and Usui-san’s showing the Dai Komyo to one student and not to all the Gakkai members is an example of this. Another example of this is that Mrs Takata was taught Dai Komyo by Gakkai member Hayashi Chujiro.

We can talk about spirituality, but that is like talking about food when we are hungry, it doesn’t still our hunger, we need to eat. Taking this perspective, I personally think that Usui-san was teaching each of his shinpiden students (at their individual levels of understanding) specific methods for spiritual advancement.

Hirsohi Doi shares these notes from Mikao Usui’s students:

“Everything in the Universe possesses Reiki without any exception.”

This means that we are all Reiki already: birds, humans, a rock, you name it. This also means that we cannot give someone Reiki! This is a very important understanding of the teachings–we can only support each other to remember that we are all Reiki already. Consequently, when we perform hands on healing we are not giving Reiki, but creating a space in which the client can access their own Reiki for healing to take place.

“We humans hold the Great Reiki that fills the Great Universe. The higher we raise the vibration of our own being, the stronger the Reiki we have inside will be.”

Here Usui-san is telling us that we need to practice to let the Reiki we have inside of us become stronger! Not just receive a Reiju/initiation/attunement, but practice.
This statement also points towards enlightenment, our union with the universe. This means the more we practice Usui-san’s teachings, the stronger our Reiki will be, and the closer we come to enlightenment, the stronger our Reiki will shine forward from our being.

“Komyo exists in me and I exist in Komyo.”  

Komyo means bright light, the light of enlightenment. Once again Usui-san is pointing towards self realization through personal practice.

“The more important thing to understand about Shinpiden is that even if Usui Sensei had been alive today, it would have been very few who were assigned to his one-on-one lecture.”

Why do you think this would be the case? Within many traditional Japanese teachings there are the Inner (Ura) and Surface (Omote) teachings. Only a few people receive the inner teachings. Most of the time a teacher only has a handful of inner students. Maybe Usui-san operated in that way and that there were in the end only a few students who really knew the inner teachings.

In the article Ryoho is translated as “curing therapy”, however it can have a much deeper meaning depending on how we look at it. Ryo means to cure or heal, but Ho also means Dharma according to the Buddhist dictionary.

Given that the word Reiki means True Self, Usui Reiki Ryoho can be read as:
Usui’s teachings (dharma) to cure and heal our true self.

When looking at the term from this perspective, we gain yet another understanding of Usui-san’s spiritual journey.

Comments 15

  1. Avatar of Elly

    Such richness here, Frans! Thank you. I love the quote “Komyo exists in me and I exist in Komyo.” And of course all true teachers teach to eachr student’s strengths and nurture those strengths, allowing that student to follow the path ordained for him or her. It’s inconceivable that Usui Founder would have done differently with his own students. One thing I love about the movie “Zen” is that it shows that process clearly, as Dogen Zenji faces the strengths and weaknesses in each of his students, for example, passing over his dearest friend to instead make the one most capable his Dharma heir, or turning away the penitent prostitute who desperately wanted to become a nun until she was able to forgive herself and forget her past. Such beautiful lessons! We each must find our destiny. A gifted teacher like Usui Founder can see farther down the road and act as an arrow pointing our way. I know I’ll be back to re-read this post many times, there are many buried treasures here!

  2. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Elly,

    Yes all these teachers taught and teach that way. No set way, all depending on who the student is and the students spiritual progress.

    If we see everybody the same we get conveyor belt Reiki 😉

    However in the beginning of the journey we can start to learn similar things but later on it needs to become more personal, especially if we are talking about a spiritual practice.

    For example, 2 students come and do a Okuden Reiki Level II class. One starts to meditate with the first symbol/mantra for 30 min. a day, while the other one doesn’t do much with it. Therefore the first students will have very different experiences and also needs to be guided in a different way.

    As teachers it is good to think about this.

    But another important element is the student, as a teacher you can only do so much, so the student need to apply it to go deeper, if they do not apply it then the teacher has not much to teach for deeper practices because the deeper practices rely on the spiritual progress of the student.

  3. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi All,

    Bellow is a quote about Anshin, from Anshin Ritsumei

    “There’s a Japanese word, anshin, that is very important for us to understand. Basically it means “calm, serene, undisturbed.”
    But its meaning also reaches further than those words. Anshin implies that the question of the self has been settled. The question of life and death has been resolved, and your spiritual question has been fulfilled. That’s true liberation.”
    From: No Beginning, No End – The Intimate Heart of Zen by Jakusho Kwong

    What is interesting is that 大 光 明 Dai komyo the Shinpiden Reiki Level III mantra/symbol is all about resolving the question about life and death.
    So again we can see a link to what methods Usui-san was teaching and the aim of his teachings.

  4. Avatar of Elly

    You’re so right that it’s not just students’ inherent capabilities but their will to progress that will ultimately determine their progress. And thanks for the quote from Kwong Roshi! His book is one of my favorites.

  5. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Elly,
    I love that book, reading books from teachers like that will help us as Reiki teachers to get a much deeper perspective of what spirituality is all about.
    Have a wonderful weekend

  6. Avatar of Vicki Starfire

    This is a very clearly written article, Frans. Thanks for sharing it. I wonder if it will influence how you teach in the future and if there is a place for one-on-one teaching for you too.
    Vicki Starfire

  7. Avatar of seema sahoo

    Thank you Frans and Elly for the wonderful conversation !

    I am trying to do my own ponderings after reading this article where I stand with my own practice and how am I doing as a teacher and also as a student :).

    I think everyone who teaches or practice Reiki as a spiritual practice or not , need to see and try to contemplate what Usui- San really was trying to do .

    I think he wanted this as a self practice for all regardless who they were and what field. He was not “fixed” or “dogmatic” if I can use this word. So he kind of bend and mold his teachings in such a way that everyone can get benefit out of them and if they later wanted to learn more by practicing more he would go more in depth with them—according to their spiritual development.

    To me this is very interesting aspect because now a days I see some says “their Reiki and teachings” are the best and “powerful” and they will be “attuning” you to some powerful symbols etc. etc. and also all the students really receive the same thing with no support for continuous spiritual development then are we not swaying away from Usui – San was actually trying to teach and achieve?

    Lot of them says oh if Usui- San was alive today he would have “changed” the system of Reiki and “added stuff ” in it so this is what they are doing but my question how can you change or add “stuff” in it when you yourself don’t know everything ?

    In order to change or add anything one really needs to “know everything” , do we really know ??

    I think this is a journey that we need to take and experience it by walking together but can only happen if we are practicing it by the system tools and go step by step .

    But it can only happen if as a teacher we are practicing and also teaching and also as a student we are going home and practicing what our teacher have told us to do and then see if that really makes sense or not ?

    I think at end no matter what any one says it all depends on personal practice to have the direct experience to see if it makes sense?

    What I really like about Frans and Ihreiki teachings is that not only “just” the “visible” system tools but a student can have the opportunity to learn about “hidden teachings” and also what Usui-San might have practiced himself and his students( by their own continuous research). This in particular gives a all together a different and I say a 3 – dimensional perspective to all of it.

    I say this with gratitude and love that I see the above “approach” of teaching in how Frans teaches !.

    For the past year or so Frans has taught me “in person one on one” , depending on how my practice is going and have guided me to improve myself.

    And his teachings continuously throw me in this ocean of ponderings and my inner self for healing and “shining my inner self” every moment and makes me want to practice more diligently every day !


  8. Avatar of seema sahoo

    I want to clarify one thing , when I say in person one -on -one I don’t mean “physically” in person 😉 , thanks to modern technology of Skype and follow up emails and also ancient technology of Teleporting / Tele Pathy , jk.

    I think the main thing that really come back to me so strongly when I decided to learn from Frans , throughout the time and also after reading this article is this—

    “About personal practice and direct experience “

    Lot of modern Reiki teachers out there promise “powerful attunements/ initiations/ Reiju” and “attune” to symbols etc. so you will be a “powerful Reiki Master”.

    Here at Ihreiki I didn’t heard any “promises” or “claims” just simply what it is…for me that was enough !

    The first and foremost thing that I hear from Ihreiki is your own personal practice following the tools of the system of Reiki , have a good foundation so you can go deeper in to all..
    and that will help you to find your “own inner power” .

  9. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Vicki,

    Glad to see you like this article.

    I have been teaching students one on one for many years now. But again this really depends on the student and if the student is willing to practice. The more the student practice the teachings the deeper we can go.

    I do these one on one sessions with students in person when I am in their area or through skype.

    Here is a link to a page for this: http://us.ihreiki.com/shop/book_live_teachings

    I love this quote:
    “I am not going to go on with the fellow who does not respond by lifting up three corners when I have already lifted up one.”

    The best thing for a student to start these one on one teachings is to work first for a prolonged time, preferably minimum of 6 months every day with the CKR, this will create the right foundation for deeper teachings. Without this it will be very hard as the students energy and mind needs to be ready.

    If the student doesn’t stay in contact then it will also be harder because it is through the contact that we know how to progress.

    Hope this all makes sense.


  10. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Seema,

    Yes Usui-san sat in meditation for 21 days on a mountain top and to do this he must have prepared himself with other spiritual disciplines. It is said that he had achieved anshin ritsumei, enlightenment, therefore he was in the right state of mid to change the teachings and practices accordingly. We should not forget this.

    I am not sure if we are in the right state of mind to change the system, think we need to do much more practice 😉 I don’t think I could go and sit on a mountain top for 21 days 😉

  11. Avatar of seema sahoo

    Hi Frans,

    Love the quote by Confucius , I myself have learned so much from you about teaching and not just personal practice.

    Respect you research by direct experience , so hard to do ..May be one day we will know more and “fully”.

  12. Avatar of Evine Taher

    Hello Frans,
    It was very interesting reading all the comments above. I thought i would also share some of my thoughts after reading the interview in Reiki News Magazine.
    Mr. Hiroshi Doi seems to have developed HIS OWN Reiki “system” (Gendai Reiki Ho) and is now promoting the revised edition of HIS OWN previous book: “A moderm Reiki Method of Healing”. It made me wonder “What is this all about?” , and brought to mind the humouristic notion that when a newly promoted manager walks in to his new ( predecessor’s) office, the first thing he does is to reshuffle the office to show his newly acquired authority. Reiki is a wonderful potent energy of love, light+ healing, with or without “power” symbols. In my 12 years experience I found that Reiki ‘s true power resides in our motivation/intent , with sincere universal love, to send forth the healing light within us, trusting it will work for the highest good, and to let go of “EGO”.  No one knows, (not even Usui Sensei as he said it himself) how does Reiki work, All we do know is that it DOES WORK, on us, and on others. All we have to do is to nurture this wonderful gift with gratitude,by doing what Usui sensei reccommended us to do. There is no need to change something that is perfect the way it is?

    All the best to you, Frans..hoping to be in Glasgow when you next teach in the UK.!

  13. Avatar of Frans Stiene
  14. Avatar of julieta

    Hi Frans!

    Thanks for all this amazing work and words you are sharing with us. I would like to try to meditate with the symbols, how should I do it? Can you help me with that?


  15. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Julieta,

    The best way to meditate with the symbols is to sit in meditation and visualize the symbol within yourself. If you can do this for 20 min. Each time your mind gets distracted bring it back to the symbol within you. The best thing would be to work with the first symbol CKR for a long time to that you really become it.
    If you find that your mind gets distracted keep drawing the symbol again and again within your own self.

    Hope this helps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *