The healing method known in the West as Reiki was developed in Japan early in the last century by Mikao Usui (1865-1926).
Usui was a seeker of knowledge and spiritual understanding. He studied disciplines such as history, religion, medicine, psychology, and metaphysics, and broadened his world view through travel to Europe and China. Although he faced many challenges in life, he is said to have met them with equanimity and perseverance. Students described him as a gentle man who was always smiling.
Reiki tradition holds that Usui received the vibration of energy called Reiki in 1922 while meditating on Mt. Kurama, a mountain sacred to both Buddhism and Shinto. He is said to have achieved enlightenment, or “a state of no fear” at this time.
A lifelong adherent of Tendai Buddhism and Shinto, Usui also underwent three years of Zen Buddhist training later in his life. Some researchers suggest that Reiki was a natural outgrowth of his spiritual practice, and that his healing method was practiced as early as 1912.
Although Usui asserted Reiki to be a spiritual method of healing, it is not dependent upon, or affiliated with, any religious organisation, dogma, or doctrine. Today it is practiced throughout the world by people of many faiths and cultures.