Reiki was discovered by Mikao Usui in the early 1920's. A lifelong buddhist, Usui believed that satori (enlightenment) could be reached through meditation, prayer and fasting. As legend has it, thus began the lonely climb up Japan's Mount Kurumaya. Usui resolved to meditate for 21 days and nights until he reached satori or died trying. Instead, Usui got Reiki.
In the west Reiki is known as a healing technique which can be used to clear, balance and heal the mind and the body. The word Reiki can be translated as Rei = divine intelligence, and Ki = life force energy. Reiki Healers channel this universal spiritual energy through their palm chakras to their clients facilitating the recipient's self-healing process.
Thanks to its Buddhist approach to personal development, Reiki has evolved into a spiritual path which has been embraced by thousands around the world. At the heart of the Reiki philosophy are the Five Core Principles:
Just for today, do not worry
Just for today, do not anger
Just for today, honor your parents, teachers and elders
Just for today, earn your living honestly
Just for today, show your gratitude to every living thing
These principles acknowledge the fact that all we have is the present moment and the choices it gives us. We can choose to be honest, respectful, grateful (and I would add, proactive) today. We can also become aware of the fearful thoughts that affect our wellbeing. Though planning for the future is a necessity, worrying does not help much. It can be hard to keep your cool in this pressure cooker we call life (we are human, after all) and the Reiki Philosophy can be very grounding, practical and gratifying. It teaches us to:
Do what you must today (with love and gratitude!) for today is all we really have!
On a personal level, I have always experienced Reiki as the brightest of lights, especially when I received my Reiki Master attunements, which enable us to teach it to others. This Reiki light was a godsend when I lived in foggy London, as I felt like I had a bit of Reiki sunshine to see me through the rain. Likewise we can channel that Reiki sunshine to bring light into our lives, especially if we need a booster.