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THE DEMOCRATIZATION OF REIKI

The post-Takata era

1981 - present




Prior to her transition in late 1980, Mrs. Takata had initiated as many as 22 Reiki masters. Yet there is no evidence that she sketched out any plan for the future of Reiki prior to her transition (Reiki's way of saying dying). While she claimed the title of Grand Master for herself, she had not designated a successor or indicated any future vision.

From a situation in North America where there was one person, Mrs. Takata, providing strong central control and leadership, Reiki suddenly found itself with a leadership vacuum and no clear direction. Accounts by the Reiki masters Mrs. Takata initiated have indicated there was no shared vision amongst them for the future of Reiki.

It didn't take long to figure out that the various surviving Reiki masters were each going their own way marching to the beat of their own drummer. Within just a few short years of Mrs. Takata's transition, anyone associated with Reiki came to realize that organizing Reiki people in the post-Takata years would be more difficult than herding cats.

It's not that such organizing efforts were not tried. They were tried. And are still being tried (to the consternation of many). I remember 20 years ago I had a sheepdog who was very good at herding kittens, but eventually gave up trying to herd adult cats. It was so frustrating for him he would stand in the middle of the yard and just bark. (Eventually he gave up on the cats and chased squirrels.)

By not annointing a successor, Mrs. Takata had left the barn door open, and the horses had run to their freedom in the fields. No one was in charge any more. Each Reiki master was left to pursue his/her own interests and point of view with Reiki pretty much unfettered.

So in 1981 a score of Reiki masters set out in the world each with their own vision. Each initiated other Reiki masters who in turn set out with their vision, and so on, and so on, until we get the situation today where thousands of Reiki masters throughout the world today each have their own vision and work quite independently of any other Reiki masters. Some have moved so far from the original Usui system that they use a different name altogether to describe their modality.


The question for which we shall never have an answer is:

By not appointing a successor,
was that exactly what Mrs. Takata had in mind?

Mrs. Takata was a lot things, but she was not stupid.


Yet somehow it all works. In the bubbling evolution of so many different directions, Reiki has now become accessible to anyone. For instance, the former fee of $10,000 U.S. to become a Reiki master is now down to a few hundred dollars Canadian here in Toronto. Reiki is now accessible to the masses. It has spread rapidly throughout North America and Europe.

In short Reiki has democratized. There are indeed old-timers who have difficulty accepting this new reality. Some would like to turn the clock backwards to return to the authoritarion days of yesteryear. Other websites speak of them; I will not. My feeling is that perhaps someone needs to hold an alarm clock and a fresh cup of coffee under their noses. Times have changed.

Personally I am delighted that the gift given to Dr. Usui is now available to people everywhere on this planet. The tree of Reiki has many branches. All are valid. I celebrate the giving of Dr. Usui's gift to the world.

May it continue.











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