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
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.
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
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.