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Hiroshi Doi is Interviewed - Part II

by William Lee Rand

This is an excerpt from an article in the Fall 2003 back issue of the Reiki News Magazine.

Hiroshi Doi is a leading authority on the practice of Reiki in Japan. His membership in the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai places him in a unique position to access information about the original Reiki methods of Dr. Mikao Usui. His dedication to healing and to preserving the Usui system of Reiki makes him a valuable resource to the Reiki community. He has also developed a system of Reiki Ryoho called Gendai Reiki and is the author of Iyashino Gendai Reiki-ho, Modern Reiki Method for Healing. He resides in Ashiya, Japan.

This article was translated from Japanese by Hyakuten Inamoto.

William: Would you please give a description for each of these Japanese Reiki techniques:
Doi Sensei:
Byosen: This is negative energy that occurs at the area of the cause of a disorder or disease.
Kenyoku: Traditionally a body is cleansed with water before performing sacred rituals, and Kenyoku is a purification method to cleanse a body with Reiki energy in place of water.
Joshin-kokyu: This is a breathing method to purify the mind.
Gassho: This is done by placing the hands together in front of one's breast to express gratitude or to say a prayer.
Seishin-to-itsu: This a meditation method used to calm the mind and let go of idle/stray thoughts.
Reiju: This is the original form of Japanese attunement.
Reiki-mawashi: Students stand in a circle holding hands and allow Reiki energy to flow around the circle.
Shuchu-Reiki: This is done in a group with hands in Gassho. The students focus their consciousness on one thing such as a person, an object, an event, a venue, etc., and the Reiki energy of all the practitioners is concentrated on the object. Shuchu-Reiki can be done when we pray for world peace or for health and happiness.

William: Is there anything interesting about the Gakkai and its teachings that you think important for us in the West to know?

Doi Sensei: It seems there are rumors that the Gakkai is exclusive and reluctant to accept people, that those who have learned Western Reiki will be excluded, or that foreign people in particular are excluded. If these rumors were true I may well have already been expelled from the Gakkai myself. I have never concealed the fact of my having learned Western Reiki and Shinpiden and Okuden practitioners from the Gakkai freely come and join my Reiki Gathering.
On the other hand, it is true that there are some among the senior members who are not happy with my activities outside the Gakkai. This kind of thing happens everywhere. I believe that all I need to do is just do my part. I heard that a foreign lady once met with Koyama Sensei just before leaving Japan, and that she was very moved to hear Koyama Sensei say, "You could be a member and learn if you would stay here longer." Koyama Sensei was very thoughtful and all embracing, and I think because she was so, she had no intention to exclude people.

Yet it is true that the Gakkai has shrunken in size and has not established a system to enroll many new members. This is because Koyama Sensei, having assumed office as the first female president at the time of turmoil after the war, was very busy struggling to preserve the light of tradition that was, at many points in time, on the edge of ruin, as people showed no interest in Reiki. This may have resulted in the Gakkai appearing to be exclusive from an outside point of view.

At the New Year meeting at the Gakkai Head Office in January of 2001, Mr. Kondo, the current president, asked me to tell to him and the other Shihan (teachers) about the state of Reiki in the West. They all expressed a strong interest. I proposed that the Gakkai could offer information on the Gakkai website. But they were not ready for that, and the proposal was declined.

Later, I asked for a message from the president to be delivered at the URRI Spain 2001 meeting, but in vain. However, Kondo Sensei does say to the members whenever he has an opportunity, "Let's uplift ourselves so that we do not feel ashamed in the face of Reiki people in the West."

On a New Year's greeting card from Kondo Sensei this year he wrote, "I feel happy to learn that Reiki is being globally recognized." Usui Sensei voiced this wish for the future: "I'd like to share a joy in common with many people by teaching them Reiki Ryoho." I believe that wish will be realized, and that everybody will be able to touch Usui Sensei's energy.

William: What role did Dr.Hayashi play in the Gakkai?

Doi Sensei: It is said that Hayashi Chujiro Sensei was the last Shinpiden disciple certified by Usui Sensei and was Shihan. At the time a Shinpiden disciple was supposed to engage in the spread of Reiki Ryoho and in Reiki treatments at the Gakkai head office or to open branch offices and engage in Reiki activities. Usui Sensei assigned a task to Hayashi Sensei, who was a naval doctor, to open a Reiki clinic apart from the Gakkai activities, in order to study and promote the efficacy of Reiki Ryoho from a medical doctor's point of view. Of course, it was intended for the results to feed back to the Gakkai.

William: I understand that he broke away from the Gakkai to form his own school. Can you tell us why he did this?

Doi Sensei: Hayashi Reiki Kenkyu Kai is said to have started at the time Hayashi Sensei opened the clinic, not at the time he left the Gakkai. The role of Hayashi Sensei was "to cure many of the sick by means of Reiki treatments," and "to study to improve the efficacy of Reiki Ryoho through treatments." His clinic's purpose was to accomplish this former goal and the latter one resulted in the organization of Hayashi Reiki Kenkyu Kai. Neither of these activities was part of the Gakkai, but was set up through Usui Sensei, though both seemed to have been initiated with the full support of the Gakkai.

It was after Usui Sensei's transition, or death, that Hayashi Sensei became independent as Hayashi Reiki Kenkyu Kai and left the Gakkai. Supposedly, there were differences of opinion between then President Ushida and Hayashi Sensei. It appears that a policy allowing Hayashi Sensei to study freely was changed. Hayashi Sensei, after having become independent as Hayashi Reiki Kenkyu Kai, respected Usui Sensei and kept handing down Usui Sensei's teachings and the name of Usui Reiki Ryoho to people. He did this by practicing Reiki treatments and teaching classes with a scroll hanging in the front of the room, written by Hayashi Sensei himself, bearing the Five Precepts--Usui Mikao Sensei Ikun Gokai- an admonition of the late Usui Mikao Sensei. The same three-level system as the Gakkai, with Shoden, Okuden, and Shinpiden levels, was adopted. Certificates issued are under the name of Hayashi Reiki Kenkyu Kai, but they carry the name Shinshin Kaizen Usui Reiki Ryoho or Mind/Body Improvement Usui Reiki Ryoho, to signify that Usui Reiki Ryoho is instructed.

William: How did Dr.Hayashi's style of Reiki change after he left the Gakkai?

Doi Sensei: It is not that his style changed when he left the Gakkai, but that a new style was developed from the beginning of his Kenkyu Kai.

A recipient, except a seriously ill person, was to sit when receiving treatment; this sitting position was changed to a lying position on a table. The treatment method was changed from one-on-one to several-on-one.

These are the most outstanding features of the change, but the following changes are also recognized:

An original hands-on position was developed and the new Reiki Ryoho Shinshin or "Guidelines for Reiki Healing Method" were created. A new system of conferring and passing on Reiki Ryoho was established, and a monthly five-day workshop was held at which Okuden was given.
While at the Gakkai, the navel and the Tanden were considered important, the energy centers like the meridian lines of acupuncture, Tsubo, or vital points, and charka, etc. became important.

William: Were there any other members who broke away from the Gakkai and started their own schools of Reiki similar to what Dr. Hayashi did?

Doi Sensei: It's said that at the time of Mr. Ushida's presidency many members broke away. The following two that are well known:

Mr. Eguchi Toshihiro learned Reiki Ryoho from 1925 to 1927. Critical of the Gakkai, he became independent, and set up Tenohira Ryochi Kenkyu Kai. Well known among his students were Mr. Eguchi Yasukiyo, Mr. Mitsui Koshi, and Mr. Miyazaki Goro. It is estimated that there were 500,000 students under him.

Mr. Tomita Kaiji learned Reiki Ryoho from around 1925 and set up Teate Ryoho Kai after Usui Sensei's death. He propagated Tomita-ryu Teate Ryoho. There were four levels: Shoden, Chuden, Okuden, and Kaiden. Each level was to be completed in five days with two hours' training each day, but fifteen days were required to complete Kaiden. Famous among his students was Mr. Asuke Jiro. It's estimated that there were over 200,000 students.

Besides the two people mentioned above, it's said that there were several people who established new organizations or became religious men, but this is denied by each organization involved. Only Hayashi Sensei kept handing down the name of Usui Reiki Ryoho in respect for Usui Sensei, even after he had broken away from the Gakkai.

More on this subject:
This is just part of the article which appears in the Fall 2003 issue of the hard copy Reiki News Magazine. To read the whole article, please order the Fall 2003 back issue.

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