Each of the 7 levels of Reiki corresponds to one of the main chakras or energy points on the body. (Refer to courses) The following may provide insight into the simple explanation as to the truth of 7 levels existing and the past belief that there were only 3.

Reiki has existed throughout time and was re-discovered in Japan by Dr Mikao Usui.
Reiki origins can be traced back ten thousand years through engravings of the Reiki symbols around the world, and stories found within the culture of that time, of health work through the hands.

Dr Mikao Usui, a Japanese scholar, born in the mid 1800s, rediscovered Reiki in modern times, in ancient sutra texts.  The texts held the formula for Reiki, and the 7 symbols used in Reiki.  Dr Usui perfected his knowledge through meditation and fasting for 21 days on Mt.Kurama in Japan, and became empowered to pass on the truth of Reiki.

Dr Usui set up the first Reiki clinic - Usui Shiki Ryoho & the 7 level system of Reiki began being taught and treatments given.  With a Japanese tradition of respect, Dr Usui taught those he felt ready to learn Reiki.  Those who were interested in Reiki would attend his Reiki clinic, receive a temporary alignment (that lasts a week), allowing them to practise Reiki on clients, and would assist in cleaning the clinic.  Those who showed their respect for the Reiki energy by being dedicated to giving Reiki treatments and cleaning the clinic for about a year, were then told they were ready to learn Reiki level 1.  They were only told that one level existed.  Those who showed that they were using and respecting the energy by continuing to give treatments and assist around the clinic for another year were then asked if they would like to learn level 2.  Those who weren’t fully using the Reiki energy of level 1 had no requirement for more energy or the knowledge of higher levels.  Dr Usui felt there was no reason to give someone more energy that they weren’t going to use, so chose to avoid speaking of the higher levels.  Following Reiki degree 2, after 3-4 years of giving Reiki treatments and assisting cleaning the clinic (and if the student respected and used the energy), the student would be asked if they would like to learn level 3.  The method of learning and teaching through respect continued with each level.  The result was that some students knew that the full system of 7 practitioner levels plus 3 teacher levels existed, while others believed there was anything from 1 to 7 levels! 

As each level highlights one of the main energy or chakra centres in the body it makes so much sense that there are 7 levels.

This method of teaching through respect was past on to students, one being Dr Chujiro Hayashi who set up his own clinic and stayed true and honourable to the full system of Reiki. This clinic was visited by Hawayo Takata (a woman born in Hawaii with Japanese parents) and Reiki restored her health from a life threatening illness.  She then learnt the full 7 levels and teacher levels herself and moved back to America. 

Eventually she taught 22 people Reiki to various levels via the same Japanese tradition of respect.  Hawayo Takata also shared each level only with those who were ready.  21 students were ready to learn and taught up to level 3.  The one to receive the entire system was Dr Barbara Ray.  Those who learnt up to 3 levels of Reiki, promoted it as having 3 levels as this was all they were aware of and knew to be true.
Hawayo Takata announced Barbara Ray as her successor to the full 7 degree system in 1980 at a formal reception in front of over 200 witnesses.  Barbara Ray taught many in America, giving the name to Reiki as ‘The Radiance Technique’.  Gary Samer learnt from her and brought the entire system to Australia.

Refer to teacher and practitioner listings of the 7 level system of Reiki.




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