The Next Leg of the Journey

Dear Friends of Wisechoices and Mari Hall,

I hope this finds you happy and well in this last few months of this year. In this Wisechoices Newsletter I share the last quarter of my 2004 travels. I have flown over 49,000 miles this year and have been around the world. There are also two articles to read at the end of this letter.

After arriving back in the USA from Australia and New Zealand in late September and repacking, I started travelling… destination Europe. On my way out of the USA I first made a visit to two states. The first stop was Utah where I taught a ONE Plus course. Thanks to the photography work of Julie, Christine and myself of the 20 new touchpoints when I was in New Zealand and Kimberly's computer skills in Utah we had the new ONE Plus course manual to use in the Utah. Kimberly is presently working on the production of the treatment of specific illness which include photographs of the touchpoints for ONE Plus. She is absolutely brilliant in this work and we will all benefit from her dedication. Thanks Kimberly! All of this work contiues to be an International effort.

When I was in Utah my organizer Connie Barnes took me to Moab located in the Southern part of Utah. It is the home of the red rocks and beautiful canyons. What a difference to Salt Lake City. We drove through the desert to get there. It was absolutely breathtaking. I felt as if I was standing at the edge of the world…I was filled with awe at the vastness and sheer size of the formations, mountains and canyons.
While standing at a lookout point at Dead Horse Point I wondered out loud just what day God made this miracle of nature. I heard laughter and then agreement from a couple standing near me. They had the same thought and at the same time. Connie is a terrific woman filled with light and love, she continues to teach me to open and receive. I have enjoyed our times together and look forward to returning there soon. I hope you will also have the privilege of meeting her in the future.
Next, I was off to stay with my brother Scott and his family in Connecticut see the fall colours of New England. They live in Norwalk on a beautiful tree lined street. Deer and Wild Turkeys run through the back garden of their house. It is a very nice place to sit and reconnect to nature. We took a drive up to a winery in the north and besides having a lovely afternoon as a family I had the pleasure of taking so many beautiful pictures. It was a welcome rest stop in the journey….and then I was off to Thessaloniki, Greece and my friends there.

I look forward to seeing old friends in the countries I visit. Over time I have been part of their lives; a witness to their weddings, the birth of their children, the passing of life and all the ups and downs to be experienced living life. This visit was poignant to me because my original organizer in Thessalonica, Rosie Horsfall discovered she had breast cancer a few days after I arrived. Being with Rosie, her husband Dimos and holding Julietta, their 13-month-old daughter who was born when I was there in October 2003 and working with them energetically deepened the existing bond between us. They are part of my spiritual family. They welcome your prayers, energy and love. Please add Rosie to your healing lists and your individual distance healing work.

While I was in Thessaloniki I taught the first and second levels of Reiki and we spent time looking ahead for next year’s program. There is a request that I teach a series of weekend self-development workshops when I return in March. I am excited for the opportunity to develop this program for them.

I travelled to London to teach the first and second levels of Reiki and travelled on up to Edinburgh, Scotland for a reunion of people who had been together at the Atsitsa centre in Skyros, Greece last summer. What fun to see how different we looked with normal clothing on. Most of us wore much less in the hot Greek sun. After the weekend I took a quick train ride to the Highlands of Scotland to visit a friend who also was one of my first Reiki students in Scotland in 1990. I always enjoy Trish and her world of wild gardens and rocks walls and complementary medicine. She is an excellent cook and hostess besides being a dedicated Chiropractor. She introduced me to the concept of lower glucose level eating and cooking. I have ordered the book and recipes to use once I am home. It is easy and quite healthy.

Now I am in the Netherlands staying with my dear Dutch friends Ria and Jan van Staveren till the 15th of December. I enjoy all the various trips we take, their family and the interesting conversations we have. This is my home away from home in Europe. My next stop is Cypress, Texas to be with my family for the holidays. My grandchildren are counting the days until I get back. My health continues to get better thanks to Dr. Whitley in Utah, Dr. Alba, a wonderful Naturopath in Denver, Colorado, my Greek doctors and you my friends who send me energy and support me to continue this meaningful work in the world. I am truly blessed in my life. Thank you so much. I am taking a few months off after the holidays to write, meditate and ride my bicycle and of course enjoy my family! The schedule as it is now for 2005 is up on the web pages. Yes, I am coming back to Australia and New Zealand in the fall of 2005 and will also be working in the USA more.

The next 21 day Usui Virtual Retreat will start the 21st of December. I will be sending out notices when I am back in the USA.

And as promised here are two articles for you. One on Reiki Ryoho as a Spiritual Path by Hyakuten Inamoto and an article on a Journey to Forgiveness by Carol Bonura. I have realised over time how important it is to forgive others and ourselves even when we feel we have every reason not to. I hope you will enjoy them.

Love and Blessings,

Reiki Ryoho as a Spiritual Path
Hyakuten Inamoto

This Japanese word literally means “the mysterious energy of the universe.”

RYO is …treatment or healing and HO is….. method or technique

Reiki Ryoho, to be exact ”Usui Reiki Ryoho”, is intended for improvement in mind and body. Here we need to take notice of “improvement in MIND and BODY”, not BODY and MIND.

Usui Sensei says, “First and foremost, the mind is to be healed, and secondly the body should be made sound. If the mind answers for a path of sincerity, and is healthy, the body shall naturally be sturdy. “ (Mind precedes physical body. Mind is a master, and body is a servant.)

Reiki Ryoho (Reiki Healing Method) is apparently a simple form of hands-on healing, and It is easy to learn and simple to use. Placement of the hands is just the outer aspect of Reiki Ryoho, and there is, of course, the inner aspect of it, which is a spiritual approach/path.

Reiki Ryoho appears to be so simple, however, the truth is, it is so deep. It is a means to an end. The end (goal) is to attain “Satori” or enlightenment, or “An-shin Ritsu-mei” as in terms of Usui Sensei. “Anshin Ritsu-mei” signifies “a state of an absolute INNER PEACE”, after having surrendered to Heaven’s will or to await Heaven’s dispensation calmly after having done one’s utmost.  

There are many means to unfold and uplift one’s spirituality, and Reiki Ryoho is one useful and helpful means. It is a simple and yet powerful tool to unfold and develop one’s inner growth.

Reiki hands-on practice embodies one’s loving-kindness in action. We can safely say that to practice Reiki Ryoho is to perform acts of loving-kindness.

Since practice of Reiki Ryoho is an act or embodiment of one’s loving-kindness, calm, harmony and balance within, through practice one gradually and naturally becomes full of loving-kindness, caring, calm and peaceful,

When we do Reiki Ryoho, “to heal and to be healed” takes place at the same time, and a sense of “oneness” or “interconnectedness” can be felt by the two people, giver and recipient. This enables both to feel happy together, and this sense of “oneness” or “interconnectedness” will trigger a personal spiritual transformation or will give us a nudge into new directions of spirituality.

Our job as a Reiki practitioner is to manifest Reiki Ryoho Principles (Precepts) in our every day life; Do not anger, Do not worry, With thankfulness, Work diligently, Be kind to others.
And we are to strive for fulfilling our lives of “good health and happiness ” by walking on a spiritual path of Reiki Ryoho under the guidance of REIKI, the energy of the universe, the source of all things, the Divine Spirit, One Great, or whatever you want to call it. As we manifest Reiki Ryoho Principles in our daily life, we can be supported and guided by REIKI at all times. In other words, we resonate with REIKI. We become one with REIKI. We live Reiki Ryoho in our day-to-day life.

Reiki Ryoho is a wonder-full spiritual path available to everyone.


A Journey to Forgiveness
By Carol Bonura

“We must learn to move through life with a more open attitude toward what life has given us to work with, lovingly accepting ourselves with all of our little flaws. Love and forgiveness are the healing forces that release the energy blocks to the heart chakra created by bitterness, resentment, anger, and even grief.” This is how we grow spiritually and to heal mentally, emotionally, as well as physically and to experience greater joy in our lives. “from A Practical Guide to Vibrational Medicine” written by Dr. Richard Gerber

Over the past few months God has been gently reminding me to forgive the person that committed a horrendous act of betrayal and violence against a person I love dearly, my precious daughter Jackie.

When Jackie reached puberty, she started to exhibit strange behaviour. What seemed to present itself as an attention deficit disorder turned into a full-blown depression with a psychotic break after she was placed on medication to treat her. The next few years she spent going from doctor to doctor attempting to get to the bottom of her physiological problems. She was then diagnosed with a bipolar disorder. Because I am a healthcare worker; it seemed feasible from what I knew of the disease that this could be possible however something in deepest part of me just didn’t agree..

About a year and a half ago her therapist became convinced that Jackie appeared to be a victim of child molestation but she couldn’t be sure who committed the act. When Jackie was first asked all she could say was she didn’t remember. Months later she finally remembered that she had been molested and also who had molested her. We were devastated, I had no idea that the molestation had been taking place or for how long. In some way I felt as if I had failed her.

It took me months to be able to sleep at night without the aide of medication. I was convinced that this was the most horrendous crime to commit against a child and I would never forgive the offender, or myself for not protecting her. My heart and soul was tortured for Jackie and the guilt I felt at times over not recognizing what was going on was eating me alive.

Jackie was responding to her therapy and I also entered into a therapeutic relationship to help deal with the guilt I was feeling. It did help and in order to handle my situation I made the decision that I would just spend the rest of my life avoiding this person. I would never look or speak to him unless I absolutely had no other choice. I realize now that avoiding a person doesn’t take away the problem it just prolongs the pain and eventually the pressure builds up

Then I believe that God started to plant his little seeds. “A voice’’ inside my head kept telling me to let it go because the weight is too much to carry, being the stubborn, Irish-German that I am I first refused to forgive. I began to notice I was getting wrinkles around my mouth because I hadn’t smiled for a very long time. I started to see that I was being shown myself in the mirror of life and that it was time to let the pain and judgement go.

I hadn’t been using my Reiki for a long time. It is remarkable how in times of distress we often forget to use what we need the most. Everything took to much effort except my anger. I decided to wear a rose quartz crystal around my neck and over my heart to help me to heal. I cleared and recharged it daily with Reiki. Lo and behold before long my heart didn’t feel as heavy. I didn’t feel like I had to drag myself thru each day anymore. I was sleeping a little better and could actually enjoy speaking to people and being with them again. I went to a Reiki retreat with Jackie and everyone was so kind and patient with us. As we shared Jackie’s story we were given different points of view as possibilities why we were going thru this at this time in our lives and offered healings. I came away from the retreat with my anger still in my heart but the hard shell around it was definitely cracking. God was at work.

So here I was beginning to accept the fact that I needed to move towards forgiveness but I had no idea how. One afternoon I was watching a show on TV that had families who had forgiven people in their lives. One woman had been shot once in the abdomen by a total stranger and later found out he was a hired hit man. She was able to work through it over the years after and has even become friends with this man over time. Another family involved a grandmother and her granddaughter. The young girl’s Mom had been brutally raped and murdered. These two women joined a program at a prison so they could meet the attacker face to face. Over time they also made their way to forgiveness. How could I not learn to forgive if these people were able to and they don’t even have their loved one with them any longer?

I started to pray and asked for help. I was lead to a book, which has helped to get the ball rolling. The title is “A Practical Guide to Vibrational Medicine” by Richard Gerber. In the book it discusses how we plan our life prior to coming to this lifetime. We plan who our family will be, who our friends will be and also who will come into our lives as teachers. It states: “Souls often pursue relationships from lifetime to lifetime within a grouping of souls, sometimes reversing roles between parent and child, teacher and student, the tormentor and the tormented, in order to experience both sides of relationships with greater clarity and compassion.” It goes on to discuss how we make sacred contracts prior to each lifetime. “If we assume that this is true, it brings up an interesting point. If for example, each soul has a choice in deciding who its parents will be, wouldn’t we all want to incarnate into families with wealth, privilege, and status, where we wouldn’t have to struggle to make a living? The idea of someone’s consciously choosing to incarnate into a family where there are conflicts or abusive parents or a lack of financial wealth suggests that the soul does not always choose the path of least resistance.” I realized then that Jackie and yes, even I had chosen this path for specific reasons I could not see or understand.

I had already heard from a friend that this was another way of looking at the situation. Seeing it in writing just cemented it in my mind. The knowledge rang true in my soul and it helped to ease the burden. I know someday I will see this person on the street and it will raise the old feelings again. I pray that each encounter will be less and less painful and true forgiveness will be reached. As the old saying goes, time heals all wounds. I feel like now I have the strength to help Jackie work towards forgiveness when she is ready to start.

To those of you reading this if you have people in your life that need to be forgiven, or you have had a problem forgiving yourself I would recommend working on the fourth Chakra to begin with; Reiki is a wonderful answer as well as rose quartz crystals when working in this area. Once you have cleared them they hold Reiki energy and begin to work with us to soften our hearts quickly.

As Dr. Gerber says “Love and forgiveness are the healing forces that release the energy blocks to the heart chakra created by bitterness, resentment, anger, and even grief.” Forgiving myself for not being aware of Jackie’s problem and thus not protecting her, and also forgiving the person for hurting Jackie is helping me to grow spiritually and to heal mentally, emotionally, as well as physically. And I am experiencing greater joy in my life one day at a time. I pray this will also be the case for Jackie.


Promoting a Sense of Being in our Lives

Dear Friends of Wisechoices.

I have decided to give you two articles this month. One from Laurelle Shanti Gaia a Reiki Master/Teacher who is writing to other Reiki Teachers, however it applies to all people as it promotes a sense of being in our lives. The second article is written by V.N. Mittal who brings a different slant to our spiritual principles for Reiki. Both talk about qualities of living and an approach to life that more often than not promotes harmony and peace. I do hope you enjoy them.

Love, Mari

Teaching Only Love
Laurelle Shanti Gaia

As Reiki Master/teachers, we are called to empower others by helping them recognize their connection to the Divine in all creation. The connection that we all share is the Infinite Love of the Universe, which is the only true power.

As teachers we simply open a door for others to explore the power of Love through Reiki. We provide some basic tools and techniques for healing, self expression, and spiritual growth. We must remember that the Reiki energy itself is the only true Reiki Master, and that by setting egoist interference aside, we are each equally blessed with is infinite wisdom.

When people are drawn to our Reiki work, we remember that God has sent them to us, and the time we share is sacred. We have something to teach each of our clients and students, just as we have something to learn from them. True humility comes through knowing this and allowing ourselves to be open to such gifts of wisdom.

As we grow in the Reiki energy, we find it easier to move out of any unhealthy portion of our ego and allow the blessings of each of our life encounters to flow into our lives.

I feel that we best teach the spirit of Reiki by becoming the essence of the energy. When someone tests or hurts us, do we recognize that, based on their life experiences, they are doing the best that they can do in that moment? If someone demonstrates untrustworthy or judgmental behavior, do we become angry and turn away, or do we allow Reiki to flow through us to increase our capacity to love and accept them just as they are?

Most people come to Reiki because they are seeking true love and acceptance of self. We as Reiki Master Teachers, can help them recognize that beauty can be found even in their deepest shadows, when we demonstrate that we love and accept them just as they are. We also help the world become a more peaceful place by recognizing our own shadows, and loving those aspects of ourselves. In doing this we illumine even the darkest corridors of our beings. We then become more peaceful within, and a more radiant influence on the world.

When we become the Reiki energy in all that we do, then we truly do "Teach Only Love".
May your light shine so brightly that you always know the way.

And now the 2nd article

The Five Spiritual Doorways to Healing

The Lord Buddha discovered how to heal the spirit. In his Sutras he gave a very simple formula for mankind to use for healing by employing a spiritual approach. The essence of the Sutras is that two spiritual beings known as the Bodhisattva (Supreme healer) and Bodhisattva Medicine King are always available to assist those in need of healing. One simply needs to establish contact with them by practicing physical and spiritual purification, using meditation, and by reciting special mantras called dharani.

It was through a need to treat my own ailments by using a spiritual approach that led me to ponder about the word SPIRITUALITY itself. Interestingly I found hidden meanings in each of its letters. Each letter pointed to well trodden spiritual doorways.

S - Self-realization for seeking salvation ‘moksha’
P - Practicing happiness
I - Introspection
R -Relinquishing worry and anxiety
I - Intention to help others
T -Taming the mind to shed ego and anger
U -Unconditional love for all living beings
A -Attitude of gratitude
L -Living honestly
I - Ignoring other’s faults and pursuing forgiveness
T -Transcending all barriers of hate, jealousy and greed
Y -Yogic practice

The above Doorways are so interlinked and interwoven that journey through one leads to the other. I only choose five of them for my meditation and practice, initially, for their ease and their known healing power. They were represented by the letters T, R, A, L, U, (shown in italics) The Japanese’s Emperor and Poet of the Meiji period in the 19th century had suggested them and later Dr Mikao Usui, founder of Reiki, adopted them as the five spiritual principles of Reiki- the art of tapping universal life force energy from the cosmos for ones healing.

Taming the mind to shed ego and anger inline with the first Reiki principle ‘Just for today, I’ll let go of anger’ opens up the first doorway. Anger is directly connected to weak points in our ego. We also tend to become angry when we/they/or situations fall short of our expectations. Our anger hurts us much more, than the other party. The emotion releases toxins in our system .It destroys our inner harmony thereby blocking us from loving unconditionally and in turn separating us from the universal consciousness;

The second doorway opens up by relinquishing worry and anxiety. It conforms to the second principle ‘Just for today, I’ll let go of worry,’ Worrying separates ourselves from the universal wholeness. The adage ‘Chinta Chita samaan hai’ signifies that ‘to worry is to be laid on the pyre’; Worrying also produces a rush of harmful toxins in our system, and blocks our emotions.

The third principle, ` Just for today I will live an attitude of gratitude for all the abundance in our lives’ opens the third doorway. It implies that we count not only our present blessings but also what we trust will be provided. Such an attitude keeps all the material; emotional and spiritual doors open to us.

The fourth doorway implores us to live honestly and corresponds to the fourth principle, ‘Just for today, I will live honestly’ When we are honest to ourselves, it creates harmony in our lives and aligns us to our higher self. Honest living leads to the practice of truthfulness, which according to Patanjali empowers our words to such an extent, that they become capable of fructification at will.

The essence of all life is love. Loving every living creature unconditionally, is emphasized in the fifth principle, ‘Just for today, I will love and be kind to every living creature ’It is to be accepting unconditionally not only others but also ourselves. We are the mirrors reflecting the divine light back to us.

It is my belief that the repetition of ‘today’ points to the importance of the present moment, which is the key to all spiritual awakening and enlightenment. Our journey using the five spiritual doorways connects mankind to the supreme healer and thus sources the being to come into complete harmony with oneself, resulting in healing and release from karmic bondage of illness.


The Journey Continues

Hello Dear Friends,
I returned form New Zealand and have spent the last two weeks getting my body clock back on USA time. I had no idea how much the 36 hour flight from New Zealand to Houston would affect me. Next time I will definitely plan for more time to come back to “my normal” before I have to DO anything at all.

Suffice to say now that I am feeling fine it is time to pack and start out again. I am flying to Salt Lake City, Utah tomorrow to teach the ONE program before going on to Europe through Norwalk, CT for a visit with my brother Scott and his family. I am looking forward to being with everyone again and being back in Europe. I will fly back to the USA in time to spend the Christmas Holidays with my daughter and her family here in Cypress, Texas. This has been an event filled year thus far. My heart continues to heal. Thank you for the energy and love you continue to send my way.

The winter “Down Under” where the mornings were full of sun streaming through giant Eucalyptus trees and parrots of every color fed at the bird feeder are still fresh in my memory. I had a lovely time in Melbourne after leaving the Blue Mountains. One of my Reiki Friends, Herta whom I met in Paris hosted me in her home South of Melbourne She made every attempt for me to see as much of the country as I could manage. She took me to points North, East, South and West of Melbourne, also to the outback where I had the opportunity to see Kangaroos, Kuala Bears, Emus and various exotic plants and animals all in their natural environment. I have to laugh we were both trying to keep up with each other while both thinking ‘My gracious does she ever sleep or rest?’ It was a real push to keep up with her and a joy to discover that we both were bone tired …but we saw and did so much.

I had no idea what to expect when I landed in New Zealand. It is outstandingly beautiful. The two hour ride from the airport in Dunedin to Invercargill was filled with one spectacular view after the other. Sunset was absolutely awe inspiring, the vast sky filled with gold, pink, blue and orange.

With a population of the entire country that equals the population of Houston, Texas, it was easy to see why so many people love it there. I stayed in the South Island in Invercargill and had the wonderful experience of being taken to some beautiful cities to the North West. The movie “Lord of the Rings” was filmed in New Zealand and I quickly realized I was visiting “Middle Earth.” Every morning I woke up to snow capped mountains all around me.

We stopped after coming through a mountain pass to look at the mountain range near Queensland. Christine said “ It’s incredible” I said “yes, and spectacular” she laughed and said “ No, it is the Incredible Mountain Range.” I can imagine that was the first thought of the people who saw these majestic mountains over 200 years ago for the first time; Incredible!

My experience being ”Down Under” filled me with such a sense of gratitude. The people are warm, welcoming and great fun to be with. I was definitely made to feel at home in every sense of the word. The best experienced by seeing the mountains filled with snow cascading to the ocean, Fields of green filled with meadow flowers just stating to bloom. I sat for extended periods of time just watching nature and all of it’s beauty. Being filled with joy watching the baby lambs whom had just made their debut playing chase in the fields. Life is Great!

Plans are in the works for a return visit and teaching in Australia and New Zealand next year in the Spring. I will be teaching a Path of Service (Reiki 3) in New Zealand in March 2005. Please check the schedule for next years dates. They will be posted as soon as things are finalized. I will also be coming to the Reiki Retreat in Kentucky the end of May, To Buffalo, New York in June to teach ONE and hold a Reiki Wisdom day and to the Reiki Retreat in Washington, DC the end of July.

As promised I will post an article by a Reiki person in the next few weeks. Until then enjoy your fall above the equator and your Spring below the equator. Remember we are one beautiful family of light. It is such a pleasure how you continue to grace my life.

Love, Mari


Eguchi Toshihiro's influence on Usui Mikao teachings

As promised I am sharing with you an interesting piece written by Bronwen Steine from the International House of Reiki here in the Blue Mountains of Australia. She and her husband Frans have done extensive research about Usui, his contemporaries and early systems of palm healing in Japan. I am sure you will enjoy reading it. You can contact her at info@reiki.net.au

There has been a great deal of interest in the history of the system of Reiki in recent years. This interest has occasionally hit brick walls and impasses and has not been unlike piecing together an historical jigsaw puzzle. There are pieces of information that people have been sitting on and then there are those pieces that remain unturned. Naturally, there will also be missing pieces to this puzzle, ones that have fallen through the cracks or been swept away never to return.

One person whose name recently has appeared on a number of different pieces of the puzzle is Eguchi Toshihiro. Some people today believe that he influenced the teachings of Usui Mikao particularly through his deep knowledge of Shinto practice[i]. This is reflected largely in what we now know as Level II or Okuden in the system of Reiki.

From the early 1900s Japan was in a great popular health movement that continued well up to its entry into World War II. Not only was Usui developing a practice that would initially be taught to hundreds but so were many other seekers and searchers including Eguchi.

Japanese culture appears to have always held a special place for hand or palm healing within its natural laws. Palm healing in Japan has been practiced as an element of Buddhism since ancient times and similar concepts are currently in use with the popular deity Binzuru as an example. Here the devotee seeks to experience healing by rubbing his/her body’s physical equivalent on the statue of Binzuru.

Usui Mikao, the Usui Reiki Ryôhô Gakkai and Eguchi Toshihiro
In 2000 a book was published in Japan about Eguchi and his healing techniques called Tenohira-ga Byoki-o Naosu (Cure Your Illness with Your Palms) written by Mihashi Kazuo. This book sheds some light on what was taught and practiced by Eguchi. Though it does not mention Usui himself it does briefly discuss Eguchi’s dealings with the Usui Reiki Ryôhô from 1926 onwards. This is most likely the Usui Reiki Ryôhô Gakkai (Usui Spiritual Energy Healing Method Society) that still exists in Japan today. The author’s knowledge of Eguchi was drawn from a number of out of print books, written by Eguchi and others. Our article on Eguchi is comprised of factual information from Tenohira-ga Byoki-o Naosu with the noted inclusion of additional information from other sources such as Professor Judith Rabinovitch (her sources being various Japanese texts including a chronology of his life, prepared in 'note' form by Eguchi), Suzuki san and Chris Marsh.

Eguchi Toshihiro was born on the 11th of April 1873 in Kumamoto, Japan and died on the 10th of June 1946. Around 8 years Usui’s junior, his health had never been very good and he often fainted and had chest problems. At one point in his youth he was not accepted into the ‘Army Cadet School’ due to problems encountered in the physical entry test. Later when he was admitted to the University of Tôkyô he fainted during the University examination. Eguchi was known to have dropped some subjects due to his weak health yet he still managed to graduate eventually becoming a principal of a school in Nagano.

According to Tenohira-ga Byoki-o Naosu, a lady called Tamura introduced Eguchi to the Usui Reiki Ryôhô in 1926; he was 53 years old at that time. Eguchi was living in Shibuya, Tôkyô and Eguchi wrote "50 yen was/is a high price to pay for admission to the group (nyûkai is the term), and moreover, at each meeting, one has to pay 1 yen[ii] further. So, while I thought that this [my training] was very important, having to pay fifty yen for this kind of thing just didn't make sense to me."[iii] Eguchi believed that people practising palm healing should never ask large fees for the service as it is a natural gift that everyone is born with and he also believed it may have been possible to collect a person’s karma. He also noted that a current teacher of the Usui Reiki Ryôhô was Taketomi Kanichi (1878-1960) who, as a Rear Admiral in the Japanese navy, was well off financially. After 2 years Eguchi took action saying he had 'seen through to the unjustness (iwarenaki wo) of the high fees’ writing a formal letter of resignation (taikai-todoke ) from the group and submitting it to Naval Officer (Rear Admiral) Ushida Jûzaburô (1865-1935), "head of the Usui-kai." [iv]

Moving on to begin his own school, with his own ideas and his ‘declared independence’[v], Eguchi created the Tenohira Ryôji Kenkyû Kai (Hand Healing Research Centre). He moved to the city of Kôfu where, to house the hundreds who came for his public service, he took a meeting room near the Kôfu station. “This,’ states Professor Rabinovitch, ‘was the beginnings of Eguchi's flourishing practice, which attracted thousands of people from all across the land for decades.’ She also said of his nature that ‘he is said to have been a deeply religious man “who practiced a meditative healing grounded in prayer without symbols or attunements”’.[vi]

As far as fees were concerned Toshihiro Eguchi and his brother Shunpaku apparently did not take fixed fees for training others, but Professor Rabinovitch believed that they did receive small contributions.

Usui Mikao, personally, is not mentioned in Tenohira-ga Byoki-o Naosu but according to the Professor, ‘Eguchi was a student of Usui sensei's for about two years and a close personal friend for much longer’. The Professor goes on to say that ‘since Eguchi in particular studied under Usui with such seriousness, his writings are especially valuable in tracing early proto-Reiki and better understanding the Buddhist and spiritual underpinnings of hand healing.’ There are also said to be records and a journal of Eguchi’s that have survived the decades detailing information about his relationship with Usui.

Tenohira Ryôji Nyûmon
Tenohira-ga Byoki-o Naosu states that Eguchi’s centre became very popular by 1929 with about 150 new people joining each month to learn his techniques. Eguchi and some of his students developed 3-day seminars that they took to Tôkyô and Osaka with around 300 people attending each seminar. Of his students the most well known were Mitsui Kôshi and Miyazaki Gorô.

Mitsui, a poet and one-time village Mayor, helped Eguchi with his lectures and meetings and was well respected for his writing of waka poetry. Waka is a form of classical Japanese poetry that Usui and some of his contemporaries combined with their spiritual teachings. The Usui Reiki Ryôhô Gakkai have a list of 125 waka poems written by the Meiji Emperor (1852-1912) that were used by Usui in his teachings. Another student of Usui, Tomita Kaiji, wrote in his 1933 manual about his own Tomita method of hand healing. In it he specifically describes a meditation that focuses on waka to generate greater amounts of energy in the body. ‘The important thing’ Mitsui wrote, ‘during training is to reach unity and to reach this you must practice gasshô, or during your normal daily life – waka’. Mitsui published quite a few books discussing the Meiji Emperor’s waka. In 1930 he co-wrote a book about tenohira ryôji with Eguchi called Tenohira Ryôji Nyûmon (Introduction to Healing with the Palms).

Miyazaki, who admired Mitsui, also became Eguchi’s son-in-law. He too wrote books and other material on palm healing. After Eguchi’s death in 1946 Miyazaki took over the centre but as his focus was centred on writing, students began to dwindle with the group becoming smaller and smaller. One of the better-known books written by Miyazaki was Tanasue no Michi (The Way of Working with Hands).

Eguchi travelled as far as Pusan in Korea to give lectures but stopped with the eventuation of the war due to travelling restrictions. In 1945 his house was damaged and he moved to his daughter’s house together with his wife. At this time he told his daughter there were two great successes in his life – one, that he had found his daughter a good husband and two, palm healing.

In Japan today, Mihashi states that there are still people teaching Eguchi’s method with one of them being Kijima Yasu.

The Ittôen Community
Eguchi himself was involved with different groups (apart from Usui and the Usui Reiki Ryôhô) who worked with healing. When he was principal of the school in Nagano he invited Nishida Tenko, who in 1904 founded the Ittôen community, to give a presentation. This community still exists today and is comprised of those wishing to seek a life of no possessions, serving in a spirit of penitence. They believe that when human beings live in accordance with the way of nature, they are accepted and enabled to live, even without owning things and even without converting labor into money.[vii] Today the Ittôen community consists of around 100 members with their leader being Nishida Tenko's grandson, Takeshi. The Ittôen members traditionally practiced a form of palm healing acquired directly from Eguchi who visited the community several times. Today some families’ still practice palm healing but there is no official practice within the community. Professor Rabinovitch’s own tenohira ryôji teacher, Miss Endo (aged around 97 in 1994) an original Ittôen student of Eguchi ca 1929 or 1930, previously made her ‘evening rounds’ in the community before her passing. Eguchi is known to have recited waka from the Meiji Emperor during his visits as well. Even today, after meals are taken, the Ittôen recite the Meiji Emperor’s waka:

To go beyond self-concern and work for other's well-being:This is what human beings are called upon to practice.[viii]

Eguchi’s System of Hand Healing
Eguchi believed that everyone could do palm healing once their energetic path was open. The way to open or fully clear this path was very easy: practitioners must gasshô and meditate with someone who was more energetically experienced for 30 to 40 minutes over 3 consecutive days. This helped strengthen the practitioner’s own energetic connection and build the confidence to carry out palm healing.

‘He writes of going into people's home, showing them 'how,' and bidding them to practice faithfully. Spiritual and meditative practices were used, however, to advance those who came to take his course.’[ix]

Much of Eguchi’s practise was based on self-development and he advised his students to follow these 7 Principles to encourage an ascetic lifestyle:

Deep compassion needs to be felt for clients.
Keep the body clean, be honest, be kind and don’t get angry.
When training: eat shojin ryori (type of Buddhist meal without meat) and eat lightly.
To remain healthy: take light from the sun, fresh air, good water and good food.
By only focusing on the body it is impossible to get healthy. Students must also think and act well.
Read waka from the Meiji Emperor every day.
If we become sick we must first say to ourselves from the bottom of our heart, ‘I sincerely apologise if I have done something wrong’.

A specific aspect of Eguchi’s palm healing technique was the use of the right hand only - as this was for giving while the left hand was for receiving (though in some cases he did advise practitioners to use the left hand). Practitioner’s must make sure that the client feels balanced during the treatment e.g. if you treat the left arm, the right must also be treated. Talking must be kept to a minimum during the treatment and a prayer is said at its commencement. An example of a prayer might be: may my hands help this person that he/she may become well. Eguchi also believed that the illness itself should not be mentioned in the prayer.

When treating people, Eguchi taught to begin with the head using 5 head positions with one last position on the stomach. The first 5 head positions correlate with the 5 head positions as taught by Usui Mikao[x]. The treatment would generally take about 30 to 40 minutes.

Below in italics is a verbatim translation by Professor Rabinovitch of Eguchi’s head ‘method’ taken from Eguchi and Kôshi’s book Tenohira Ryôji Nyûmon. After the head (including the stomach position) the Professor states that specific parts of the body would be touched, organically. Hand placement directions for organs are given as well as placements for specific illnesses that are diverse as asthma, cerebral hemorrhage, female hysteria, and hiccups. At the same time it should be noted that Eguchi did not believe that the ‘method’ was as important as the practitioner’s spiritual connection in bringing about healing.

(1) hairline (haegiwa) (2) temples (komekami) "you can do both sides with both hands at once" (3) rear of head, high up (kôtôbu no takai tokoro) (4) nape of neck (kubisuji) (5) top of head (crown) (atama no chôjô) (6) stomach, intestines (ichô) Do this (above items, 1-6) for about 30 or 40 minutes for healing to take place. This treatment is also effective in reducing fever. Before starting treatment, take the body temperature of the patient, and you will be able to measure the drop in fever.

Usui and Eguchi
The similarities between Eguchi’s teachings and those of Usui are numerous. These include concepts of self-development using precepts or principles (especially principles 2, 5, and 6); clearing the energetic channels of the body with the help of a more experienced practitioner; meditations to clear the energetic channels; and specific hand positions on the head to aid the clearing. The hand positions mentioned and the ‘method’ Eguchi and Kôshi write about is not unlike the Healing Method’s Guideline (ryôhô shishin) known to be used by both the Usui Reiki Ryôhô Gakkai and Hayashi Chûjirô. For students who continued to practice there were also more spiritual and meditative practises taught to aid with their development. Both Eguchi’s and Usui’s teachings grew out of the beliefs and culture of a Japan that was experimenting with spiritual development and palm healing at the beginning of the 1900s.

Although the system of Reiki, as it is known today, has moved away from the earliest teachings of Usui it is important for this current system to remember its roots and to regain its footings in solid ground. This can only enrich what remains of the teachings. With a deeper understanding of these early events and cultural developments the modern Reiki student can experience clear and confident intent in the approach to his/her personal practice.

Tenohira-ga Byoki-o Naosu (Cure Your Illness with Your Palms) by Mihashi Kazuo. 2000. Chuo Art Publishing Co., LTD. Sections translated into English for this article by Minamida Tokiko.

Professor Judith Rabinovitch. Ph.D., Harvard University; Currently Karashima Professor of Japanese Language and Culture Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, University of Montana, USA. She studied tenohira ryôji with Miss Endo (an original Ittôen student of Eguchi) for one week in 1974 at the Ittôen community in Japan and received an informal initiation where Miss Endo, sitting quietly in a state of meditation, placed her hands upon hers while in contact with the patient for about one hour, advising her to keep practising. Rabinovitch reports feeling great energy in her body and hands thereafter and continued to practice for 10 years. She went on to train through to the teacher level with a Japanese priest in 2002.

Suzuki san; Born in 1895 and is still alive today according to her student Chris Marsh. She is a Tendai nun and the cousin of the wife of Usui Mikao who she studied with from 1915.
[i] Suzuki san, 2003
[ii] Professor Rabinovitch states that 1 yen was likely 1-day’s wage. She also states that it is quite the norm in Japan to ask large fees for association membership.
[iii] Professor Rabinovitch quotes notes from Eguchi, 2004
[iv] Professor Rabinovitch quotes notes from Eguchi, 2004
[v] Professor Rabinovitch quotes notes from Eguchi, 2004
[vi] Professor Rabinovitch quotes notes from Eguchi, 2004
[vii] Ittoen Homepage: http://www.ittoen.or.jp/english/E-whatis.htm
[viii] Ittoen Homepage: http://www.ittoen.or.jp/english/E-whatis.htm
[ix] Professor Rabinovitch, 2004
[x] Chris Marsh, student of Suzuki san, 2001


Continuing my Travels East

I have just spent the last month in very hot environments. After leaving the USA the end of June I had a brief stop over in the Czech Republic. I saw the doctor there who reported that my heart is healing well…what delightful news!

My next stop was Cyprus. It was my first visit, but certainly is not be the last. The Reiki Master/Teacher course was beautiful. Each day the classes were spaced out with dips in the swimming pool to cool off. We sat under Bougainville in the shade of the patio off my room looking out to the valley, rich with color and the smell of wild thyme and oregano. What an idyllic school room! The evenings were spent talking at the local taverna over dinner as we looked over the hills of the village. The attunement to Masters Level took place at the Aphrodite Temple near Pefkos on the other side of the island. In the evening we attended the Ballet and saw Medina performed by the Russian State Ballet corp. This was held at the Old Coliseum in Pefkos near the sea where the ancient Greeks took in culture. We all felt so blessed to have had this experience.

The next week I was fortunate to meet a lovely group of Reiki people from the area when I facilitated a Wisdom day for them. I taught them several techniques that I use with Reiki and the end of the day was spent in the swimming pool doing water Reiki. It was such a blessing to be with them and also to touch into their enthusiasm for Reiki. The last days were spent in the mountains of Cyprus. I was given a tour of old monasteries that were so richly painted and full of special meaning. I learned about the culture and also came to an understanding of what had taken place over the past 50 years. I was touched by the refugees that I met from both sides who had been forced to move from their homes and resettle in another part if the country. My heart took in their anguish of not being home where their families had lived for centuries and their desire for peace.

Then I flew on to Greece; to teach Reiki One and Two at the Skyros Holistic Holiday center in the village of Atsitsa on the island of Skyros. It was my 13th year as a facilitator there; it was good to be back. Some people I knew from previous sessions had returned and new friends were made. A strong loving community is formed there as we take part in many courses on offer and also take time to reflect on our lives. The sea was just outside my door and I never grow tired of the sunsets and rising of the sun. The two week session just sped by so quickly and before I knew it I was on my way to Australia via a few days stop over in Bangkok, Thailand.

I had no idea what to expect in Bangkok. It is a busy crowded city that seems to never sleep. My hotel was beautiful and quite comfortable but each day as I looked from the window I saw where the poorer Thai people lived just next door; so many people in such a small place. They live in shanties made of wood and other materials they manage to pick up. They have small rooms where they live but also sleep and cook in. The contrast was so startling to me. Most of the photos I took were of the people there and how they live. All were smiling gracious people with so little materially yet so much inside their spirit and I wondered why I am being so affected by this at this time. I have seen the same in Mexico and Central America and in Tripoli, North Africa where I lived as a young girl, yet this was hitting at my heart in a new way. I know I am being directed in some way and have surrendered to the process of what the message will be and the part I play in this world we live in.

I am now in the Blue Mountains at Mt. Tomah about 1 ½ hours North West of Sydney visiting with Bronwen and Franz Stiene with the International House of Reiki. They are lovely people with such a clear vision for Reiki. They teach a more Japanese form of Reiki. It is so nice to be with people who are so dedicated and have integrity in their work. We are having wonderful conversations about our favorite subject...Reiki. It is much cooler than Cyprus and Greece so I am bundled up in sweaters and blankets while adjusting to the difference in temperature. It is winter “Down Under” The mornings are full of sun streaming through giant Eucalyptus trees and parrots of every color feeding at the bird feeder. A pond with a statue of Buddha is outside my bedroom door. Indeed, I am so blessed to be here with them.

In the next week I will be posting an article written by Bronwen about Eguchi who was a student and friend of Usui and started his own system of palm healing. He was also an early member of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai. She and her husband Franz have been doing extensive research into Reiki in Japan. They are writing another book that will be out in this next spring “The Japanese Art of Reiki, a practical guide to self healing.” Their first book that is a must to read is …”The Reiki Source Book”.

Until later I remain ever grateful for each heartbeat and the opportunity to experience the many cultures and people in our world. I am a most willing student of life.

Love, Mari


On the Road with Mari

Dear Friends of Wisechoices,

I am pleased that our new web pages have turned out so well, and filled with gratitude for the excellent and well thought out work of Shane and Christopher of Electric Fan Media. This change also has brought the opportunity to adjust to the new way things are listed. Many of you have been missing features of the pages such as the Whispers of Wisdom or the Virtual Card shop; they are both found under Resources and Links here is the URL: http://www.wisechoices.com/resources.asp I am choosing to take this learning curve as an adventure to see where the different treasures lay within the Wisechoices site; just like life we take the time to look for the gifts along the way.

Whispers of Wisdom is at: http://www.wisechoices.com/wisdom.asp

The Virtual Card Shop is at: http://www.wisechoices.com/cards/default.asp

I have started back to work at a slower pace, taking time to smell the roses along the way. The Reiki Retreat in Kentucky was a lovely success. It was so lovely being with like hearted people in a lovely setting. If you have not been to an event that Laurelle and Michael have sponsored you are missing something very special. Check out their web pages at http://www.reikiclasses.com .

My time in Montreal was terrific. The seeds of One have been watered well with love. I connected to a lovely spiritual community there and am thrilled with what they are doing. They are opening a center called OHM Foundation. For more information you may contact Lynn at: lynntony@videotron.ca Lynn and her husband Tony are in the board of the foundation.

Utah was inspiring. I had no idea of the natural beauty that is present everywhere no matter where you look. I enjoyed waking up to the site of the mountains all around me and the smell of meadow flowers. Although Salt Lake City is quite flat it is 5,000 feet above sea level. I will be returning there in October to teach and will take another trip up into those beautiful mountains. Connie Barnes is organizing One and Majesty of Mastery classes there. You can contact her at:cbreiki@hotmail.com

In this moment I am now sitting looking out to the Czech countryside where I have stopped for a few days to be checked by my Heart doctor while in route for Cyprus, Greece and onwards to Australia and New Zealand. He says my heart is healing nicely. What is constant in my life is the steady beating of my heart that is open to this vast world and all the people in it. I am working with therapists to come into a deeper understanding of myself and I am letting go of old energy that has not allowed me to love myself fully. Life is wonderful and gets better each and every day! I appreciate all of your continued love and energy to make this possible.

The monthly Wisechoices Newsletter will start soon. I am gathering articles from Reiki people as I travel. If you would like to write something for it contact me and I will get back to you as I have access to a computer.

Please enjoy the balance of the Usui retreat;it has been so inspiring to do these meditations that Vic has written.

Enjoy your summer and all that it brings you.

Love and Blessings,



News from Mari

I am so thrilled to welcome you to Wisechoices and our new look.

It has been quite an experience to birth these pages, to get ready to start the Usui Retreat and also become more automated; all this and moving back to the USA at the same time. I keep saying to Shane the web designer "Oh my goodness, all this and new technology too!" He has assured me I will no longer dream about mailing lists as they self generate and I can get down to being creative.

Of course with automation also comes change. All the previous mailing lists that I managed by hand with hours of work will be put together and the news of changes to the pages and the Usui retreat will come in this format as a newsletter. Instead of the yearly newsletter it is my intention to have a monthly one that includes a guest Reiki person sharing with us. And the greatest thing is that I can write it from anywhere I can be online in the world...Yes, technology is wonderful and a load has been lifted from my shoulders through this.

My daughter Stacey will send mail and manage the retreat when necessary. She is the wonderful loving hands and heart behind me. Thanks for so many new and wonderful supporting factors in my life.

Enjoy exploring the Wisechoices site and don't forget to sign up to receive the newsletter and to participate in the Forum. Both are wisechoices!

Love and Blessings,