The 3rd and final week of the Usui Retreat, June 2007

Welcome to all of you who have joined us for the 3rd and final week of the Semi Annual 21 day Virtual Usui Retreat for June 2007. The retreat is now in it's eleventh year.

It is a pleasure to have Bronwen and Frans with us and I trust that your experience this week will be just what you need.

To pick up this weeks meditation go to:

I was sent an invitation today that I am passing on to you. Whenever any group of us gets together in focused thought, as this site suggests... I feel it is one of many opportunities for us to help our world. I will be "Be" in the meditation for that one beautiful hour, come join me please and ask your friends and circles of people to join with us.


I asked Arjava Petter who lives in Germany, but is now traveling if I could share his message with you about Reiki. He so graciously said yes and he also will be doing the focus meditations for the Usui Retreat in December.

Love and Blessings,


Arjava wrote....

"I would like to talk to you about two subjects. The first subject is Japanese terms commonly used in Reiki. And the second subject: responsibility, a serious issue concerning all of us, clients, students and teachers of Reiki alike.

Let’s begin with clearing up the meaning of some Japanese words.The word Reiki

The word “Reiki” was not introduced by Usui Sensei. It is part of Japanese culture and is often understood to mean occult, or ghost energy. In our case it means cosmic energy. But Usui Sensei did not describe his teaching by this one word only. He used the following phrase: Shin Shin Kaizen Usui Reiki Ryoho, which means “For the improvement of body and mind Usui Reiki Healing Method”. The phrase “Usui Shiki Ryoho” that is commonly used in the West, is a misunderstanding and not the best way to describe what we do. It means “Usui Style Healing Technique” - missing the word “Reiki”. In order to avoid the long (Japanese) phrase, most people in Japan just call it “Usui Reiki Ryoho.” This would be the appropriate term meaning Usui Reiki Healing Method.

The word Reiju

The word Reiju is an ancient Japanese term for energy transmission, literally meaning "granting (someone) the soul”. In Reiki this ritual was used to make someone a Reiki channel- to remind him of his original nature. Contrary to what you may find written in countless internet sites, Reiju is exactly what we call “attunement”. Of course the way it is done is different, but that’s no subject for public discussion.

The Reiki Teacher

In Japan several words are being used to address your teacher. Which word you use depends upon the situation as well as upon the background of the teacher. Before I explain it more clearly, I would like to tell you how the Reiki system was divided originally.

The Degrees

The first degree was called Shoden, which means “ beginner degree”. The second degree was called Okuden, meaning “ middle” or “deeper degree”. The third degree was called Shinpiden or “ deeper mysteries degree”.


The first degree was divided into three subdivisions, called roku- to, go- to and yon- to (levels 6, 5 and 4), each one being taught in one day. According to Ogawa Sensei from the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai, Usui Sensei used to grade his prospective students by touching his folded hands. When he felt their energy he graded them into the respective levels. According to the research of Tadao Yamaguchi, Hayashi Sensei had a slightly different way of grading his students. He used pre- Reiki sublevels for those with a sparse natural energy flow. Only after practicing some energy enhancing exercises would they be permitted to be attuned.


The second degree was divided into two subdivisions, called Okuden Zenki and Okuden Koki. Again, each subdivision or teaching module was taught in one day.


The third degree was divided into two subdivisions, Shihan- Kaku (assistant teacher) and Shihan (teacher). The correct technical term for the Reiki Teacher is either Shihan- Kaku or Shihan. The Shihan- Kaku was permitted to teach Reiki One for a while and when his teacher agreed, he was granted the title Shihan. A Shihan was permitted to teach Reiki One and Reiki Two.

Once the new teacher had his own students, they called him Sensei. His own teacher’s students, or his Shihan colleague’s students may have used the same title. For example, the students of Tadao Yamaguchi call him Sensei, and when they address me, they will use the same title for me. But if they do not accept my position and don’t respect my expertise, they will call me Petter- San (Mr. Petter) or Frank-San (Mr. Frank). If they want to make fun of me, or if we are very close to me, they may call me Frank-Chan (little Frankie). And if they disapprove… lord have mercy!

The word “Sensei”

The word Sensei means respected, or venerable teacher. This word is for the student to refer to his teacher. The teacher will under no circumstances call himself “Sensei”. I often feel quite embarrassed when I am given a Reiki Teacher’s business card that reads “ So and so Sensei”… If there is the need to distinguish between two teachers with the same name, let’s say Hayashi Sensei and his wife, you may call them Hayashi Sensei (for him) and Onna Sensei (woman, for her). Another way of distinguishing between the two would be to call them by their first name, followed by the title Sensei. We called Tadao’s mother “Chiyoko Sensei”. If your teacher, or the teaching couple allow a close relationship to their students, the students may also call them Chujiro Sensei and Chie Sensei. If you don’ know your teacher well, or the age difference is big, you use the family name plus Sensei.

In the Oriental Reiki Tradition, only the head of the organization- in this case Usui Sensei- was permitted to teach another teacher. In the Usui Association this is still done the same way today. That means that if someone claims to teach in the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai tradition, he must be dreaming…The Teacher- Training The teacher, whether a Shihan- Kaku or a Shihan was instructed on a personal basis by his teacher. There were no formal classes for an upcoming teacher. After the training he was allowed to start a branch of the organization in his place of residence, and his training continued every time he met his teacher. Japanese society is martially organized and therefore divided into a very strict hierarchy. This hierarchy never changes…As an example, you call your elder sister by her title “Onesan”, not by her first name.

The Master Symbol

The so- called Reiki Master Symbol that we use in Western Reiki, is not used in the Japanese Reiki Tradition. Who added it to the system is not clear. I have heard from one of Mrs. Takata’s student’s that she was taught it by her. We know that the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai and the Hayashi Reiki Kenkyukai did and do not teach it. However, this symbol is not channeled. It is an ancient, powerful Buddhist term used for hundreds of years in various Buddhist traditions. It is used in Zen Buddhism as a supreme principle. It is used in Ninjutsu, in many small Japanese groups called Shin Bukkyo, as well as at the Kurama Temple as their highest principle- the result of the merging of love, light and power. But essentially it has nothing to do with traditional Reiki- it is a new development.

Back to the Reiki Teacher

But, lets come back to the Reiki Teacher. When teaching at his own branch of the organization, the new teacher was permitted to have his own students (teaching Shoden or Okuden depending on his level). Whenever he met with his own teacher, the training continued. They team- taught together, with the training teacher giving Reiju alongside with his teacher.

The responsibilities of the teacher to himself

The Reiki teacher is not necessarily a spiritual teacher. As far as I am concerned the description “spiritual teacher” is too big a word for a small person like me.Personally I follow a rather strict regimen towards myself. I neither lie to myself nor to others. I practice utmost honesty, yet when working with others I am soft and accommodating. My own advantage is not my interest, my disadvantage not a deterrent for doing something I feel like doing. My main focus nowadays is living a loving and compassionate life. I know that the way I live and incorporate Reiki in my personal life influences my students. Therefore, the medicine is simple: Just follow the Reiki principles… Kyo dake wa…(only today). Ikaru- Na, Shinpai suna, Kanshe shite, Gyo o hage me, Hito ni shinsetsu ni…

The responsibilities of the teacher to Reiki

In all spiritual schools, the teaching is more important than the teacher. However, the teacher can nourish the right attitude by doing serious inner work. When he puts himself in the service of Reiki, he can learn to erase his own personal affairs for the time being. This is a lovely experience for the teacher and for the student. When the ego is temporarily out of order, and Reiki calls the shots, the teacher turns into a fountain of love and compassion… for everyone to be nourished by- including himself!

The responsibilities of the teacher to his own teacher

Remember the third Reiki Principle. Be grateful, “Kansha shite”. Hang a photo of Usui Sensei and the others who have passed on in your treatment room. Call on them (silently) when you begin to work…

The responsibilities of the teacher to his students

Traditionally the teacher thinks himself responsible for his students. Once asked in a workshop by a student about this issue, Tadao Sensei replied that he feels even responsible for his student’s students.

The responsibilities of the practitioner to his client

The only practical responsibility I see toward the client is for the practitioner or the teacher to empty himself as much as possible and to allow the Reiki to pass through him as un- obstructedly as possible. All else is up to someone else. On a psychological level his responsibilities are manifold. The most important may be to know that Reiki is always good, and always helpful. With that knowledge in your heart, your clients will find the courage to continue, even when times are rough.

The practical responsibilities

The teacher has countless practical responsibilities as well. The foremost and most obvious is for him to train his students well. In Japan the teacher’s level is not given too freely, because it is felt that not everyone is a born teacher. Once the title is conferred, there is no way back. As we said earlier, the teacher is responsible for his student’s students…

Teaching skills

Some teaching- skills can be acquired with training but the main ingredient of teaching is either in- born or it develops due to a spiritual experience. In India one distinguishes between two kinds of enlightened beings. The first they call Arhat. An Arhat is someone who enjoys his enlightenment by himself. He sits under the tree, smiling…The second category is that of a Bodhisattva. He postpones his own enlightenment for the sake of his fellow men. This is the perfect example for a spiritually oriented Reiki Teacher. It is no coincidence that in Reiki Two we invoke the Buddha of love and compassion (the same principle as Mother Mary). This helps you nourish the Bodhisattva aspect, which in turn transforms your surroundings…

with love and gratitude from the desert

Your friend, Frank Arjava Petter

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