Dr. Mikao Usui
Dr. Mikao Usui, or Usui Sensei as he is called by his students in Japan, is the founder of the Usui System of Reiki. He was born August 15, 1865 in the village of Yago in the Yamagata district of Gifu prefecture, Japan. Usui Sensei had an avid interest in learning and worked hard at his studies. He traveled to Europe and China to further his education. His curriculum included medicine, psychology, and religion. It is thought that he was from a wealthy family, as in Japan only the wealthy could afford to send their children to school. Eventually he became the secretary to Shinpei Goto, head of the department of health and welfare who later became the Mayor of Tokyo. The connections Usui Sensei made at this job helped him to become a successful businessman.
In March,1922 Usui's personal and business life was failing. As a sensitive spiritualist, Usui Sensei had previously spent much time meditating at power spots on Mt. Kurama. So he decided to travel to this holy mountain where he enrolled in Isyu Guo, a twenty-one-day training course. He was not seeking to discover a method of healing, but only to solve his personal problems.
We do not know for certain what he was required to do during this training, but it is likely that fasting, meditation, chanting and prayers were part of the practice. In addition, we know there is a small waterfall on Mt. Kurama where even today people go to meditate. This meditation involves standing under the waterfall and allowing the waters to strike and flow over the top of the head, a practice which is said to activate the crown chakra. Japanese Reiki Masters think that Usui Sensei may have used this meditation as part of his practice. In any case, it was during the Isyu Guo training that the great Reiki energy entered his crown chakra. This greatly enhanced his healing abilities and he realized he had received a wonderful new gift - the ability to give healing to others without depleting his own energy!
Accepting the responsiblity to practice and teach this new gift, Usui Sensei created the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai and also opened a Reiki clinic. He also further developed Reiki creating the various levels of trainng, adding 3 symbols to the practice and developing an attunement method.