Reiki Research & Reiki Practice

GUEST BLOGGER Robert Fueston is a Reiki master and acupuncturist in Lexington, Kentucky. Robert is an esteemed colleague whose research perseverance and willingness to look at the facts no matter what they are has made him one of my most trusted resources for Reiki history.

Reiki Research
by Robert Fueston

Reiki practice has fascinated me since I first learned to practice in 1996. In fact, the fascination started even earlier, when I read the book that led me to take a Reiki class.

After my First degree class, I started practicing daily self treatment and offering sessions to anyone who would let me treat them – maybe 5 or 6 people each week. Six months later, I learned Second degree Reiki practice, and was very pleased to find the information given was similar to what I had read in the book that had introduced me to the practice — ironically, information later discovered to be inaccurate.

I was comfortable with my practice until immediately after the master class, when my teacher said, “Now you are ready to go out and make other Masters.”

Not quite ready

I felt a twinge of shock, and wanted to say, “What the heck are you talking about? I am brand new at this Master thing! How could I train another master now?”

Something didn’t feel right, but all I said was, “No, I’m not planning on initiating other masters right now.”

I soon met many Reiki masters of different lineages, and discovered we had all learned something different. I began collecting information from each of these lineages until it seemed like everything was contradicting everything. How could this be?

Finding Hawayo Takata’s masters

I wondered how I could find out what REALLY is part of the system of Reiki and what has been added on, subtracted, or changed?

Knowing there is no substitute for going straight to the source, I decided to contact everyone in my lineages as well as the remaining 22 masters of Takata (at that time, it was not commonly known that there were living masters in Japan).

Finding Takata’s 22 masters was not a simple task; at the time, it was hard to even get a list with all 22 names spelled correctly. After years of research, I connected with many who were still alive, or with a master student of those who were deceased.

Fran Brown was invaluable to my research. We frequently emailed one another, mostly me asking if a particular technique or idea was taught by Takata. Fran was very patient and forthright in her response. Later I became a Master Candidate of hers, but did not complete her Master training.

I learned so much information through this research, which I share with the public on my website. But although I set out to accumulate the facts, I actually learned so much more than mere information.

Inner research and outer research

My immersion in Reiki research and my daily self-treatment showed me what a wonderfully simple practice Reiki truly is — so simple, in fact, that people feel the need to DO something more.

Reiki is simple, deceptively simple. If one takes the time to simply do this simple practice of putting our hands on ourselves or another and offering treatment, then with time, one will come to a fuller understanding. As Takata often said, “Just do it, and then you will know.”

In Reiki class, most people receive a direct experience of something greater than themselves; they naturally crave more of these experiences or states of being. Such experience comes with practice.

The necessity of daily Reiki self practice

But instead of practicing regularly, many students turn to books or the internet to find out more. Their minds seek information and knowledge, but Reiki is a practice.

If you don’t practice daily self-treatment, and you look for wisdom outside oneself, you won’t have the same result. Just as reading books on cooking or exercising will not give you the same experience as actually doing these things, reading about Reiki is not the same as practicing Reiki.

My Reiki journey has involved countless hours over the past 14 years researching what is and what is not Reiki. I have often wondered, what if I had spent all those research hours in self-treatment instead?

Regardless, that was my path, and it has brought me to my own understanding of what Reiki practice is, and also to the understanding that through my continuing practice, my understanding will continue to develop.

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Related reading:
Earn Your Reiki Training
Reiki Classes: What’s Right for You

All thoughtful comments that are respectful of our diverse community are welcome. Comments that attack others personally or veer totally off topic will be removed.

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19 thoughts on “Reiki Research & Reiki Practice”

  1. Invaluable research! Invaluable gift! Which again expresses the evidence that reiki is pure and simple and that an internet search cannot replace a hands-on or absent healing. ! Invaluable as some others have attempted similar research!.
    Thank you!

  2. Ash,

    I agree, it is nice to having “practice” periods as I call it as oppose to “waiting periods” as some people put it. A practice period is a time for….Practice! When one says “waiting period”, that can imply that one just simply has to wait the “allloted time” and then it is okay for them to take the next course in Reiki. I think that those of us who “impose” a practice time between levels understand that this is to benefit the student, not the teacher. The teacher would obviously benefit financially to rush the student into taking level 2…again, not in the student’s best interest in most cases. To understand Reiki, one must practice and then with some time and experience of one’s own, should one elect to walk further along the Reiki path, great! Now the student’s will have more methods of PRACTICING Reiki (mental emotional treatment, absentee treatment, etc.).

  3. You’ve put it very beautifully. There is simply no substitute for experience, regular self-healing and knowledge sharing with other masters. But its a fast life now, everyone wants rapid progress. I was appalled initially when I heard of people teaching Reiki level 1 and 2 together, in just one day! Now there are just so many of them, and people actually ask why we insist on a waiting period.

  4. In a follow up thought:
    I taught English as a Second Language (ESL) classes years ago. When trying to talk about Reiki, it now seems that English is MY second language. Let’s encourage each other to all “speak” Reiki as our first and primary “language”. 🙂

  5. To Wayne, many people, like ourselves, paid to learn the Reiki system (let’s use Takata’s style as the example here) but learned something else. So that is why I really decided to gather all that I could from reliable sources about her teachings she called Usui Shiki Ryoho. But these are just “facts” which form the form – which are both important and unimportant (that is a whole other article!). I pass these “facts” on to my students in the simple form that Takata gave us. With this form of Reiki, one can just focus on practicing! No add ons or additions to sidetrack us from the practice. The practice will take us “beyond” the facts and into the mystery of it all. (But thank you for your kind comments. 🙂

    Note: It has taken over 20 minutes to write and rewrite a single paragraph (in which I still can not get to truly explain my understanding of it all). I heard this saying once, “Words were never meant to take the place of reality”. I think that is my point.

  6. I am very grateful that I received my reiki training from Robert Fueston. Everything he wrote is so true. I find that in today’s society we are always looking for something “new” and “different”. How refreshing it is to hear him say “just do reiki the way it was taught by the 3 great teachers.

    Wayne you are right — Robert is very humble and modest. He knows all the history and so many facts about the traditional way of doing reiki. We are fortunate to have him in the Lexington community

  7. Wayne, although Robert has offered the community a wonderful gift as a researcher and practitioner, I am leery of naming anyone as most knowledgeable.

    The people who were Mrs. Takata’s direct students and who have continued practicing her style of Reiki (which is really Usui/Hayashi/Takata Shiki Ryoho) these 30 years after Takata’s death carry an understanding of Reiki practice that goes beyond the facts. If I understand Robert correctly, this is one of the points he made in his guest post.

  8. Robert’s example is an inspiration to people like myself whom have been slightly un-nerved after finding out what they had been taught wasn’t what we thought it was. For me, Robert’s steadfast work over many years means he is most likely THE most knowledgeable person on Usui Shiki Ryoho. He’d likely be modest and disregard that, haha!

  9. Marilyn Stafford

    Great Article Robert! I find myself wanting to think about it and learn about in instead of just doing it….as usual too much in my head!

  10. Donna, thank you for your thoughtful comment. I completely agree about Reiki being a spiritual practice, and the necessity of practice. I wonder, is it possible that the whole concept of Reiki as energy isn’t just what you so beautifully expresses as “the work of the mind trying to create structures in which to understand and control as well as explain with words.”

    And I agree with you again, “that’s fine in a limited way,” but I think we can go deeper in our practice and get beyond this limited view of “energy” and experience Reiki more profoundly.

  11. Reiki is “spiritually directed energy”. People forget about the spiritual part of the equation and look to the marketplace and external validation for their Reiki practice. Takata was right when she said “Just do it and you will know”. With any spiritual practice, in the doing comes the transformation, and in the transformation comes the willingness to be simply present, to be simply loving, and to be simply surrendered to whatever is happening “at that moment”. All else is the work of the mind trying to create structures in which to understand and control as well as explain with words. That’s fine in a limited way (for us to be able to explain what Reiki is to those who ask), but a deep Reiki practice is about surrender and allowing the energy to work as it wishes while getting ourselves out of the way.

  12. I really like Ms Takata’s “just do Reiki.” Sometimes we get all caught up in the exact science and recorded outcomes and thus make something beautifully simple, difficult. Anyway, Reiki is my favorite energy modality because it can be done easily, anywhere and even children can learn it. Blessings to all the Reiki practitioners! Sharon Baker

  13. Glenda Johnson

    I have known Robert from taking a class with him in Canada some years ago. I agree with everything he said, and also was very attached to wrong information that I later found peace with. Reiki is very personal and it IS an experience rather than a training or reading. Once trained, practice, practice, practice. That’s how to play a solo with an orchestra, and that is how to become a more enlightened and spiritual being. Glenda F. Johnson, Reiki Master and musician

  14. Love this posting, especially the part about reiki being so simple that one is tempted to add to the practice, or alter it. Simple is just fine. Or to quote a Shaker hymn, “Tis the gift to be simple”. When I do reiki, I like it to be pure and simple. Just reiki. Dayenu. It’s enough. Meredith Kendall ~ Reiki Nurse

  15. I too am a one -pot meal person. I love that description and am grateful to my First Degree Reiki Master for taking the time to explain the history, lineage and simplicity of Reiki.

  16. Thank you, Cheryl. And perhaps our daily practice is more important than sleep, because our Reiki practice improves the quality of sleep, but I’m not so sure sleeping improves the quality of our Reiki practice. 🙂

    You might also enjoy Practice Makes Present.

  17. What a beautifully written article, Robert, thank you. This is something I have been graveling with for sometime(education vs practice)..and from my personal experiences recognized it is the practice that makes perfect..So the practice of Reiki and meditation are part of my daily routine as valuable to me as eating and sleeping..
    I am a forever student so the pursuit of knowledge remains a part of my daily routine also..You have enlightened me regarding the power and strength of my practice. Namaste

  18. This resonates so strongly with me. I actually said to some friends on Thursday that I am restructuring my practice because, while I have a great appreciation for the “side dishes” my teachers served me along with Reiki, I don’t find they complement that succulent “main dish.”

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