Talk:Reiki/Archive 1

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4/3/2003: This article has some serious flaws. Besides fairly minor NPOV problems (the tone indicates it's all a load of nonsense), there are numerous logical flaws. I suggest a thourough study of inductive reasoning, and the scientific method, which are beyond the scope of this page (you can get started at wiki!). Science can mainly establish the validity of certain beliefs. Inability to show one way or another is a completely different thing altogether.

"Scientists hold that reiki energy simply does not exist. " No self-respecting scientist can say this. Once, the majority view, consistent with all available empirical research, held that the earth was flat. When the available data made this conclusion unfeasible, the view changed to better fit the data. At that time, people who held the earth was a sphere would have been ridiculed by the ignorant. But cautious scientists of the time could not have dismissed the view, as they did not have enough evidence. Reiki energy may or may not exist. Currently we don't have enough evidence to satisfy scientists, but many people claim to have experienced it. It has been photographed with Kirlian photography, but the validity of this is another debate altogether. So a better phrase would be "Most scientists have not been satisfactorily convinced by the available evidence that reiki energy exists." Holding that something they cannot measure does not exist is a leap most cautious scientists would not take.

"Advocates of reiki therapy claim that have a speacila way to heal the body through this undefined and undectable energy."

No. Advocates of reiki claim that, through the symbols they use and are taught, reiki energy can heal the body. This energy is claimed to be available to all who are initiated. It isn't undefined, nor is it undetectable (that assumes it doesn't exist, which is obviously the contention here). Not clearly defined, and not measured by traditional scientific methods yes, but this is not the same thing. Advocates and patients claim to sense it through unusual sensations such as heat, cold, vibrations etc.

"Since only believers in Reiki can "sense" Reiki to begin with" No. Often the reverse is often the case. People become believers through their own experience. Reiki is not a religion, so the reference to "can be measured and observed by people of any religion, or even people of no religion at all" is not relevant.

-- Well, I reverted some of last changes because I think that the arguments between proponents and opponents of Reiki are quite important part of issue. So for the sake of completness let's state their arguments clear and without watering it down. Also, let's state that Reiki is a technique not a sect or cult. Even if there is some cult that uses Reiki as part of its doctrine, it doesn't make the technique sectarian or cultist. Forseti 10:37, 12 Jan 2004 (UTC)

"Proponents of Reiki claim that it can cure any affliction."

This is simply wrong. Practitioners may claim to be able to help with many afflictions, but they do not all claim to be able to cure any affliction (some may, but I suspect they are in the minority.)

--Rynelm 17:52, 10 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Latest edits

I have made quite a few changes in the last few days and I made them before I read the guidelines so I apologise if I have trodden over anyone's carefully thought out additions or edits. I have made an effort to only remove stuff I regard as really on the distant fringe and present a fairer presentation of what Reiki is really about from the generally accepted perspective.

Crappy article...

Message to the author:

This is a good example of why wikipedia is not a reliable source of information anymore. Last time I checked, the point of an encyclopedia was to provide a detailed definition about a specific topic. But unlike that, this is obviously a biased article with very poor information about Reiki and its history. I agree that the controversy around Reiki is important to mention. But to dedicate the article to that particular issue is ridiculous and misinforming. For instance, sentences like

"Many scientists, health care workers and others dispute the effectiveness of Reiki, claiming that there are no objective studies confirming the existence of this specific Reiki energy or practitioners' claims that this Reiki energy has the capacity to facilitate healing beyond that expected from the placebo effect."

in the root section? What exactly does that have to do with Reiki itself? With more than 5.000 years of existence, and that's all you have to say about Reiki? Even if it was true that "the energy field is not measurable" (which is not true, but that's another story), that's not what this article should be about. And the result is that your text lacks very important aspects about Reiki techniques and general history. You don't even mention its connection to ancient Tibetan healing practices! Absurd...

And by the way, Reiki doesn't "claim" anything. Activists do!

Message to the reader:

Are you serious about learning Reiki? Ignore this article.

FleXable , 09/Jan/2005

The statement about what most orthodox scientists think of reiki is notable information and worth including. If you are pro-reiki and you fear that this truthful statement might influence people to reach a contrary conclusion -- too bad.
A recounting of the history of reiki, including (for example) its roots in ancient Tibetan healing practices, would also be worth including. There's no Supreme Editorial Board that has decreed that this information must be censored. It's just that no one has put it in yet. Wikipedia is a volunteer project. If no one volunteers to do something, it doesn't get done. JamesMLane 15:32, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC)
JamesMLane is correct. Wikipedia's policy of npov requires that subjects be reported on, not advocated. For example, the T'ai Chi Ch'uan article uses the same language; that its practitioners "claim" health and longevity benefits. Later on in the article there are medical citations to somewhat validate that claim, yet it remains a claim notwithstanding. The word doesn't imply that the subject isn't true, it is an objective portrayal of the public statements of T'ai Chi practitioners. As with the T'ai Chi article, this Wikipedia article isn't intended to teach anyone how to do Reiki, rather it is intended to report on the practise itself as well as most commonly held public perceptions of the practise. As with most subjects, some people enjoy Reiki and find it useful, others think it a load of manure, with many others (probably most) somewhere in between.
As for the Tibetan business, the body of the Reiki article seems to state that Usui created it in the 20th century. There is no mention of Tibet in any literature that I have ever seen regarding Reiki (and I'm in the same line of work), or evidence that I have heard about of a 5,000 year history to contradict the publicly documented 70 year history of the practise. As JamesMLane says, if some evidence of a connexion to Tibet can be provided, it should be in the article. If the evidence is anecdotal, it should be reported as anecdotal, however. Fire Star 16:07, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC)

"what most orthodox scientists think of Reiki"

I'm sorry, is Wikipedia a science encyclopedia? I mean, if I'm simply interested in learning about ancient healing techniques I don't really care what scientists think about it. The same thing would happen if, say, I wanted to learn more about blood transfusion. Since Wikipedia is not a religion encyclopedia, I wouldn't expect for a Jehovah's point of view. If you want to talk about scientific skepticism, then why don't you create an article named Reiki_Controversies, or Reiki_and_Science? Unlike what you think, I would gladly contribute to that subject. I am an Engineer, and also enthusiastic about physics and psychology.

"Wikipedia's policy of npov requires that subjects be reported on, not advocated"

A scientist's point of view is not a neutral point of view. It is a scientist's point of view! Just like explaining the effectiveness of Reiki by means of the placebo effect is no more than a point of view! That's what happens when we don't have a consistent theory for explaining empirical evidence. All we are left with are opinions and beliefs. Is it what "orthodox scientists think" that matters? That depends on your particular beliefs.

"The word ("claim") doesn't imply that the subject isn't true"

I agree! But I was just trying to emphasize the idea of "skeptical tone", mentioned by a previous poster.

"Wikipedia is a volunteer project. If no one volunteers to do something, it doesn't get done"

Yes. But when the article becomes skeptical-oriented, it becomes very hard for someone who takes Reiki seriously to contribute with his own knowledge.

"the body of the Reiki article seems to state that Usui created it in the 20th century (...) no evidence that I have heard about of a 5,000 year history to contradict the publicly documented 70 year history of the practise."

Usui created a specific technique, with specific symbols and hand positions, for achieving body and spiritual healing. He insisted that it was a new method, one that could be used instead of others, but no more than that. However, with the increasing success of his technique, more people became interested in hand-on healing. This led to the creation of a new and simplified form of Reiki, called Essential Reiki. An easy-to-learn version of Reiki, accessible to the general public. The teachings included basic concepts such as chakras, meridians, astral projection, aura and the idea of "intelligent energy". On the other hand, Usui's innovative technique was renamed to Usui Traditional Reiki. It included all the other concepts suppressed by the simplified version of Reiki. The problem is, thanks to Essential Reiki, that the word Reiki is now often used to describe those basic concepts behind hand-on and spiritual healing. Concepts that were not, by any means, invented by Usui. His principles about spiritual healing were a product of his own studies on Buddha's teachings (500 BC). Chakras and meridians were concepts already known to the practitioners of Acupressure (3.000 BC). Since Reiki has become an ambiguous word, used to describe the essential principles that empower Usui's technique, I think it's fair to say that Reiki is a product of at least 5.000 years of evolution.

"There is no mention of Tibet in any literature that I have ever seen regarding Reiki (...) if some evidence of a connexion to Tibet can be provided, it should be in the article. If the evidence is anecdotal, it should be reported as anecdotal"

As I said, the principles behind spiritual healing provided by Reiki are basically Buddhist principles. Usui was a Buddhist himself, so this should be no surprise. Although there are many forms of Buddhism, some believe that many of the Usui's symbols are very similar to the sacred symbols of Tibetan Buddhism. Of course this generated a lot of controversy among the Traditional Reiki community. And since this idea was not accepted by Usui followers, a new type of Reiki was created. It is called Tibetan Reiki, and it happens to be very popular around the world. If those beliefs about a connection between Usui Traditional Reiki and Tibetan Buddhism were strong enough to create a new form of Reiki, I think it is worth being mentioned.

FleXable , 10/Jan/2005

Greetings. I think that we can have both the skeptical perspective as well as the true believer perspective in the article (as we do in qigong, etc.) without endorsing either one and still have good info in the article.We want to just put it out there and let the people make up their own minds about the positioning of the various sources. From what you say about Tibetan influence, in some of the martial art, the t'ai chi and qigong articles we mention what are called "precursor disciplines" for them such as Tao Yin. The actual word Reiki isn't as generic as the word yoga is, it so far only describes practises of Japanese origin, for example, and there is some mention of precursors of Reiki, even though Usui claimed it to be different from its precursors. Li Hongzhi makes a similar claim of fundamental difference for Falun Gong. Like the qigong article, perhaps we could have a dedicated Controversies within Reiki section of this article, as long as it reports the controversies without taking a side. We have a little bit of that in the article now in the mention of the differences between Usui's students. Fire Star 04:42, 10 Jan 2005 (UTC)
To answer one particular point you make: The NPOV policy permits, indeed requires, the reporting of POV. For example, I'm one of the people who edit the article on Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Obviously, it's not NPOV to praise the bombings as having obviated an invasio of Japan, nor is it NPOV to condemn them as inhumane. What is NPOV is to give a reasonable summary of each of these opinions. Similarly, we should include both pro- and anti-reiki opinions in this article. JamesMLane 05:17, 10 Jan 2005 (UTC)

"What is NPOV is to give a reasonable summary of each of these opinions. Similarly, we should include both pro- and anti-reiki opinions in this article."

When you report pro-/anti- opinions, instead of just defining or describing the subject, you have to take special care. Having opinions from both sides doesn't make it neutral, unless they are well positioned along the article. That is precisely what's happening here, even if it was not your intention. The placebo effect story is NOT about Reiki. It is a controversy generated by western scientific community against any kind of hand-on healing technique. So this is both a npov and a structure flaw. The first one because there seems to be an anxiety for showing people that the West does not accept Reiki, even before explaining what it is about. The second one because, since it's a controversy issue, it should be found in the Controversies section. Don't you agree?

By the way, this discussion pages are very confusing. I'm not exactly sure how to format my posts.

--FleXable 13:47, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Greetings FleXable. I have put a message on your User talk page with links to Wikipedia formatting conventions.
The structure of the article reflects that, for many people, one of the defining aspects of Reiki is the skepticism which many health care professionals have for it. AFAIK, there have been no published studies suggesting that Reiki has a mechanism which works better than results expected from the placebo effect. Mention of this skepticism therefore makes sense in an introductory section as well as in the Controversies section where it can be amplified upon. Reiki isn't alone, there is also skepticism of acupuncture and other, much older, health practises. The placebo effect is a statistical tool reported by chemists in the pharmaceutical industry for evaluating any interventions, and not necessarily a means to debunk mystical theories. Myself, I'm a T'ai Chi teacher, and I welcome skepticism. An uncritical student never goes very far in our system. If I can't give direct, reproducible results to my students and clients, then what am I teaching? Fortunately, T'ai Chi's martial applications are its health applications and it is hard to fake efficacy in a real fight. As for the medical community, there have been many studies published now that show beyond simple suggestion that T'ai Chi's health benefits go beyond those expected by conventional exercise and certainly beyond those predicted by the placebo effect. Even with that, we still don't claim T'ai Chi's health benefits as a given in that article, and we shouldn't assume such in the introductory paragraphs of the Reiki article. The same way, we shouldn't ourselves simply label Reiki a mystical fraud, but we should present notable arguments from believers and skeptics (and appropriate external links) in respectful objectivity. Fire Star 16:10, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Recent edits, 1 March 2005.

There have been a lot of recent edits to the article from IP While they seem OK, we are going to have to have to start to clearly cite the sources that the info is coming from in the article, as per policy. Again, the edits seem balanced and informative on the whole, but we need to be able to verify the information. Fire Star 02:14, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Reply to Firestar's comments

Hi FireStar, I'm from that IP an have been working on Reiki. I haven't registed as yet but will soon. I believe I will be able to cite most of it comprehensively, but I don't wish to do it quite yet. There needs to be a fair amount of improvement in the overall structure of the article, and I'd like to put in some new primary material. Once I've done that, I'll begin citing. The contoversies section unfortunately will not be well cited - much of the controversies aren't documented in primary text form, however I believe I'll be able to find a substantial amount of internet references (which is okay but not my first choice for good sources).

I also feel that the "Theories and practices" passages on the chakras aren't really terribly important - and I am considering removing them entirely. I suspect that there may be a generic wikipedia section on energy healing and the chakra energy system that would be best to link to or move this text there.

I also plan to put in some pictures and japanese characters, as well as a timeline and a comprehensive bibliography.

There also needs to be a much more comprehensive section on Reiki symbols and myths. By clarifying the lingustic origins of the symbols, I believe some (but not all) of these redundant misunderstandings can be avoided. I am however constrained somewhat in that many Western students believe that the Reiki symbols themselves should be kept secret, so don't wish to offend them by explicitly translating the symbols in languages that are clearly not for example, Tibetan or Sanskrit as commonly believed.

I also feel that the article should be somewhat more balanced. I am a Reiki teacher, and have practiced since I was 14 (now in my 19th year of practice). Nonethless, what I take for granted in accepting the supernatural (to some degree) is certainly not the consenual world view, and so I believe that the article should reflect both the reality that most people don't believe in such things, but that others firmly do for good reason. I don't however want the article however getting stuck in conceeding the possible non existent nature of Reiki in every second paragraph, so I feel that the article needs to clear up these points quickly and comprehensively much more early on in the piece - at the moment it seems quite clumsy in this regard. This is where I feel good sources both for and against are the most needed.

I also need to clarify where I write "Reiki however fails the standard test of whether a teaching is Buddhist or not; that of the three "Dharma Seals" or the "Three marks of existence". Reiki may be a Buddhist art in the way that karate-dō or shiatsu is a Buddhist art, but it is absolutely not Buddhist spiritual practice in and of itself. A great many people don't really understand what is and is not Buddhism, so I think I need to really strengthen this part, perhaps with some good Buddhist sources explicitly denying that Reiki is a Buddhist spiritual practice, in much the same way that the Johrei movement denied connection to it in the early 90's, along with the Sai Baba organisation.

I'm also planning a section on the different schools and methods of Reiki with descriptions on their techniques.

May I respectfully suggest that posts regarding this article are made with the intention of improving the article. Merely grinding one's axe (however correct or noble) seems a jolly waste of time when there is so much work to be done

Sean White

Well, very good, I recognise that it is a work in progress. A nice reference section for citations will improve any article, of course. Cheers, Fire Star 06:34, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

what relationship of Falungong and Reiki in links

I wonder why put falungong in related link of Reiki wiki.


Hi Firestar,

Many people have come along and removed so much of the information it seems like an act of vandalism. Merely ommitting information does not seem to me to be an improvement. Paricularily when the ommisions appear to have a bias.

I've reverted the article back to an earlier draft before the gradual deletions began.

I'd gone to a great deal of trouble explaining the origins of the word Reiki, as it is a generic word in Japan, however the person who edited this didn't like this idea, so completely deleted almost all the factual information. Even after this was pointed out many times, the article keeps being changed to fit this incorrect idea. (I should add that I've studied Japanese). Many people also removed almost all of the contraversies section, and biased the article strongly towards the Hawayo Takata school of Reiki. I don't have any particular allegiance to one school or the other, hence the reason why I tried to maintain many views so that the reader could decide for themselves. They deleted the non traditional Reiki sections, the entire bilibliography and the links section too - at no gain to the reader. Further, they didn't explain their efforts in the discussion section here. Much of the text was not written by me, so I had no particular personal attachment to it, however it had obviously had a great deal of effort put into it by others and was well written.

I think that this page is being vandalised rather subtly.

The work that I (and other) had done was built upon other people's submissions, however now I'm presented with a complete rewrite and glossing over of any idea that did not fit into one school of Reiki's opinions. I don't think that this is not what a free encyclopedia should be about. Surely all views can be represented and the reader can decide for themselves!

Is there a way that this article can be flagged so that any major revisions need to be reviewed and approved by an editor before being accepted?

I had logged on to Wikipedia to add references and so forth, but have instead found that someone has undone so much hard work done by many people. I'm terribly disappointed that this section has been quite cleverly sabotaged.

Regards, Sean

Greetings. Unfortunately there isn't a way to block the article from new edits unless it is obviously being vandalised. It is fine to roll it back, though. The earlier version is adequate as far as I am concerned. If you register for an account, you can put the article on your watchlist and know right away every time you log in if the article has been changed. If you know how to use unicode Japanese characters, they would be a good addition to the article. Fire Star 02:19, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Greetings again Firestar, I'd say that it's fairly obvious that it is being vandalised, but only a person who was very familiar with Reiki would recognise the bias and factual errors. Who do I need to convince therefore, that the article is being vandalised? Is it perhaps you? I am quite prepared to submit exactly what the factual ommisions and political motivations behind the vandal's changes if need be. I'll create an account too, thanks. I'll add unicode characters and a better bibliography. I'd also like to cite more references throughout the page too. I hope that the person gives up, but there's no accounting for stupidity.

Here's an example of some of the errors (some deliberate and some I imagine not deliberate):

1. The "Rei" in "Reiki" does not literally mean cosmos - the word predates that rather modern astronomical idea. Instead, "Rei" alludes to ideas of spiritual universality, which come from the Chinese language. Any Japanese translation dictionary would agree with "universal".

2. The 19th century does not strictly apply when speaking of Japan's history. Japan marked it's historical eras according to it's Emperors, and so the correct term is the "Meiji" era. I used both terms in deference to both methods of designating historical epochs.

3. The term Reiki is only a noun in Japan. It is incorrectly but widely used as a verb in the west, but a Japanese person would understand reiki as something like "ghost power", not as an energy system originating from Mikao Usui. The word was not invented by Mikao Usui.

4. The claim that "Almost every tradition or style of reiki will agree on the following points of history: Dr. Usui was searching for a method of healing. The fast and meditation lasted 21 days. The hierarchy of Usui, Hayashi, and then Takata." is a deliberate distortion of the widely known historical facts with a particular bias towards a particular Reiki lineage. Hayashi was merely one among many teachers, Takata was also one among many teachers. Although this lineage brought Reiki to the west, this particular lineage has no particular claim above any other lineage. In any case, I believe that all views should be represented, not just that of one particular school. Takata claimed to be the sole teacher and grandmaster of Mikao Usui's teachings on reiki, but this has been factually shown to not be the case as Japanese Reiki teachers emerged in the early 1990's. They had the historical documents to refute this too, and I'll cite this information.

5. The title of Grandmaster, much misused by many schools is completely ignored. although this was at one time a very contraversial issue, it has since been resolved with the emergence of historical information from Japan, as well as investigation in Hawayo Takata's Reiki certificates written by Chujiro Hayashi. Ommitting this rather important aspect of Reiki seems to be politically motivated and deceitful.

-Regards, Sean

Hello again. Well, any article that is about a controversial subject is going to experience what I'll call "drift" over time. people notice it and add their two cents here and there. It may well be that someone is pushing their agenda and I don't realise it because I don't know enough about the politics of the subject. How do we avoid this? We have to follow Wikipedia policy, which you have done so far. Having this article on your watchlist and keeping an eye on it will go a long way towards keeping a balanced article. What determines content is therefore the consensus of active editors (including us) and WP policy. In order for anyone to have the consensus see the utility of their contributions, the more citations, the better. Cheers! Fire Star 13:17, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
That's what I was talking about, Sean. Your version of the article was very good but, sincerely, I think you're wasting your time. It is quite obvious that someone that is personally against Reiki, and has nothing better to do in life, is blocking all decent contributions. FleXable 16:42, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for your comments FleXable. I agree that as much as I'm prepared to work on the article, I'm concerned that it could be a waste of time if people are allowed to vandalise the article. The post below illustrates the type of people that I'm up against with their own particular axe to grind, and I'm not sure if it's entirely worth committing so much effort. I've posted a rebuttal beneath the anonymous post. --Sean White 05:50, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Subjective Article

In response to earlier comment, it is not necessary to have a great knowledge of Reiki to spot the flaws in this article. I am familiar with it - indeed know people who practise it - and yet I can recognise when the article is flawed. For example, as well as the over emphasis of controversy surrounding Reiki, the author fails to distinguish between those "quacks" who charge "worrying" amounts of money and those who practice Reiki out of the need to help others and themselves - indeed, this most fundamental theme is not highlighted at all. Reiki is the need to help and heal, regardless of whether it is "scientifically effective" or not. Why bother writing an encyclopaedia article so blatantly biased? That is not the point of an encyclopaedia. The author does not follow the npov guideline, as they put forward one viewpoint which biases the article, as well as the article itself being full of innaccuracies, suppositions and reactionary statements.

As for the part about Reiki promoting Paganism (yes, it's a capital P), that is also biased. Many people who practice Reiki affiliate with Paganism because of their shared theological roots. It does not matter whether the Reiki practitioner is Pagan, Christian, Buddhist or atheist. Religion and Reiki are seperate issues and to suggest they are inextricably linked is preposterous.

This article is riddled with bias, skepticality and (I personally find) insulting references. Bad form, author, and bad form Wikipedia for allowing it on an npov website.

What is POV is just assuming solely on someone's word that Reiki works the way its proponents say it does, and pushing an article that makes that assumption. We can say that it is popular, we can say that it has this and that style of training and theory, but so far there is no reliable evidence that Reiki itself is any more effective than what can be expected from the placebo effect, and that lack of evidence (and the whacking huge amounts of money charged by Reiki masters) are therefore the most notable and verifiable features of the practise for the general public. Myself, I'm not hostile to the idea that energy can be used to make people feel better since I practise traditional Chinese medicine, but I see, and Reiki demonstrates, no mechanism beyond wishful thinking for generating its claimed effects. In other words, Reiki claims it channels and directs energy, but I and many others have never seen any direct evidence of this energy that points to something happening beyond the salesmanship of its "masters." In my practise, I generate large amounts of heat energy, human energy, by training the martial art aspect of nei chia every day. There is an obvious mechanism for this, though; coordinated, repetitive, physical weight bearing work with the breathing and the metabolism that directs the physical properties of body heat through the body in specific ways. I can easily reproduce that generation at will and show (in person and also by several medical studies that support this) that the energy has a demonstrable physical effect on humans, and I can show my students how to generate that energy for themselves so that they don't need me to touch them. It doesn't come from the "universe," it comes from their own kung fu, their own hard work and discipline. Now, I can't include any of that in the Reiki article, because that would definitely be POV on my part, but what does go in the article is the lack of evidentiary support associated with Reiki. There are also "insulting" (personalising doesn't help establish consensus, BTW), sceptical references included in other New Age-related as well as TCM-related articles, epecially qigong. If we are going to be truly neutral, we have to allow notable alternate views to exist in our articles.
As for whether it is pagan or or sorcery or not, while I agree that to be irrelevant, many church groups think it is. Many Buddhists would likely find it heretical as well, just as many more (especially Tantrics) might not. We can only report the notable groups (and provide citations) that have made public pronouncements that they consider the practise pagan. Fire Star 16:25, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

My ten cents

As I said earlier, I've have been practicing Reiki for 19 years as I mentioned earlier and I've been a teacher for a long time. In fact, I've been doing it for a lot longer than most. I can also read the symbols and I was one of the first people in the early 90's to do so. I was the first to give a great deal of people the translations that you commonly see nowadays (for instance I gave William Rand his English translations). Of course, at this time the Japanese schools were not yet reconnected to the Western schools. The Japanese schools can only translate the symbols into their everyday wording too - they can't tie them in to the Taoist/Buddhsit terminology quite often as they're passing on second hand teachings.

I've studied and swapped notes with a great deal of Takata's original students, and learnt from one of them originally too. I've also learnt a great deal of other non traditional material. I've found some faults with the Reiki system when practiced - and they are primarily as follows - Reiki students and teachers often make ridiculous claims AND the commonly taught Reiki system is a abridged form of energy healing system that lacks all of the original sources that it was (clearly) derived from. The Japanese lineages aren't very much more informed in many ways. I don't personally discount the uses of Reiki, but I feel that it needs to be appraised rationally and in comparison to other energy healing modalities (particularily the Taoist ones). The abriged Usui system was designed to be used by any person, however it is a simplified form, and not anywhere near as powerful and many practioners believe it to be.

The original and unabridged system of Reiki (the Usui Reiki method) is a system that has the potential for practitioners to store and produce a greater amount of energy, however this earlier and more complete system is not as widely understood at the moment because it's pretty indepth. Even so, the advanced practices certainly aren't miraculous, merely based on other much older systems that are no more remarkable than any other energy/meditation system. Most tai chi practitioners for example aren't experts in the hidden meanings, but they nonetheless call what they practice a Taoist art.

The Catholic Church for instance ocassionally comments on Reiki and discourages this it because it is often coupled with all sorts of mumbo jumbo (although this is not dogma). By dogma I mean it is not a compulsory teaching. Quite often people have their own particular religious beliefs and the couple them along with Reiki and proceed to attempt to try to convince everyone else of the validity of their beliefs and offer the sensations of relaxation etc that commonly accompany a Reiki treatment as proof to validate their particular mystical ideology. This article can't get into every person's Pagan, Shamanic and New Age beliefs with regards to Reiki - it would just take too long and is really off-topic. The article seems to me to be confined to Reiki - and the new age entries can be left to the New agers. The range of these views are too wide, irregular and subjective to easily document (and beyond the scope of Reiki in and of itself). However, I think it is suitable to represent mainstream religious commentary on Reiki - such as the Catholic Church's opinions on it.

Many students and teachers often take a very long time to get beyond the novelty of sensing and chanelling "ki" energy. Reiki's claims are usually much more great that say that of a chi-gong practitioner, and yet the system of ordinary "ki" is just the same energy. In the case of Reiki, the system is wildly incomplete in comparision to the Taoist ones. I personally don't discount Reiki, but find that students are extremely fanatical despite their lack of ability and knowedge. It take years to be able to get any good at Reiki and yet most teachers are very substandard. Frankly, I think that unless you can read Japanese and/or Chinese and are familiar with Buddhist and Taoist terminology in those languages, you're not really qualified to comment on Reiki's origins in an authorative way.

The fact remains however, that "Reiki" has been influenced by Taoist and Buddhist ideology in so far as it employs symbols and terminology that originate from these religions. This is a fact.

There is such a scarcity of clear information in general "new-age" type Reiki teaching, that I'm personally becoming very reluctant to invest the time and effort correcting every reiki lunatic and zealot who'd just stepped out of their class last week.

Is there a feasible solution to this dilemma? I'm not sure if it's worth making a decent contribution beyond what we already have in place without a great deal of pain. I can't even manage to keep the translation of the word "Reiki" correct in the article. Someone has translated it to mean "aura" which is wildly incorrect. Is it worth the bother to change it back? I'm begining to think perhaps not. --Sean White 05:49, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Hi Sean! Before you give up on this article, can you suggest some good/reliable books about Reiki origins and techniques? I'd like to add some references to the text. FleXable 12:47, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I'm reluctant to invest any more time in doing so, however I think you'd be well advised grouping them ideologically. This will make appraising and describing them much easier. I'd also suggest that you perhaps sample a couple from each primary school - eg Radiance Technique, William Rand, Kathleen Milner, Reiki Alliance, Japanese Reiki schools, New Age. Personally I think the task is rather pointeless.

The best and most reliable guide in Reiki is what the (commonly called) "distant healing" symbol describes. (From the Japanese) - The true self is correctly the mind in the present moment. If you learn what this means, then books aren't necessary. This is the source of Reiki power - not the "Master" symbol. No Reiki book I've ever read understands this true source of Reiki - hence people become obsessed with technique, historical anecodetes, politics and infighting or the Reiki precepts etc, etc. Believe it or not, but understanding this simple translation of the symbol is the best technique you could ever posibly learn. --Sean White 07:14, 2 May 2005 (UTC)

--Sean White 07:14, 2 May 2005 (UTC)

I don't know, Sean, what you say sounds reasonable enough to me. If you want to write up a comparison of the different Reiki schools, we have a list of different major schools over at T'ai Chi Ch'uan for instance, and post it here on the talk page first, I'm sure we can get it in the article without too much fuss. We could even have separate articles on the different schools as far as I am concerned. Why not? One example of the neutral tone I'm talking about, in response to: "Most tai chi practitioners for example aren't experts in the hidden meanings, but they nonetheless call what they practice a Taoist art" - is that nowhere in the T'ai Chi articles do we assume that most of the people who say they do T'ai Chi Ch'uan are "practitioners." To be a practitioner of T'ai Chi necessarily means that one is well versed in the hidden meanings. Although a T'ai Chi Ch'uan practitioner is a very rare breed, many, many people around the world do some forms every now and again (even every day); we call them "students." To be well versed in the health, meditation and martial aspects takes years, if not decades of study. I don't know if there is that practitioner/student distinction in some or all of the Reiki schools or not, but if there is it would be worth a mention. Fire Star 15:38, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It's a tempting idea for me to attempt, and I was considering the same thing myself, however I think that the difficulties with this article I've encountered by seeing misinformed people ceasely vandalising this article because of their ignorance has made me think that the whole idea of Wikipedia is marvelous, ideologically utopianist, and completely doomed to failure. You'll perhaps notice that Reiki is still described in the article as meaning "aura" - so the vandals win I'm afraid. I can't be bothered correcting every twit that has an internet connection. I understand your point towards Tai Chi practitioners and students. Unfortunately, merely recieving the Reiki initiations allows a person to channel the energy (regardless of how poorly or not they do this). No understanding is really necesaary, and perhaps as a result, no understanding results. Wishing you all luck with it however. --Sean White 07:14, 2 May 2005 (UTC)

By the way, how can I find Sean's original version of the article? I'd like to use it for the portuguese version. FleXable 07:31, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It's in the History section - have a look at the previous versions. Regards, Sean --Sean White 07:14, 2 May 2005 (UTC)

New article about controversies

Hi there! You might have noticed that I copy-pasted the entire controversies section to a new article. I believe the text was too much about opinions instead of facts (which is not the purpose of an encyclopedia). This is just a start, of course. I intend to improve the structure and content of the new article. Regards, FleXable 12:23, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)

A request for assistance.

I placed the following message on the Japanese language talk page:

Greetings. Would someone who can speak Japanese be kind enough to have a look over at the Reiki article? There seems to be a dispute over the actual meaning or meanings of the usage 霊気 reiki itself in Japanese. Also, there is no clear provenance as to whether the term is a recent coinage or a term from earlier Japanese history. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Regards, Fire Star 04:40, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

As I have said earlier Fire Star, I studied Japanese at university, and so can indeed translate the word. --Sean White 22:25, 3 May 2005 (UTC) As I've also pointed out previously, reiki is a generic word in Japan and is not popularily understood to relate to Dr Usui's method.

There is one sure cure for a seemingly intractable problem with an article here at Wikipedia; get more conscientious, informed editors editing! Vandalism by trolls, cranks or even the well-meaning but enthusiastically misinformed cannot stand against the weight of informed consensus! Cheers, Fire Star 04:40, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

I admire your optimism, but don't share it. Have you heard of Sisyphus in Greek mythology? He is forced to roll a block of stone against a steep hill, which tumbles back down when he reaches the top. Then the whole process starts again, lasting all eternity. Frankly, I don't wish to share his punishment however many helping people there may be. --Sean White 22:25, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

New Message

I agree that the article has some very serious flaws. As a Reiki (level II) Practitioner, my introduction and training was biblically based. I do believe that it is "earth energy" as the article states, but I believe that it is a gift bestowed by God through the Holy Ghost, as it states in the Bible. My husband was having major heart problems and was to undergo a surgical procedure for a different issue. The surgeon recommended that we get clearance from his heart doctor prior to the surgery. I had been treating him with Reiki for a week (daily sessions) and trying to prepare him for the surgery. When the Cardiologist examined him the problems were gone and he was taken off of all heart meds. The Cardiologist said he had never seen anything like it and he had no explanation. I told him we didn't need one, because we knew!

I am a "show me" person, I need data as well. The fact is that I am seeing things that have no other explanation. I know that the parasympathetic state can be induced by physical hands-on massage, but I also know I can induce that same state - which science says is healing - by treating a client with Reiki. This month's issue of Massage Magazine quotes data on a study that shows that Reiki has been proven to reduce blood pressure - so the facts are being proven with research.6/28/05


Why so much angst with Reiki and not other forms of self healing on Wikipedia such as the very interesting section devoted to Tai Chi? Tai Chi teachers often charge for their training, talk about healing benefits etc. I do not see Quacker, Quack watch or other skeptics trouncing on what could be a very interesting and informative article here. Perhaps the entire article should be redone and a separate page created and linked to this one with those who want to share their skeptism on Reiki self healing. Otherwise what we have is a bland point counter point debate on Reiki benefits and not the wonderful story of the Reiki experience as it unfolded from Japan.

Actually, you should see the Homeopathy article and the Talk:Homeopathy page. Unlike T'ai Chi Ch'uan, Reiki is very subjective. T'ai Chi is a martial art, and as such its mechanisms are easily demonstrable to almost anyone. Reiki seems to the sceptical like so much sleight of hand, which doesn't seem to have a demonstrable mechanism other than its founder and adherents saying that it has one. That is one of the definitions of magical thinking. This is one of the main reasons why there is such scepticism of Reiki in general, not just from scientists, but from other Oriental medicine practitioners as well. It really only seems to be well regarded in New Age circles. Fire Star 06:12, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

Here is an example of what I am trying to convey. If you look in Wikipedia for Nikola Tesla, a very controversial figure in early electrical power distribution era in the USA, it is presented in a fair manner even though many of his writings and views are disputed and considered off the mark in the scientific community. The writing flows and the reader can be informed as to who Nikiola Tesla was, his thoughts and views etc. The reader can then make their own decisions based upon what they are reading and not be distracted with warning labels and others peoples commentary.

I doubt if anyone reading this article on Reiki will come away with much insight and thoughtful information to consider on his or her own. I would suggest that those interested in learning more about Reiki move on to other sources.

I am a reiki and seichim master, there are some problems but is a good article, more information is needed and some www.links. (unsigned comment by