My time in Japan this year has been another step in the process of integration my American self and Japanese self. I am becoming more comfortable with my Japanese self, finding some of the ideas and habits I have seem to be "genetically Japanese! Wonderful!
One of my greatest gifts was to meet (by chance?) a student of a master I initiated in the street near the house I rented for three months. Peter met me in 1999 at a Reiki gathering! So here is this man……obviously not Japanese…asking if I was Phyllis Furumoto as we stood in the street just down the street from the house I rented in Kyoto! After the shock of experiencing such an amazing connection, we have gotten to be good friends and neighbors.
A few weeks ago he offered to organize a First Degree class. It took a while to
say “Yes!” but finally I did. The other night we had a little gathering for an introduction to the practice of Usui Shiki Ryoho for potential students. As I was preparing for this evening’s talk….I realized that the first thing I usually say is “ Reiki is a Japanese word meaning Universal Life Energy!” Okay. I realized I couldn’t open with this! So I opened with the story of how Reiki came to me.
At that point, I realized that I must go through the class and see where the “usual” would not really work. There were two main topics. One is the wording of the 5 Precepts and the other is about the energy of Reiki.
Usually I spend some time speaking about the Absolute and Relative Universes and how the practice of Reiki allows us easy access to the bridge between the two. The Absolute universe is “just what’s so” and the Relative universe involves constantly judging the relativity of people, events, and dreams.
People here seem to understand the Absolute and the concept of “just so.”
Nature is the inspiration, the model for how things work, and human beings exist to recognize the divinity in all of nature. I don’t really need to talk much about what Reiki is. So what will I talk about?
The second topic is about the 5 Precepts. I remember when attending the classes of Takata Sensei, I heard about 5 principles of Reiki. She would talk about “Just for today, don’t worry. Just for today, don’t anger.” I would hear later in her lesson for the day about “Honor your parents, teachers, and elders,” “Show gratitude for every living thing,” and “Earn your living honestly”. Sometimes she would say….”Be kind to others.” Though I didn’t count them, I heard the number 5. Each principle had a story….or she told a story that had the principles in it. So there was, in my memory, not a time when she would say….these are the principles and say them as a list.
After she died in December of 1980, a group of masters she initiated came together and these 5 principles or precepts were acknowledged. I don’t remember the actual conversation however these are the principles that I have been teaching since 1979:
Just for Today, Do not Worry
Just for Today, Do not Anger
Honor your parents, teachers, and elders
Earn your living honestly
Show gratitude to every living thing
In Japan, the relationship between other human beings resides in a concept of honor that is foreign to most other people. Honor does not mean agree with or
accept everything that person does. Honor has to do with the understanding that without our parents, we wouldn’t exist. Without our teachers, we would not grow and learn about the world. Without our elders, we would not exist and have the possibility to learn from them.
I will be using the original Japanese text of the principles that has a forward that says:
Usui Reiki Healing Art
Translation Directly from Japanese:
Titled: The Reiki Principles or Five Precepts
Today only Anger not
Today only Worry not
Be Kind to Others
Pragmatically, I will be walking in the footsteps of my Reiki elders and holding the teachings of my master who gave us the translation of a culture as well as the principles. Both are easily done…..separately. Having both together in the same class will stretch my capacity for the paradox of truth. Both are truth. Both speak to a culture and a way of life that brings people back to themselves. Both are relevant in their own context.
I look forward to discovering more details that add to this stretch. And celebrate the many thre
ads of decisions and timi
ng that brought Peter and I together in the middle of a small Kyoto street in order for me to come into another stage of development as a master. I bow to the Absolute Universe.