by Paul Mitchell
I always dreamed of going to Japan but I didn’t think it would happen.
Then I had an exciting call from Phyllis telling me she had made an intention that the OGM earn enough money for she and I, and Susan and Joyce, to go to Japan. She said, “You have to come.” I was filled with joy at the possibility. Two years later, this past October 19th, we boarded the plane.
Our first experience was visiting an open market that has been in the same location for the last eight hundred years. What an amazing way to be introduced to the Japanese people: through the work of their hands, both ancient and new.
Mountains surround Kyoto on three of its sides. Two of these, Kurama and Hiei, northwest of the city, are sacred sites. In the Shinto tradition negative and harmful energy enters the city from the northwest. The divine energy in nature in these mountains needed to be called forth to assume their protective role. Through hundreds and hundreds of years this natural power grew in response to the prayer, devotion, and meditation of the Japanese people.  
Kurama is a pilgrimage site, even today a daily stream of Japanese climb this mountain. For years I have been telling the Reiki story and speaking of the sacred mountain where Dr. Usui received Reiki.  Sacred Mountain was a phrase, a concept, that I held—and then I met the mountain.
I have no idea how many shrines, temples, and sacred rocks are on this mountain. What I do know is that every few steps something caught my attention. I would stand and feel what came to me from a particular stone, or spring, or tree. Everything radiated, communicated, reached out to me. It was as if each was saying, “Our Spirit, our Being has been seen and honored for hundreds of years. We don’t hide our voice here. You can hear and feel our essence.“
I imagine that in this culture the power of nature to initiate communion comes from Shinto, from millennia of people humble enough to recognize their dependence on forces greater than themselves. The result is a profound understanding of the interdependence of all things. Japanese spiritual development broadened with the introduction of Buddhism and Mount Kurama is populated with Buddhist temples. The integration of Buddhism and Shinto felt seamless, one part of the tapestry flowing into the other. The Buddhist ideal is expressed in the Bodhisattva vow of service: to be reborn until all beings reach awakening.
I bring home a gift from Kurama: knowing I may have stepped where Mikao Usui walked. Because of him, I am blessed to carry the practice he received and pass it on to others. Being in Japan, breathing the culture and spending time on Kurama, has awakened a deeper appreciation for the gift of Reiki and the call to humility.
I’m remembering something Carl Jung said at the age of seventy-five when asked about his pilgrim’s progress, his spiritual journey: “I have climbed down a thousand ladders to reach out a hand of friendship to this little clod of earth that I am.”
I’m left with the image of Reiki as my ladder, and I ponder what it might teach me. Thank you Phyllis for knowing I needed to come to Japan and that we needed to be there together.
My Time In Japan
by Phyllis Furumoto
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:
Mind/Body Improvement
Usui Reiki Healing Art
Teachings (Principles)
Translation Directly from Japanese:
Titled: The Reiki Principles or Five Precepts
Today only Anger not
Today only Worry not
With Thankfulness
Work Diligently
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. 
Show Kindness to Others
by Paul Mitchell
Some months ago I wrote an article that was not published about what I referred to as the missing principle, Show Kindness to Others. I remember receiving this principle from Takata Sensei, and yet have no recollection of her masters discussing this principle. We came to teach the principles that we use today. Phyllis and I have similar stories of how this came to be which I find comforting.

Over the years I’ve often heard students and colleagues say: “I notice in my life practicing Reiki that I worry less, I am less angry, more honest and present in my work…and so on.” I know this is true. Simply placing our hands on ourselves daily and not necessarily even thinking about the principles can bring us to change in ways that reflect the precepts.
While has been true for me too, I’m reminded of something Phyllis says, “Reiki is a partnership.” I need to be an active participant in what Reiki brings me, teaches me, and calls me to.
One of the ways I understand the principles Dr. Usui gave us is that he chose to shine a light on human behaviors that take us away from or distance us from our truest selves: worry, anger, dishonesty, ingratitude, and unkindness. Hawayo Takata, living and teaching in a western culture, shined that light on another behavior that creates that distance: failing to honor our parents, teachers, and elders. 
In the Reiki principles we are given a constellation of five stars to guide our lives, five ideals to reach for to develop our truest and best selves, touching the potential of our true humanity. In our community we acknowledge these shared values and hope to support one another in the practice. The conscious awareness of what we strive for brings us again and again to reflect on how we fall short of the ideal. In this process of self-reflection we can come to know ourselves more deeply and have greater freedom and capacity to choose a different way of being.
For me, self-reflection and the determination to go beyond my present limitations is an expression of spiritual discipline. This is what Krista Tippett would call exercising our spiritual muscles with the goal of achieving what she calls spiritual muscle memory.
I have been wondering how our lives and community would be enriched by reclaiming the ideal of kindness that Mikao Usui gave us. How would it be if we held showing kindness to others as one of our shared values, and it became explicitly part of the spiritual discipline of our practice?
I know for myself I would become more sensitized to my own behavior in relationship to both myself and others. I would become more sensitive to the quality and content of my thoughts about others. I would be more motivated to seek what lies beneath my expressions of unkindness. In writing this I realize I need and want to begin now. 
I imagine that these questions are alive not only in Phyllis and I but throughout the Reiki community. I am looking forward to exploring and expanding our capacity to open to the mystery of ourselves and what Reiki calls us to.
OGM Events for 2018: Remember that Paul is on Sabbatical this year! Most of the events are with Phyllis alone.
January 12-16
Building Peace, Healing Ourselves, Healing the Earth
Port of Spain Trinidad 
Reiki Home in collaboration with  Initiatives of Change  and  Creators of Peace , and the Trinidad & Tobago Indigenous People  is hosting a conference in Trinidad and Tobago. The goal is to bring together people who are making a difference around the world to facilitate an exchange of ideas, to showcase good practices globally and locally, and to build on positive trends.

A presenter: Phyllis Furumoto
Registration:  click here  

March 7-11
Usui Master Intensive One 
For masters wishing to deepen their understanding of the practice that has passed through the spiritual lineage of Mikao Usui, Chujiro Hayashi, Hawayo Takata and Phyllis Furumoto.
Facilitated by Phyllis Furumoto 
Venue: Holiday Inn, Corby, Northamptonshire, England
Organizer: Jill Mason
Registration  click here PLEASE NOTE LINK CORRECTED

May 1-7
The Reiki Alliance Gathering
The annual gathering of The Reiki Alliance, an organization for the masters of Usui Shiki Ryoho held this year near Toronto Ontario Canada. Both Paul Mitchell and Phyllis Furumoto will be attending this gathering.
Organizer: The Reiki Alliance

Usui Masters' Intensive Usui II
Place and date to be announced.  
Registration:  Joyce Winough

October 2-7
OGM Retreat in Spain
 A time for students of all initiation levels of Usui Shiki Ryoho to gather and be the Office of the Grand Master. We ask you to come to work for the system and clarity of our practice.  Topics will be announced in the registration information.
With Phyllis Furumoto
Venue: Casa De Espiritualidad De Las Hermanas Oblatas, Ciempozuelos (Madrid) Spain
Organizers: Renate Heimann, Rita Freyeisen
Interpretation: Russian, Spanish, Dutch, German
Registration and information will be available in February.

October 7-10 
Reunion of Masters Initiated or Mentored by Phyllis Furumoto
with Phyllis Furumoto
Venue: Casa De Espiritualidad De Las Hermanas Oblatas, Ciempozuelos (Madrid) Spain
Information and Registration will be available in March.

November 2-3-4
New York City weekend

Friday, November 2
for masters and students of John Gray

Brian Brunius, a master in the John Gray lineage, feels called to create a bridge for students and masters of this lineage and Phyllis Furumoto. Though John and Phyllis had a personal connection, their styles and priorities were different. This is a time for reconciliation which means there is no right or wrong. Brian is offering a time for connection.  

Saturday, November 3
for Reiki masters of all lineages and forms of Reiki practice

Theme: Teaching Reiki as a Spiritual Practice:   What is a spiritual practice? Why is Reiki practice considered to be a spiritual practice?  What are some of the differences of emphasis that have been noticed? How does this affect the teaching and the reception of the teaching by the student?  

Sunday, November 4
for all Reiki students, including masters, of all lineages and forms of practice

Theme: Becoming a world citizen through Reiki Practice
What does it mean to be a world citizen? How effective is "sending Reiki" and what effect are we hoping for? Does this reconcile our need to help others? Is there a difference of being spiritually connected and physically present?  How can we move into regenerative understanding of our community? our planet?

Reiki practice brings us first to ourselves as a healing art. The next stage of development is to engage with our global community of Reiki and of humanity.

Registration and information:  Brian Brunius
Venue: One Spirit Learning Alliance NYC
Information and Registration will be available in January 2018.
Global Reiki Webinars for 2017
Global Reiki Webinars for 2017
Please check on the Facebook page Global Reiki Webinars for registration links including possible changes in topics, time and date.

Saturday December 30       The Future of Reiki                                        
as we introduce the possibility of having open conversations with participants.

Thanks for your input into the themes to be offered and for your support of our webinar program.
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