First the mind must be healed
Second, the body must be made sound.
If the mind is healthy, conforming to a path of integrity,
then the body becomes sturdy of its own accord.
Mikao Usui (1865-1926)
Mikao Usui, the founder of Usui Reiki Ryoho, was a Jodo-shu, or Pure Land sect, Japanese Buddhist lay practitioner born in August of 1865. He attained spiritual enlightenment in 1922 while fasting and meditating on Mt, Kurama in Kyoto, the ancient capital city and spiritual center of Japan. At the same time he attained this enlightenment, he realized that he also received a miraculously enhanced healing ability. Usui Sensei thought that this wonderful gift should be shared with everyone and not just kept to himself and/or his family as was the tradition. As a result, he created a system called Usui Reiki Ryoho (Usui spiritual energy healing method), opened up a dojo (training hall) in Aoyama, Tokyo, formed the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai (Usui spiritual energy healing method academic association), and began teaching classes and providing sessions.
Usui Sensei used the phrase “Reiki Ryoho” to convey the meaning of the healing art and practice (Ryoho) he created. This method was meant to help students achieve the enlightened state he experienced on the mountain as well as give them a method to interact with the miraculous and sacred (Rei) energy of the universe (Ki) through hands-on healing touch.
In 1925 he moved his dojo to Nakano, a suburb of Tokyo, in order to expand his healing practice. Due to his nation-wide fame, he was frequently invited to teach at many local districts, including Hiroshima, Saga, and Kyushu. On March 9th, 1926, he passed away while traveling at Fukuyama in Hiroshima Prefecture.
Usui Sensei’s gravesite and his memorial stone are located at Saihoji Temple in Tokyo. Saihoji Temple is a Jodu-shu or Pure Land Buddhist Temple.
There have been many accounts that have incorrectly stated that Reiki healing method or formula was rediscovered by Usui Sensei after research into Buddhist scriptures or that it is of ancient Tibetan or Egyptian origin. Reiki is a wholly Japanese method designed to help the student/practitioner interact with the energy of the universe, and is an inspired healing art of Usui Sensei, not the outcome of research or discovery.
While many civilizations have discovered and practiced various forms of energy healing, Reiki Ryoho, this particular method of interacting with the energy of the universe through the art of hands-on healing, was gifted to Usui Sensei after fasting on Mt. Kurama.
There are also several stories circulating that Usui Sensei was a Doctor, a priest, a monk, a Christian minister, as well as President of Christian based Doshisha University in Kyoto. There is no evidence to support this. He was from beginning to end a lay Buddhist practitioner.
Information provided by Komyo ReikiDo with Hyakuten Inamoto permission.