The History

Reiki is believed to be a prehistoric healing technique dating back to the earliest civilisations. The earliest evidence of Reiki in recorded history has been found in Tibet about 10,000 years ago. Reiki was also known in Ancient China, Egypt, Greece and Rome.

The knowledge and practice of Reiki is also thought to have been common among indigenous people around the world but was lost due to western colonisation.

In the early 1900’s it was rediscovered by a Japanese philosopher, Dr. Mikao Usui, who had an interest in the method of healing. He found the 7 symbols of life in an ancient sanskrit sutra (text). He decided to go to Mount Kurama and meditate on the symbols. There he stayed and fasted for 21 days and prayed for the knowledge to be revealed to him to assist humanity. He wanted to know how to use these keys to activate and use the life force energy. He successfully reconnected with the knowledge of the entire 7 level system of Reiki.

He was so excited, he jumped up and started running down the mountain, when he stubbed his toe! He instinctively grabbed it with his hands and felt instant relief. He then knew that the energy had already been activated within him and he could share it with others.

He treated and healed the sick for many years. He realized that it was important for people to have respect and gratitude for this gift of extra life force so he wrote the Reiki principles.

Dr. Mikao Usui


The Reiki Principles

Today, I will feel love.

Today, I will feel joy.

Today, I will count my many blessings.

Today, I will earn my living honestly.

Today, I will be kind to every living creature.



At that time people were taught in the old Japanese style of teaching. The students didn’t know how many levels there were, only what they were ready for, so that the system was kept secret and sacred.

Dr. Usui taught Reiki to many hundreds of people, one of whom was Dr. Chujiro Hayashi, a medical doctor who had retired from the navy. He completed his Reiki training in 1925 and ran a Reiki clinic in Tokyo. One of his patients was called Hawayo Takata. In the mid 1930’s she was seriously ill but made a full recovery after 8 months of receiving daily treatments at the clinic. In 1938 she trained in the entire 7 level system. She moved back to Hawaii, where she was born, to practice and teach Reiki. It was only when she was in her seventies that she began making teachers. Most of her students trained to 3b which meant that they could teach Reiki level 1 and 2. This is why so many people today in the west have only heard of 3 levels.

Only 1 lady was trained in all 3 teacher levels (3B, 5B & 7B), Dr Barbara Ray, so that she could make other teachers. In august 1980 Hawayo had a formal reception at Barbara’s home in Atlanta Georgia, attended by 200 people and formally announced Barbara as her successor (Grand Master Teacher). Hawayo passed away in 1980.

Gary Samer was also American and he trained as a Reiki Master teacher in 1984 wth Barbara. He has taught over 10,000 people in 12 countries and brought the 7 level system to Australia in 1985. In 2004 a group of Sydney practitioners and teachers formed the Association of the Original 7 Level System of Reiki, ASLOR

In collaboration with Roz Lawler, Alex Topic is responsible for writing all the coursebooks and teacher manuals for the entire 7 level system of Reiki. Alex Topic completed his training in 2005 in Sydney with Dez Dalton who was taught by Gary Samer.

In 2002 I started my Reiki training and completed my 7 practitioner levels in 2004. In 2011 I returned to Sydney to learn 3B wth Roz Lawler. In December 2011 I returned to Ireland because I was ready to teach and share Reiki here in my country of birth.