A Closer Look at Reiki’s Hawayo Takata

I’m not one to pick favorites. I love telling the Reiki story in class and recounting the lessons & journeys of the teachers before me. But, I really relish introducing students to the energetic legacy of Hawayo Takata.

I admire the path of Usui Sensei, a spiritual seeker who learned many languages and traveled the world to find Reiki. We owe our tradition to his fateful 21-day fast and meditation on Mount Kurama. And, I marvel at the success of Hayashi Sensei who took a simple practice and created an empire of Reiki clinics to serve the people of Tokyo. I wish I had the devotion and clarity of mind of a Buddhist monk, or the great fortune of students and spaces to run seven Reiki centers in New York City. But, personally, I’m most inspired by the persistence of Takata Sensei.

Photo of Hawayo Takata sitting next to a fireplace in 1951Hers is the great American success story. It begins with a young, widowed, single mother of two daughters fighting for survival. Defying economic hardship after the unexpected death of her husband at 29, battling her own grave illness and even enduring the biggest war the world has ever seen, Takata turned her healing journey into a lifelong passion for helping others.

Through Takata’s commitment to practice and teaching, Reiki expanded.  At her hands, a simple healing art from a country that would be devastated by war and occupation would transform into a global phenomenon which today has crossed into the cultural mainstream.

Two years ago, we had the tremendous honor of hosting Hawayo Takata’s successor and granddaughter Phyllis Lei Furumoto and her spouse, longtime Reiki Master Joyce Winough here in NYC. I was awed by these two giants of Reiki history, and my great fortune to sit with and learn from them! Over dinner one night, the archival project for Hawayo Takata’s Papers at UC Santa Barbara came up, as well as a presentation Joyce had started delivering on the life and legacy of Hawayo Takata.

Immediately, Brian and I started thinking of ways to bring this presentation to our students. With Phyllis’ passing last year and the trying circumstances of 2020, we are so excited now to create this opportunity. I cannot wait to delve deeper into the story of Hawayo Takata in this new, familial and intimate way. And, I’m so grateful that Joyce has generously offered to share her time and work with us.

I hope you will join us! Saturday & Sunday, November 7 & 8 on Zoom. Click here for more information.

Image for Hawayo Takata: A Life In Reiki, a 2-Part Webinar Presented by Reiki Master Joyce Winough