From the book Hand to Hand
John’s Road to Healing – Becoming a Reiki Master
In 1975, at the age of 74, Takata suffered a severe heart attack in Honolulu. At first, we did not know about it and accepted her explanation that she had fallen from a ladder. Following her recovery she considered retirement but she was kept from doing so by realizing that she was the only person in the world who could teach Reiki. In 1976, on her next visit to Woodside from Honolulu, she invited me with a few others to become instructors. I, of course, said yes, because I wanted to continue supplying Reiki practitioners for the Sunday church service at Trinity Center.
I became a Reiki Master, on October 6, 1976. I was the third master Takata trained. One of the three, Virginia Samdahl has since died, and the other, Ethel Lombardi, is no longer actively teaching Reiki. Thus, I am currently the longest continuously practicing Reiki Master in the West.
Takata wrote the following Christmas holiday letter to friends and colleagues in 1977, acknowledging that she was passing on the Reiki tradition:
“Seasons Greetings for a Happy Prosperous 1977. I wish to thank you all for the many kindnesses given me, with gifts, bouquets, invitations to your lovely homes to share the feasts you so kindly prepared with Love and Reiki Hands.
It is with gratitude and Aloha to you all that I write this letter to say “Thank You,” to let you know that the time has come for me to retire this year. I have gained many friends and students during my Reiki Tours these past years. They were a great joy, inspiring receiving knowledge and Wisdom.
I have created three Reiki Masters to carry on this noble work. They are trusting, capable, kind, and with humility serve God and mankind. They are: Master John Gray, California; Master Virginia Samdahl, Illinois; Master Ethel Lombardi, Illinois.
I remain, most gratefully yours,
Rev. Hawayo Takata”