From the Book Hand to Hand
John’s Road to Healing – TM and Meeting Hawayo Takata
The course of my life has covered the globe in a variety of different and intensely rich circumstances. Presently I teach and practice Reiki full time, and also write from my present home by Lake Monomonac in Rindge, New Hampshire, with my second wife, Lourdes. I have been teaching and practicing Reiki longer than any other living Reiki Master. The beginning of my education in Reiki took place over a quarter of a century ago in California.
My former wife, Beth Gray, had spent many years studying metaphysics. She studied to become a minister with the Universal Church of the Master. In November 1973 she took over a chapter of the church as Pastor from an elderly couple in Redwood City, California and renamed it Trinity Metaphysical Center.
Just before the center opened, following another intuitive prompting, I took a course in Transcendental Meditation on July 3, 1973. I was 56 years old and had been in business for many years, in banking for almost 25 years and with Stanford Research Institute (SRI) for eight years.
My life changed on July 7th of that year when I was initiated into Transcendental Meditation, popularly known as TM, a meditation technique involving the silent repetition of a mantra. For me, it was a powerful experience because it led me to realize the existence of other levels of consciousness beyond waking and sleeping.
In 1973, TM was booming. Many people were being initiated and many groups in the San Francisco Bay area practiced TM together. A group at SRI met in the basement on Wednesdays at lunchtime. I regularly attended that meeting, another at a church on Thursday evenings and any other time I found out there was a meeting. Meditating twice a day, I became proficient in meditation and the practice of well-being. The result of this effort was meditative peacefulness extending into more and more of my activities.
At the time Beth opened her center, I was so involved in work projects at SRI, I was unable to participate in the formation of her church. However, I regularly attended Sunday evening meetings. Beth’s typical program included a prayer, a spoken and musical healing meditation, a speaker on a metaphysical topic followed by demonstrations of extra-sensory awareness and a closing prayer.
The healing meditation was intriguing to me. I had no experience with any form of spiritual healing but I enjoyed watching persons who called themselves healers. During the first few months of the church services, three people from the audience would sit on three stools placed in the front of the room. Those who had designated themselves as healers would then deliver the healing as they believed it should be done. Some healers believed one had to touch the body in order to heal it, so their hands would be placed on the body of the person on the stool. Other healers believed one had to heal the aura before the body could be healed, so they held their hands several inches away from the body. Two healers believed that energy came in one hand and out the other hand, so they tucked one hand in back of them and placed the other hand on the person to be healed. One man believed that he had to wave a symbol with one hand while he touched the body with the other hand. Another spoke in tongues while he was healing. The healing meditation was in chaos while he was at the church, which fortunately was only for two weeks.
I observed that about one-third of the healers felt worse at the end of the healing meditation, while there seemed to be little improvement in the health of those who sat for healings.
Beth was planning to discontinue the healing part of the service when a United Airlines Captain named Wally Richardson phoned. He talked about a class in a healing modality called Reiki that he had taken during a stopover in Honolulu. The teacher, Mrs. Hawayo Takata, was coming to visit him in California and would be willing to teach classes while she was in town. He asked if anyone from the church would like to take a class from her at his home.
Beth and several others from the church enrolled in this first workshop. Several weeks later I enrolled in the second workshop, along with several more people from the church. My attunement for 1st Degree was in Wally Richardson’s home on June 12, 1974. I don’t remember much of it, except that Takata wore a beautiful gold gown. She was an impressive five-foot, 96-pound Japanese-American woman, whose Hawaiian accent I could hardly understand. But her presence commanded respect.
While I don’t recall a great many details, I do know this was highly significant time for me, not only from what I felt as a result of the class, but also from what I heard Mrs. Takata say about the features of Reiki:
- The Reiki system is simple, so simple a child can use it. The practitioner uses a technique of laying on of hands in specific patterns on the body, moving from one position to the next as the hands cool off.
- Practitioners do not use their own energy for healing, but rather become conduits for universal life energy (Reiki).
- The practitioner and the client both feel better after a treatment.
- The practitioner may work on and heal him or herself.
- Practitioners are protected from picking up clients’ physical or emotional problems.
- Reiki is an effective modality in emergencies.
All of these points made a deep impression on me. After receiving the basic training in Reiki, I began to participate in the church healing meditation. Later, Beth decided to require all healers to take Reiki before they could participate in the healing meditation. With this change, we observed that the problems in the church’s healing program stopped. Healers felt better at the end of the twenty-minute meditation and significant healings began to happen. One man’s blood pressure dropped from high to normal. The lumps on one woman’s breast disappeared. We continued to require healers to take classes from Takata before they could participate in the healing meditation.