The Training of Masters – A Starfish Story, Part 2

In other words… read Part 1 first!

“It made a difference for that one”, said the young man at the end of A Starfish Story in Part 1.

I still teach my Master students individually or in very small groups of three people or less.  Normally this training takes place over the course of a few years.  Occasionally I have taught week-long Master training intensives with continued support afterwards.  This slow way of training is how Masters have been trained and taught to practice in traditional Usui Shiki Reiki Ryoho, from Usui to Takata.[1]  It forms the bond between the Master and the student, and with the lineage.

I understand it is rare for Masters to be trained this way today.  It is not that other Masters are wrong for doing otherwise; it just doesn’t work for me within the system I learned, teach, and practice.  And, frankly, it seems unlikely that a student would be able to truly embody the teachings in Shinpiden in just a one-day or weekend class.  Shinpiden isn’t simply straightforward rote learning, such as how to do the initiations and why we do each part in the initiations.  While the initiations are important, it isn’t the vast majority of what students could be learning in Shinpiden.

The word, “Shinpiden” means “mystery” or “mysterious teachings”.  The lessons we learn in Shinpiden are mostly known through practice which leads to inner transformations.  For example: Let’s imagine that I am trying to teach you horsemanship (something big here in Kentucky).  Can you learn horsemanship without working with actual horses?  Could I simply give you classroom instruction in horsemanship and then expect you to go out into the world and ride horses or teach horsemanship to others?  There are some things you can only learn by actually doing them.  A lot of learning will come from actually riding on different horses and riding them on different terrain.  Having a teacher with you to “show you the ropes” during this process is important.

Likewise, part of Master training is how to teach the system of Reiki to others.  How can you learn to teach students without working with actual students?  This is why I have my Master students assist me in my classes throughout their training, gradually teaching more and more of the subjects in the First- and Second-degree courses.  Being a Master isn’t just giving some instructions and doing initiations – it is many things, some intangible; far too many for me to simply write in this article.  That will have to wait for some future article(s).  I recently read a statement from Constantin Dina whom I re-trained as a Master in my lineage.  He wrote, “Maestria in orice domeniu nu este un substantiv, este un verb.”  In English this translates to, “Master in any field is not a noun, it’s a verb.”

As far as the nonteaching parts of Shinpiden are concerned, I will use another example: If I were to try and teach you ballet just in the classroom, neither one of us should expect you to truly have learned ballet.  You must take what you have learned and practice in the studio with your teacher present.  Likewise, I could give you meditation instruction and you could read books on meditation.  But if you don’t sit and do the practice, you won’t truly understand anything about meditation.  Self-discovering the mysteries of Usui Shiki Reiki Ryoho comes through practice and guidance… guidance from our teacher(s), guidance from our lineage, and guidance from Reiki itself.

Traditional teachers who train new Masters the old and slow way will not teach as many Master students as people who teach Shinpiden as a “class”.  But teaching a lot of Master students isn’t our goal.  It is having the patience and dedication to pass on what we have learned to others, witnessing students come into their own relationship with the mysteries of the system, with each person discovering their own true essence as a result of the practice.  For me, training Masters is to “make a difference for that one”.




[1] It is currently believed that Usui taught about 19 Master students, Hayashi around 13, and Takata 22. After Mrs. Takata’s death in 1980, some of her Master students started holding large Master training seminars sometimes with 20 or more students.