For the special edition of German Reiki Magazin about Hawayo Takata, published in February 2019, Rick Bockner, one of the 23 masters trained by Hawayo Takata, wrote this article in December 2017. This is the first publication of this article in English language.
I first met Hawayo Takata in 1979 at a transitional moment in my life. My first marriage was dissolving and I was trying to realign myself after a difficult year. I had spoken to her on the phone two years earlier, but had been unable to connect with her in person as she was busy with her teaching.
It was with some resistance and reluctance that I entered into my first Reiki class. Part of me was asking, “What am I doing here?”, and another was drawn to her by her energetic presence and absolute dedication to her practice. At some level I was not willing to accept that this was for me. It took a couple of breathtaking coincidences to convince me to pay attention to this person, and later to ask if I could train with her as a Master.
My training with her was accomplished by helping to organize classes for her, traveling with her to teach, talking with her after class, and treating her each evening I was with her after she had finished her work for the day. She was always encouraging with me and gave me the confidence to go out and teach when the time came.
Thirty-seven years later I look back on that short period with her and try to understand what was passed on during that time. I think the single most important thing I was given by her was learning to observe closely the world around me, and the people I came into contact with. Takata talked about Reiki being energy in motion–an ocean of Ki moving all around us. Establishing a clear connection to Reiki was at the heart of her healing, and that connection was the source of our growth and development.
As part of her training with Dr. Hayashi, Hawayo Takata was educated into body work of various sorts, nutrition, massage, physiognamy (observing patterns in the face and body and understanding their source), as well as Reiki. From this she developed her diagnostic understanding of how we store our experiences in our bodies, and how to release the effects of those that constrain us or inhibit our learning and health.
This observation of patterns became a pastime for me. In airports I would watch people moving and try to find the identifying expression, way of walking, voice, posture, and other signals that allowed me to get a sense of who they were and their approach to living. Soon I could see more details of how patterning reflected experience. It expanded into my observing the world around me as patterns that moved around me and included me as well. So my garden became a slow dance of life that was influenced by my own behavior, and my ability to see and feel what was needed to accelerate the growth there. The forests around me became this incredible web of patterns intermingling and affecting the environment that the trees and plants created for their survival. Patterns of migration, patterns of sunsets, patterns of light–patterns were everywhere and demonstrated to me the idea of Universal Life Energy in my daily life.
Takata never spoke directly to me about these things, but she showed me that she understood how to use them in her work with people. She could look at a person’s face and identify where their body was blocked or impeded, but she did not show us a “technique” for this. I believe faith in Reiki made her trust that we would each learn the things we needed to know if we kept up our practice of Reiki. Her oft quoted line, “Let Reiki Teach You”, allowed her to teach by example, and we would eventually learn what she was doing. I understand so much more now about people, health, happiness, and the flow of energy that we are immersed in, thanks to Hawayo Takata being the example she was.
As I approach 40 years of Reiki in my life, I begin to understand in new ways some of the things I saw Takata do that amazed me at the time. Now they are integrated into me as patterns I carry in my body, mind, and spirit, and I get new insights into my teacher and her time and life. In this way she continues to teach me and nourish my development. This was her gift to me that I wish to pass on to everyone I meet by example. Thank you Takata Sensei.
Dec. 26, 2017
First published in German language by Oliver Klatt.
Published in English language on this website with permission of Rick Bockner.
Copyright: Rick Bockner