The terms Reiki, Reiho, and Reiki Ryoho revisited
Copyright © 2006 James Deacon
[Edited: Feb, 2007]
What Usui-sensei did was to create/develop a system of spiritual practice – the primary
So if Usui-sensei’s spiritual practice was not called ‘Reiki’, what was it called then?
So, what exactly is ‘Reiki’ (in this context)?
- and it must be said that the other common translation: 'Spiritual energy', while perhaps moving far more in the right direction is, it seems, still not quite correct
“Heaven Energy” (as opposed to Earth Energy)?
As stated above, Usui-sensei did not re-discover, or for that matter create or develop, something called 'Reiki' …
It would seem that what he created was named Usui Reiki Ryoho out of a need to differentiate between it and the Reiki Ryoho practiced by otherSpiritual Healers of the time. 
The term Reiki also appears in the philosophy of the Omoto Kyo spiritual group (who were particularly influential during the early 20thC) - indicating, not 'energy' per se but rather the energetic-effect of the innermost aspect of the human spirit.
In a diary entry dated Dec. 10 1935, Takata-sensei wrote about Reiki being:"...Energy within oneself " - and also about how we must "...meditate to let the "Energy" come out from within." Concerning the "Energy" she said: "It lies in the bottom of your stomach about 2 in. below the navel."
This would seem to be a very different view of Reiki from that commonly held by many people today...