Retelling the Reiki Story

Dr Mikao Usui is recognized as the father of Reiki and for that reason, most of the Reiki presently practiced and imparted in the US is referred to as Usui Reiki.  Dr. Usui is referred to as Usui Sensei, a teacher of great honor.
Dr. Usui was born August 15, 1865  in Japan. He became a medical doctor and taught in a Christian School in Japan. His students repeatedly asked him if it was possible to heal  as Jesus did, thru the laying on of hands and by intention.
He contemplated this question and thru a series of life circumstances, was inspired to seek a great soul searching and breakthru, what we refer to as a "vision quest". Christians often refer to this as a "dark night of the soul" and it is shown in most traditions to  be a necessary step for a breakthru to occur. The breakthru is often in direct proportion to the degree of intensity of the descent that motivates it.
After many years of searching and introspection, Dr Usui chose to climb a nearby mountain and contemplate for 21 days. He read, chanted, and meditated  and at the end of each day, he cast a stone aside. When the 21st stone was cast, he experienced being rendered unconscious by the intensity of the four major Reiki symbols appearing in bubbles and striking his head. These are referred to in western lore as "thought forms", which means he received direct communication based on his receptivity.
When he awoke and recovered, he knew that his breakthru had occurred, and began to descend the mountain. Excitedly he descended and in the course of the descent, he twisted or sprained his ankle. He laid his hands on it and relief was found, so he became the first Reiki  practitioner and client. Dr Usui then began practicing Reiki on self, family, and friends and in fact on all those who came forward to receive. In about 1925, there was a large earthquake nearby and many casualties, so he treated all he could for free after that event. This greatly spread the awareness of the powerful healing effects of Reiki.
Dr Usui often treated people for free. There is a controversy regarding money and Reiki and the root of it is the story that he treated many beggars who  he then found disregarded the healing, saying it was easier to beg. At that point, Usui Sensei realized that an exchange allows the healing to occur, and this has grown into a belief amongst some western practitioners that money is a necessary part of the exchange. Mrs. Takata, who  brought Reiki to the west and established the Takata fees, insisted on a specific price structure.. Our personal approach and recommendation is to determine a way to ensure that the gift of healing or initiation is valued, and that energy takes on infinite forms, money is only one of them.  Reiki is a pure form, and those who practice it assumedly do their best to be a pure vessels for healing. A Reiki Master is one who is working on mastering self and intention in the purest way they know how, but the receiving of the fourth Reiki symbol does not insure flawlessness. We have found, however, that great self awareness and purification of intent occurs thru receiving such a gift.
All healing, including Reiki,  is available from the universe to those who need it. The Reiki Masters who have ascended still exist and help, and the flame of Reiki is a powerful torch to be called in by all who have received an initiation and understanding of this wonderful flame
Blessings on you and your journey of purification.