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Reiki: Hawayo Takata's Story by Helen Haberly

Updated: May 21, 2022

This is a book review for Reiki: Hawayo Takata's Story by Helen Haverly.

I've been fascinated by the stories of Reiki practitioners in our traditional Reiki Master lineage for as long as I've done Reiki, and I was thrilled in the early years of my practice to discover a book about Hawayo Takata's life, written by one of her students (with her permission): "Reiki: Hawayo Takata's Story" by Helen Haberly. Having listened to a few audios of Takata's teachings, I was hungry to learn more about this woman, the Japanese-American living in Hawaii who first introduced the west coast to Reiki in the 20th century.

As a Black and Japanese-American woman myself, Takata's story felt familiar. She was a woman of two worlds, and she went back to Japan for healing, but returned to the United States with a modality that allowed her to create a bridge between both of her diverse cultures.

The most challenging thing about Reiki history is that most of it is made up, and Mrs. Takata was an excellent storyteller who told stories more for the effect and how they could shape her students, rather than historical veracity. So it's hard to say how "true" this biography is, but it's fascinating, and it highlights the gifts of Takata as a woman and Reiki Master.

If you have a lineage that traces back through Hawayo Takata, and you are a Reiki Practitioner, I recommend you read this book in order to better understand your lineage. Remember in 2nd grade when you had to draw a family tree, and interview one of your parents about their history? Yeah---it's the same thing.


DAILEY LITTLE is a healing practitioner, transformational life coach, ordained Priestess, and teacher who founded Healing Heart Reiki to help others navigate life with joy. She offers private sessions, and teaches classes in healing and mindset from a magical peaceful corner of the world in Northern California. For more info see:

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