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THE EARLY HISTORY OF BUDDHO
Dr. Ranga Premaratna has speculated on the origins of the Buddho meditation in a story that goes back to the historical Buddha.
The Buddho meditation was given by the Buddha to the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. Avalokiteshvara had made a vow to postpone his own enlightenment until all other sentient beings had become liberated and it was because of this vow of pure compassion for others that the Buddha passed on the Buddho meditation.
The meditation was then passed from Avalokiteshvara to a monk who began to develop a complete system of meditation and healing around the Buddho and drawing on Ayurvedic medicine (Marma Shastra) and Indian martial arts (in which he had been trained prior to his becoming a monk). This extensive mind/body healing system was then transmitted from India to Tibet by Vairochana one of the 25 disciples of Padmasambhava – The Tantric Buddha.
Due to political conflicts, Vairochana ended up living in exile on the borders of Tibet and China and so the system, including the Buddho meditation, was carried from China to other parts of the Far East including Japan.
Prior to the invasion of Tibet by the Chinese, monks practicing the Buddho meditation fled Tibet and continued their practice in the Himalayan region of Nepal. Due to their interaction with other highly developed monks practicing earlier Buddhist meditation methods, the Buddho method developed further into a highly advanced system of meditation. The practice has a focus on the energy fields of the body, which includes the chakras, nadis, and marmas, and with an emphasis on certain energy-based exercises that have a close affinity with Qi Gong that leads to an awareness of the body and its energy fields. This practice is called Chi Nadi.
As a consequence of Chinese military expansionism, the system underwent further development in the hands of Theravadan monks living in exile who practiced an early form of Buddhist meditation. So the healing method which had started out as a simple but powerful meditation practice developed over time into a highly complex system and then returned to the simplicity of its origins. Ultimately the system was taken to Nepal where it was accessed by Seiji Takamori.
The Buddho system, therefore, seems to be rooted in the Vajrayana tradition of Highest Yoga Tantra with origins in early Indian Buddhist practices (such as Vipassana meditation) and even earlier Hindu yogic practices.
BUDDHO IN MODERN TIMES & ITS LINKS TO SECULAR REIKI
After being given the Buddho meditation by his teacher, the monk Seiji Takamori wanted to go in search of further teachings that were related to the meditation. He had a deep commitment to exploring the nature of human consciousness and to achieving enlightenment in his lifetime and wanted to know more about the Tantric origins of the Buddho meditation practice.
After receiving permission to leave the monastery, Seiji began a process of extensively researching the origins of the Buddho meditation over a period of 20 years within the Tantric and Vajrayana schools of Buddhism, which took him on a journey from Japan to northern India, Nepal, and Tibet.
In an isolated part of Nepal, he discovered an order of recluse monks that knew the three cycles of the Buddho meditation and were familiar with various healing methods that relied upon the power of the mind.
Their practice also included the use of two of the Reiki symbols and echoed the Buddhist teachings that Seiji had been given years before by his teacher: Sensei Takeuchi (the Abbot of the Zen monastery in which Seiji had originally lived).
Seiji decided to stay and study the system, at first with three monks, and then after a period of time with a senior monk, further into the mountains who knew the complete system. Seiji stayed and studied with him for seven years.
The Buddho system that Seiji learned is thought to be a parallel system of healing and spiritual development, passed down from the Buddha that relates to the origins of Reiki as developed by Mikao Usui (the founder of Reiki) and his students. It is possible that Usui had access to texts that may have contained information on a simple form of the Buddho system, along with the Buddho meditation itself.
It is clear that there is a direct link between the philosophy, the symbols, yantras, and mantras of the system practiced by the monks in the Himalayas and the philosophy, symbols, and practices of the Reiki system. Indeed two of the Reiki symbols are clearly translations of mantras used in the Buddho method.
Seiji had discovered the same or similar material within Vajrayana Buddhism that Usui had connected to and possibly used in developing his system which eventually came to be known as Reiki.
The system was given the name Buddho-EnerSense by Dr. Ranga Premaratna, the Lineage Head of Reiki Jin Kei Do in consultation with Seiji Takamori. Ranga felt that this name more accurately reflected the essence of the teachings (‘energy’ and ‘sensing’) and provided a neutral label that did not have the sort of religious connotations that might discourage some from studying the system. Many teachers of the system, however, prefer to use just the original name, Buddho.