Peace to you. Muniqui here.
An interview I gave to the Jaén Reiki Association (La Asociación Reiki Jaén) was published on November 19, 2018. It was an in-depth interview and I want to thank Reiki Master and Jaén Reiki Association Founder Octavio Lombardo Rodríguez of Spain for connecting with us.
For the ease of the reader, the questions will be in bold.
To read the article in Spanish/Por Español, ve a http://reikijaen.es/articulos/entrevistas/muniqui.php
Interview with Reiki Master Muniqui Dawud Muhammad (Japan)
By Octavio Lombardo Rodríguez (Spain)
Date: November 19, 2018
Muniqui Dawud Muhammad
I contacted him relatively recently thanks to Facebook, we shared the participation in a group called “Reiki”. Thanks to him I have had first-hand news about a monument to Master Mikao Usui that was inaugurated on September 23, 2018 in his hometown of Taniai (Gifu, Japan).
I think he is a very cosmopolitan person: North American, of Arabic name, he speaks Spanish and has been living in Japan for more than 20 years. For what I thought it was very interesting to know you a little more thoroughly.
Where were you born?
I was born in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, 47 years ago.
Where does your family come from?
From the west coast of Africa is what I can say. My ancestors did not choose to come to America by their will. They were kidnapped.
Where have you lived?
The USA, Mexico and Japan
What did you study?
My specialty is Spanish (it’s the truth !!), also Japanese and other cultures.
What were your jobs in the past?
I worked as a cook and cashier at Kentucky Fried Chicken, also as a car rental agent. For the past 20 years, I have taught English as a second language to children in Japan. I have also been a professional Hawaiian Hula dancer for 12 years. Now we can add that of a Reiki practitioner teacher.
How did you meet the world of energy?
I have always known about the energy world because the people around me always spoke in terms of spiritual or energetic exchange. So I grew up on a good foundation and learning Reiki was a natural progression to what I had heard all my life.
Why did you get interested in Reiki?
I always knew that it is possible to send healing energy through the hands and other parts of the body. I have met people who did so. So the concepts of transmitting healing energy were not strange to me. I never knew where to take classes to learn how to do it until recently. And that’s when my journey with Reiki began.
What prompted you to be a Reiki Master?
After my first Reiki session, I knew that Reiki was something I was born to do. It felt natural and normal to learn everything I could to share Reiki with others.
Who were your main teachers?
My first teacher is Miles Maeda, a very good yoga teacher from Hawaii who also taught Yoga and Reiki in Japan. He attuned me from level 1 to Reiki Master Level.
I received my training in Holy Fire II Karuna Reiki®️by William Rand and Colleen Benelli from the International Reiki Training Center (The ICRT) in 2017. From there, I re-trained from Reiki Level 1, Level 2, Usui/Holy Fire II ART (Advanced Reiki Training) Master with Colleen Benelli in April 2018
What has Reiki meant in your life?
Reiki has been a way to improve my own spiritual practice. It has allowed me to help family and friends in a practical, real-life manner even at a distance. Now, when I see any situation, I ask: “What lesson is Reiki teaching me?” Then I activate my Reiki and apply the energy to obtain a deeper understanding.
What other practices do you do?
I am a practicing Muslim and Reiki has complemented my understanding of Islam and other religious traditions. I also use Reiki in my Life Coaching practice with the permission of my clients.
I have always wanted to know the impact of Reiki in Muslim countries. Do you know more Muslims who do Reiki?
There are other Muslims who practiced various Reiki styles, but those Muslims are not famous. In addition, some Muslims in the traditional world of Islam have the impression that Reiki should not be practiced. I tell you that since Reiki is a “universal life force energy” that can not hurt, it must be from Almighty God, whose name in Arabic is Allah.
In the same way, Christians do not belong to their tradition and are practically forbidden to do anything other than strictly their own. And undoubtedly it is divine energy. Do you know if Reiki is done in Islamic countries?
I know that there are classes taught in places like Dubai, the United Arab Emirates and Iran. I do not know if there are other Islamic countries where Reiki is also practiced.
Do you know if in the Muslim tradition there have been holy men who healed with their hands?
It is written in the Hadith (Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad as told by others) that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to heal the sick and heal the blind by only touching the patient. Apart from that, I am not aware of any other tradition or rumors of Muslims healing themselves with their hands. That does not mean that such people did not exist. I’m just saying that I’m not aware of it.
Do you have any other hobbies?
I study human anatomy with an emphasis on natural nutrition and I have a great interest in the health of the spine.
I enjoyed studying languages (Spanish, Arabic, Japanese, Russian, Hawaiian). I like to travel to other countries (Mexico, Korea, Malaysia) and I was a professional dancer of Hula for 12 years. I also like to dance salsa and bachata.
Which part of Japan do you live?
I live on the main island of Japan called Honshu, in the northeast part called Tohoku, in the city of Sendai.
How was the opportunity to live in Japan born?
After completing my study abroad in Mexico, I returned to the United States to complete my undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona. At that time my interest in studying Spanish began to diminish and the idea of Japan began to grow within me. It became an intense and irresistible desire to know everything he could about Japan, its people, its society, its culture … An opportunity was presented to try for the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Progam. I applied for three years in a row and in 1998, I was given the opportunity to come to Japan in the JET program. I have lived in Japan since then.
Is it possible to pursue a professional and exclusive Reiki?
Definitely yes. The need is especially great in Japan because even though this is the land where Reiki was born, very few people practice it or benefit from receiving sessions. Therefore, there is a great need for people who are willing to study and work as Reiki professionals.
How old is your company?
What activities does your company offer?
We offer Holy Fire III Reiki Sessions (in person and Distance), we offer Holy Fire Healing Experiences (in person and Distance) We now offer Reiki Drumming, where we send Reiki energy through a drum, which improves the healing experience. We offer Life Coaching and my partner, Holy Fire III Karuna Reiki®️ Master Lena Takahashi is also certified as an aromatherapist and she makes Healing Herbal Teas.
What places are your students from?
Our students come from all over the world. Some students want to start their path in Reiki in the land from which it came. The Japanese who come are people who are looking for new ways to improve their lives in a meaningful way and in a way that they can really understand.
Have you given courses or conferences in other countries?
Not yet. That is something we are open to doing and we hope to do if the opportunity presents itself.
What is the most spectacular thing that you could observe with Reiki?
During one session, the patient had her hands on her abdomen and when I changed my hands, her hands began to float above her abdomen. Her hands continue to rise on her own until she drops her hands on his head. During all that time, it seemed that his body was trying to stretch. Once the session was over, she told me that she was aware that her hands were floating but that she could not stop it and she felt that she was trying to stretch herself. I tried to stay calm but I was very surprised.
What is there after becoming a Reiki Master?
In truth, becoming a Reiki Master is the beginning of a lifelong commitment to being a student of the Reiki Energy. This is so because the Reiki energy is the true teacher and every person who becomes a Reiki Master is committed to becoming a lifelong student. There will always be more to learn and practice because the Reiki energy is as unlimited. Becoming a “Reiki Master” does not mean that a person has “mastered Reiki.” Being a “Reiki Master” is the start.
What projects would you like to make about Reiki?
I would like to see the people of Japan embrace Reiki again. I would like to see more people come to Japan and study the original Japanese forms and incorporate them into Western Reiki. I would also like to see more people from African and Central and South American heritage learn and practice Reiki. I believe that the natural growth that occurs when a person becomes a Reiki practitioner would be beneficial for everyone.
Does it promote group practice and volunteering?
We are looking for opportunities to volunteer as we develop friendly relationships in our city. Volunteering is something we hope to participate in.
Are you part of any association or federation?
I am a Professional Member of the Reiki Membership Association, founded by Mr. William Lee Rand.
Do you have relations with other federations or important figures in the world of Reiki?
I am Facebook friends of Walter Lübeck, the founder of Rainbow Reiki. Also, I speak with William Rand, the Founder of the International Center for Reiki Training (The ICRT), I speak with many members of Gendai Reiki here in Japan and many other practitioners of different styles around the world.
What manuals do you use? Are they their own or of any association?
We use the manuals written by William Lee Rand and distributed by the ICRT.
For Reiki I and II, we use “Reiki: The Healing Touch.”
For ART / Master level, we use the “Usui/Holy Fire II ART/Master” manual and we use the “Holy Fire II Karuna Reiki ®Master” manual.
I have observed that normally the poems of Emperor Meiji do not come in Reiki manuals. Do you recommend them to your students? If so, what is your favorite?
As I have not seen or read any of these emperor poems, I can not recommend whether or not they should be included in the Reiki manuals.
Note from the interviewer:
(I understand that knowing the poems of Emperor Meiji is as important as knowing the five principles, it is part of the philosophy that surrounds Reiki.) It is a great tool of inner growth to which we have not valued enough or taken full advantage. In this sense I recommend my book “The Akashic Records of Mikao Usui” in Spanish and English (“The Akashic Records of Mikao Usui”). I also intend to comment on them all on the facebook page: “The Akashic Records of Mikao Usui – The Book”)
What is the address of your website or blog?
What is the level of Reiki in Japan in relation to other countries? Do you know how extended it is? How is the acceptance level of the Japanese people?
I combine the answer to these three questions in one answer:
Reiki is much more accepted outside of Japan than inside. Due to the outcome of World War II, everything that resembles “religion” or was associated with the Japanese army during World War II has been rejected by the Japanese people. Because Reiki was being used in the military as a form of his medical practice he fell out of favor and was rejected. The “Usui Reiki Gakkai” (Society or association of Reiki Usui) went underground and without anyone practicing or openly teaching Reiki, he died in the hearts and minds of the Japanese.
Imagine going to Italy and finding Italians who have never heard of the Catholic Church … or imagine going to Saudi Arabia, asking someone to take you to a mosque and having everyone look at you and ask: “What is a mosque and what is Islam? I know it’s a surprise for Reiki practitioners around the world, but Reiki is practically non-existent in Japan. Most Japanese people have not heard the word “Reiki”, so they know almost nothing about it and some of the who have learned, most of them, have learned Western Reiki from Western masters. While there are some Reiki practitioners in Japan, there must be a massive reintroduction of Reiki and its benefits to the Japanese people.
Are there Reiki associations in Japan?
Gendai Reiki http://www.gendaireiki.or.jp/english/
Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai. The organization founded by Mikao Usui, the founder of Reiki. This organization was hitherto unknown, because of its decision to remain as a closed group.
Do you think that official recognition of Reiki by a country is possible?
Maybe that will happen in our lifetime.
How much population does Taniai currently have?
Taniai is very small and I could not find information about the population. But I do know that it belongs to the city of Yamagata, Gifu Prefecture and Yamagata has 27,633 inhabitants as of December 1, 2017
How did you hear about the inauguration of the monument to Master Usui?
William Lee Rand of the ICRT sent a letter with the information about the commemorative ceremony. Since my partner and I live in Japan and speak Japanese, he asked us if we would be willing to accompany him and act as a link to participate in the ceremony.
Who has worked for this project to be achieved?
The Usui Memorial Project was directed by Hiroshi Doi Sensei, founder of Gendai Reiki.
How was the money raised?
Doi Sensei sent a letter in early January 2018 stating his intention to build a memorial for Usui Sensei in his hometown and invited Reiki practitioners from around the world to participate by sending donations to cover the cost. That made it a project open to everyone regardless of their Reiki lineage.
How many people came?
At least 150 people or more attended the commemoration of the Memorial. Many people came from Romania, the United States, Mexico and, of course, many Japanese people were there.
The Monument in Taniai, how was the ceremony?
The whole ceremony was very well executed. The organization of the ceremony showed extreme care and was full of love. The ceremony consisted of blessings of the Shinto priests, speeches of people from Gendai Reiki, of the Gifu Prefecture Office, of the Office of the Mayor of the city of Yamagata, some of the members of the Usui-Sensei family and others.
What was your impression?
I believe that this memorial will join Mount Kurama in Kyoto Prefecture and the tomb of Usui-Sensei in Tokyo as pilgrimages for Reiki practitioners when they Japan.
(In the photo of the inauguration, in the large stone is engraved: “Mikao Usui was born in this place”, to his right there is a small replica of the monolith in his tomb)
The interview comes to an end, do you want to clarify something else?
I want to thank you for inviting me to do this interview. I wish to greet all of you who are part of my Spanish-speaking Reiki family. I encourage you to study and practice daily self Reiki. Also, let’s do all we can to be good ambassadors of Reiki and continue our efforts to make the world aware of its benefits.
Thank you very much for your good disposition in everything always, Master. You’ve been very kind.