We are all Healers
by Sally Hammond
The following passages, excerpted from Sally Hammond’s classic 1974 book (Ballantine Books, New York) about spiritual healing, We are all Healers, documents a brief encounter she had with Mrs. Hawayo Takata at a conference on spiritual healing in 1971. The excerpt starts on page 283, and continues for about four more pages.
I was suddenly aware of a crackling bundle of energy in the seat beside me — a small, black-haired woman who appeared to be Japanese. She was from Hawaii, and had flown in from Honolulu just for the symposium, she later told me. Her name was Hawayo Hiromi Takata, and she wore fire-engine red slacks, a tunic splashed with tropical flowers and her hair very short and straight.
Mrs. Worrall had just finished speaking and Mrs. Takata Could hardly contain her admiration. ‘She really knows what she’s talking about,’ she said to me, eyes sparkling. The rest of the speakers made her very impatient. Then she mentioned that she, too, was a healer and practiced in Waikiki. I quickly made a date with her for lunch.
When we had filled our trays and found a table, her story began tumbling out. ‘I studied in Japan under a great master,’ she said. ‘I am a teacher of healing. What’s the sense of having a good mind if the body is riddled with illness? I believe in the very simple method. It takes me only four days to teach it, and two hours a day. Why struggle for years when you can have it so quickly? I teach it to housewives who can use it practically every day.’
Then you believe we are all healers? I asked.
‘Yes, true. We are all born with it,’ she said. ‘But I am the engineer, the technician. You buy a new TV, you have to plug in the socket and get the energy. I give my pupils the contact with the great universal life force that does the healing — I have the secret of how to tune into it!
‘From the first day they can use their hands to heal. The fifth day I teach ideals and principles.’
How did you learn to do it? I asked, and she told me her teacher had been Chujiro Hayashi of Tokyo who had been the chosen disciple of Mikao Usui, founder of the Usui System. ‘He had a PhD from Chicago, an old Japan scholar,’ she said. Initiated in her thirties she was made a master in 1938 after going up by degrees. There were seven chosen to be teachers but all the others have passed on and today she’s the only living teacher of the system. ‘It is a method Usui revived from the Buddhist scriptures, a way of tuning into the reiki — that’s the Japanese word for “universal force”.’
I was amazed when she said she was now 72 and had been practicing and teaching healing for 37 years. There was not a line in her face and her body was slim and sprightly. ‘I am an old woman,’ she said, smiling, without a hint of self-pity.
‘I was very much impressed by Mrs. Worrall,’ Takata continued. ‘She’s getting results! That’s more important than a lot of words. Of course, it’s a good thing these fine young scientists are doing all this research, otherwise the healers would not be recognized. But when are they going to crack through and get going? How long will it be? Another 20 years?
‘In Honolulu we had a forum with the AMA. The president of the AMA tested me. He wanted to know what I did, and the meeting lasted from eight in the evening until one in the morning. At the end he asked me, “Alright, Takata, I think I understand you and what you’re doing. Do you recommend that all doctors learn this?”
‘I said, “not only doctors but ministers, too.” And I explained that in the church you have a large congregation and if the minister can help them by fixing their aches and pains they will listen to his sermons! The doctors know the techniques of medicine and psychiatry, and if they learn my treatment, I told him, the art of healing will then be a complete whole.’
I asked if she did the laying-on of hands and absent healing. She replied, ‘Yes, but it’s a higher degree. I learned it direct from the master.
‘He would tell me, “There is no such thing as I think so.” He was positive. If you were not positive, he just balled you out. He’d say, “That’s the wrong attitude. It shall be done. It’s not you, it’s the cosmic energy doing it. How dare you doubt the energy?”’
Takata said that since reaching 61 she has not worked full-time. But she gets up at 5 o’clock and at 6:30 AM plays a few holes of golf. On Thursdays she plays 18 holes and on Saturdays does her washing, ironing and cooking, and puts her food in the freezer. The last two years she’s been traveling all over the world. ‘But when I’m home, I work.’
‘I like teaching in groups of 10 to 12 because there’s more competition,’ she said briskly, ‘and they can compare notes.’ Her pupils come to her by word-of-mouth, and she teaches many doctors and their wives, and even a few celebrities. She named a famous American heiress but made me promise to keep it confidential.
I asked if she would give a few details of her lightning four-day course, and she was willing — up to a point.
‘The first lesson, I explain the universal life force, what it is, and I explain the workings of cosmic energy and how to make the contact. I maneuver it so they have it. So far I have never made a mistake. They come to the lecture and they get it from me.
‘The second lesson is how to use it. This is a demonstration of applying healing from the neck up, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, glands of the neck. I teach them how.
‘The third day I teach them how to treat the organs in the front of the body. The fourth day I teach them how to apply it to the back. I take the body in sections so they don’t forget or they’d get mixed up.
‘The fifth day is the mental and spiritual lecture – mental attitudes, meditation. When they acquire this Reiki it is a complete treatment for the physical body, the mental and the spiritual being.’
She said it also applies to plant life and animals and even to goldfish. ‘Anything that has life accepts it,’ she said, ‘and with babies it’s much, much more simple because the cause of the sickness is new. When it comes to chronic illness, it takes time. I work on the cause and effect. Remove the cause and there shall be no effect! Isn’t that sensible?’
She added that she gives her pupils the energy over five days, little by little because it’s so powerful. ‘I have to test them and see if they’re doing it right.’
But how do you plug into the universal life force? I asked, trying not to sound impatient. ‘It’s a secret,’ Takata said firmly, ‘but before I die I want to teach as many people as I can, spread it to as many people as possible and create many teachers.’ When I asked if there was any danger of the secret dying with her, she said, ‘I will reveal it in 1973.’
A Buddhist, she said, ‘We healers recognize God because the healing power is the God power.’ She accepts contributions to her church.
For healing lessons she charges a fee. ‘Not too much, not too little, for some it’s free. In a group it’s cheaper.’ Most of her pupils are just plain ordinary people with common sense, she declared.
In brief, Takata says her method is a way of making contact with the healing power quicker, and it comes straight out of old Buddhist scriptures.
I asked if her pupils learn to heal themselves and her eyes flashed. ‘That’s number one. If they can’t do that what is the good?
‘I have been asked to write about it but I have no time,’ she said as we walked back to the auditorium, and when we were settled in our seats and the next speaker was announced, she muttered ‘Scientists and all their theories are okay, but when? When?’
Since my chance encounter with this dynamic little Hawaiian healer I’ve wished many times that I had a ‘quicker’ way of making contact with the healing power, that I knew the old Buddhist secret for speeding up my development as a healer…