Phyllis Lei Furumoto was born on August 22, 1948, in Dallas, Texas into a Japanese American family. She grew up in the USA and travelled the world teaching Reiki and being of service to the Reiki community.
Phyllis Furumoto-Sensei was a Master, Grand Master, and friend. During the time that Phyllis was the Lineage Bearer for Usui Shiki Ryoho she brought Reiki to students in the wider world as Reiki began to spread globally.
Phyllis learned Reiki from her grandmother, Hawayo Takata, who taught this Japanese healing practice in Hawaii, the mainland US, Puerto Rico and Canada. Phyllis joined her grandmother traveling and teaching Reiki in the late 1970’s.
After Hawayo Takata’s death, a group of Masters initiated by both Hawayo Takata and Phyllis came together in Hawaii and found a kindred community: people who understood and shared their path and dedication. By the end of the week, they had recognized Phyllis as Hawayo Takata’s successor.
When the group of Masters met again this led to the formation of The Reiki Alliance: an international community of Reiki Masters practicing and teaching Usui Shiki Ryoho, dedicated to continuing the practice that Phyllis’ grandmother, Hawayo Takata had taught. The purpose of The Reiki Alliance was also for us Reiki Masters to support each other living and practicing Usui Shiki Ryoho, in our personal lives, in The Reiki Alliance community, and in the world.
At the close of the Spain conference in 1992, the Alliance formally asked Phyllis to define the Usui System of Natural Healing, as Usui Shiki Ryoho was called at the time. Together with Paul David Mitchell, she brought clarity to the form of the practice through the Nine Elements and expressed the philosophy and understanding of the system in the Four Aspects.
Phyllis had the unique ability to see everyone’s potential and she challenged her students, friends, and colleagues to realize their own potential.
Phyllis often said that “Reiki was a partnership,” and she embodied this concept whether she was teaching, singing, cooking, dancing or sailing. She encouraged people to find this partnership within their own lives. As a woman of deep conviction and spiritual grounding she lived her life authentically, and in the process she often pushed people’s edges and gave them the opportunity for deep self-examination.
“Reiki comes first!” These words from Hawayo Takata were true in Phyllis’ life. Reiki did come first and supported her in the abundant universe that she shared so generously with others. She was a hard taskmaster but had a soft soul that opened to others and gave the gift of hearing and seeing people like few others could. She taught Reiki as a bridge to connect cultures. Phyllis had many ideas and was eager to learn new things and try out concepts and integrate them into a deeper understanding of Reiki.
Phyllis Lei Furumoto transitioned from her earthly life in Green Valley, Arizona on March 31, 2019. Two weeks prior to her transition, Phyllis acknowledged Johannes Reindl as her successor. Phyllis Lei Furumoto left an indelible mark on the world and in the heart of many Reiki students, friends, and colleagues.
Photo: Elina van der Heijden