I was recently asked by a Reiki specialist to write something on Shugendo for his blog. After looking into hagiographical elements of the founder of Reiki, Usui Mikao 臼井甕男 (1865–1926), I wrote up this short essay on similarities between the two:
It was fun to find that, like many of the “new religions” in Japan’s last few centuries, Reiki (while not considered a religion) takes much from the rich history of mountain asceticism in Japan.
[A gongen shrine on Mt. Kurama 鞍馬山, where Usui is said to have received his Reiki energy.]