Phyllis Lei Furumoto, Mrs. Takata's granddaughter, grew up in the Midwest of the United States. Initiated into Reiki at an early age, it was her duty to treat her grandmother when she came to visit the family. Her conscious journey with the Usui System of Reiki Healing, Usui Shiki Ryoho, did not begin until many years later. After studying psychology at college, Phyllis worked in a psychiatric hospital and later as a university administrator.
At the age of thirty, she decided it was time to dedicate her life to a meaningful purpose and accepted an invitation to travel and work with her grandmother. She was initiated as a master at the start of their trip in April 1979. For the next year and-a-half Phyllis apprenticed with her grandmother, as Takata gave treatments, taught first and second degree classes, and trained and initiated masters.
After Mrs. Takata's death in 1980, Phyllis was recognized by the Reiki Master community as her grandmother's successor in the lineage. Phyllis sought ways to bring masters together for mutual support and sharing. From this initiative, The Reiki Alliance was founded in 1983.
Today, Phyllis travels world-wide in her work to foster the practice of Usui Shiki Ryoho. She appears at Reiki student gatherings and is especially devoted to working with Reiki Masters. Her Japanese roots and Western upbringing combine to give her the insight necessary to bridge an Eastern healing art into the context of a Western culture. She is faithful to her grandmother's teachings while remaining flexible and moving with the times in the ever-growing world community.
Paul Mitchell grew up in California and entered the Catholic seminary at fourteen with the desire to become a priest. At 24, he left the seminary, feeling that life called him to some other form of service. He continued his education and earned a degree in philosophy at the University of San Francisco.
In 1978, Paul was teaching religion in a boy's Catholic high school and studying for a master's degree in education when he heard Hawayo Takata give a talk on Reiki. Driving home that morning, Paul says, "I had this very clear thought: 'This is what I have been looking for.' And then I realized I didn't know I had been looking for anything."
Paul took first degree Reiki from Mrs. Takata that summer. The following year, he studied the second degree. Shortly thereafter, Takata initiated him as a master and he embarked on a career of offering treatments and teaching Reiki classes. Paul began to work with Phyllis Furumoto in the early 1980s and was a founding member of The Reiki Alliance. He was recruited to teach in the Self-Assessment Program, a training program established by Phyllis to prepare Reiki Master candidates.
Paul is the author of the student book, The Usui System of Natural Healing, published in nine languages. His articles on the Usui System have been published in journals around the world. As a master student of Mrs. Takata, Paul is committed to carry, practice, and teach Reiki as she brought it to the Western world. Through personal contact at international gatherings, workshops, and in his Reiki classes, Paul gives students a direct connection with the teachings of Hawayo Takata and with the Usui System.