William Rand, prominent teacher of the Reiki system of healing and founder of the Center for Reiki Training in suburban Detroit, Michigan, was a professional astrologer and hypnotherapist living in Hawaii in the 1970s at the time that the existence of the Reiki healing system became known. Reiki, a Japanese healing system, had been developed early in the twentieth century by Mikao Usui, a Buddhist layman. He passed his teachings to several students, among whom was Dr. Chujiro Hayashi. In the 1930s Hayashi passed his succession to a Ms. Hawayo Takata (1900-1980), a Japanese-American who resided in Hawaii. Takata practiced Reiki quietly in the Japanese-American community until the 1970s, when she began to teach non-Japanese for the first time and made the Anglo world aware of its existence.
Rand took his initial Reiki class from Bethal Phaigh in Hawaii in 1981, the year after Takata's death. Phaigh was one of the first Reiki Masters, who had the knowledge to pass on the teachings initiated by Takata. He took the second intermediate degree from Phaigh in 1982 and subsequently studied with other Reiki teachers. He received his own Reiki Master training from Diane McCumber and Marlene Schilke in 1989, and repeated the course with Cherie Prasuhn (1990) and Leah Smith (1992). Meanwhile, he met and studied with Phyllis Furumoto, Takata's daughter and one of the two people she named a Grand Master.
In the mid-1980s, Rand moved to Michigan and in 1988 opened the Center for Reiki Training (now the International Center for Reiki Training). Shortly after receiving his Reiki Master attunement, Rand created a virtual revolution in the larger community when he challenged a practice followed by Takata and both Grand Masters she initiated, of charging $10,000 to become a Reiki Master as a means of emphasizing the value of what the students were learning. At the center, Rand dropped the fee to a mere $600.00. He also authored Reiki: The Healing Touch: First and Second Degree Manual, a textbook that included most of Reiki's heretofore confidential teachings, though he refrained from revealing the unique Reiki symbols, a key esoteric element in the technique that the Reiki practitioner acquired to gain the initial attunement to the chi energy. In setting up the inexpensive training courses, Rand challenged the assumption that a Reiki practitioner Master should turn to one of the Grand Masters for Master training. His action would, in fact, stimulate the spread of the movement in the manner he envisioned.
Among the early students to take Rand's Master class was Kathleen Milner. Milner in turn became an associate of a channeler through whom she began to develop an expanded version of Reiki. Milner soon became a channel for some spirit entities known only as "Higher Beings," and under their guidance developed what became known as the Tera-Mai Reiki System. Rand began to work with Milner's system and then began to further alter it. He eventually experienced a new shift in energy and developed a further variation of the traditional Reiki system which he termed Karuna Reiki. He claimed that in his system the energy seemed "much more definite and focused" and helps release karma and deeply seated issues that are often stored at the cellular level. This difference seemed sufficient to demand he trademark the name Karuna Reiki to insure the quality of its transmission to students.
Rand heads the International Center for Reiki Training, now located at 21421 Hilltop, No. 28, Southfield, MI 48034. He has also founded Vision Publications, which issues books and the quarterly Reiki News. His second book, Reiki for a New Millennium, appeared in 1998. The website is:http://www.reiki.org/.
Rand, William. Reiki for a New Millennium. Southfield, Mich.: Vision Publications, 1998.
——. Reiki: The Healing Touch: First and Second Degree Manual. Southfield, Mich.: Vision Publications, 1991.