In 1993, NYC Reiki Center founder Brian Brunius died in a hospital. In the minutes his body was dead, he had a white light experience and spiritual awakening. He awoke the next morning to find his physical ailments were inexplicably healed. In the weeks following, he began to see illnesses and their causes as clouds of energy around the bodies of sick people. When he tried to use his hands to move those clouds away, the ill would feel better but he would suffer their sickness for several days. Not ready to take on the suffering of others, he promised himself he would never put his hands on sick people again.
Found by Reiki
In 1995, walking through Manhattan’s Union Square Park, Brian met Reiki Master John Harvey Gray, who came often to NYC to teach Reiki classes. John had learned Reiki directly from Hawayo Takata, the Japanese-Hawaiian woman who brought Reiki out of Japan and was responsible for its spread around the world. John himself was the longest practicing Reiki Master in the Western world until his death in 2011, and together with his wife Lourdes Gray founded and ran The John Harvey Gray Center for Reiki Healing in Rindge, New Hampshire. Today, Lourdes survives John as his official Lineage Bearer and successor, and continues the work they did together for so long.
John, like Brian, had spent time with the Indian spiritual teacher Sathya Sai Baba. He encouraged Brian to take a weekend first degree class in Usui Shiki Ryoho – the Usui Method of Natural Healing. He promised that, working with Reiki, the practitioner never takes on the energetic problems of the client. In fact, they are themselves strengthened and energized by every treatment they deliver. The very next day a lifelong practice and study of Reiki was born. Fascinated with the simple method and dramatic results, Brian repeated the Reiki I class several times, before taking the second degree the following year. Soon after, he began to offer Reiki sessions on weekends and at night after his day job. He also traveled to Japan several times expanding his understanding of Reiki’s origins.
Brian felt an immediate call to mastery, but as he was young and inexperienced, John encouraged him to “just keep practicing, and let Reiki teach you.” After ten years of treating himself daily and seeing clients part-time, Brian finally entered a 3-year Master apprenticeship with a Master trained by John who lived in New York City and ran a professional Reiki practice and school in Union Square. He left a full-time corporate job and transitioned into full-time Reiki practice during those years, and in 2007 founded NYC Reiki Center.
Reiki Leads the Way
Brian works full time at the NYC Reiki Center where he sees clients and teaches classes every week. He has trained more than 2,500 students from around the world in traditional Usui Shiki Ryoho, and he has initiated four Masters in his intensive multi-year Master training program. Each year, in conjunction with the San Francisco Reiki Center and Reiki Centers of America, he holds a 6-month, 200 hour, Certified Reiki Practitioner Training Program to train a select group of Reiki students as professional practitioners of Reiki, with the goal of opening their own Reiki centers and developing Reiki communities.
Over the past few years, Brian has seen a shift in his Reiki calling. Masters from other lineages and Reiki traditions have reached out for mentoring to strengthen their connections to the origins of Reiki, and many students of other teachers and lineages have been asking for help strengthening their connection to the source of Reiki and developing their spiritual practice of Reiki.
In 2020 Brian began hosting Reiki Meditation circles, Reiki Precepts classes, and the Reiki Spiritual Practice Group, each designed to help students develop and deepen their connections to the teachings and practice of Usui Sensei and to the light of Reiki that revealed itself to him at his moment of enlightenment atop Mount Kurama in 1922.
The Roots of Reiki
Brian is also the founder of Reiki Centers of America, a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to empower Reiki practitioners and Reiki Masters to develop successful Reiki Centers and thriving Reiki communities across North America.
In November 2018, Reiki Centers of America hosted the late Grandmaster of Usui Shiki Ryoho, Phyllis Lei Furumoto, in New York City for 3 days in her last public appearance. The event included the first ever public gathering of students trained by John Harvey Gray, and also included days for Reiki Masters and students of all lineages.
It is also engaged in a major translation and publishing project from Japanese to English of Kaiji Tomita’s 1933 Reiki book, Reiki and the Compassionate Art of Healing. Also on offer are annual Reiki pilgrimage tours to Japan for Reiki students interested in deepening their connection to the roots of Reiki.
Reiki Centers of America has produced a video series called A Century of Reiki with Dr. Justin Stein. The groundbreaking five-episode series follows Reiki’s journey from Japanese therapy to global practice. Renowned Reiki scholar Justin Stein, PhD., covers the history of Reiki from Mikao Usui’s time in the early 1900s through Hawayo Takata’s teaching tours of the United States and Canada in the late 1970s. Dr. Stein also delves into ongoing research surrounding unanswered questions about Reiki.
Today, NYC Reiki Center is still located in Midtown Manhattan’s Union Square after 25 years. It continues to offer weekly classes, host monthly student circles, and daily in-person treatments of traditional Japanese Usui Shiki Ryoho.
Brian Brunius is the real deal. He exudes a peaceful calm, he is literally on a different level. He has such a lovely way of speaking and imparting the story of reiki. I could listen to him for hours. I have had treatments with Brian as well as completing various trainings with him. Brian’s amazing energy and hilarious sense of humor will endear him to you immediately. The techniques he has taught me have quite literally changed my life. If you are curious about reiki, treat yourself to a session with Brian and if you are interested in training in reiki, this is absolutely your man. He is authentic, empathic and a true healer. I would give him 10,000 stars if it were available. Truly, an amazing human being.
During this most difficult time of my life, the only thing that saved me from going crazy was my weekly sessions with Brian.
– Donna, New York, NY
I couldn’t have done it without all the help and support I received from Reiki! A million thanks for getting me through a tough transition.
Though you probably wouldn’t remember me from the four sessions we had years ago, the things you told me sent me in a new direction and have completely changed my life. No one person has ever had such an incredible impact on me. I am forever grateful!
Thank you, Brian, for your incredible and loving style. Every time I come for a session I am anxious and racing. By the end I am restored to peace and serenity. It’s some kind of magic you use on me that lets me sleep and feel easy again. And it works EVERY time! Eternal thanks.
I don’t have enough good things to say about Reiki. I’m just glad more people don’t know about it. I feel like the Reiki center is my secret library, and when I’m there it’s mine and no one and nothing can disturb my happiness. Thanks to Brian and all the students at the Reiki Circle for treating me and helping me sleep again. It really worked!
One of the most peaceful hours I’ve had in New York my whole life! Brian is calm and centered and brings you right there with him almost immediately. Truly a valuable experience!
Please don’t be fooled by the hype. There are others out there called Reiki Masters, but Brian is the REAL deal. He brings genuine intuition and integrity to the traditional practice of Reiki. If you are looking for an authentic Reiki treatment or training in NYC, Brian is a phenomenal choice. I’ve worked one-on-one and in workshops with other energy and spiritual practitioners at top wellness destinations and institutions, and Brian clearly belongs among the elite group of professionals in his craft.
The Reiki Alliance is an international community of Reiki Masters dedicated to the practice of Usui Shiki Ryoho, the Usui System of Natural Healing.
Reiki Centers of America trains and empowers Reiki practitioners and Masters to develop successful Reiki Centers and thriving Reiki communities in North America.