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Virginia W. Samdahl.
Made her transition on March 4th, 1994. Obtained her first degree in 1974, her second degree in 1975, and her Master level in 1976, and was the 1st Reiki Master to be initiated by Hawayo Takata. Virginia retired from teaching Reiki in 1989. I was told by Fran Brown that it was Virginia Samdahl who introduced Barbara Weber to Hawayo Takata. Virginia Samdahl was a smoker and died as a result of emphysema. Arthur Robertson (who was one of Iris Ishikuro's Master students) worked on her towards the end of her life. There is a book written about her entitled Virginia Samdahl: Reiki Master Healer. (See my Reiki Books page for a review.)

Virginia at first joined both the Reiki Alliance, founded by Phyllis Lei Furumoto, and the American Reiki Association, founded by Barbara Weber. She did this to be the peace maker between these two opposing organizations, both whom the founders claimed to be Takata's successor. I have been told seemingly contradictory information, which might not be contradictory if I could get the full story. I was told by one person that Virginia tried to talk the other master students of Takata into taking Barbara's training. I was also told from someone else that Virginia eventually left the American Reiki Association because of the changes Barbara was making to the system and because Barbara told Virginia that she would have to retrain with her if she was to be a certified Reiki master. Both of my sources knew Virginia, but this event happened about 20 years ago, so there is no wonder as to why some of the details might have been forgotten. Click here to see a letter written by Hawayo Takata around 1977 to some of her students stating the 3 Reiki Masters she had trained.

I know that Virginia trained the following students as masters - Viola R. Ebert, Barbi Lazonby, Barbara Thompson, and Richard Pinneau. Virginia trained her daughter (Adair) as a Reiki master before the others, but knew that her daughter didn't want to teach Reiki. Viola Ebert was the first teaching master to be trained by Virginia. Barbi Lazonby was initiated as a master in 1990, deceased July 4th, 2001. Barbi started practicing Reiki in 1986, was the founding director of The Reiki Center of Florida and was a member of The Reiki Alliance.