The principles represent what it means to be a Reiki practitioner. They were created by Usui, and can still be found in Japan, carved by his followers onto his memorial stone. These principles, or precepts, embody the relaxed, powerful flow of Reiki, and will help you to make Reiki a part of your everyday life, empowering you to live in the fullest and healthiest way possible.
The principles are not given to you as rules. They are practical, common sense ideas that focus the mind, and encourage a healthy attitude towards life each day.
The Core Principles1The principles here are an approximate translation. A closer translation is: Just for today, don’t anger, don’t worry, be grateful, work diligently, be kind. Many Reiki practitioners rephrase them in a positive way, using I will let go of anger, instead of negatively, don’t anger. Positive wording is generally considered to be more powerful as an affirmation.
Just for today:
I will let go of anger
I will let go of worry
I will receive gratefully
I will work honestly
I will be kind to all.
Just for today…
This directs our attention to the here-and-now, and highlights that the rest of our lives are made up only of so many todays. We don’t promise to be perfect for the rest of our lives, only focus on doing what we can with today.
…I will let go of anger
Anger is a powerful energy that can bring positive change. However, what can be achieved through the power of anger can be achieved as well, or better, without it. For example, seeing deeply into a situation of violence, we feel compassion not just for the recipient of the violence. We lay our anger down and feel compassion also for the perpetrator of the violence. This compassion will lead us to act in the best possible way to end the violence and bring healing to both parties. This is the energy of acceptance, and the more we can manifest it, the greater our strength and balance will be.
…I will let go of worry
Worry is a spiralling energy that grows from the stomach. A black cloud covering what might have unfolded in the present moment, worry robs us of freedom. Worry is not about problem-solving. It’s about feeling bad about what might be.
Becoming free of worry is no small task. Setting-up the intention to let go of worry is one step; we usually need specific spiritual or psychological practices to work with also. Worry was a railroad hammered deep into my psyche, and it has taken me years of gentle Reiki practice to dismantle the rails and sleepers, one section at a time.
…I will receive gratefully
It is easy to be grateful when life is happy, but how about when everything goes wrong? Profound difficulty is part of our journey as human beings; the patient work of character is to be humbly present in both the good and the bad of life. These are the foundations for being grateful for every detail of our lives.
…I will work honestly
Living with integrity requires working honestly. Working honestly requires giving yourself to the task, being fully present with it.
For many people there is a tendency to work too hard, to be workaholics. For these people, remember the fifth principle, kindness, and find balance between honest work and rest.
…I will be kind to all
We can all see the value of being kind to our neighbours. But many people who practice Reiki tend to give more than they receive. True kindness requires a heart that is open both outwards and inwards, and finding a balance of give and take. When Jesus said ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’, he presupposed that we truly love ourselves. Healthy love for others pours out freely from the abundant waters of healthy love for the self.
The Five Principles
The core of the principles, given above, is known as the gokai (五戒, five steps). They are part of a longer text written by Usui, which is known as the gainen (概念)2If you’re interested in digging into the Japanese, see threshold.ca
. This is given below:
The secret method of inviting blessings, the spiritual medicine of many illnesses.
Just for today:
Do not anger
Do not worry
Be kind to all.
Mornings and evenings sit in the gasshô position and repeat these words out loud and in your heart.
For the improvement of mind and body,
Usui Spiritual Healing Method.
The founder, Mikao Usui