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Reiki Principles

When you attend a Reiki 1 course, one of the first things you are taught are five Reiki principles. Dr. Usui taught these principles to help his students live a good life. These principles are sometimes called Reiki Ideals or Reiki Precepts.

Reiki PrinciplesHere are the five Principles from an original document written in Dr. Usui's own handwriting. Japanese text is read from right to left.

Because Japanese is a very complex language, you may come across several variations of these principles. For example, "be kind to people" is sometimes translated as "show compassion to yourself or others". Or "devote yourself to your work" can be translated as "work hard" or "do your work honestly". The meaning then is slightly different. Especially in the Western culture where "work hard" for many people means work 70 hours a week, multitasking in a high demand job.

There are also some variations, depending on the Master and translation. Here are the principles that I have been taught:

  1. Just for today, do not worry.
  2. Just for today, do not anger.
  3. Earn your living honestly.
  4. Honor your parents, teachers, and elders.
  5. Show gratitude to every living thing.

Another variation is:

  1. Just for today, I will let go of worry.
  2. Just for today, I will let go of anger.
  3. Today I will do my work honestly.
  4. Today, I will honor my parents, teachers, and elders.
  5. Today, I will be kind to every living creature.

What do these Reiki principles mean for you? How can you practice them in your everyday life? And why does it say "just for today"?

Just for today, do not worry.

When we worry, we forget that there is a divine purpose to everything. Worrying causes us stress and tension. We are projecting into the future and not living in the present moment.

"Just for today" means exactly that. We do not give ourselves big goals of "I will never worry again". That would be unrealistic. What we do promise to ourselves, is living in the present moment and allowing ourselves to experience the richness of "just today" without worry and stress.

If you find yourself worrying, gently remind yourself to let go of the worry just for today. Making small baby steps we open up opportunities for ourselves to experience joy, freedom, and peace. With practice, you will experience positive emotions more often.

Just for today, do not anger.

Anger is a challenging emotion for many of us. We live in a fast paced world and there are many times throughout the day when we feel triggered, stressed, frustrated and angry.

How do we deal with this? Do we deny our feelings and pretend we are not angry?

No. You do not have to deny your reality and push away your feelings. Acknowledge your anger. Witness it. And let it transform.

Anger is an emotion. E-motion = Energy in motion. It can transform. When you acknowledge and witness your anger, when you allow the energy to transform, you invite love and compassion.

Just for today means again, focusing on the present day, not projecting too much into the future. Anger is more manageable if we think of the present day.

Earn your living honestly.

Earn your living honestly means that you will not cheat or steal. It also means that you will show up in your work with values that reflect good personhood. That you will give the best of yourself in your work and will serve others and humanity. It means that you will work hard every day and you will devote yourself to your work.

It does not mean that you will work 75 hours a week with no breaks and no personal life of your own. It only means that when you work, you work hard and you give your best.

Honor your parents, teachers, and elders.

I grew up in a collectivist society and one of the things we were taught was to honor our parents, teachers, and elders. This is not taught in Western Society. And yet, it is so important.

It is our parents, our teachers, and our elders who helped us become who we are. They were there for us when we needed them. They shared their knowledge, skills, and wisdom. That is where our foundation comes from. We need to honor and respect that.

Show gratitude to every living thing.

The last of the Reiki principles is about connecting with every living thing. Be kind to every living thing. Kindness is so simple. When you are in a state of gratitude and kindness, you are connected to the wisdom of the Universe. You can feel the connection and Oneness.

When you show kindness and express gratitude to every living thing, you will begin to feel that everything is interconnected. You will lose the veil of separation, your ego will begin to dissipate and you will begin to consciously perceive the realm of spiritual dimensions.

When you live your life according to these five Reiki principles, your life will be more fulfilled. You will be happier and even healthier as living according to these principles reduces stress and tension in our bodies.

 

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