Within the teachings of Reiki are guiding principles that help us embrace our life with peace, love and authenticity. They're known as the secret of inviting happiness through many blessings, and the spiritual medicine for all illness.
At the very heart of Reiki are guidelines that Mikao Usui included to guide his students along their spiritual path. When we embody them we become Reiki - our truest, most authentic self - and can live in a state of peace, love and authenticity.
The Secret of Inviting Happiness
These core guidelines of the Reiki system are known as the secret of inviting happiness, the spiritual medicine for all illness. They include 5 guiding Precepts or Principles (Gokai in their native Japanese). While they are taught in Reiki class to students of Reiki, they are equally helpful to everyone so I share them with you here.
They show us how we can invite happiness and healing, and describe the essential characteristics of our true self. For Reiki Practitioners they also show us what we are aiming for through our Reiki healing or practice - the embodiment of our infinite light.
They describe our true nature, so we are encouraged by Usui Sensei to keep them in our hearts and recite them morning and night. In this way we begin to remember the truth of who we are and naturally begin to embody this - not angry or worried, but grateful, compassionate, accepting and limitless.
To advance on our spiritual path or if we want to become the best Reiki practitioners we can be, we must incorporate these precepts into our daily lives.
They are principles that Mikao Usui described as "The Secret of Inviting Happiness through Many Blessings, The Spiritual Medicine for All Illness", that's a pretty impressive description and highlights just how important these principles are.
I invite you to remember these 5 principles and start living by them, you'll notice a huge shift in your perspective on life.
The 5 Reiki Precepts in English
Just for today:
Do not anger
Do not worry
Be compassionate to yourself and others
Taking it Deeper
Just for today
When we look closely we notice that the precepts are states of mind that while beautiful in philosophy, are very difficult to put into practice. So Mikao Usui wisely begins by simply suggesting "just for today".
Applying all of the Reiki precepts to our life takes mindful, conscious effort. It can seem an impossible feat unless we remember that we only need to take it moment by moment, one day at a time, just for today. Striving to be the best version of ourself, in each changing moment, is what we are asked to do.
It asks us to become present, to get conscious and wake up to our old patterns of thinking and behaving. This gives us space to choose a different response. We become consciously responsive instead of unconsciously reactive. Watch how relationships transform when we apply "just for today" to our interactions!
It also reminds us to get grounded in the here and now. Not angry about the past or worried about the future, just experiencing the freedom and possibility within this present moment.
Reiki meditations provide practice in the skill of being grounded and present. As a Reiki practitioner this supports the Reiki healing sessions I offer - being present during a session is incredibly important while holding space for healing to occur.
Both meditation and Reiki healing sessions reinforce the concept "just for today", which in turn supports the integration of the other precepts into daily life.
Do not anger, do not worry
As part of our human experience we will feel a wide range of emotions, including anger and worry. This precept does not suggest denying those feelings when they arise, instead it asks us to remember something more important: Our true spiritual nature, our Reiki - infinitely powerful, compassionate and interconnected with all life!
Remembering that our true self is much greater than our physical body helps us release the attachment to our ego self, our “I” that only has a limited perception of reality and really only cares about self preservation (perceived or actual threats to our survival are the cause of all anger and worry).
Feeling anger and worry is just a moment where we have forgotten ourselves, and in remembering the truth we readily release anger or worry.
When we choose to release these emotions, we become an empty vessel for possibility to fill. This means Reiki (spiritual self energy) can fill us and overflow to others for healing.
Aside from this, there are other reasons to honour the feelings then let them go...
Staying in anger or worry physically harms us! Our body’s automatic response to these emotions is to activate Fight or Flight. When chronically activated, physiological changes occur that cause damage to the body.
As Buddha so wisely said
You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.
When we worry or feel angry our energy becomes scattered - energy follows the mind. With anger our energy is stuck in the past, with worry our energy is lost into an imagined future. Our true power lies in the here and now with our body, mind and energy in alignment. Embodying this precept therefore concentrates and increases our energy!
In the present moment - just for today - we can witness our anger and worry to develop an understanding of when and why they arise. Presence provides space to respond differently. Each new moment is a chance to remember who we really are, and choose a more authentic response.
To alleviate anger and worry we can also look to the other precepts: Just for today reclaim our power in the precious present moment, choose gratitude and express compassion for everyone and everything.
Are you noticing that even the precepts demonstrate deep interconnection? The concept is so important that the entire system of Reiki was designed to reinforce this. The strength of Reiki as a path to enlightenment comes from the layering of practices. Each practice within the system supports the others to weave a strong net of safety and support - and for this I am grateful.
As previously discussed, there are many beneficial reasons to shift ourselves out of anger and fear as soon as we can. We actually hold the power to change how we feel, and it starts and ends with gratitude.
To change how we feel we must first be able to recognise and accept all our emotions, even the so called "negative" emotions like anger or worry. Every emotion has a purpose and a message that we can learn to receive with gratitude.
Accepting feelings without judgement allows them to communicate their message rather than be driven into hiding by shame, where they’ll simmer until boiling point or sneak out in ways we’ll later regret.
Remember how anger and worry are the result of our primal survival fears? These emotions aren’t inherently "bad", they are just trying to keep us alive! We can receive their message with gratitude by understanding how the emotion is trying to keep us safe.
Once we’ve listened to our frightened, angry parts and understood why they feel threatened, we can remember our true nature and invite our true self/Reiki to embrace these parts in unconditional love with gratitude.
It is in doing this that we are making the choice to feel differently. It’s impossible to feel anger, worry and gratitude at the same time - they’re on different ends of the emotional spectrum and cause different physiological changes in our body. When we consciously choose to feel grateful, we release anger and worry in favour of a much better feeling that promotes healing and growth in our body and mind.
Interconnecting with the other precepts, Reiki teaches us to take our gratitude a level deeper and to choose appreciation for all of life's experiences, releasing our judgements of what is "good" or "bad".
By no longer labelling or judging we come to a place of acceptance. This in turn helps our compassion for others to deepen, as well as filling us with a sense of inner peace. It demonstrates trust in the universe and enables us to become empty vessels for Reiki healing to fill.
One must not forget to feel grateful. Gratitude is a great cure for the mind.
Hawayo Takata - Reiki Master Teacher
This precept has been translated from the original Japanese into English, in many varied and wise ways. It is often translated as "work diligently", "be honest in your work", "live honestly","be true to your way and your being", "act with integrity". For me, its essence is putting our heart and soul into everything that we do.
Gyo is a Japanese term that gets translated as “duty”, but it’s not about obligation. It’s about welcoming all of life’s experiences with gratitude and a heartfelt commitment to learning and mastering life lessons.
When we accept all that life throws at us we release anger and worry, feel thankful and have compassion. Notice again how the precepts are interconnected with each other!
Sitting down daily to meditate, perform self-Reiki or healing for others, are practices that teach us to put this precept into action. We approach the practices without expectation and with acceptance of all experiences because we know it is our Gyo.
When we apply ourself diligently to our spiritual practice we are honouring our personal growth and development, and inspiring others to reach for their best too.
"Practice diligently" reminds us that embodying these 5 Reiki precepts will take dedicated effort to put into practice. We just have to keep trying our very best, in each moment, showing compassion to ourselves if we slip up.
The famous Martial Artist and Actor Bruce Lee said
I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.
Be compassionate to yourself and others
Compassion is empathising with someone's suffering and then taking action to ease that suffering. We can't do this if we are feeling anger or worry, and we can't do this if we have labelled or judged a person or their situation.
Compassion begins in the heart where there is no judgement of right or wrong, good or bad, just unconditional love. Reiki is pure, unconditional love and in this space there is no "self" and there is no "other", we are all unified as one. Therefore healing "self" is healing "others', and it starts with self-compassion.
Self compassion means easing our own suffering. Daily meditation and self-Reiki are self-care practices that surround us with the unconditional love of Reiki, reminding us of our divine perfection. This helps us to replace our self-criticism and judgement with self-forgiveness, self-acceptance, self-love and gratitude.
Developing compassion for ourselves then naturally develops into compassion for others. This fuels our desire to discover our spiritual gifts and use them to make the world a better place, and healing takes on a profound meaning.
If you have an overwhelming desire to create positive change in the world, I encourage you to take a Reiki class with me and see how your natural gifts unfold with your daily practice.
With love and gratitude,