The Five Reiki Principles are the spiritual tenets of Reiki. They were taught by Dr. Usui, (the founder of Usui Reiki, which is what most people today simply refer to as “Reiki”), and continue to be a staple in modern Reiki curriculum. I liken them to Spiritual Guidelines, not just for a professional Reiki practice, but for one’s entire life.
The Five Reiki Principles are as follows:
Just for today, I will not worry.
Just for today, I will not be angry.
Just for today, I will do my work honestly.
Just for today, I will give thanks for my many blessings.
Just for today, I will be kind to my neighbour and every living thing.
Note: These are translated from the original Japanese, so obviously, there are a number of variations on these principles; however, the core message remains the same.
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And before we move on, I just want to emphasize that these principles are not exclusive to Reiki Practitioners! I imagine most people already strive to live by these ideals, whether they’re conscious of it or not. In fact, I have yet to encounter anyone who is repelled by these principles, whether they practice Reiki or not, and I think there are two main reasons for this:
They’re secular. Absolutely anybody, regardless of their spiritual beliefs, can resonate with these ideals. Atheists, Christians, whatever – these principles stand alongside any moral code.
They’re practical. The first time I read them, I thought, Really, this is just common sense. And so it is! But, like many things, the Reiki principles are SIMPLE, but not EASY. Huge distinction. The Reiki Principles are immediately applicable to everyday living, as well as your highest spiritual pursuits.
Like I always tell my students, it’s not necessary for to memorize these principles verbatim, nor do you have to reframe your whole spiritual practice around them. However, as a Reiki Practitioner, it’s important to be aware of them, especially since they make up a core part of Reiki’s history.
And the best way to know ABOUT these principles is to cultivate a relationship with them, via meditation or journaling. Really think about how these principles apply to your life (if at all), and allow yourself to feel into whether you resonate with them. Truly, nothing is meaningful unless is actually means something to YOU.
Here’s what I get out of the Reiki Principles:
The first two lines, “I will not worry” and “I will not be angry”, remind me so much of basic Buddhism. That is, non-attachment is they key to keeping your emotions stable, because it’s only when you have expectations about an outcome, or fear losing something, that worry and anger arise.
I studied Tibetan Buddhism for many years, and it definitely didn’t surprise me to learn that Dr. Usui was a Buddhist monk – much of his teachings have a beautiful Buddhist “flavour”, if you will. And by the way, my personal definition of “equanimity” is: equal feelings for everything. Not so eloquent, but it gets the point across.
Living in the moment
“Just for today”. What a different tone it sets! So far removed from the ridiculously high expectations we set for ourselves at the beginning of every year – As of today, I vow to ____ this year, and for the rest of my life!!!
Rather, JUST FOR TODAY. You can screw up tomorrow, no biggie. Just today. Just now. Let’s take this one step at a time. Moment by moment. Doesn’t your brain just relax when you think, “just for today”? Like, seriously, no pressure. Because, actually, today is all we have.
But, that’s NOT to say that you can start indulging in sociopathic behaviour because, after all, it’s “just for today”. NO. What this means is that rather than pressuring yourself to strive for perfection now and forevermore, do the very best you can right now, and take things one step at a time.
Robin Sharma says that each day is your whole life in miniature, and that how you spend your days, so do you spend your life. Trust that every positive action that you take today, even if only for today, will reverberate throughout all of your future days.
For your many, many blessings. I’ve written before about how the power of gratitude has changed my life, and these principles resonate so strongly with me because of that fourth line! I could probably write a whole book about gratitude, but for now, you can go ahead and read this post 🙂
So, there you have it! Contemplate the Reiki Principles, try ‘em on for size, and let me know what you think.
This post was originally published on January 21, 2016. It’s received so much love since then – thank you! I’ve updated the shareable image to reflect my current URL.