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The 5 Reiki Precepts

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 and can truly live in a state of peace, love and authenticity.


The core guidelines of the Reiki system are known as the 5 Precepts or Gokai in Japanese. They lay a solid foundation for the entire system, and can be found within each element that makes up Reiki practice: initiation, meditation, healing, sacred symbols and sacred sounds.

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.


Usui sensei encouraged his Reiki students to keep these principles in their hearts and recite them morning and night, so they would naturally become a way of life.


To advance on our spiritual path and become the best Reiki practitioners we can be, we must incorporate these precepts into every element of our Reiki practice, as well as our daily lives.


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:

The Secret of Inviting Happiness through Many Blessings, The Spiritual Medicine for All Illness


Just for today:

  • Do not anger

  • Do not worry

  • Be grateful

  • Practice diligently

  • Be compassionate to yourself and others


Do gassho every morning and evening Keep in your heart and mind and recite aloud


Usui Reiki healing method for improving the heart-mind and body

The Founder, Mikao Usui


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. This in turn supports our Reiki healing sessions - being present during a session is incredibly important as we hold space for healing to occur. Both practices reinforce the concept 'just for today', which in turn supports us as we integrate the other precepts into our daily life.


Do not anger, do not worry...

We all experience anger and worry, and this is not suggesting to deny those feelings when they arise. Instead it hints at developing our understanding about why we are feeling these emotions, which allows us to heal the issue at it's root. Again it's all about becoming conscious of our inner world, as the outer world is really just a reflection of this.


When we worry or feel angry our energy becomes scattered - when we are angry our energy is stuck in the past, when we worry our energy is lost into an imagined future. Our true power lies in the here and now.


In the present moment - just for today - we are given space to respond differently in situations that would usually arouse anxiety or anger. Each new moment is a new chance to choose a different response. When we choose to release anger and worry, we become an empty vessel for possibility to fill. In our Reiki healing sessions, this means Reiki can fill us and overflow to others for healing.


The antidote to anger and worry is given in the other precepts: Reclaim your power in the precious present moment, and choose gratitude and compassion!


Be grateful...

Remaining in anger and fear will not improve our situation. Not only this, but remaining in this state creates a cocktail of hormones that are very damaging to our body. It's in our best interest to shift out of anger and fear as soon as we can. And believe it or not, we hold the power to change how we feel!


Again, it's not about denying our "negative" feelings, it's about acknowledging how we honestly feel, then choosing to feel differently. Choosing gratitude is a great option to instantly lift your mood and raise your vibration.


We cannot feel anger, worry and gratitude at the same time. When we consciously choose to feel grateful, we release anger and worry in favour of a much better feeling.


When we choose appreciation for all of life's experiences, we practice 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


Practice diligently...

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, these ideas are simply summarised as "always be authentic".


Sitting down daily to meditate or perform self-Reiki, are practices that teach us to put this precept into action. 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.


"Practicing diligently" indicates 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.


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,

Charisse