The Reiki Principles are fundamental to the practice and understanding of Reiki. It should not be forgotten that Reiki was, and still is a powerful tool, not just for healing but also for personal and spiritual growth. Even though Reiki is non-denominational and is to be enjoyed by people of any faith, (or none), to get the most out of your Reiki experience, whether that is by giving or receiving Reiki, you should aim to live by the Reiki Principles. Reiki is a life choice, a spiritual journey in, and of, itself.
There are 5 Reiki Principles which are thought to have originated in the philosophy of the Meiji Emperor of Japan in the 1800's and adopted by Dr Mikao Usui the founding father of Reiki. There are different schools of Reiki but they are all derived from Mikao Usui's initial teachings, and have these principals (or versions that have similar meanings) at their core:
Just for today, do not anger.
Just for today, do not worry.
Just for today, honor you parents, teachers and elders.
Just for today, earn your living honestly.
Just for today, show gratitude to every living thing.
Just for today, do not anger :
We all feel angry sometimes, this principle is about understanding that anger can be transformative. It is not about suppressing anger, that would not only be destructive, but also counter productive, suppressed anger tends to surface again stronger and more powerful than before. Anger often hides other emotions like fear, so recognizing what we are angry about is important, maybe we feel trapped, maybe we are afraid for ourselves or others safety, maybe someone has hurt our feelings etc. Recognizing what anger looks like in ourselves and thinking about what the anger means can be the first stage of using your anger positively. Turning our anger from an automatic negative response which we have little or no control over into a calm and deliberative constructive action takes practice and perseverance. It is not going to happen overnight but we can follow the 'just for today' rule and one day at a time change our thoughts and behavior.
Just for today, do not worry:
Firstly, most of the things we worry about do NOT happen! Secondly, worrying does not help. Worry shows a lack of trust, an assumption that things will not turn out as we had hoped or planned. This is not surprising, from an early age we are taught to compete with each other, and struggle to 'make ends meet' – this fosters a fundamental lack of trust in the world around us. Bizarrely enough, the act of worrying drains our body of the very energy it will need to deal with any trauma, incident or catastrophe. So take appropriate action to reduce your worry, then 'just for today', let it go. Worry is generally fear of repercussions of past events or fear of how things in the future might hurt us, so let go of the past, trust in the Universe to provide for the future and live 'just for today'.
Just for today, honor your parents, teachers and elders:
Kindness and respect for ourselves and others is the starting point for any spiritual journey. Accepting, embracing and learning that each person's path is their and their alone create's freedom and understanding. As children we are raised to 'look up to', listen, and respect our teachers, parents and / or elders, and sometimes as we grow we forget this simple rule. So 'just for today' listen and remember … it might be surprising what we learn.
Just for today, earn your living honestly:
The world of work is a huge part of our interaction with each other, working with integrity then, is imperative to allow us to be at peace with ourselves. Earning our living honestly can be defined as being honest with our employer and customers, 'an honest day's work for an honest day's pay' is a saying I heard often when growing up. But it can also mean being honest with ourselves about our own path. Is this the right job for me, is this where I want to be? The answers to these questions bare some reflection, but if the answer is 'yes', or even (maybe especially) if it is 'no', today, this is the job we have, so 'just for today', we will give it our all, be positive, and be as good as we can be. When it is time for a change, trust in the Universe to help us to follow our chosen path.
Just for today, show gratitude to every living thing:
In this commercial world that encourages us to want more and more, we often forget to give thanks for what we actually have. Taking the decision to change our life from being obsessed with 'please can I have' to 'thank-you for what I've got' – is a real revelation. An 'attitude of gratitude' is said by some to be essential for happiness, by others it is believed to be the path to all riches. For certain, living this one principle, just for today, goes a long way towards living them all. Life is a blessing, just for today, appreciate it, acknowledge it and say thanks for it.
The key to living the Reiki Principles is the first part of each statement: 'just for today' … today is now. Live responsibly now, yesterday has already gone and tomorrow is still to come, Dr Usui is telling us to live in the present, do not spend all your time looking back or wishing for a future that is not here yet, embrace the present , and live life revving in the wonderfulness of today.