The Reiki principles are some of the most empowering and inspiring phrases I’ve ever come across.
So where did they come from? And what values do they stand for?
Here’s what you need to know about the 5 Reiki Principles…
What Are The 5 Reiki Principles?
What They Are and How They Work
The five Reiki principles are uplifting phrases or affirmations that are often recited in Hatsurei-Ho, a method of Japanese Reiki meditation.
Before digging deeper into the five Reiki principles, however, it’s important to learn more about Reiki meditation.
Reiki has been around for thousands of years and has helped thousands of people.
This meditation technique, like other forms of meditation, involves sitting in silence and quieting the mind.
Due to the healing energy of Reiki, this technique is commonly sought for, for traditional healing.
As a result of engaging in Reiki meditation, you have the potential to receive relaxation, lower stress levels, improved healing, and reduced pain and symptoms of illness.
The five principles often used alongside Reiki can further facilitate the healing provided by Reiki meditation.
To benefit from the five Reiki principles, you can not only use them during Reiki meditation, but you may also chant them or whisper them to yourself, say them in your head, or write them down.
Who was Dr. Usui?
Dr. Mikao Usui (1865-1926), also known as the Father of Reiki, was a Japanese-born Buddhist monk and medical practitioner who founded Reiki meditation and the five Reiki principles.
He also taught the art of Reiki meditation to groups of students, teaching them his five Reiki principles along the way.
It’s said that Dr. Usui taught Reiki to over 2,000 students before his passing.
Why Did Dr. Usui Introduce the Reiki Principles?
Dr. Usui told his students that if they followed the five Reiki principles or precepts that they would lead a happy, healthy, fulfilled life.
According to Dr. Usui, by regularly using the Reiki principles as life guidelines, you can benefit from self improvement, add balance to your life, and evolve into your best self.
Ultimately, Dr. Usui introduced these principles to not only help others with mental and physical ailments but also to help bring a change to the world overall.
He genuinely believed that his five principles of Reiki were powerful enough to transform everyone’s lives.
Interpretations of Reiki Principles
Each of the five Reiki principles has its own interpretation, purpose, or goal.
Although the implication of each Reiki principle is straight forward, the beauty of these principles is that they’re fairly broad in meaning, allowing you to interpret them in any way you see fit for your own life.
Additionally, you can reword each of the Reiki principles if you wish.
The five Reiki principles are as follows…
1. Just For Today, I will Not Worry
Stress, both distress and eustress, plays a big part of most of our lives.
In the U.S, approximately 77% of people experience the physical effects of stress regularly.
Although stress is common around the world in virtually all groups and cultures, numerous studies show that stress is one of the worst things for our short- and long-term health.
Anything from tension headaches and heart palpitations to a higher risk of obesity and potentially fatal heart disease can result from emotional stress and the bad habits it encourages.
Stress can also negatively impact our memory, ability to learn new information, physical sensations, decision making, happiness, and even our actions towards others, according to the American Institute of Stress.
Because stress is the most common contributor to negative energy, Dr. Usui made this principle number one of the five Reiki guidelines, the most critical principle we should live by.
The purpose of this mantra is to remind you that worrying about your past, present or future almost always has negative effects.
More often than not, worrying is a waste of time, energy, health, and happiness.
Although some worrying can be healthy, most of us worry about things or situations that don’t necessitate the decline of our mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing.
Through reciting Reiki principle number one, you can better learn to calm your anxieties and start viewing the negative situations of your life in a positive, rational manner.
While teaching yourself to reduce your stress and frequent worrying isn’t easy, it can be the best thing you do for yourself and for those around you.
2. Just For Today, I Will Not Be Angry
The more stress we have in our lives, the more angry and frustrated we may become. Unfortunately, anger is one of the most difficult emotions to control, and its effects can escalate very quickly.
Anger can be merely internal, or it can even become external and physical.
Initially, you might bottle up your anger but then latter may lash out on others, even the ones you love the most.
While anger is a natural and sometimes necessary emotion, the effects of anger can impact not just us but those around us. Anger, jealousy, and similar emotions can also put our health and safety at jeopardy.
Initially, anger can contribute to headaches, chest pain, and other uncomfortable symptoms. However, in the long run, the negative energy associated with anger can cause high blood pressure and heart problems.
As for the effects our anger can have on other people, we may put others in a bad mood too as our energy rubs off onto them. If we become violent because of our anger, we may physically hurt others.
Although anger can be very destructive, once we’re able to tackle the latter Reiki principle, usually the easier it will be to take charge of our negative emotions, including our anger.
Following the second Reiki principle can help us turn our negative energy into positive energy, deal with pain and negative situations more calmly, and not project our anger onto others.
3. Just For Today, I Will Be Grateful
In a fast-paced, social media-run world, it’s harder than ever before to feel grateful for what we currently have and the people we have in our lives.
Everyone on social media seems to be showing off material things from luxury cars and expensive jewelry to name-brand clothing and dishes at five-star restaurants.
We want want they have.
In first-world societies, we always want more, more to faunt, more to feel happier about ourselves, more to feel wealthier, and more to “fit in” and “be relevant.”
What we already have may never seem like it’s enough.
It’s no wonder that so many people today find that expressing gratitude is hard or even completely unbearable. We find it easier to get more of what we want than to be thankful for what we have.
However, this third Reiki principle exercises the importance of showing gratitude and not taking the fortunes in your life for granted.
Although many of us know we’re thankful for the things and people in our lives, many of us fail to genuinely express it.
The point of being grateful isn’t just to become a more selfless and less needy individual but also to gain mental and physical benefits.
According to a Havard study, practicing gratitude can improve our health, help foster our relationships, allow us to feel less negative emotions, and boost our ability to fully enjoy each experience we have.
When we teach ourselves to express our gratitude more often, we’re more likely to be happier people overall and treat other people with respect. In turn, we can reap a greater, more fulfilling life.
Being grateful isn’t just a mental process.
Gratitude can also come in the form of writing thank you letters to those we’re grateful for, writing in a gratitude journal daily, or even meditating while exercising gratitude.
4. Just For Today, I Will Do My Work Honestly
Being honest and integral is important.
The problem is, however, it’s rare that we come across these people ourselves.
Therefore, we may feel that it’s okay for us to act dishonestly too, a cycle that’s hard to break.
When it comes to our occupation, where we usually spend the majority of our time at, we may do or say dishonest things to selflessly gain an advantage, especially if we’re unhappy at our job.
Maybe you feel like you’re deserving of a raise, but your boss won’t give you one, so you resort to stealing money from your company.
Or, perhaps you’re tired of answering the work phone, so instead of answering it, you take the phone off the hook, or even disconnect it entirely, so you won’t have to deal with any phone calls.
Also, you might take advantage of the fact that your boss is often gone, and thus, start goofing off on the job. Or, you might even go home early when you’re supposed to be at work but not tell your boss.
The fourth Reiki principle, however, encourages Reiki followers to maintain focus and remain productive while at work. It also encourages honest behaviors: doing and saying the right things.
The goal here should be to treat others how you’d want to be treated.
If you were in charge, how would you feel if one of your employees was acting dishonest and going behind your back?
Once you’ve successfully integrated the third principle into your life, it’ll be significantly easier to be more honest at your job. The more grateful you are, the less likely you’ll engage in dishonest behaviors.
5. Just For Today, I Will Be Kind To Every Living Thing
When we’re going through a negative life situation, it can be difficult to be kind to ourselves.
As a result, we may find it harder to be kind to others as we project our pain and suffering on those around us.
We may be unkind to our friends, family, significant other, neighbors, customers or clients, and even strangers on the street.
Some of us may even mistreat other living things that Mother Earth has to offer, like animals and plants, even if we don’t mean to treat them in such a manner.
In turn, people may see us as monsters.
They may perceive us as mean, selfish, antisocial, unempathetic beings. We may turn the people we love and care about away from us.
Fortunately, this last Reiki mantra teaches us that being kind to others is as easy as saying thank you, smiling at them, and making them feel wanted in our lives.
Even just acknowledging someone else’s existence or being respectful of their presence can help us make a difference on other souls.
Additionally, being kind to others can also come in the form of donating to a charity, volunteering at a local soup kitchen, giving money to someone in need on the streets, or even sending someone a nice text.
While we may have a hard time separating our hurt, angry, internal feelings from how we feel towards others, learning to separate such can help us to be kinder and friendlier to other living things.
How To Use The 5 Reiki Principles
There’s no single way to implement the five Reiki principles into your life; making use of them is quite versatile.
You may choose to use the five Reiki principles via one method or via many different methods.
Regardless of the method(s) you choose, it’s important to use the five Reiki principles each day to gain the full effects of the healing energy it can provide.
The following are some of the many ways you can incorporate Dr. Usui’s principles into your daily life.
Consider setting digital reminders on your phone or computer to help you remember to engage in the five principles daily.
- Say the five Reiki principles out loud as you meditate in a quiet, comfortable place.
- Slowly repeat them over in your head as you meditate in a quiet, comfortable place.
- Lie down on a bed with your eyes closed while chanting the five principles.
- Recite them out loud throughout your day.
- Slowly repeat them over in your head throughout your day.
- Say the principles out loud to someone else, or let them say the principles to you.
- Write the five Reiki principles over and over again in a journal or notebook.
- Open a blank document on your computer or phone. Type out the five Reiki principles one by one. Type them as much as you need.
- Hang a piece of artwork featuring the five Reiki principles in a visible place.
- Place a sticky note of the principles on your computer screen or bathroom mirror.
- Recite the five principles during certain activities or times of the day, like while showering, driving, going to the restroom, or first thing in the morning and right before bed.
- Watch or listen to a video of someone reciting the five Reiki principles.