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The Five Reiki Principles

By Jane Sherry & Curtis Lang on May 16, 2003

Just for Today

The Five Reiki Principles are found on the memorial stone commemorating Mikao Usui, Founder of the system of spiritual development and healing known as Reiki.

According to American Reiki Master William Rand, who traveled extensively in Japan and visited the memorial:

 "The Usui memorial is located at the Saihoji temple in the Suginami district of Tokyo. It was erected by Usui Sensei's students shortly after his death. It is maintained by the Usui Shiki Reiki Ryoho, the organization started by Usui Sensei. The memorial stone is about 10 feet tall and 4 feet wide. The inscription on the Usui Memorial was written in old Japanese by Mr. Okata, a member of the Usui Shiki Reiki Ryoho and Mr. Ushida, who became president after Usui Sensei's passing."

The Five Reiki  Principles

“The secret of inviting happiness through many blessings --
The spiritual medicine for all illness --

For today only:
Do not anger
Do not worry and be filled with gratitude
Be humble
Be devoted in your work
Be compassionate to yourself and others

Join your hands in prayer every morning and evening
Keep in your mind and recite these words
Improve your mind and body with Usui Reiki Treatment”

-- Quote from Usuei-Sensei’s gravestone

These precepts would be immediately understandable to most Buddhist practitioners, to students of yoga, and to practitioners of Chinese spiritual practices. They are equally valid in a Christian or Jewish or Islamic context, and provide a truly Universal wisdom that is comparable to the force of Reiki, which is Universal Life Force energy.

Here is an example of meditations that we came up with at Satya Center, based upon these Five Principles. One would do well to meditate each morning and evening in this fashion with folded hands.

For today only:

Relaxing the mind, center the consciousness, focusing on the eternal now, this precious moment, the only moment in which we live. Relax the body and become aware of the wrinkles in your forehead relaxing. Become aware of the muscles in your shoulders and back relaxing. Become aware of your breath. Focus on your breath. On the inbreath, feel the breath entering the nostrils, passing across the roof of the palate and down into the lungs, filling the lungs with refreshing life force energy. On the outbreath, feel the breath passing across the roof the palate and out through the nostrils. Feel the relaxation in your solar plexus as you take another refreshing breath. Reflect on this beautiful moment. Know that this beautiful moment is enough.

Do not anger

Release all anger, for anger is the great destroyer. Anger blocks us from love, and it is our great love for all nature, and for all our fellow human beings, in the form of compassionate action, that manifests as Reiki and heals. Anger creates a massive leak of energy from our vital systems that will cause us to commit rash actions, leading to regret and anguish, and ultimately bring us to self-destruction.

If anger arises in you, do not attempt to suppress the emotion, because this will only strengthen the unwanted energy, which will then resurface later. Instead, step back from this anger, and remind yourself that anger is not an element of your true nature. Remind yourself that anger is transitory. Make an effort to just be a witness to the anger. This will enable you to let go of the anger, to allow it to pass like storm clouds passing in front of the sun of your inner awareness.

The antidote to anger is loving compassion. If we can recall moments when we shared love, moments when we felt compassion for another human being, this love and compassion will fill our hearts and minds and there will be no room for anger in us.

Visualize a moment when you stared into your lover’s, or mother’s or father’s or brother’s or sister’s eyes, and saw the great love they share with you. Relax your body and allow this love to fill your being once again.

The present Dalai Lama offers precious wisdom teachings on anger, love and compassion.

“If the love within your mind is lost and you see other beings as enemies, then no matter how much knowledge or education or material comfort you have, only suffering and confusion will ensue.

“We humans have existed in our present form for about a hundred thousand years. I believe that if during this time the human mind had been primarily controlled by anger and hatred, our overall population would have decreased. But today, despite all our wars, we find that the human population is greater than ever. This clearly indicates to me that love and compassion predominate in the world. And this is why unpleasant events are ‘news’; compassionate activities are so much a part of daily life that they are taken for granted and, therefore, largely ignored.

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.

“True compassion is not just an emotional response but a firm commitment founded on reason.

“Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquillity and happiness we all seek.

“I have found that the greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. Cultivating a close, warm-hearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It is the ultimate source of success in life.”

Do not worry and be filled with gratitude

Release all worry, for worry is another great energy leak. Worry activates unceasing mental chatter, filling the mind with unhelpful speculations which, like ghosts, feed on our vital life force energy, depleting us and destroying our will. When we worry we cannot feel our love, we cannot concentrate our compassion, and we cannot perform compassionate acts of Reiki practice.

If worry arises in you, do not attempt to suppress the emotion, because this will only strengthen the unwanted energy, which will then resurface later. Instead, step back from this worry, and remind yourself that worry is not an element of your true nature. Remind yourself that worry is transitory. Make an effort to just be a witness to the worry. This will enable you to let go of the worry, to allow it to pass like storm clouds passing in front of the sun of your inner awareness.

The antidote to worry is gratitude. When we are involved in deep feelings of gratitude for our many blessings, when we are filled with gratitude for our life, and for the present moment, there is no place in our hearts and minds for worry to reside.

Increase your feelings of gratitude by visualizing all the many beings that have worked ceaselessly through the years for many centuries to learn and transmit the spiritual practices that empower Reiki practitioners, and smooth their path of accelerated spiritual evolution. Visualize the many hard-working individuals who have contributed to bringing you to this moment in your life. The efforts of your parents, your friends, those who grow your food, those who build your house and your car. Visualize the many blessings the natural world bestows upon you, including sunshine, rain and wind, trees and animal companions. Feel their warmth and how they vitalize your body, your mind and your spirit. Let this warmth and vitality fill your being, and know that this too is Reiki.

Be humble

 Usui-Sensei

Remember what Usui-Sensei had to say about true awakening – it is only possible when the Higher Self has a direct experience of the Universal Life Force Energy. Intellectual attainments are only a shadow of the true awakening.

So don’t be proud of your natural gifts, don’t be proud to be a Reiki practitioner, don’t be proud of your mental abilities. These are all functions of your personality, and true awakening requires you to attain experiences that transcend your intellect and your personality. So don’t be proud of your power.

It is only the Higher Self that transmits the power of Reiki. Be humble. Reflect upon the Divine origins of that Reiki energy and know that it transcends your individuality. Recall Usui-Sensei’s arduous spiritual training. Only by dying to the personality could he achieve the true awakening.

Be thankful to Usui-Sensei, and to the Reiki teachers in your lineage, including Hayashi-Sensei, Takata-Sensei, and your own personal Reiki teacher who has worked so hard to reach a point of personal development that allows them to offer you Reiki teachings.

Visualize the difficult work that your teachers must do to be aware of every student’s energy and to tune to each student’s energetic needs, so that they may receive the appropriate teachings and the appropriate energy while each one learns to do Reiki self-treatment and to channel Reiki energy to others.

Be devoted in your work

Continue to practice your craft each day. Whether it is Reiki or some other work, only continuous effort can bring us to the summit of achievement.

Follow Usui-Sensei’s example. Visualize the effort he put into his spiritual quest and be willing to follow his example. Be willing to make sacrifices, to climb mountains, to do penance and fast and meditate in difficult conditions. Be willing to work hard to communicate your vision to others, as Usui-Sensei did when he came down from the mountain and brought Reiki to the people during the earthquake and fire, without regard to his own personal safety.

Recall that Usui-Sensei and his students worked very hard to create a system of teaching and healing that would be easy to communicate to a wide variety of individuals, from spiritual seekers to naval officers to members of the general public.

Recall your own difficulties in dealing with individuals who have belief systems, professions and personal histories very different from your own, and reflect upon the hard work that the teachers in your Reiki lineage have done so that they could transcend their own limited views of reality and work harmoniously with others.

Be compassionate to yourself and others

Open your heart, for this is the keystone of all true awakening. When we meditate upon the suffering of our parents, our family, our friends, our loved ones, our co-workers, and on the suffering of the millions in the world who have not the food or shelter or medicine or love they need to survive and thrive in the world, our natural response is to weep with sorrow, to sincerely desire that this suffering should end. The recognition of the universality of human suffering is the beginning of compassion.

Here is a visualization you can do to stimulate the feeling of compassion and to send healing energy to suffering humanity.

Turn on your Reiki energy. Feel Reiki flowing from your hands.
Visualize the Source of Reiki energy as a great ball of fire, a Celestial Sun, hovering above your head. Now, see the Reiki energy streaming down from this Divine Source into your own being. Visualize this energy pouring into your crown chakra. Feel the warmth of the Celestial Sun on your head, and feel the warmth spread down across your forehead, your cheeks and into your neck and shoulders, streaming into your arms and down into your hands, until you can feel the energy tingling in your fingertips.

Allow this warm, nurturing energy to fill your entire body, as if your body were an empty vessel of glass. With your mind’s eye you can see the energy filling your body, and you can feel the warmth streaming down through your chest and stomach, filling your heart with warmth, light and love, warming and healing every organ along the way.

You feel the warmth and see the energy streaming into your hips, and down into your legs, pouring all the way into your feet, until you feel the warm brightness reach all the way into your toes.

Now visualize a person you know – perhaps the person you talked to on the telephone most recently, or whom you saw most recently at work or at home.

Feel the limitless Reiki energy which has filled your being begin to overflow your heart and stream forth from your hands.

Visualize a golden stream of Reiki energy passing from your hands and your heart to the place where your reality intersects with this person. See that golden light connecting with that intersection, which is the place where your relationship resides, and fill that intersection between you with warm, healing energy.

Now visualize your best friend. Feel the limitless Reiki energy which has filled your being begin to overflow your heart and stream forth from your hands.

Visualize a golden stream of Reiki energy passing from your hands and your heart to your best friend. See that golden light connecting to the place where your reality intersects with this close friend. See that golden light connecting with that intersection, which is the place where your relationship resides, and fill that intersection between you with warm, healing energy.

Now visualize your family and friends, gathered in a group around you. Feel the limitless Reiki energy which has filled your being begin to overflow your heart and stream forth from your hands.

Visualize a golden stream of Reiki energy passing from your hands and your heart to the place where your reality intersects with these friends and loved ones. See that golden light connecting with that intersection, which is the place where your relationship resides, and fill that intersection between you with warm, healing energy.

Now visualize an individual with whom you have been having difficulties. Someone who rubs you the wrong way, someone with whom you seem to have difficulty communicating, someone who seems to see the world totally differently from the way you see the world. Perhaps this is someone with whom you have quarrels, or even outright fights.

Imagine that this person is sitting next to you. Now imagine that this person is interacting with your Reiki teacher. You notice that your teacher can relate to them without conflict. Imagine that this difficult person is relating to their own friends and loved ones. Notice that they have no difficulty relating to these individuals. This is a clue to you that the difficulty in relating does not lie in the other, difficult individual, but rather in your own being. Allow that realization to sink into your mind, and rest with this new knowing.

Feel the limitless Reiki energy which has filled your being begin to overflow your heart and stream forth from your hands.

Now visualize a golden stream of Reiki energy passing from your hands and your heart to the place where your reality intersects with this difficult person. See that golden light connecting with that intersection, which is the place where your relationship resides, and fill that intersection between you with warm, healing energy.

Now visualize the entire world, filled with individuals who are all suffering from their own difficulties, their own wounds, their own fears, anger, unfulfilled desires, jealousy, impatience, and alienation. Imagine the three billion people who do not have enough to eat, or a place to live today.

Feel the limitless Reiki energy which has filled your being begin to overflow your heart and stream forth from your hands and go out to those who are suffering.

Visualize Reiki energy streaming forth from the Radiant Sun above your head. See this luminous, warm, healing energy stream forth, connecting with all those who suffer – with all of humanity. Allow this Reiki energy to pour forth from your heart, your hands and your mind into the world around you, enfolding those who are suffering in a stream of healing light.

Hold this image as long as you feel comfortable and simply feel the energy exchange as it continues.

Join your hands in prayer every morning and evening
Keep in your mind and recite these words

Still the mind, morning and evening. Enter a meditative posture, fold your hands in prayer, and recite the Five Precepts. Allow yourself to experience them fully, in your mind, and in your heart, and in your body.

Improve your mind and body with Usui Reiki Treatment

Give yourself a daily blessing. Offer yourself the healing energy of a Reiki self-treatment. In this way you will accelerate your spiritual practice, strengthen your body, open your heart, quicken your mind, and create conscious connections to your Higher Mind, your Higher Self, and to the Divine Source of Reiki energy.

In this way, you will be healed, and you will be empowered to heal others. Pass this blessing on to others, and in this way, just for today, let humanity’s healing begin.