The Reiki Principles were written by Mikao Usui, the founder of Usui Reiki Ryoho and the man who brought Reiki to the world.
There are many versions of the Reiki Principles. The version written here, is the translation of the Mikao Usui's memorial stone, located in Saihoji temple, Tokyo by Hyakuten Inamoto, Japanese Buddhist Monk & founder of Komyo ReikiDo (pron. Koh-m-yoh Ray-key Doh).
The Reiki Principles underpins the system of Reiki, although some Reiki systems do not place much importance on them. There are many versions & different views of the Reiki Principles but they are all variations of virtually the same thing.
The version that Hawayo Takata taught included 'honour your parents, teachers & elders'. Paul Mitchell, one of Hawayo Takata's students speculated that Takata included this line for western students as honouring your elders, parents & teachers were a given in Japanese society.
After contemplating the Reiki Principles, this is what they mean to me.
Today only - A new beginning, a chance to start again. Looking at each day as it comes, takes the pressure off long term goals. Be here & now, take care of today & tomorrow will take care of itself when it arrives. Be attentive to what is before me and only that. Be mindful moment by moment.
Anger not - Maybe I can go without being cranky or annoyed today. Maybe I can let go of the past & my grievances. Maybe my perceptions are not correct and my anger is based on misunderstanding the situation. Maybe my anger is based on my sense of worth or being right.
Worry not - Today I will let go my expectations of the future. Trust that all will be as it should. Bring myself back to here and now, to where life is.
With thankfulness - Today I will be grateful for everything that comes my way. I will be humble & will try not to take anything for granted, no matter how small. I give thanks for the meals that nourish me & the many hands that touched this food from the farmers, trucker drivers, supermarket workers. I give thanks to those who have had a hand in the roof over my head & provide the comfort that I experience every day.
Work diligently - Today I will put my heart into my work whether it is practicing Reiki, doing my day job or doing things at home. Just for Today I will practice being mindful of everything I do, say & think.
Be kind to others - Today I will be kind to everyone. I will smile at everyone. I will attempt to give a helping hand where I can. Today I will be kind with no expectations of others, no expectations of recognition or of thanks. I will give from the heart.
Contemplating the Reiki Principles brings meaning to my direct experience of Reiki & my direct experience of everyday life. It is a chance to feel more balanced, to feel less reactionary and have more awareness of life around me.
Photo credit: Federica Galli