Reiki Principles: The Mystic Side of Reiki Explained

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Reiki principles are the Mystical Side of the Usui Reiki tradition. We all were introduced to these principles at the very beginning of our Reiki training. However, many Reiki practitioners pay little attention to these principles or don’t really know what to do with them. In this article, we will discuss the 5 Reiki principles, why they are so important, and how we can actually integrate them into our daily life.

What are Reiki Principles?

Each spiritual tradition has its spiritual principles and core beliefs. As you may know, yoga practice starts with Yamas and Niyamas, which offer spiritual guidance in the form of principles for yoga practitioners. Usui Reiki is no exception. It also has its guide stones that provide spiritual orientation for its practitioners. We can say that Reiki principles are the mystic aspect of Reiki practice. 

Reiki principles are the heart of the Usui Reiki tradition. If you are a Reiki practitioner, these principles should guide your spiritual path.

Reiki principles are a non-religious form of traditional Buddhist beliefs. Mikao Usui took these principles from a text written by Emperor Meiji, who ruled in Japan in the late XIX-early XX century. His intention behind it was to help his students to navigate through life without being distracted from their spiritual path. Following these principles helps us be pure vessels for Reiki energy so that we can be effective healers.

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The 5 Reiki Principles are:

Just for today Do not Anger

Just for today Do not Worry

Just for today Be Grateful

Just for today Be Honest in your Work

Just for today Be Compassionate to Yourself and Others

As you can see, Mikao Usui started each principle with the words “Just for today”. By doing this, he wanted to draw our attention to the present moment. He wanted us to focus on today and to practice these principles in the present moment. We can say “just for today” means “here and now”. Because only here and now can we make a real change. Yesterday has already gone. The future never comes. So all we have is the present moment which has tremendous power. And Mikao Usui wanted to remind us about this power.

Let’s talk about each of these principles.

Principle #1: Just for Today Do Not Anger

By meditating on this principle, we’re exploring the nature of our anger. And through this awareness, we set ourselves free from it. 

We can compare anger to hot coal: to throw it at another person, you will have to burn yourself first. Anger blocks the Heart chakra and may cause many diseases. That is why it’s so important to be mindful of our emotions, especially of our anger which has a tendency to rise spontaneously and be uncontrollable. Mindfulness practice and meditation will help you to be more aware of your emotions and their nature.

I suggest you meditate on this quote:

“Anything which is troubling you, anything which is irritating you, THAT is your teacher.”

Ajahn Chah

Focus on these words and listen to yourself. What feelings do these words provoke in you? 

You see, people and situations that we attract into our lives are our mirrors that reflect the aspects of ourselves that we tend to ignore. When we seem to be angry at somebody, in reality, we’re angry at ourselves. So, the only way to get out of this emotion is to take everyone and everything that happens in your life as a teacher not as a punishment or a bad luck.

Here are some questions you can use for your introspection work:

  • What does my anger teach me?
  • What aspects does this person (situation) reflect?
  • What can I do daily to become more mindful of my anger?

#2: Just for Today Do Not Worry

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Worries take away too much of our energy and prevent us from being effective healers. That’s why we should remind ourselves daily that our worries can distract us from our healing practice and spiritual path.

It’s essential to understand the core nature of any worries. There are a few reasons for them:

1: Attachment

When we attach ourselves to somebody or something so much that we’re afraid of losing them, we start worrying that we may lose control over certain situations in life. Therefore, a meditation on non-attachment is a good way to start practicing this principle. During your meditation, focus on the idea that you are a spirit in a physical body. Your true nature is spiritual. On a spiritual level, there are no attachments, no need for control, and nothing and nobody belongs to us. This awareness will help you be more mindful of your worries, and eventually, you will be able to take full control of them.

2: A Lack of trust in God/Universe/Source

When we are disconnected from Source and too focused on the material aspect of life, things can become really scary. Even one little thought about death can cause anxiety or even a panic attack. The best thing to deal with this is to loosen control and trust God. Of course, we still have to do whatever possible to stay safe but instead of worrying just trust that everything will work out in the best possible way because you’re guided and protected by Divine powers. 

It takes time to develop trust. It doesn’t happen overnight. That’s why we have to remind ourselves daily about this principle and meditate on it.

Also, I found it helpful to use affirmations to program my subconscious mind to not worry. These are the affirmations I like to use:

  • “Here and now I am free from worry!”
  • “Only good things can happen to me and my family!”
  • “Here and now I am absolutely calm!”
  • “I live in a perfect world where everything is good!”
  • “Here and now the Universe takes care of me!”
  • “I trust the Universe, I trust myself, and I move forward!”

If you resonate with these affirmations, you’re welcome to use them, or you can create your own.

#3: Just for Today Be Grateful

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Gratitude is the ability to recognize the divine blessings in everything that is given to us, no matter how big or small they are.

Expressed gratitude makes energy move so there’s no stagnation. It allows blessings to flow freely into our lives. Also, gratitude helps to speed up the healing process and make our Reiki practice more effective. 

We should be grateful for everything – for good and bad. We have to always remember that everything is our teacher, even unpleasant events in our life. In the context of Reiki healing, it’s essential to cultivate a gratitude practice toward the disease you’re trying to heal. Each disease is also a teacher. It brings you an opportunity for doing deep shadow work, as well as for learning spiritual and karmic lessons. Your ability to recognize these lessons will affect your entire healing process. The sooner you learn these lessons and feel grateful for them, the sooner you will heal. 

A gratitude journal is a great way to keep yourself focused on your blessings rather than complaints. I highly recommend you get one and every time you face a challenging situation or trying to heal yourself, switch your focus from worrying and pain to gratitude

Also, we have to remember to be grateful for Reiki in our lives. That’s why we finish each session with gratitude. We, as Reiki healers, are grateful to our Teachers, the Divine powers, guardian angels, and, of course, to our patients for their trust and the opportunity to help them. And patients express their gratitude to Reiki and a healer at the end of each session.

#4: Just for Today Be Honest in Your Work

In a wider sense, this principle means that we should be honest in our spiritual work. When you’re on a spiritual path, there are no vacation breaks. Nobody really talks about it but when you become a Reiki healer, you step into a whole new mission in life where you have a new responsibility and have to be ready to help whenever someone needs healing. 

So, in this context, to be honest, is to be responsible, to do your spiritual work, and to be committed to your spiritual mission. It also means doing your healing work the best you can. Don’t choose quantity over quality. Don’t make a financial gain your priority. Remember that it is better to provide a good quality healing session to one patient a day rather than to rush and give ten healing sessions a day and sacrifice the quality of the healing.

To be honest in your work also means to understand that your main goal is to help and heal, not to make as much money as possible on your healing sessions. If you feel like you can’t help someone because of the severity of the disease or because you don’t have enough experience, just be honest about it and let them know.

Also, you should explain to your patients that Reiki is not just a hands-on healing performed by a healer but also it requires them to do their own inner work and learn their lessons in order to heal.

#5: Just for Today Be Compassionate to Yourself and Others

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This Reiki principle invites us to recognize and honor the Divine in ourselves and others.

We can’t really be good healers if we lack compassion. Compassion is our superpower which is a core quality of any healer. It allows us to perceive our patients’ problems with empathy and understanding. It helps us to be loving and kind even when we’re facing mistrust or resistance. When patients feel our love and compassion, it helps them feel more relaxed and trusting in our presence. 

But we have to remember that compassion is not a quality that we can just turn on for the session and turn off after it. This is something that we need to cultivate and make our main orienteer in life and practice all the time with everyone.

To deeper understand this principle, I encourage you to meditate on this quote: 

“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”

Pema Chodron

The Bottom Line

The 5 Reiki principles are a mystic side of the Usui Reiki Ryoho tradition. Therefore, these principles must be treated with respect and recognized as an important part of Reiki practice. I highly recommend you print these principles and hang them somewhere where you can always see them. You can use them as wallpaper on your phone so that they are always in front of you. Our goal is to train our minds to see these principles as our guidelines for the day. So, whatever helps you with this will work.

I hope I was able to inspire you to start practicing Reiki principles and brought some clarity to their understanding.