Exploring the 5 Reiki Precepts – an Introduction
What are the 5 Reiki Precepts?
Every Usui style reiki practitioner is familiar with the 5 reiki precepts, or Gokai. These simple principles combine to form a set of living guidelines designed to help every reiki practitioner by reinforcing the connection between mind and body. They condense and crystallize the essence of the system of reiki into a concise, memorable and easy to follow set of directives that help us lead happy, healthy, spiritual lives.
There have been a few versions of the 5 reiki principles as they have been adapted by Mikao Usui, Dr. Hayashi, and Mrs. Takata, the original three Usui Reiki Masters. For the purpose of these articles we are going to focus on the set of precepts taught by Mikao Usui.
The Secret of Inviting Happiness through Many Blessings
The Spiritual Medicine for All Illness
For Today Only:
Do not Anger
Do not worry
Be Honest in your Work
Be Compassionate to Yourself and Others
Do gasshô every Morning and Evening
Keep in your Mind and Recite
Usui Reiki Ryôhô Improve your Mind and Body
Why are the 5 reiki precepts important?
Even the most devoted reiki practitioner will struggle with negative emotions or thoughts from time to time. After all, we are only human. While it is never helpful to suppress or ignore our unpleasant emotions, we do need to have simple and effective tools that help us realize when we are indulging in anger, worry, ungratefulness, laziness or being unkind. As we become aware of these tendencies, we can work to express the difficult emotions in a healthy way, understand our triggers, and cultivate the desired state of mind of true peace, optimism and and hope for the future.
There is a strong connection between our thoughts, feelings and our health. Many people live their lives believing that their mind and heart have no bearing on what happens to their physical body, but reiki practitioners and those familiar with traditional eastern medicine know this simply isn’t true. Once we know that our state of mind can powerfully influence our physical health, it becomes important to be mindful of our thoughts and feelings and consciously choose to avoid the health-destroying effects of unchecked anger, worry and stress.
The 5 reiki precepts are important because they provide us as practitioners with a simple and effective way to remain mindful of our emotional states, thoughts and actions, so we can live from a place of consciousness and presence – even when navigating difficult times.
Who wrote the 5 reiki precepts?
Mikao Usui, the founder of the Usui system of Reiki healing, created the first version of the 5 reiki precepts in 1915. It is believed they were adapted by Mikao Usui from an older set of Buddhist precepts that were taught in the 9th century and a part of the daily practice called Shugendo.
Usui may have also been influenced by a series of waka, meaning short poems, that were written by the Shinto Meiji Emperor who died in 1912 and were commonly practiced and recited daily. Some believe that Usui created a layperson’s version of the Buddhist 8-fold path when he created the five reiki precepts, which teaches right views, right thinking, right speech, right action, right way of life, right endeavor, right mindfulness and right meditation.
Regardless of their exact origin and inspiration, it is clear that the 5 Reiki principles act as the foundation for the entire system of reiki and, when practiced daily, will help one to advance on their spiritual path, develop strong character and morals, experience greater quality of life, and be of service to their fellow men.
How do the 5 Reiki precepts help?
The simple act of reciting the precepts daily when you wake and before you go to sleep, and keeping them in your heart and mind as you go about your daily life has profound healing effects.
When life becomes stressful and you feel yourself beginning to react in a way that is ultimately harmful to you, it is an excellent time to take a deep breath, give yourself a moment to collect yourself, and recite the 5 principles mentally to yourself. With time and practice, they become a part of you and your way of being, and your perspective and countenance begin to shift. This is why Usui’s original precepts stated “Do gasshô every Morning and Evening, Keep in your Mind and Recite.”
Meditation on the 5 Reiki Precepts while in prayer position (Gassho) is called Hatsurei Ho. By quieting our mind, meditating on Reiki and mentally reciting the precepts to ourselves during Hatsurei Ho, we are retraining our minds in a powerful and gentle way, and the results and benefits that can be gleaned by this practice cannot be overstated.
No one is perfect, but we all have the ability to grow as individuals and cultivate the qualities that we wish to embody. The 5 reiki precepts help us by crystallizing the essence of the system of reiki into a handful of memorable, easy to follow principles that remind us of our True Selves – pure love, compassion and light.
Warm thanks and Reiki Blessings,
Want to keep reading?