Be Kind to Your Self and Others – Exploring the Five Reiki Precepts part VI
If you are just coming across my work with on the precepts for the first time, I invite you to check out the previous articles on the purpose and meaning of the precepts as a whole, the First Precept: Just for Today, the Second Precept: Do Not Anger, the Third Precept: Do Not Worry and the Fourth Precept: With Gratitude, Work Diligently.
The final precept: Be kind to yourself and others.
“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”
― Dalai Lama XIV
The heart of nearly every spiritual practice is loving kindness, gentleness and compassion for all. When we treat each other with respect, empathy and understanding we are coming closer to embodying our True Self, the divine light within us.
This is the ultimate challenge when devoting ourselves to a path of spiritual growth.
Kindness and compassion are the natural result when we devote ourselves to our inner work and really walk our talk. Being kind to our self and others is a product of living the first four precepts and integrating the concepts of releasing anger and worry, being grateful, and devoting ourselves to our daily practice.
Our daily Reiki practice is the embodiment of compassion. Through our work, we experience Divine Oneness, our true nature. We begin to understand that we are all one, all connected, and that we cannot do anything to another without also doing it to ourselves. We can begin to sense and feel the beauty, perfection and inter-connectedness of all things – our fellow men, plants, animals, rocks, crystals and minerals and the entire Earth Herself.
“How would your life be different if you stopped making negative judgmental assumptions about people you encounter? Let today be the day you look for the good in everyone you meet and respect their journey.”
― Steve Maraboli
Our relationships and interactions with other people serve as some of our greatest teachers.
I’m sure we have all experienced the exasperation, frustration, irritation and intolerance that comes when dealing with other people at work, at home and in our friendships. The truth is that some interactions get under our skin. They challenge our ability to remain patient and kind, or worse, trigger us into an unkind reaction that we may later regret.
When someone really pushes our buttons, it’s usually because:
1) They are reflecting back a part of ourselves that we have not yet healed and accepted
In this case, we need to take a deep breath and ask ourselves. “What part of myself is this situation reflecting back to me that I have not yet come to terms with?”
We begin to realize that we are not really reacting to them, but to a part of ourselves that needs love, compassion and forgiveness. As we see the situation more clearly, we can have patience and tolerance towards the other person, because, after all, we know what it feels like to be in their shoes.
2) Their behavior towards us is reminding us of a way we were treated when we were growing up
Sometimes people unknowingly trigger us by treating us in a way that reminds us of how people behaved towards us when we were growing up. For example, if you were restricted and put on diets as a child, it might really make your blood boil to have someone talk to you about portion control or meal planning as an adult, since it is echoing those feelings of being restricted and controlled from your childhood. If you are not conscious of what is happening inside of yourself, it can be easy to react in a way that is completely out of scope to the situation at hand, as your hurt feelings from decades ago come cascading to the surface.
3) Their actions are truly unacceptable, and are harming you or other beings in a way that needs to be addressed.
If this is the case, then you must have a clear head before taking action so you can be sure that your response is appropriate and a balanced reaction to the situation. In truth, these encounters are actually very rare, since most situations can be handled by speaking our truth, being compassionate, and setting healthy boundaries. Know that the only person we have the power to change or control is our selves. If someone is a toxic or harmful influence in your life, stop spending time with them and save your energy and love for those who offer you the same kindness in return.
In any of these situations, the best solution is to take a deep breath (or several!) and check in with what’s happening inside of yourself so you can respond with clarity, integrity and compassion.
“Self-care is never a selfish act – it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.”
― Parker Palmer
Self care is non-negotiable, especially if you want to step forward onto a spiritual path.
As Reiki Practitioners, we are devoting our lives to personal growth + self improvement through living the Precepts, and to compassion in action by sharing healing with ourselves first and with those who have the opportunity to share Reiki with.
This is a path of Service, and as we show up to be of service to others, it is imperative that we take care of ourselves first. You cannot pour from an empty jug.
Our daily Self Reiki is the cornerstone of our self care practice. By utilizing the meditation and breathing techniques and hands on healing on ourselves, we are able to revitalize and energize our bodies and energy centers, to nourish and nurture ourselves when we are suffering, and to speed our self healing when we are ill. This is why Mikao Usui referred to the system of Reiki as “The Secret of Inviting Happiness through Many Blessings” and “The Spiritual Medicine for All Illness”.
Practicing self love and self care is also practicing kindness towards our self.
“Have patience with all things. But, first of all with yourself.”
― Francis de Sales
Understand that you do not have to be perfect.
This path is not about beating ourselves up and feeling like we will never be worthy. The Reiki path is truly about loving ourself and others as we are, respecting that we are all Souls on our own individual journeys of growth and transformation, and learning to connect with and more fully embody our True Selves: the part of ourselves that is pure light, pure love, and pure Divine Energy.
Part of being kind to ourselves and others is having patience and allowing us the grace to learn and grow at our own pace.
We can take life one moment at a time, let go of anger and worry, and live and love here in the present moment with kindness and compassion for all.
Warm Reiki Blessings,