Just For Today – Exploring the Five Reiki Precepts Part II
The 5 Reiki Principles, or Gokai, are a set of living guidelines designed to reinforce the connection between mind and body. These seemingly simple precepts are filled with deep wisdom and layers of meaning.
The First Precept: Just for today.
“Life is a dance. Mindfulness is witnessing that dance.”
― Amit Ray
Let’s explore the first precept, “For Today Only”, also known as “Just For Today.”
This ideal reminds us to live in the moment, like we did as children. Babies are not born thinking about the past or future, they simply exist in the perfection of each moment, taking each second as it comes.
When we live in the moment, we keep our awareness and our energy centered on the here-and-now, instead of letting it drift off into the past or future where we can not change or accomplish anything. The moment of power is now – we have only this moment to feel, to live, to act or choose not to act.
When we dwell on feelings of anger, our energy is dwelling on the past – on something that already happened that has caused us to feel anger, shame, bitterness, or resentment. When we fall into anxiety and worry, our energy is lost in the future as we become gripped by fear over something that could happen.
In either situation, we are powerless to make a change. This precept reminds us to keep our awareness and energy, and therefore our power, centered in the present moment so that we can experience mental clarity and have the resources to act in the here and now.
How does it help us?
“To dwell in the here and now does not mean you never think about the past or responsibly plan for the future. The idea is simply not to allow yourself to get lost in regrets about the past or worries about the future. If you are firmly grounded in the present moment, the past can be an object of inquiry, the object of your mindfulness and concentration. You can attain many insights by looking into the past. But you are still grounded in the present moment.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh
When we allow ourselves to get caught up in the past or future, we often lose our ability to perceive situations accurately. Our interpretation of what is happening around us and within us becomes impacted by the chaotic and upsetting thoughts swirling around our minds, and this can lead to a tendency to misjudge situations, over-react, or fail to act at all if we are gripped by anxiety.
We can become prone to reaction without thought, which is much less effective than a thoughtful and heart-centered response.
Being centered in the present moment helps us to remain grounded. We can be balanced, effective and present in our daily life because we are keeping our attention and our focus completely on what we are experiencing in each moment.
With a clear head on our shoulders, we are able to experience each situation as it comes and respond with mindfulness and compassion.
For Today Only
““Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh,
The system of Reiki offers us many priceless tools to help us stay grounded and centered in the present moment. The very act of hands-on healing is a form of moving meditation. When we act as instruments for Reiki to flow through, we quiet the mind, let go of expectations, and simply keep our awareness focused on what is happening now.
In this moment, we remember our True Self, the great Spiritual Light within, and create a healing space for others to remember who they truly are as well.
In addition to hands on healing, there are Reiki Meditations that will help one to remain centered in the present moment such as Gassho and Hatsurei Ho.
Gassho meditation is one of the pillars of a reiki practice and is very soothing, relaxing and grounding.
Meditating on the Reiki Precepts can be done morning and evening or at any time you feel yourself slipping into unwanted patterns of behavior. By repeating the precepts to yourself daily while in a meditative state, they will actually become a part of your being and it will become easier to embody them as you move through life.
The Gift of Starting Over
“Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh
No one is perfect. There will always be moments where we falter and fail to remain centered in the here and now. Perhaps someone will say or do something that triggers a mental and emotional response in us based on a past experience we lived through. In that moment, gripped by memories of the past, we might react in anger and say something unkind.
The precept “Just for Today” is a powerful healing tool in situations like this, as it reminds us to take a deep breath, look within ourselves to understand the reason for our reaction, forgive ourselves and others, and then begin again.
Every morning gifts us the opportunity of a new day. The opportunity to start over, remember the precepts and hold them in our heart and mind as we go about our daily life. We don’t need to wait for the sunrise to start over, though. Every second, every breath, offers us the gift of beginning again.
Let us move consciously and mindfully through the present moment with grace, acceptance, compassion and gratitude – Just for Today.
P.S. If you are feeling drawn to learn to practice Reiki, I warmly invite you to take a look at the upcoming class schedule. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out!