What if you could do some simple things each day that may help promote wellness in body and mind? That's where the five reiki principles come in. These principles are also known as reiki precepts, or pillars of reiki, and act as spiritual guidelines to help you lead a happier life.
Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes energy healing. It's a spiritual practice based on the idea that the life force energy, or chi, flows through us and keeps us healthy. If this flow is blocked, we can become ill. Reiki practitioners through hands on and distance healing, may assist you to clear these blockages and restore balance in the body.
Here's a guide to the five principles of reiki and how they may improve your mental health and overall well being.
What Are The 5 Principles Of Reiki?
The five reiki principles practised in the world today were originally taught by Reiki Master, Dr. Mikao Usui. It was after 21 days of penance and fasting on Mount Kurama in Japan that Usui developed the spiritual practice of reiki.
Reiki comes from the Japanese words “rei” meaning universal, and “ki,” meaning life energy.
Usui developed these five principles as a way to assist our own spiritual and personal development. The accompanying healing techniques and symbols are often understood by many as reiki, however, the foundation of Usuis teachings was primarily the integration of these principles into one's daily life.
Principle 1 - Just for today, I will not be angry
Anger is a normal emotion, and it's healthy to feel angry sometimes. The problem arises when you hold onto your anger and let it fester over time.
The first principle of reiki reminds us that as humans, we are capable of controlling our emotions and thoughts, based on an understanding that it is influenced on how we perceive the situation.
Anger is an all-consuming emotion that can take over your life, making you behave irrationally and often hurtfully. It can cause you to lash out at loved ones who don’t deserve the brunt of your wrath.
The goal of this reiki practice is not to suppress emotions. but use them as a tool for learning how your emotions affect you. This principle enables you to acknowledge the anger, understand what has been triggered, appreciate what has been shown and ultimately allow the emotion to dissipate.
Principle 2 - Just for today, I will not worry.
The second reiki principle helps you to live each day without worrying about the past or the future. It reminds us not to be fixated on things that haven’t happened yet and to accept we do not have control over what will happen, rather how we approach it when it does.
Worry prevents you from enjoying the present moment. It can influence your decision making and contribute to:
- making you feel overwhelmed and stressed.
- causing health problems like headaches, stomach aches, tension in the neck and shoulders and insomnia.
- preventing you from being present in the important moments with friends or family.
This principle asks you to release your worries and live in the present moment for greater mood benefits like reduced depression. It is a practice of surrender, and appreciating what you have in the present. This principle may seem difficult at first, and is why Reiki reminds us to do it just for today to encourage us to continually build on the practice.
Principle 3 - Just for today, I will be grateful
Gratitude is becoming a highly spoken practice, and is one of the fundamental principles of reiki teaching. It encourages us to focus on our blessing in life, and to feel into the emotion of gratefulness of what we have.
Being grateful can often be easy when things are going our way, this principle reminds us that no matter what is happening in our lives, there is always something to be grateful for - our breath, our loved ones, clean water, fresh air, electricity, food in our bellies, even the ultimate blessing of being alive.
Gratitude, when practised regularly, will enhance your wellbeing. As you focus on all that you are grateful for, you will grow an appreciation of all that supports and enhances your life.
The third principle of reiki invites you to reflect on all that is positive, supportive or a gift in your life. When you start the practice you may struggle to identify anything positive. Again we are reminded it is just for today, and the practice will strengthen. It is important that you not only think of what you are grateful for, you should also connect to the associated emotion - you can do this by writing it down, visualising it or taking a moment to acknowledge it.
Through a dedicated practice of gratitude, you will notice:
- Becoming more positive and optimistic about life in general.
- A focus on what is going well in your life.
- An appreciation of all you have in your life, and in turn, more of the same will arrive.
Principle 4 - Just for today, I will do my work honestly.
The fourth principle is about bringing your whole self to your work. Whatever we do, we do our best and give it our all.
By working honestly, respectfully and with gratitude, ensures you are treating others the same way you would like to be treated in the workplace. It extends to bringing passion into your work, even into a mundane task. This principle reminds us that each step is a part of our journey, and aligns with our purpose. The energy we bring into whatever we are doing will magnify, and to always approach a task being of service.
Principle 5 - Just for today, I will be kind to every living being
The fifth principle is all about kindness to ourselves and others. There is scientific evidence that shows that the more we practice kindness, the happier we become.
When you practice this principle, it becomes easier to be gentle and to extend forgiveness to yourself. Through this, you'll develop a healthy self-esteem that may also enhance your mental health.
When you're gentle with others, you're less likely to get angry or defensive. You'll be more understanding and compassionate. This is an excellent way to improve your relationships with others as they’ll treat you with the same kindness in return.
According to this principle, we should be kind, caring, and compassionate towards all living beings. We should do our best to protect and not harm, and focus on living a life through love and kindness.
How To Apply The 5 Reiki Principles In Your Daily Life
Reiki principles can be our foundation in a world that can often present us with challenging circumstances. These principles will serve as a reference point to guide you and will help you to connect to your higher self and live a more positive, happy, and fulfilling life - necessary for a healthy mind, body and soul.
Acknowledge your anger, its cause and then take action
According to the first principle, you will experience anger in your life. The emotion itself has triggered a response. Normally, this is due to your values being tested, a boundary being overstepped or you do not feel you have been heard.
Here’s how to incorporate this principle in your life.
- Identify the feeling of anger and its cause.
- Take a moment to acknowledge the emotion, take a deep breath and understand what is showing up for you.
- Remember the principle of “just for today, I will not be angry” and make an empowered decision of what is required.
- Allow the emotion to dissipate, this can be done through a variety of energetic techniques. Some examples are going for a walk to move the energy, visualisation, inner child work, journaling, or meditation. However, if time doesn’t permit, then an openness to focus on the principle and to bring compassion to both sides, as often perception has created the response.
- If you need support with the above techniques, then working with a reiki or energy healing practitioner may also assist..
Know you are creating the sense of worry, and let go
The second principle calls us to release thoughts of worry. You can achieve this through your mind by acknowledging you have no control on the past or future, and can only influence the present moment.
A few ways to do this is are:
- Identify all the things that concern you, and then capture an action you can do about it. This technique will either identify an empowered action step, or it may demonstrate what you are worrying about is beyond your control, and not in the present moment. This is where the daily practice of “just for today” works.
- You can take this to the next step, by allocating a dedicated “worry hour” in your week, which you capture all your worries in a notebook. Then you dedicate a specific time to worry or focus on the issue and action steps. This allows the mind to know there will be a time to focus on it, just not now and will bring you back into the present moment.
- Adopt a meditation practice, and allow each worry to float by as you surrender it, and allow for the answer to arrive, knowing you will have the strength to deal with the situation when it comes into the present. Often what we worry about, never arrives.However, it is important to short circuit the worry loop, that often occurs in the mind, and the above techniques may assist in this process.
Start your day with grateful eyes
The third principle encourages us to have a positive attitude towards life. We can achieve this by starting our day with thoughts of gratitude for all the good things we have in our lives.
Start and end your day with a reflection on what you are grateful for. Setting up the day with positive intentions and anticipation that whatever the day brings is for your highest good is a good way to start the day. Spending time in the evening acknowledging all the gifts you received, is a wonderful way to finish it.
Here are a few suggested practices:
- Before you get out of bed, or start your day, spend time focussing on all that you have, what intention you would like to set for the day with an expectation of a wonderful day to unfold.
- Gratitude works best when you can connect to the emotion, so either visualise, bring it in your daily meditation or write your thoughts down, the key is to connect to all your senses. Feel, see or hear what you are grateful for.
- If things don’t go to plan, acknowledge your feelings around it and then as best you can, raise your perception above it, allow yourself to see the bigger picture and that everything is unfolding the way it needs to be.
- Gratitude is a state of being and a practice that will develop in time. Be kind to yourself as you continue to focus on the gifts, even when it is hard to see them initially.
Be purposeful. of service and bring the best to your work
The fourth principle is all about how you turn up to your work. We can often go into auto-pilot when doing our job, projecting ourselves into the weekend, and not fully appreciating the job we are doing in the present moment. This principle reminds us that even the most mundane task should be done with love, passion and with a sense of purpose.
To bring this principle into your work life, try these steps:
- First, focus on who you are assisting or being of service to, and bring your intent to do the best you can for them.
- Second, look for the gift that this job may provide for you - does it give you an income to provide shelter, food or look after your family? Does it connect you with other like minded and passionate people with a common purpose? Or does it allow for all your skills and expertise to be utilised, or could it if you gave it your all?
- Always approach your work, with a sense of gratitude and to bring the best of yourself to what you create.
When applying this principle, the more we bring to our work, the more satisfying it becomes.
Be kind to all
The fifth and final reiki principle, reminds us of the importance of kindness and compassion to ourselves, and others.
We shouldn’t compare ourselves to others because it may lead to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. We should also be willing to forgive those who have hurt us in the past, as this allows us to move on and live in the present.
A few things that may assist you to bring kindness into your life:
- Always consider that we are all ‘souls having a human experience’ and to see both sides in a situation.
- Be kind to ourselves, as we can often listen to our inner critic, and instead give ourselves a break when things don’t go to plan.
- Practice that same level of kindness to others, for they too are doing the best with what they have as well.
- Create a list with your name, someone you love and a stranger. Then each day, do something kind for each person on your list
- There are different techniques you can use to send loving kindness to a person or a situation, like the Hawaiian practice of ho’oponopono.
These five reiki principles were the basis of Usui’s teachings, and assist us in navigating life, while enhancing our health and wellbeing. If you are interested in knowing more about how to integrate this into your life, you could also consider enrolling in a reiki course, or having a reiki treatment.
Reiki Distance Healing
Traditionally, reiki was given as hands on healing. However, energy healing can be as effective without the physical constraints of being in the same location. Some people actually prefer receiving reiki healings online as it allows them to feel comfortable in their own home, and still receive the benefits of an energy balance. Our reiki practitioners offer both in person and online treatments, and can be booked directly on SoulAdvisor.
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