The Reiki Precepts

Reiki Levels 1, 2 and 3

The precepts, or Reiki Principles, are the heart of all Usui Reiki teachings. When Reiki was first taught in the States, the original precepts were somewhat skewed to fit our society at the time. To this day, many Reiki Masters teach the Westernized version of the principles as taught by Hawayo Takata. Mrs. Takata gives the following on her audiotape, “The History of Reiki, as Told by Mrs. Takata” (Vision Publications, transcript page 11).

Just for today, do not anger.
Just for today, do not worry.
We shall count our blessings and honor our fathers and mothers,
our teachers and neighbors and honor our food.
Make an honest living.
Be kind to everything that has life.

The Reiki Principles as Taught by The Reiki Alliance(1)

Just for today, I will not worry.
Just for today, I will not be angry.
Just for today, I will give thanks for my many blessings.
Just for today, I will do my work honestly.
Just for today, I will be kind to every living thing.

These are just two examples of how the original precepts were altered (or interpreted) in the States, by Takata, and henceforth. As to the origins of Usui’s Reiki Principles, the book Kenzon no Genri (Principles of Health), by Dr. Suzuki Bizan (March, 1914) may have been the inspiration behind his five principles (known in Japan as the “Gokai”). A quote from the book: “Kyou take wa ikarazu osorezu / shoujiki ni shokumu o hagemi / hito ni shinsetsu.” One translation of this would be, “Just for today, do not get angry, do not feel fear, be honest, work hard, and be kind to others.” (2)

The original precepts, as written by Usui Sensei are as follows (the first two lines are the title):

Shou fuku no hiihou
Manbyou no Rei yaku
Kyo dake wa Ikaruna
Shinpai suna Kansha shite
Gyo wo hageme Hito ni shinsetsu ni
Asa yuu gassho shite kokoro ni neji
Kuchi ni tonaeyo
Shin shin kaizen, Usui Reiki Ryoho
Chosso — Usui Mikao

One Translation:

The Secret Method of Inviting Blessings
The Spiritual Medicine of Many Illnesses.
Today only anger not, Worry not
With appreciation Do work
To people be kind
Do gassho every morning and evening
Keep in your mind and recite.
Usui Reiki Ryoho method to change mind and body for better.
Founder (author) — Usui Mikao

“It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.” - Charles M. Bristol

Understanding The Reiki Precepts

As previously mentioned, the Reiki precepts are the heart of all Usui Reiki teachings. How these precepts came to be, and what they have to do with healing requires us to step outside of the boundaries of what is being taught as “Traditional Reiki” in the West and explore the Universal Laws that govern all creation.

One can only speculate as to why this topic is not taught in [Western] Traditional Reiki teachings as there is no doubt that Usui would have had a complete understanding of Universal Laws, and sub-laws. He was well versed in Buddhist philosophy and the Second Noble Truth - the direct causes of suffering are desire or craving, and ignorance. So long as people remain ignorant of things about the world in which they live, they suffer from all kinds of misunderstandings and delusions. (See: Appendix C)

By learning to work with the Natural Laws and Principles of the Universe you will be able to work with the Reiki energy to a much fuller extent. When one works within Universal Law they often find that their lives are more fulfilling, more abundant, more prosperous, and more balanced. Lao Tzu makes the same point several times in the Tao Te Ching when he recommends wu-wei, which means “non-doing” - doing by not doing.  This is a central concept in The Tao – go with the flow. Wu-wei also implies action that is spontaneous, natural, and effortless.

What are Natural Laws? These are principles that operate in the outer universe, discoverable by scientists. There are also subtler laws (or conditions) that govern the hidden spiritual planes and the inner realm of consciousness. The true nature of matter is contained within these laws. Usui taught the importance of meditation and “mindfulness.” Knowledge of these laws (staying in full mindfulness of the application of these laws as related to self and to others) has a profound effect on healing mind, body and soul.

Our ancient ancestors sensed and observed these laws at work in their lives just as we do today. Many of our ancestors have tried to clearly define these unseen laws (and sub-laws) or forces at work through holy texts and scriptures. Among these great teachers were Buddha, Jesus, Moses, Gandhi, Baha’u’lah, and even Usui Sensei. There were also great philosophers and inventors such as Socrates, Aristotle, Plato, and Einstein.

All of these individuals have something in common: they all either taught, or were searching for, a definition of the Laws that govern all of life, and all were very “human,” just as we are. Their bodies died just as ours will also die. None of these people ever claimed to possess any power beyond that of any other human, and all taught that we too can do as they did… we can all be “Christ-like” in hour healing work.

These laws and principles, just like the Reiki energy itself, operate whether you are aware of them or not…whether you use/follow them or not. They exist and are in motion for everyone, regardless of whether or not you believe in them. Therefore, you should become aware of these Universal Laws, so that you can better take control of certain situations in your life.


Natural Universal Laws (those that apply to the Reiki Precepts)

This article is taken from Reiki Level I Comprehensive Guide, Copyright © 2004 by Dr. Robert E. Zee and Terri. All rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be used or reproduced or distributed in any manner whatsoever, or stored in a database retrieval system, without prior written permission of the authors.