The system of Reiki was developed and taught in the early 20th Century by Mikao Usui, a lay Buddhist priest and healer. It is sometimes referred to as Usui Reiki Ryoho (Usui’s Spiritual Energy Healing System). As taught and practiced in the West, it is mostly a direct healing system. The word “Reiki” means the universal spiritual energy, which flows through all life. Usui originally taught his system as a path to personal spiritual development, with healing as a natural consequence.

Usui Reiki Ryoho has five components: spiritual & mental development; techniques and meditations; hands-on healing; mantras & symbols; initiation (Reiju in Japanese). Students of the full system learn or are exposed to all of these.

The Five Precepts (Gokai in Japanese) are the core of spiritual/mental development. One of the earliest records states:

For today only:

  Do not anger

  Do not worry

  Be humble & grateful

  Be honest in your work

  Be compassionate to all, including yourself

For today only: Also, “just for today.” This keeps the focus on NOW. If we focus on tomorrow, it never comes. We can only truly act in the present moment.

Do not anger: Anger is often about the past, which no longer exists. Anger not only leads to pain for the object, but for its source, ourselves. It keeps us out of balance, and distances us from our higher/true selves. Energy tied up in anger is not available for action to correct and heal a painful situation. 

Do not worry: Worry is about the future, which does not exist. It leads to stress, motivated by fear. Worry may relate to a lack of faith and trust. It also ties up energy that is best used to correct the situation triggering the worry.

Be humble and grateful: Taking this position opens our hearts, enabling us to receive the abundance offered in every moment of existence. It takes the focus away from the perceived needs and wants of the “small self”, and prepares us to receive what is constantly available.

Be honest (and diligent) in your work: This encourages us to dedicate ourselves to the Work that we are born to do, and to the learning and spiritual progress that is possible with all of our actions, no matter how small.

Be compassionate (and kind) to all, including yourself: We remember our connection to all life, and to all aspects of the Universe. Compassion motivates kind acts, which reduces suffering. Our pain is pain for all, our healing is healing for all. We are One.

These Precepts are an intrinsic part of the system and practice of Reiki healing, for self and others. They are manifested in all aspects of Usui Reiki Ryoho.

Begin, TODAY, to incorporate these precepts into your daily life experience. Choose one at a time that resonates for you, notice opportunities for application in your daily life, and take action. Next, have a Reiki treatment and/or take a class!