Dr. Usui created the Reiki Precepts to help us embody the system of Reiki, since we can’t always share Reiki. We can’t always put our hands on our bodies, meditate, or chant the mantras, but we can be the light.
Reiki precepts are similar to the Yamas and Niyamas in the system of yoga – they help purify the mental and emotional bodies. They offer a code of conduct, or moral and ethical principles to live by.
A Guide to the Reiki Precepts
The precepts offer spiritual philosophy for health and wellbeing. They are a reminder that the most spiritual act is not meditation but how we think, feel and act in between meditations. Are we living our days with racing thoughts, and resentment towards people from our past? Or are we counting our blessings, and showing up with honesty and compassion in the world?
“They instruct us how to practice hands-on healing, how to use the mantras and symbols, and how to do the breathing practices, and how to use the reiju/attunement/initiation.” –Frans Stiene
Often times, the Reiki precepts can be lost in translation. People misunderstand the precepts to think, “Should I never feel angry? Am I wrong if I feel angry or worried?” It took me years to understand that the precepts are principles to guide us back.
The way I interpret the precepts, is that they are a catalyst for change or that they help our minds pivot. They remind us not to stay in the worry, or anger for too long. They remind us to take our challenges one day at a time. We are taught to show up as diligent, compassionate, and grateful beings regardless of our circumstances.
What are the Reiki Precepts?
- Just for today, I will not worry.
- Just for today, I will not be angry.
- Just for today, I will be grateful.
- Just for today, I will do my work honestly.
- Just for today, I will be kind to every living thing.
Let’s continue learning Reiki beyond Reiki 1, 2 and 3 certifications! Sign up for Parita’s free Empower the Reiki Healer 5 Day Challenge and you’ll receive access to guided audio journeys and illustrated guides. This free training holds space for intuitive exploration and self-healing.
How to Live by the Precepts of Reiki Healing
As long as we’re human, we probably won’t fully embody these precepts. Does that mean we shouldn’t try? No! The precepts offer a path to self-awareness, and to accessing the peace within us. They help us shift our perspectives, and dissolve illusions of the ego. Here are some ways in which we can work with the Reiki precepts:
- Recite the precepts in meditation. Simply repeating the Precepts is an act of setting conscious intentions that will guide you through your day.
- Bring awareness to your thoughts and emotions several times a day. Notice how you may have strayed away from the Precepts. Forgive yourself for losing your balance. Begin again – allow yourself to call in more gratitude, kindness, honesty and ease. This is an exercise that needs to be practiced and a muscle that needs to be strengthened.
- Start a gratitude journal in which you reflect upon these prompts. What are you deeply grateful for and why? What victory can you celebrate today? How does gratitude feel in your heart?
- Contemplate one precept at a time. Choose one precept such as, “Just for today, I will not worry.” Ask yourself, “What role does worry have in my body? Why am I examining my relationship with worry? Which worries can I release today? Do I allow myself to observe my worries?”
There’s no right or wrong. You can work with them however you want – meditate with them, chant them, post them on your fridge, or simply bring them to your awareness when you’ve gone off course.
The precepts teach us that it’s not what we do but how we do it. Our spiritual practices, relationships, and work in the world, are only as healing as the energy and qualities we bring to it. Do we act from a place of kindness, gratefulness, honesty, and peacefulness? Or are we “doing the right things” without inner alignment?
I like to recite the precepts in Japanese, and hopefully I am pronouncing them accurately! For me, simplicity is paramount, and I think the precepts are concise enough to use and keep in mind daily. I also like how Zoroastrianism has a concise type of principles that is easy to remember: 1. Good thoughts. 2. Good words. 3. Good deeds. But, the reiki precepts are more specific. For me, it’s easier than reading theology books or philosophy books, and just having a general idea of how to go about living.
Hi Phillip, thanks for your input! I agree – reciting the precepts in Japanese is a favorite practice of mine. It’s quick, easy and soothing. It also gets me to contemplate how I can be more mindful.