Reiki Master and founder of Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki, Mikao Usui, included five principles to live by as part of the practice of Reiki. I feel that the principles are not often given the attention they deserve in Reiki training. Information we have obtained from Japanese Reiki Master's, such as Toshitaka Mochizuki in his Reiki book, "Iyashi No Te" (Healing Hands), indicate that Master Usui believed that the principles were a means of keeping us well in the first place by eliminating the root cause of dis-ease.
The following principles, or precepts, are written on the memorial for Master Usui. The English translation follows:
The secret art of inviting happiness/
The miraculous medicine of all diseases
Just for today, do not anger
Do not worry and be filled with gratitude
Devote yourself to your work. Be kind to people.
Every morning and evening, join your hands in prayer.
Pray these words to your heart
and chant these words with your mouth
Usui Reiki Treatment for the improvement of body and mind
The founder , Usui Mikao
Most Western Reiki Master's will briefly teach their students the Five Principles in the following way:
Just for today...do not anger;
do not worry;
honor your parents and teachers;
and be kind to all living things.
The Reiki Principles give us a clear guide by which to live. They offer us the attainable goal of "just for today" and ideals that can apply to almost any situation. When I feel my emotions getting the better of me, I call upon Reiki and think of the principles and it brings me a sense of calm. They give me a a secure foundation to keep me from losing myself in day to day troubles and trials. In my own practice, I have altered the principles to be guiding affirmations, while keeping their original core value. Each morning and night I say to myself:
Just for today, I will remain calm and peaceful.
I will have hope and faith.
I will be grateful for all of my blessings.
I will live and work honestly.
I will be kind to all living things.
I have also taught my children the principles and encourage them to say them each morning and night, as well. My son, who is eight, says they help him feel in control of his temper and remind him to act kindly. As a family, this practice has brought peace and wellness to our home. I believe that striving to live by these ideals causes us to experience less dis-ease mentally, emotionally and physically and that they can do so independent of the Reiki hand positions or symbols. I believe putting more emphasis on the principles will add much power to one's Reiki practice.
Update: At the time I published this article, I was saying the Principles as affirmations. For quite some time that worked well for me. It no longer resonates for some reason and I now use a more traditional version of the Principles.
Just for today…
Do not anger.
Do not worry.
Be grateful for all your blessings.
Be kind to yourself and others.