Most Reiki practitioners trained in the west were given a fairly brief lesson on the Reiki Principles. We were told that they are not rules or doctrines, but that Usui had his students say them each morning and each night. Some of us were told we should engage in that practice, as well. Many were just given encouragement to try reciting the principles each day and see how it goes for us.
The first time I heard the Reiki Principles I was intrigued by them. I just felt in my soul that their importance was greater than the lesson I was learning revealed. I was shown the Principles written with Japanese Kanji as well as a few different English translations and was shown a video of them being recited in Japanese. I was told I should say them each morning and each night as part of my practice. And then the lesson was over, and we moved on to learning the hand positions.
I did as I was instructed and said the Principles each morning when I first got up and each night right before bed. By the end of the 21-day self-healing regimen following my attunement, I could feel the difference the Principles had made in my life. I was calmer, peaceful, and more content. I felt instinctively that the change in mind-set the Principles had brought me had done more to heal me than the hand positions.
I hadn’t just been saying the Reiki Principles twice a day. Those twice daily recitations kept the Principles fresh in my mind so that they came to me as needed all day long. When a situation would arise that would bring me anger or worry, there they were reminding me to stay calm and hopeful. The Principles reminded me to look for something for which to be grateful for in every situation. When I was called to choose right over wrong or kindness over disdain, the Principles were with me to guide my decisions. The Reiki Principles had become my guide for living a peaceful life.
This newly found mental and emotional peace that living by the Principles brought me had the wonderful side effect of lessening my physical pain, as well. There is a question many Fibromyalgia sufferers wonder about. What came first, the Fibro or the depression? It’s often very hard to remember if it was the emotional or physical pain that set in first. I always suspected that for me, a near constant state of fight or flight stress response and major depression and anxiety were exasperating my physical condition. While I had this suspicion, I didn’t know how to go about changing my situation. I felt like I was stuck in a vicious cycle. I was hurting because I was so depressed, and hurting so much made me more depressed, which made me hurt more and on and on. The Reiki Principles had been just what I needed to interrupt the cycle. With my mind and emotions finally at ease, my body followed suit and I began to really feel like I had gotten a second chance at life.
Master Usui titled the Reiki Principles, The Secret Art of Inviting Happiness/The Miraculous Medicine of All Diseases. That double title is very fitting. The Principles are a guide to living that can brings us peace and contentment. When we attain the inner peace that comes with living life by the Principles, much of the inner turmoil that is at the core of our physical dis-ease will dissipate. Whereas hands on Reiki helps to treat dis-ease once it has set in, I have come to think of the Reiki Principles as preventative care. They help us to live in such a way that we can stay in alignment with a healthy and happy life, minimizing our chances of becoming ill in the first place.