The Reiki precepts (gokai in Japanese) remind us that Reiki is not only a system of healing. In order to heal, ourselves or others, we need to cultivate an impeccable character – the Reiki precepts serve as a very useful guide in this respect.
Sometimes the precepts are written slightly differently – in the West the precepts are often taught as:
- Just for today do not worry
- Just for today do not anger
- Honour your parents, teachers and elders
- Earn your living honestly
- Show gratitude to every living thing
In Bronwen and Frans Stiene’s book The Reiki Sourcebook, they are written as:
For today only:
- Do not anger
- Do not worry
- Be humble
- Be honest in your work
- Be compassionate to yourself and others
These are the precepts we believe were originally taught by Mikao Usui.
Just for today reminds us to be in the NOW. How easy it is to let our minds slip back and forth in time, reliving past events or anticipating events yet to come. How easy it is to miss so much in this way. Being here now does not mean we pay no attention to the past or the future, it simply means being present, here and now, regardless of what we are doing.
Do not anger reminds us of the importance of the energy we create at all levels. Sometimes we can help to facilitate healing simply be remaining calm, whether we are on our own or in the presence of others.
Do not worry reminds us that what will be will be. If we want to create positive outcomes we need to create positive energy. Worrying has often been described as planning for failure or unhappiness. Many people find it difficult to stop worrying which is where the ‘just for today’ part comes in handy – we can all try not to worry, just for today.
Be humble reminds us that we are here to serve others. Having a desire to help others is wonderful but we need to make sure it does not go to our head.
Be honest in your work reminds us that we cannot hope to attain Truth if we engage in falsehood. Dishonesty creates a discordant energy and has no place in healing or spiritual practice. Some people believe it is sometimes right to be dishonest, but quite often, if we feel it would be unwise to speak the truth we can be silent instead.
Be compassionate to yourself and others reminds us not to get too attached to outcomes and not to become fixated on the idea of healing taking a specific form. Having compassion reminds us that events must take their own course and we all must walk our own path in our own time. Being compassionate brings us into alignment with The Divine within ourselves and within others. If we had to live by one maxim, to see The Divine in everything and everyone would serve us very well.