Tweaking The Reiki Principles

or copy the link

reiki principles | zen state of mindDr. Mikao Usui was a very learned man and he understood that healing involves more than just physical changes. When he taught his healing method to others, he also passed on his five reiki principles of good living that were based on concepts promoted by the Meiji Emperor.

These five reiki precepts are intended to be used as a twice daily spiritual practice, and are presented as viewpoints to meditate on, rather than being rules to follow.

What Are The Original Five Reiki Principles?

As I don't speak or read Japanese, I have to depend on other people's interpretations, and, depending on the translator, they read something like this…

JUST FOR TODAY    (At least for today)

Don't get angry    (do not be angry)

Don't worry    (do not worry)

Be grateful    (be grateful)

Work hard    (work with diligence)

Be kind to others    (be kind to people)

Although there are quite a few, differently-worded western versions, the basic ideas remain the same as for the original Japanese one. Some teachers just like to embellish and add their own touches. Personally I prefer the simplicity of Usui's original statements.

To show you what I mean, these are the…

Five Reiki Ideals That My First Reiki Master Taught Me

I do not know whether the wording is the same as in the reiki precepts taught by Hawayo Takata, or whether they were altered somewhere further down the line.

Just for today do not anger, accept

Just for today do not worry, accept

Just for today count your blessings and be grateful

Just for today do an honest day's work and earn your livelihood without hurting anyone

Just for today be kind to every single living thing

Either way, they sound great don't they?

But, could you go a whole day without getting angry or worried? Could you be grateful and kind for an entire day? Could you be honest and avoid hurting anyone (even emotionally) for a day?

It's actually quite hard to do, unless you live in a vacuum or you're a saint. You can intend all sorts of things for your day, like being free of anger and stress; or being filled with kindness and honesty and gratitude, but you can only choose how you feel, in the moment.

And things happen, don't they!

Removing The Negatives

The Human Brain Ignores Words Like 'Not' And 'Don't'

It skips right over them. So, it's better to leave the negatives out of any intention that you want to set. For this reason, the first two principles are self-defeating. You are telling yourself NOT to get angry or worried, and the brain interprets it as 'do anger' and 'do worry'.

Anyway, haven't you heard enough don'ts in your life to make you slightly cringe whenever you hear it? The word has locked into most people's subconscious programs as a warning for, "Watch out! You're in trouble now."

There's another hitch in all the above statements…

We Hate Being Told What To Do – Even By Ourselves!

Can you imagine, someone has just cut you off in traffic, forcing you to brake suddenly, which made you feel threatened. So you tell yourself, "don't be angry", or "don't stress out"? Do you think there's much chance that you'll listen at that point, unless you're very practiced at switching thoughts, mid drama?

Incorporating Freedom Of Choice

One way around this issue, is to use the phrase, I CHOOSE TO… so, no-one is telling you what to do.YOU are choosing in the moment, and that's a very powerful avenue for change.

The reiki principles are stated more as intentions or guidelines than affirmations but why not combine the two?

Using The "I Choose To" Phrase Can Stop The Subconscious From Blocking Your Good Intentions.

Can You Imagine This Situation?

Lady in supermarket queue | law of attractionYou're standing in a long queue at the shopping centre, waiting to buy your groceries, and you're in a hurry to get to school to pick up your kids. The checkout person seems to be very inexperienced and slow, and you catch yourself thinking something like, "&*!#! get on with it, will you!"

You take a deep breath and, looking down at the food in your shopping trolley, you make an effort to think something positive to elevate your mood.

You understand how the Law of Attraction works, and you know that angst will only make the wait longer.

Check Out The Following Alternatives

And note how they make you feel.

Is one lighter than the other? Is there a comment in your head that negates either of them?

  • I am so grateful that all this wonderful food is here in the one place. I appreciate the ease of shopping this way.
  • I choose to feel grateful that all this wonderful food is here in the one place. I choose to appreciate the ease of shopping this way.

I choose love and appreciationThe difference may be too subtle to detect, while you're just reading this, but if you're really feeling the opposite of grateful, then saying, I am grateful is like lighting up a cigarette in front of an asthmatic. There's bound to be some flack.

I'd be surprised if there wasn't at least a snigger of disbelief from inside your head.

If you say 'I am (something)', the critical voice in your head has the chance to say, 'no I'm not.' If you say I choose (something), it can't argue with that.

Wanted Versus Not Wanted

It also helps, to focus on the quality that you want in your day, rather than the quality you want to avoid.

Saying "No' to anger and stress, unfortunately invites more anger and stress into your life. (This is the Law of Attraction at work again). Intending calmness and positive anticipation invites more of these qualities.

So, here is some suggested re-phrasing of the reiki principles, for use throughout the day, any time your mood needs elevating.

Right now…

I choose to feel calm

I choose to expect only good outcomes

I choose to look for things to appreciate

I choose to find something to love about how I earn
my living

I choose to show kindness.

Use what feels best to you. If you prefer to use them in the morning to set your intentions for the rest of the day, you could start with 'today', instead of 'right now'. For example, today, I choose to feel calm.

You could also substitute the phrase "I intend", instead of "I choose" if you prefer. For example, I intend only good outcomes.

Please note, these ideas are for personal use. If you're a reiki master-teacher, I'm not suggesting that you replace the principles that you already have. They're just some ideas to play with.


Dr. Mikao Usui taught us five reiki principles to use for everyday spiritual practice. He created them in the early 1900s, before the law of attraction became public knowledge, and before we understood how the subconscious mind works.

We now know that there are simple phrasing tricks that you can use in your intentions, or your affirmations to avoid bumping up against your mind's subconscious blocks, while still staying true to Dr Usui's original intent.

Would he mind people altering the wording of his spiritual guidelines? What do you think?  Let me know in the comments below?

Thanks for joining me today.         

Go Here Next if you'd like to know whether reiki really works 

or copy the link

One Response to “Tweaking The Reiki Principles”

Read below or add a comment...