Principles like the 12 laws of the universe, the eight limbs of yoga, and even Marie Kondo's "does this spark joy?" concept are all examples of fundamental truths that help guide us in our lives. Reiki, the Japanese energy-healing practice, too, offers a set of principles or precepts, as they're commonly called. In fact, Buddhist monk Mikao Usui, who created the spiritual practice, believed reiki principles are the key to living a happy life and serve as "medicine to the soul," says Jamie Wozny, a Reiki master at DEN Meditation.
The principles themselves are comparable to affirmations or intentions, and they're very much about being focused on the here and now. "They're there to encourage us to embody the reiki energy throughout the day, every day," says Reiki master and certified yoga and meditation teacher Nina Endrst. "They speak to the importance of one day at a time."
"[Reiki principles] are there to encourage us to embody the reiki energy throughout the day, every day. They speak to the importance of one day at a time." —Reiki master Nina Endrst
There's no right or wrong way to incorporate these precepts into your life. They can be used during meditation, as a morning intention, or whenever you need them. "Just as reiki helps you receive whatever energy you need right now for your highest good, the precepts help bring you back home, back to your spiritual home, back into balance," Wozny says.
Keep reading to learn the reiki principles and how you can incorporate them into your daily life.
The 5 reiki principles, and how to incorporate them into your life
1. Just for today, do not worry
If you're a worrier with a capital W, this reiki principle will help ground you when you start considering the future. "Our egos get overwhelmed with making up imaginary futures and then living in the present as though the imaginary future we made up in our mind is real," Wozny says. "This slows us down to the moment—to just now, just this, just today."
This practice of tapping into faith and breathing into the present moment, Endrst adds, can create significant shifts in our individual and collective consciousness.
2. Just for today, do not anger
Experiencing anger is not necessarily a bad thing. It signals to us that someone or something has perhaps crossed a boundary. What actually matters is how we deal with that anger. "When something makes you viscerally angry, try to get to the root of it," Endrst says. "Sit with it for a moment before acting. This is not about suppressing emotions, but rather coming to terms with our anger and peeling away the layers to see what the trigger is."
"This is not about suppressing emotions, but rather coming to terms with our anger and peeling away the layers to see what the trigger is." —Endrst
So this principle, Wozny says, is a reminder to allow the anger to come to the surface and dissipate in its own time instead of judging it or shaming ourselves for it, which only makes it linger longer than necessary.
3. Just for today, be humble
Our ego can be a bit of a showoff, especially when we've done something great, and this reiki tenet encourages us to bring it down a notch. "[Our ego] loves to take credit for its accomplishments and get thanks for its givings," Wozny says. "If you notice your ego getting a boost off of compliments and how wonderful you are, let yourself bow down to your spirit every once and a while and love simply to love."
4. Just for today, be honest
Being your most authentic self is a great and extremely rewarding goal to strive for, but in practice, it can be a very challenging. "We grow up as pack animals trying to fit in and be accepted, when the most important thing is to honor and love yourself as you are," Wozny says.
So instead of trying to make yourself fit a specific mold to be accepted or hide the truth of who you are, use this ideology as a prompt to let your real self shine through. The beauty of the "just for today" part of the mantra is that it urges you to focus on taking just one baby step today and then repeat tomorrow, and so forth.
5. Just for today, be compassionate toward yourself and others
"Compassion is the healing balm to judgment and anger," Wozny says. This reiki principle is a nudge to cut ourselves and others some slack and to give the benefit of the doubt when possible. Practicing compassion, of course, isn't always an easy thing to do, though.
If you're having trouble understanding alternative perspectives, Wozny recommends setting the intention to see things differently. You can intend something like: "I'm having a tough time judging myself or someone else. Help me see them or myself through the eyes of love and compassion."
3 variations of reiki principles
There are also different variations of the reiki precepts. Here are three more that you can try:
1. Just for today, I will earn my living honestly
This precept is about showing up honestly in your life without any lying, cheating, judging, or manipulating to try to get ahead. "Money is great, but success is not determined by how much you have," Endrst says. "Think abundance in every area of your life. When we are vibrating at a high frequency, earning honestly, and participating in an exchange, the rest falls into place."
2. Just for today, I will honor my parents, teachers, and elders
Celebrating our roots and cultivating gratitude for those who have guided us is what this principle is all about. "This doesn't mean we put them on pedestals, and we do hold them accountable for actions that may hurt us," Endrst says. "This is about learning and growing with an open heart and mind."
3. Just for today, I will show gratitude for everything
"This principle is about presence in the everyday moments that most of us rush past," Endrst says. "The smell of your baby's head, the sun streaming in first thing in the morning. The way the trees sway in the wind. Your breath, your body, your life." In other words, take a moment to unplug and enjoy the raw, natural pleasures of life. This simple practice of appreciating everything in our lives can provide profound healing.
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