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What are the Reiki Principles?

The Reiki Principles are the guidelines that Dr Usui created after his experiences in the ghetto of Kyoto where he painfully learnt the lesson of not teaching gratitude to those who he treated.  He learnt that we can only be grateful for those things we place some sort of value on and respect for.  

From that point on he then followed and taught along these guidelines to get pupils to take responsibility for themselves and others.

There are 5 Reiki Principles that were written as part of Dr Mikao Usui's Reiki teachings.  He summarised Emperor Meiji's works (an Emperor that Dr Usui was thought to have been an admirer of) into a set of ethical principles which he believed helped a person find the right path in working and living with Reiki.  

Today, the 5 Reiki principles are felt to be the lynch pin of Reiki teaching and it is common for people to live and abide by them.


The original translation is below:

Kanji Rōmaji English









Shōfuku no hihō,
Manbyō no reiyaku.

Kyō dake wa:

Okoru na,
Shinpai su na,
Kansha shite,
Gyō wo hakeme,
Hito ni shinsetsu ni.

Asayū gasshō shite kokoro ni nenji,
Kuchi ni tonae yo.

Shinshin kaizen.
Usui Reiki Ryōhō.

Usui Mikao.


The secret art of inviting happiness,
The miraculous medicine for all diseases.

At least for today:

Do not be angry,
Do not worry,
Be grateful,
Work with diligence,
Be kind to people.

Every morning and evening, join your hands in meditation and pray with your heart.
State in your mind and chant with your mouth.

For improvement of mind and body.
Usui Reiki Ryōhō.

The founder,
Mikao Usui.

Taken from Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, search: Reiki


However, the western translation commonly adopted by many Reiki teachers is:

Just for today, Do not anger
Just for today, Do not worry
Honour your Parents, Teachers and Elders
Earn your, Living Honestly
Show gratitude, To every living thing

Dr. Mikao Usui

It is not uncommon for Reiki Masters to create their own Reiki Principles along the lines of the original version but adapted to the way they live their life in modern times.  An example of this is Mari Hall's (a well known European Reiki Master and Reiki book author) version which details her explanation, line by line:

Just for today, I will let go of anger
Just for today, I will let go of worry
Today, I will count my many blessings
Today, I will do my work honestly
Today, I will be kind to every living creature
Her own definition of these principles are:
Just for today, I will let go of anger

Mari Hall

To let go of anger is to release what is blocking us from loving unconditionally.  Anger is really an unnecessary emotion, which will separate us from the Universal Consciousness.  When our expectations about ourselves and others get the best of us, when we or they fail to live up to these expectations or our needs and desires, then we become angry.  The people we are angry at have no realisation of our anger most of the time.  It hurt us more than it could ever hurt them.  Remember that all beings are brought into our lives as a mirror and are the direct reflection of the cause and effect created by ourselves.  Our every thought sets up a cause and effect.  Through the people who we bring into our lives, our mirrors, we can discover the weak points in our egos.  To be angry is very destructive of our inner harmony.  Be aware of what causes the anger – just what is the expectation and/or demand?  Feel the emotion fully and release it.  Anger is a reaction; the response is love.

“Do not blame others by pointing out their faults.  You will find upon self-examination that the faults you see in others are in you.  When you correct yourself, the world becomes correct.”

Just for today, I will let go of worry

When we worry we have forgotten that there is a divine purpose in everything.  When we are aware that we have lived each day the best we can, we know that the rest is up to the Universe.  When we worry we separate ourselves from the Universal wholeness; also we are not trusting that all is in divine order.  To worry creates more limitations.  Surrender to the plan of our higher self.  All is the divine order, release and trust.

“Nothing is cast away by the mind.  As a consequence, grief, worry and misery continue to simmer in it.  If only the mind can be taught renunciation, one can become a spiritually serene person.”

Today, I will count my blessings

Counting our blessings means to be grateful for all of the abundance in our lives.  We are thankful not only for what we have received, but also for our every blessing large and small, we attract more blessings to us.  Our fear of not having, (lack), keeps us from accepting what is truly ours by divine right.  What we are able to see, we shall have, what we think, we think we shall create.  If we feel subconsciously unworthy of receiving abundance or blessings from the Universe, we will in some way block the flow of life’s riches and blessings to us.  Riches not only in a material sense, but also emotionally, mentally and spiritually as well.  I see how abundantly I am blessed in my life.  All things nourish me and I am grateful.

“To those who have an insight into life, everything has a meaning.  To those whose eyes are open, everything fits into place.”

Today, I will do my work honestly

To live life honestly is to be aligned with our higher self’s purpose.  By being honest with ourselves and facing the truth in all matters, we can live a truly harmonious life.  Truth brings clarity.  When we are honest with ourselves, we project honesty onto others.  By being honest in our work, this truth is reinforced by the resulting love for ourselves and others.  This honesty creates harmony in our lives and in our world.  We complete the task with less effort.  As we clearly see and acknowledge the lessons our life opens before us.

“Truth is your Father.  Love is your Mother.  Wisdom is your son.  Peace is your daughter.  Devotion is your brother and spiritual seekers are your friends.”

Today, I will be kind to every living creature

As we love and are kind to all living creatures, we experience a sense of unity.  We are all of one source.  By not being kind to someone, we are not actually loving and respecting ourselves, for we are a part of each other.  When we accept all aspects of ourselves, then we can accept others.  It is always from ourselves to others, from others to ourselves.  We are reflections of the divine light.  Kindness is love.  “Do not do unto another what you DO NOT LIKE to be done to yourself.  For the other is you.”

Mari Hall then goes on to say:  “It is important to keep in mind that we all do not think and respond alike in life.  We are unique individuals, all making our way in life with Reiki.  By insisting on our way, being better or standing in judgement of each other, we create separateness.  Be willing to listen with an open mind.  We do not have to agree with what is said, but everyone has choice.”


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