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Reiki Principles

Just for today, I release all worry.

Just for today, I release all anger.

Just for today, I shall earn my living with integrity.

Just for today, I will be kind to every living thing.

Just for today, I will give thanks for all my many blessings.

 

Explanation of the Reiki Principles
As Stated in the history page, Dr. Usui developed the above principles to help guide Reiki practitioners and students toward a path of positivity and healing.  The principles are the embodiment of the ideals toward which a healthy person should strive.  Below, you will find my personal interpretation of the principles and the specific language used therein.  If you have questions, comments or feedback about my interpretation or anything else you see on this webpage, please e-mail me.  I'd love to hear from you!

 

Just for today, I release all worry.

The first Reiki principle is probably the most important and one of the most difficult with which to comply.  I will first unpack the language of the principle which is present in all the principles, the ideals behind the use of such language and then I will discuss its application to this principle.  

Firstly, all the Reiki principles start with the phrase "just for today".  This is a central idea to Reiki and any holistic-healing philosophy.  The idea behind using the phrase is that one who is healthy can only live in the moment that is occurring.  There is no way to go back to the past and change what has happened.  There is no way to see what is going to happen in the future or to be certain of what is going to occur.  Even renowned psychics like Edgar Cayce (see recommendations page for more on Cayce) have stated that the future is neither fixed nor predetermined.  There is no way to know what is going to happen.  Therefore, any energy, worry, thought, etc. that is spent on something that has already happened, or something that may never come to pass is wasted energy.  Wasted energy can cause energy blockages in the body, and energy blockages cause illness, disease, depression and many others.  Therefore, the fundamental ideal behind all the principles which lead a practitioner in a positive healing direction is an ideal that urges the practitioner to leave behind all thoughts of the present and future and to put focus on living in the moment.  

The first phrase also has a very uplifting positivity built in.  A Reiki practitioner need only concern her or himself with today.  She or he need not even waste a thought on how they did yesterday, or how they will do tomorrow.  All she or he must do is make a concerted effort to follow the Reiki principles TODAY.  

The end of the first principle is closely linked to the first phrase.  For one to say "I release all worry", she or he will have to release all negative thoughts about past and future.  People cannot worry about something that is happening RIGHT THEN.  They are too caught up in what is happening.  All worry is wasted energy either projecting about something that may or may not ever come to pass, or fretting about something that has occurred and is unchangeable.  

Just for today, I release all anger.

Again, the principle starts with "just for today".  In this case, I again feel that this phrase makes this goal achievable.  One need not worry about how she or he will live without anger tomorrow, or whether or not she or he did so successfully yesterday.  The only concern is releasing anger TODAY.  This makes this goal tangible and achievable.

Releasing anger is one of the most selfish things that a person can do.  Anger holds us hostage.  If we remain angry at a person (including ourselves) or a situation or anything else that angers us, we allow ourselves to steep in negativity of events that cannot be changed.  This negativity easily leads to all kinds of physical illness, most commonly stomach pains, stomach ulcers, headaches, and in extreme cases, cancer of all varieties.  Holding onto any anger is holding onto something that has happened, and thus, goes against the fundamental ideal of all the Reiki principles.  It also harms the practitioner and has great potential to harm the object of the anger.  If a person can learn to release the anger, the event, and the cause of the event no longer have any power over the practitioner.  True freedom can be achieved, and the freedom will necessarily lead to health, both physically and mentally.  

Just for today, I shall earn my living with integrity.

Again, the principle begins with "just for today"... and again, I would venture to say that in this case, it means that you only need concern yourself with where you are today.  You need not ever concern yourself with the past, or where is has put you, nor should you consider where you will be tomorrow, as that is never truly known.

The phrase "I shall earn my living with integrity" is a very multi-faceted statement.  Initially, Usui may have developed this principle to rebuke the people whom he had healed and who had returned to the slums of Kyoto simply because they didn't like working.  On a superficial level, this is a truly sound application of this principle.  However, Usui was a truly profound man, and the principles he developed followed the aspects of their inventor.  I believe that there is more to this principle than "if you can work, do work"

Throughout my years at jobs, I've always been dissatisfied, and I've always been confronted with people who were both satisfied and dissatisfied with their particular job.  Quite often is has little or nothing to do with actual money.  What I never realized, and what so many of my colleagues never realized is that spending any amount of time in a job that is not fulfilling and positive is not only a disservice to the job and coworkers, but also to the holistic self.  People who are unhappy in their work, are frequently physically ill, and call in sick more often.  This is not a coincidence.  

It is therefore, quite necessary that one who wants to live a holistically healthy life should work a job and in an atmosphere that she or he finds positive.  All of this is part of earning a living with integrity.  It doesn't simply mean that you should do good work when you're in the office, it means that you should treat your holistic self with integrity, and only work jobs that enrich you as a person.  Therefore, one who is attempting to follow this path should question her or his job, also the motivations for being in that job.  If it's simply money, and the job is not fulfilling, the person should either attempt to find some way to make the job fulfilling, or perhaps seek another job.  Fulfilling work in a positive environment WILL facilitate more health, happiness and success in a person.

Just for today, I will be kind to every living thing.

This is the first principle that begins to seriously deal with the idea of Karma.  Following all the other principles will attract good Karma, but this is the first principle that will earn a person bad Karma if she or he does the opposite.  I'm sure you're familiar with the phrase "whatever you do comes back to you twice as good/bad" or some variation thereof.  This is a very simplistic explanation of Karma.  Good deeds earn rewards for the soul, bad deeds earn punishment.  Therefore, if one is kind to every living thing, eventually, she or he will start to earn the right to Karmically be treated well by others.  She or he will also Karmically earn the right to be holistically healthy.  Conversely, one who is not kind to every living thing will earn negative Karma, and could potentially end up with a debilitating disease or other things in order to purge the bad Karma.  

Again, this principle raises the idea of "just for today"... and again, I feel that this can be used to help a practitioner put perspective on what would otherwise seem a daunting task.  If one were to look at his or her entire life and think "ok, I have to be nice to everyone and everything for the rest of my days", this would seem unattainable.  But if the same person were to say "ok, I'm going to do my best to be kind to every living thing today", the task suddenly seems bearable.  And if, for some reason, the person was unable to be kind the day before, she or he will simply be able to shrug it off, and say again "ok, I'm going to do my best to be kind to every living thing today".

Just for today, I will give thanks for all my many blessings.

This principle also deals with Karma, although on a much more superficial level.  If we do not appreciate our blessings, and give thanks for them, we will earn bad Karma which will eventually result in our loss of the blessings we did not appreciate.  However, there is more behind this principle than just being thankful for fear of losing what you love.  A main idea of this principle is that of honor.  Western society places very little emphasis or respect on elders or those who came before.  Eastern philosophy, however, honors ancestors, elders and those who have paved our way.  Although we should not focus on the negativity of the past, we should be thankful for the achievements that those of the past have accomplished.  Appreciation for our blessings and giving thanks are very powerful.  If we immerse ourselves into a thought pattern which honors our blessings, we will begin to attract more blessings, and also begin to spread them ourselves.  It is through the actualization of this last principle that Reiki begins to function on a truly global level, and will help to facilitate the healing of the world. 

 

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