The 5 Reiki Principles (revised)
and how to utilize them for personal growth
by Neal Harris, Reiki Teacher
published in the Reiki Times, the newsletter of the International Association of Reiki Practitioners (IARP), January 2012
for printable PDF version, Click Here
I was blessed to be able to attend the Labor Day weekend, 2011 International Reiki Gathering in Silver Bay, NY. Among the many wonderful experiences I had and workshops I attended, one of the attendees, a fellow Reiki teacher (whom I had met at a Reiki gathering several years prior), took me through a Japanese Reiki meditation technique that incorporated the 5 Reiki Principles. The technique, Hatsurei-Ho, while I suspect is familiar to many, was unfamiliar to me.
For the past 2 months, I’ve been practicing this meditation technique daily and what struck me a few weeks into this practice was the feeling I got from the words that make up the 5 original Reiki principles; that some stern someone was standing over me telling me what to do as well as what not to do.
It has been 26 years since these principles were first told to me in my Reiki 1 class and while I worked with these principles early on, my personal work with them has become less so in the years that followed. Hatsurei-Ho revived that interest in the principles as well as giving me a preamble to the principles that put into context what I wasn’t taught in my Reiki 1 class; “The secret art of inviting happiness; the spiritual medicine for all diseases is this”.
What I began to ask myself about the 5 Principles was two things. One, if the understanding from hypnotherapists and self-help leaders is true: that our subconscious mind doesn’t recognize the word “not”, then why are the 5 Reiki Principles using phrasing such as Just For Today “Do Not Anger”, “Do Not Worry”? In thinking more about this phrasing, it seemed to become less and less self-empowering as I recited it. Yet, I’ve been teaching my students for years about how using the 5 Principles can lead to self growth and greater personal empowerment. Therefore, I surmised that there must be a way to add power to these principles.
Two, and with all due respect to Master Usui, if there is a way to modify the wording of the principles to help create a greater self-empowerment for myself and my students, can I develop a step by step process that incorporates the 5 Principles that will facilitate this growth?
What presented itself was new phrasing for the 5 Reiki Principles and a process for using this new wording that any Reiki or non-Reiki-trained practitioner can use for self-change. The modified principles are as follows.
The Preamble: The secret art of inviting happiness; the spiritual medicine for all diseases is this.
Just For Today:
I release angry thoughts and feelings
I release thoughts of worry
I’m grateful for my many blessings
I practice expanding my consciousness
I’m gentle with all beings including myself
How To Use The 5 Principles For Personal Growth:
1) After you recite the preamble, think or say out loud “Just For Today” and read the first principle: “Just For Today, I release angry thoughts and feelings.
2) Think about the times that day (or if you’re doing this in the morning, the previous day) that you became angry and see if you can recognize that anger lives inside you, it is not coming from outside you. The anger you felt was triggered by an event outside of you, but the event wouldn’t have had an emotional impact on you if you didn’t already have that angry energy inside you. Now, go back in your memory to the last few times you reacted to something with anger (or if you can, find an event from your past that seems identical to the current one that brought up your anger) and see if there are any similiarities to your current angry thoughts and feelings. Now, ask your (Reiki) guides, angels and masters from light and love to help you let this angry energy you are holding from the past go now. Ask these spiritual helpers to transorm this angry energy back into that which is for the highest healing and growth for all. Take 1-2 deep, slow breaths and release any remaining heavy-feeling energy from your physical body and aura.
3) Next, do the same as above with the second principle “Just For Today, I release thoughts of worry”. Think about the times that day (or if you’re doing this in the morning, the previous day) that you engaged in worry and see if you can recognize that worry lives inside you, it is not coming from concern for some future event outside you that hasn’t happened yet. The worry you felt was triggered by thinking about some future event outside of you, but the event itself wouldn’t have had an emotional impact on you if you didn’t already have that worry energy already inside you. Now, go back in your memory to the last few times you reacted to something with worry (or if you can, find an event from your past that seems identical to the current one that brought up your worry) and see if there are any similarities to your current thoughts and feelings of worry. Ask your (Reiki) guides, angels and masters to help you let the energy of worry (and the thoughts which trigger it) go. Ask these spiritual helpers to transorm this worry energy back into that which is for the highest healing and growth for all. Take 1-2 deep, slow breaths and release any remaining heavy-feeling energy from your physical body and aura. When you are done with thoughts of worry, go onto the third principle.
4) Think or say out loud, “Just For Today, I’m grateful for my many blessings”. Name, visualize and feel grateful for each blessing (person, object, situation) in your life. Let your heart expand as you do so. Take some time with this.
5) Think or say the fourth principle out loud “Just For Today, I practice expanding my consciousness” and acknowledge each circumstance that day or the previous day where you endeavored to expand your consciousness (working with the 5 Principles, meditating, seeing someone’s behavior in a new light, feeling grateful, doing a relaxation exercise etc.)
6) Think or say the fifth principle: “Just For Today, I’m gentle with all beings including myself” and remember times that day or the previous one when you were or weren’t gentle with others or yourself. Replay them in your mind and ask your (Reiki) guides, angels and masters from light and love help you let those feelings of guilt or anxiety go now. Ask these spiritual helpers to transorm this energy back into that which is for the highest healing and growth for all. Take 1-2 deep, slow breaths and release any remaining heavy-feeling energy from your physical body and aura.
This method of using the principles is a work in progress and some of you may already be doing something similar. For those of you who find this information and method new, I hope you’ll give it a try and see what you discover as we all continue to use the gift of Reiki to create greater balance and peace within ourselves and by extension, the world.
Neal Harris is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, with a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology. He has practiced the art of psychotherapy for the past 31 years. He is also the managing director of Relax4Life, a holistic education and services center and has been a workshop leader in the holistic health and self-enrichment fields since 1985.
Neal has been teaching traditional Usui, Japanese, and Tibetan Reiki for over 20 years and been providing Reiki therapy for over 30 years. He is also a certified Karuna® Reiki instructor and Usui Holy Fire Karuna® Master instructor, taught by William Lee Rand. As a certified Quantum-Touch® practitioner for 17 years and instructor for 14 years, he provides both classes and individual sessions. Read More.