The Reiki Principles as I Understand Them

Reiki Principles

Reiki Principles

The Reiki principles were set forth by Mikao Usui as he developed Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki in the early 20th century.

Originally written as a poem by Emperor Meiji (1868-1912) and adapted by Mikao Usui, they were “The secret method of inviting good fortune. The marvellous medicine for all sickness.”

Usui recommended sitting or kneeling in the gassho postition, palms together with fingers pointing upwards in front of the heart, and stating these principles out loud morning and evening every day.

But what are these principles, and how can I apply them in my life?


I have been using the Reiki Principles as part of my meditative practice each day. Each morning, I rise and sit in the gassho position in front of my altar and manifestation wall where I have the principles posted.

I state these principles out loud several times. Sometimes three, sometimes more. The number very much depends on how many times I feel I need to say it in my heart.

Over the course of the day, I repeat them in my heart as I need to hear them.

By using these principles, I am better able to see those things and people that I am grateful for. I am also better able to control my anger and it has helped me to better get a handle on my depression.

First Principle

Just for today…
Do not be irate.

Many people take this to mean that one should never be angry. I don’t fully agree.

I think that there is a difference between focused anger and unfocused anger. Focused anger can be channeled to bring about changes. This is a good anger. Unfocused anger is damaging to your self, your home, and all around you.

Where this principle helps me is in petty annoyances and irritants that under most circumstances wouldn’t bother me at all, but can become overwhelming if I am tired or feeling stressed. Times when I need to keep calm for the betterment of myself and those around me.

More on Just for today do not be irate

Second Principle

Just for today…
Do not be worried

There is so much in life to be worried about today. Jobs, the economy, children, spouses, money, the government… The list is endless.

What do I mean? Don’t worry about it!

That is exactly what this principle is saying. Today – don’t worry about it. It isn’t saying don’t take steps to deal with problems. It is saying “Today – trust that the universe/God/something greater than myself will take care of the outcome.”

More on Just for today do not worry

Third Principle

Just for Today…
Be grateful

So simple, yes?

Be grateful. Not just for the big things, but for the little things.

I am grateful for my health.

I have food to feed my family for the upcoming week. I am grateful for the farmers who grow this food for me to eat.

When you focus on the little things for which you are grateful in life, it becomes easier to see the big things as well.

More on Just for today be grateful

Fourth Principle

Just for Today…
Work hard

Work hard at what?

Whatever you are doing. Put your all into it. Don’t make a half effort. Strive to do the best you can in all that you do.

Note that this is not saying – work to perfection.

Whatever your work may be – a paying job, taking care of a home and family, personal growth, improving your health and fitness level. Work hard. Give your full attention and your full effort to whatever you are doing.

More on Just for today work hard

Fifth Principle

Just for Today…
Be kind to others

Oh, this is an easy one. I’m always kind to other people.

But… am I. Thoughts, words, and actions. Am I thinking unkind thoughts about someone? Am I making unkind comments behind their back? Laughing at harsh images posted up to embarrass or ridicule others?

Be kind to other people. This goes beyond honouring your elders, respecting your parents. Be kind to other people.

Imagine what a better world this would be if we were all to act upon this principle. Be kind to other people.

More on Just for today be kind to others

These principles or guidelines for an harmonious and balanced life, were first written by Emperor Meiji (1868-1912) and adopted by Mikao Usui.

Mikao Usui recommended repeating them out loud and letting them resound in our heart every morning and every night, sitting (on the floor or on a chair) and relaxed, keeping the legs straight or in the lotus position, with the hands crossed over the heart (balance) or joined in the position called Gassho, palms together with fingers pointing upwards in front of the heart.

The Principles in Japanese

“Shoufuku no hihoo
Manbyo no Reiyaku

Kyo dake wa
1) Okoruna
2) Shimpai suna
3) Kansha shite
4) Goo hage me
5) Hito ni shinsetsu ni

Asa yuu Gassho shite, kokoro ni nenji, kuchi ni tonaeyo.
Shin shin kaizen, Usui Reiki Ryoho” Chosso Usui Mikao.

The Principles in English

“The secret method of inviting good fortune.
The marvellous medicine for all sickness

Just for today
1) Do not be irate
2) Do not be worried
3) Be grateful
4) Work hard
5) Be kind to others.

Every morning and every night, sit in the Gassho position and speak these words out loud in your heart.
For the evolution of body and soul, Usui Reiki Ryoho” – Mikao Usui, the founder.



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