5 Reiki Precepts: Applying them to your life

Japanese print

In one of Phyllis Furumoto’s recent YouTube videos she responded to a question that someone had sent in regarding listening to spirit guides. When I heard the question, I was intrigued to see how she would respond to it because she teaches a very traditional form of Reiki that is very close to the teachings she received from her grandmother. (I was also imagining the question being directed at me and how I would have trouble answering this question myself.)

Phyllis, of course, answered the question with great skill and compassion. The first thing that she said was, “My only guide is Reiki.” Then she went on to state, “I have Reiki inside me. I listen to myself. I follow the five precepts.” In her experience, she does not have spirit guides in the way that the questioner was asking about, however, she is guided by the practice and the teachings of those who came before her in this lineage.

After listening to this, I spent some time reflecting upon what it means to follow the five Reiki precepts. To review the 5 precepts are:

Just for today:

  1. Don’t get angry
  2. Don’t worry
  3. Be grateful
  4. Work diligently
  5. Be kind to others

These have been presented and translated in many different forms but the meaning is basically the same. They provide guideposts for right action. Certainly they are not revolutionary and they clearly align with other systems for ethical action.

When Phyllis answered the question about listening to your guides, she was definitely aligning herself with the precepts. She didn’t exhibit anger or worry. She was appreciative of the question. And she carefully crafted her answer while being kind to the person who answered the question and others who might have the same question.

In our day-to-day lives, we will experience anger and worry. Being Reiki practitioners does not make us immune to our emotions (and definitely should not lead to repression of our feelings). However, how we express those feelings, how we behave towards others, and how we show our gratitude, our work ethic, and our kindness define us as Reiki practitioners.

How do you apply the Reiki Precepts in your life? Please let us know in the comments below.

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

The Four AgreementsThe Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is a delightful book that aligns beautifully with the Reiki precepts. While reading it recently, I was reminded again and again of the universality of the these truths and how helpful they are in our day-to-day lives.

The Four Agreements are:

  • Be impeccable with your word
  • Don’t take anything personally
  • Don’t make assumptions
  • Always do your best

The Reiki Precepts are:

Just for today:

  • I will not anger
  • I will not worry
  • I will be grateful
  • I will do my work honestly
  • I will be kind to every living thing

There are a lot of different translations and interpretations of the Reiki Precepts or Principles.  (The list above provides the gist of them.)  As we compare them with the Four Agreements we see that honesty is noted in both.  Indeed honesty makes your life more calm and compatible and allows the love and light of the universe to flow through it.

Always doing your best is a way to be kind to every living thing.  When we do our best, we honor ourselves and others. While not making assumptions helps us to avoid anger and worry.  When we assume someone will act in a certain way or a situation will have a particular outcome, we set the stage for feelings of anger and disappointment.  Even the act of assuming is one where we are living in the future where that mindset can lead to feelings of anxiety and worry.  Feelings of gratitude also help us to counteract negative feelings and selfish thoughts.

However, one of the Four Agreements really stands out for me with the statement, “Don’t take anything personally.” We all live from a place of our own perceptions, emotions, and mental states.  This leads to a lot of assuming about others and their experiences of a situation and their motives for acting in certain ways.  If we fully embrace this idea of taking nothing personally and understand that others are acting from their own points of view, we can liberate ourselves from a lot of grief and hurt from other people’s actions and words.

I invite you to reflect on this Agreement.  Place your hands over your heart, close your eyes, and say to yourself, “Just for today, I will take nothing personally.” Pay attention to your breath and as your attention drifts gently bring your mind back to the statement, “Just for today, I will take nothing personally.” After about 5 minutes, release your hands and go about your day.  What is it like for you to see the world in this new way? Let us know in the comments below!