Many spiritual teachings are structured like a tree.

If Reiki were a tree, its roots would be the meditative teachings of Reiki; hands-on Reiki would be one limb; and the precepts Usui left behind would be Reiki’s living tissue. This was explained in great detail in a previous post: Modern Reiki.

Today we’ll look at Usui’s Reiki precepts again. Since they are the living tissue of the teachings, it’s important to dwell on these simple words again and again. Not only dwell but bring them into full focus in our lives. The translation used here is:

For today only: Do not anger—Do not worry

Be humble

Be honest in your work

Be compassionate to yourself and others

Let me first quote from the previous post:

Without anger, conflicts would be resolved and new ones circumvented. Without worry, fear would end and we wouldn’t exacerbate suffering. Humility is respect and the willingness to include all viewpoints. Honesty; would there be a worldwide financial crisis if there was honesty?

And compassion. Compassion is both a prerequisite and condition of enlightenment. In compassion there’s no separation, no other, no stranger. Compassion is the true democracy! Enlightenment is a state of Oneness. If there’s compassion, there’s understanding and appreciation. Compassion unifies and in that unity we find enlightenment.

Enlightenment isn’t only a spiritual pursuit. There can be enlightenment in government, technology, business, science and social systems.

In delving deeper into these simple words, we have to consider that translation from Japanese, a language based on ideograms, leads to rich interpretations; aphorisms are pithy and packed with meaning; and such concepts are layered in meaning.

Usui Gokai
Copyright Usui-Do Eidan

For today only: We mostly understand a day to be 24 hours in the Gregorian calendar which defines our lives. This is fine for what it is.

However, here we’re considering ‘today’ as also ‘this moment,’ ‘this duration,’ ‘this task,’ ‘this activity,’ or even ‘this interaction.’

If you’re serious about your Reiki practice as a spiritual one, a path, not only a healing practice or worse a modality, then you understand that it’s lifelong.

A life and a path is made up of moments. Before you’re intimidated by what is asked of you, stop, breathe and take a moment to consider both how fleeting and how endless it is.

You don’t have to master For today only, today.

Do not anger: Anger is an afflictive emotion and we all have it. It’s hurtful to those it’s directed and to person who is angry. It creates suffering for everyone. Sometimes righteous anger is justified, but in the end anger is never skillful or successful.

Anger heats up the mind and it makes mistakes, and anger shuts tight the heart. With and overheated mind and closed heart you’re a danger to yourself and others. Anger can also escalate to rage.

Whereas if a higher feeling state like love is cultivated, when it escalates it leads to bliss!

I feel Usui isn’t only saying don’t let anger prevail, but also heal your anger. This is a major undertaking. Anger is pernicious and insidious. It hides under layers.

Start today with some smaller angers and move onto bigger ones.

Do not worry: Let’s start with the worst case scenario…when worry escalates it becomes fear and/or anxiety. Worry as it is hangs around, niggling away and ruining your outlook as well as inner environment. Worry is powerful in its constancy. It’s a mindset that traps and holds hostage.

It holds hostage your physical, mental and spiritual energy without any purpose. For instance when faced with a dangerous wild animal, fear has a purpose. Escalated fear and ordinary constant worry which are baseless cause more harm than do good.

Worry is a creation of the mind and indicates that your mind is leading you, instead of you leading your mind. The mind is powerful but worry is an unskillful use of its power.

Be humble: Often recommended, seldom understood. Every other avenue that influences daily life tells us to be loud, boastful, self-aggrandizing and to stand out. We cringe at humility. It seems weak and wimpy.

It’s actually a fearless act to be humble because all self-promotion is really a way to hold fear at bay. And it goes further to change your orientation to non-ego. In fact humility is another way to stay in the present, for today only…If you’re not ego driven then the trappings of ego aren’t there either which removes fear and limitations.

Be honest in your work: On one level this is integrity, which starts inside with yourself and extends to all your expressions in your life and the many ways you touch people.

‘Honesty’ in this sense also means consistency, commitment and sincerity, and these apply to your spiritual ‘work.’ Transformation is real. It’s available and occurs, but not without the practitioner partaking daily in the teachings and practices.

And if the ground of your being is transformed from ‘honest’ practice, then the work you have outwardly in the world will be honest as well.

Be compassionate to yourself and others: This is the big one isn’t it?! It also brings the others full circle.

Compassion is a win-win, skillful means always. It’s inherent whenever Reiki is practiced. In fact, Reiki practice teaches about compassion in a visceral way; it’s felt and its qualities are understood.

Compassion leads to understanding which leads to unity. In unity we find a greater degree of enlightenment because we feel “at one.” Feeling one with yourself, others, the environment, the cosmos and the Divine is one quality of enlightenment.

Fortunately with compassion you don’t have to be enlightened to feel and benefit from it, and help others through it.

Compassion blesses everyone equally. It can remain as such or for the dedicated practitioner, compassion can lead to unity states of consciousness, which in turn deepen compassion.

How do you contemplate, engage and learn from the Reiki precepts Usui Sensei placed at the core of his teachings?


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Usui’s Precepts: The Living Tissue of Reiki

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