article featured by Reiki Rays
I often have the five principles of Reiki in mind, especially when I’m about to teach a First Degree Reiki course. I love how open to personal interpretation they are, yet at the same time point to universal truths we all identify with. I love how they seem so simple and obvious at first, but become more and more profound with deeper contemplation.
The five principles are intended to awaken questions within a student or practitioner to help us recognise our true inner essence. The Reiki principles are always there to support us on this transformational journey, offering guidance along the way. They help us to realise all that we are NOT and bring us into the present moment with the simple words “Just for today”. This is how Reiki becomes a part of everyday life beyond the healing practice.
The famous first line of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali starts with the word NOW. All the wise sages seem to be guiding us towards the same understanding of this moment being the only one we have. “Just for today” draws us into right now! As Eckart Tolle has said, “There is no past or future except as memory or anticipation in your mind”. Most of our suffering comes from the inability to reside in the present. The real gift of the Reiki principles lies in this revelation. We have thoughts, but we are not these thoughts. Thoughts, being mostly about the past or future, prevent us from feeling the stillness and eternity of this very moment.
According to most authentic spiritual traditions, we are this eternal stillness. It is our true nature, yet it is clouded by our attachment to all that we are not. We identify so strongly with our thoughts and emotions that we live in a constant state of forgetting who we really are. Daily meditation on the Reiki principles serves to remind us of our inner reality in our day to day interactions. It helps us to make better choices and stay aligned with our deepest values.
Together with daily Reiki practice, the principles encourage us towards wholeness on every level of our being. Every time I share the principles with new students my understanding deepens a little more. Each student offers a unique interpretation of what the principles mean to them and it is beautiful to have a shared experience of realising the deeper meanings hidden in their simplicity.
Just for today…Do not anger
Just for today…Do not worry
Just for today…Be grateful
Just for today…Work hard on yourself
Just for today…Be kind to others
The first two principles help us to purify our mental and emotional bodies. In simple terms we come to recognise how much we live in the past and future. The third principle brings us to the present moment through gratitude and guides us to live from the heart. Sincere gratitude is a profoundly opening experience which leads to the selflessness which is possible through the fourth and fifth principles.
“Always do good to others. Be selfless. Mentally remove everything and be free. This is divine life. This is the direct way to Moksha or salvation” -Swami Sivananda