These five statements make up the Reiki Principles outlined by its founder, Dr. Makao Usui. The Reiki healing system draws on Divine universal life force energy. This energy is known by various names, Ki, Chi, Prana, etc. It flows through all living beings. Reiki practitioners use these principles as a path to bring more Ki and Light into their work.
There are several versions of these principles but I tend to gravitate to this one. I love that each starts with “Just for today”. What a simple, yet empowering, phrase. No baggage from yesterday. We can start anew. No weight of tomorrow as it will come as it will. One does not need to be a Reiki practitioner to understand and use these five statements as part of their daily discipline. These principles, like Ki, are universal. They are available to all.
Just for today, I will not worry. How many hours do many of us waste worrying about something that might be or something that already was? Did it get us anywhere? Probably not. Likely we lost energy, sleep and possibly made ourselves ill. We can resolve to let go of worry. Teacher/author Leo F. Buscaglia once said, "Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy."
Just for today, I will not anger. There are times when anger can be a useful emotion. It allows us to recognize and respond to imminent danger or injustices. But mostly in today’s world we often get angry over very small slights or events which are really not ours to control. It is a huge source of stress and violence.
As almost anyone who has experienced anger knows, it has very real physical consequences. Blood pressure rises along with respiration. Digestive juices rapidly become unbalanced. Muscles can become tight. Headaches can be brought on. Anger that is not properly attended to can cause poor decision making and sometimes devastating knee jerk reactions. The list goes on.
When anger is allowed to take over, control is lost. Do we really want the guy who cut us off in traffic on the way to work to have the ability to ruin our whole day as we tell about it over and over again to anyone who will listen? No, we shouldn’t; but so often we give our power away by getting angry over some circumstance that is over and done. It is such a waste of precious time, energy, health and well-being.
Just for today, I will count my many blessings. This very profound discipline will bring so much Light and love into your environment. In troubling times, people may say that they have nothing to be grateful for, but they do. For example, if they are reading this article right now, they could be thankful for their eyesight, for the glasses they are wearing and the people who made them, for the people who work to put out a nice magazine full of wonderful thoughts and ideas, for the English language and the brain that allows them to understand it. Look around. Everything is a blessing. Air, pets, bird song, TV, trees, wind, food, water, ice cream, hands, feet, family, friends, … everything. Even in sorrow or tragic circumstances, people have found hidden blessings.
And a bonus to being thankful and expressing it is that we draw abundance to us. Gratitude sends out Light and that illuminates our environment. All that positive flow enriches our well-being. We become calmer and our bodies respond by feeling better. Living an “attitude of gratitude” is one of the most healing disciplines we can develop.
Just for today, I will do my work honestly. By going through our day with honesty and integrity we simply feel good about ourselves. All tasks we do are to be honored whether it is the job we work for pay or doing the dishes or reading a book or folding laundry or taking out the garbage. Whatever task that is before us should be done as earnestly as we can. It gives us a sense of a job well done and comfort that we did things to the best of our abilities.
Just for today, I will be kind to every living creature. For many this is a no-brainer but it can present a challenge for some. It is important to understand that all living creatures deserve kindness and respect. This can be your grumpy next door neighbor or the icky spider that is crawling on the wall. This embraces every living creature – including ourselves. Being kind to ourselves first gives us the impetus to pass it on to others.
Perhaps that tiny kindness of a smile, holding open a door, picking up a dropped item or sending a thank you note will change a person’s whole day and the day of the person they “pass it on” to. Practice at least one act of random kindness every day.
Just for today, if we follow these five basic principles, we can make a huge impact on the quality of our lives. The positive healing benefits to body, mind and spirit are boundless. The effect of increasing the Light energy in our own being and environment will ripple out to touch others. Just for today, we can make a difference.
Written for Holistic Health Newtorker Magazine August/Fall 2009 issue. Reproduced here with permission.
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DISCLAIMER: Reiki is not a replacement for medical, mental health, or veterinary care. It works in combination with medical, veterinary, and mental health therapies to help facilitate recovery and healing. A Reiki practitioner cannot give medical or veterinary diagnoses or advice. You should contact the proper medical professional regarding any health concerns.