Exploring the Reiki Precepts

I first learned about the Reiki Precepts (Reiki Gokai)  or 5 Reiki Principles as they are  often called, during my 2nd degree Okuden level Reiki certification training. My teacher (a Reiki Grand Master)  trained in Japan, India, and USA and was familiar with both Eastern and Western Reiki, but very much aligned to the original Eastern Mikao Usui teachings. I went on to complete my Reiki Master Shinpiden Teacher level with her as well.

I was greatly moved by how uncomplicated and simple the words of the precepts were, yet how profound a meaning they had. They were an integral part of Usui’s training to his students and to be practiced daily while sitting in gassho (prayer hands). They are words to remind us to live in a compassionate and loving way.  They are the very core of what Reiki truly is, the roots of what Reiki was founded on and grew from. They were meant to support Usui’s students on their spiritual path, and a direct method to self love and self healing. They are also something I think most people tend to strive for in their daily routines. They are about creating harmony within ourselves and with others.

The precepts, or principles, immediately resonated deep within me when I first heard them. I began practicing them daily and dutifully at first, sitting in gassho, while saying the words, at some point they became a heart felt prayer that I started each morning with simply because I wanted to keep an awareness close in my heart and consciousness, as I went about the day. I cannot say how many times, these very precepts, allowed me to react with compassion and love instead of anger, or agitation and truly began to change the way I perceive things.

I will explore the 5 Reiki Precepts below, and what they mean to me personally. I would often times contemplate them in my own thoughts as I would say them and would even state why it would be beneficial to follow them.  I invite you to do the same with each one, as we travel through their meaning, reflecting on what significance it has for you, and how you can use them in your daily life to become more attuned and aligned to your highest self. Always remember to use them in a positive connotation.

Now let us begin Exploring the Reiki Precepts.………..

The Reiki Precepts will always start with these 3 words. 

Just for today  (or)  For today only…..

When you state these 3 little words, it immediately brings you into the present. Not thinking about what happened yesterday, nor worrying about what will be tomorrow, but simply living today. It allows you to say, if need be, that I can do this for one day, or how hard is it to commit to one day of practicing these principles???? It is the proverbial “one day at a time” or “one step at a time” because truly…today in this moment, is the only real existence. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow has not come yet, but today, right now…is here.

  1. For today only… Do not anger…… when I say this to myself, I always add…. “I shall not anger, for anger only hurts me”. When you are angry at someone or a situation, the only person that is feeling that emotion is you. By being angry, you cause yourself pain and suffering, not the intended person or situation. You cause yourself frustration. Choose to react with calm observance, instead of anger. Allow yourself to think through why someone did something, or why something may have happened , or even better why did it make you angry. Observe your own emotions, and triggers to see what you can change. When we react with anger, we often times regret our actions the moment they happen, or shortly after. So, for today, try and react with compassion and understanding. 
  2. For today only…. Do not worry …… for this I add “I shall not worry, as I trust in my path, God, and the universe to bring to me what is needed” when you worry about things, that have yet not happened, not only are you possibly needless worrying about multiple scenarios of what might happen, or may never happen, but you are bringing in the energy of “not trusting”. Worrying does not prevent things, does not help with things, and cannot change things. Also, a huge reminder, that the energy you put out returns to you, so do not put the energy out of “omg something is not going to go my way, or something bad will happen” because what the universe hears is exactly what you are putting out….”something bad will happen”, “things are not going your way”. So trust in your path, the creator, and life to unfold in the way it should, instead of needlessly guessing at what may happen. 
  3. For today only…. Be humble …… with this one I always state “I shall be humble and grateful, as I know there is a much greater power than myself at work”. It is a reminder to have gratitude, kindness, and humility. Do not be arrogant in your work, or teachings. We do not work alone in this great big universe of connection and often times we may have God, angels, or  many benevolent beings assisting us. Do not let the ego rule your head, but allow your heart to be open with kindness. 
  4. For today only…. Be honest in your work …… when I do your work honestly, I bring about purpose into my life and the lives of others”. When speaking of work, it is not just your 9-5 job, but your life work, or life purpose. Be honest in the way you live and perform your duties, acting with integrity and truth, not only to others but to your self as well. 
  5. For today only…. Be compassionate to yourself and others…“I will have compassion for myself and others, with unconditional love”.  Having compassion for yourself and others means to recognize the suffering of yourself or others and then take action to alleviate it. This action may be simply responding with unconditional love to yourself or someone else. To act from a place of love, from the heart. When faced with challenging events, or people, try to react in an understanding and open manner. Practice non judgment, and tenderness before responding. 


This is a reflection of what the Reiki precepts mean to me. They may have a different meaning to you in your life or circumstances, but simply even just saying the words, will always invoke a feeling of peace and harmony within you. I use them to this day, especially when I have ended a rough day and wish to refocus and rebalance my inner spirit.

Wishing you all……Shanti, Shanti, Shanti,

Penni Aubrey


The Reiki precepts are a beautiful way to bring respect, harmony and love into your awareness. I invite you to experience them, contemplate the deeper message, and try to honor their meaning even if just for one day…….

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