Updated: Dec 16, 2020
The Five Reiki Principles are not principles of Reiki. Instead they are principles, or guidelines, of behavior that have been attached to its practice. Reiki, in its purest explanation, is the application of the Reiki vibration from a channel to a recipient into a receiver. The Five Reiki Principles were developed and shared by Master Usui, the man credited for creating the system of learning and application of Reiki. The Five Reiki Principles were developed to provide his students with principles and guidelines that he believed would help each of them live a happier, more responsible life.
The Five Reiki Principles were developed from the works and writings of a Chinese Emperor that Master Usui long admired. The intention behind their creation and distribution was pure, and has undoubtedly provided comfort to many. However, they are not Reiki, and the practice of these principles does not enhance the effect Reiki has on an individual.
Reiki is an energy vibration that provides healing by restoring balance and remedy where imbalance has occurred or repair is required. Making a personal choice to strive for living a life led by these spiritual principles will have no affect by either improving or deteriorating the quality or flow of Reiki from one who has been attuned. It is here that it becomes important for us as Reiki Masters and Teachers to start differentiating between the Five Reiki Principles and the practice of Reiki. This is because the combination of the two, while it may have provided benefit to students of Master Usui centuries ago, can create a barrier in our current time for people coming to the practice of Reiki.
The barrier created by this is rooted in the fact that the Five Reiki Principles seek to provide a spiritual influence over the domain of Reiki. This type of influence often creates barriers because it requires agreement with a belief system. Additionally, the Five Principles, while nice in sentiment, are not obtainable by most humans, at least not on a consistent basis. When one feels they have failed at one of the perceived aspects of a practice, it is unlikely they will continue practice in the other aspects. Moreover the Five Reiki Principles are subject to misuse as in an effort to try “Just for Today I will be grateful” or “Just for today I will not anger.” We always hope to usurp disappointment with gratitude or eliminate anger altogether, but we can’t, and if even if we could, should we? Anger is a natural emotional reaction that when used appropriately is a powerful force in creating significant change on the road that leads us from injustice to justice. The work of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi remind us of that.
Furthermore, when one “tries” to not anger, worry or feign gratitude, it creates a suppression of emotions perceived as negative or not spiritual. Denial of how one truly feels creates imbalances within the energy system and negatively impacts self-confidence. This obviously was never the intention of any Reiki Master or Teacher who has shared the Five Reiki Principles as part of their teachings. In fact the Five Reiki Principles were shared for the best possible reasons—to help people feel better and enjoy greater health and happiness. They offer good advice in some areas such as being humble, showing kindness to others, respecting elders and teachers, but their enmeshment in the practice of Reiki is misplaced. Just as those sentiments provided by and impressed upon you at your local dentist’s office may appear nice but misplaced just the same.
Now that healers, Reiki Masters and Teachers can see that trying to adhere to these spiritual principles can create imbalances in the energy system as well as bearing witness to the declining number of people who use Reiki—years, months, even weeks after receiving a Reiki attunement—we can start to do better and respond to what is needed now.
As the Master who formalized a system of instruction for Reiki, Master Usui sought to improve the lives of the students who came to learn during the time and cultural influences that shaped the moral compass. Today, as a global community of Reiki Masters and Teachers, we know more and live in a different time. We can start to naturally separate the two without devaluing either.
The practice of Reiki is simple. It’s not based on any belief system nor does it require one to work. Equally any belief system or religion can be practiced alongside Reiki without interference to the flow of Reiki or contradiction to beliefs or religion practiced. Reiki is closer to water and food than it is to a spiritual belief. It is one of many energy vibrations that works with your energy system to restore balance and provide energy remedy where needed. An individual with a Reiki attunement acts as a channel for Reiki energy. The Reiki energy will flow on demand and will always provide benefit to the person receiving it. This simple reality is not altered or affected by following, or failing to follow, the Five Principles provided by Master Usui or any other ideal, religion or practice.
- Chyna Honey