Why You Should Know The Five Reiki Principles


Within the study of Usui Reiki, there are Five Principles that are key tenets of the system. These principles are commonly referred to as Gokai. These are the very principles that help Reiki Masters, practitioners, and students that can be used as strategies to apply to one’s life.

Just for Today - 5 Reiki Principles

Personally, I think of Dr. Mikao Usui’s Five Principles as “Five Guidelines” in my life. They are what I try to follow and use to govern my life on a daily basis, to promote an encouraging, healthy and loving way of life.

Whether or not you believe in the concept of Reiki and Universal Life Force Energy, it’s hard to dispute any of these principles as being fundamentally “wrong.”

Reiki Principle 1:

Reiki Principle - Just for Today, I will not worry

“Just for today, I will not worry”

Kyo dake wa, shinpai su na

This is a common principle that is shared by almost anyone who cares about you, or has a vested interest in your happiness. So much so, that my wonderful friend and life coach, Jamal, shared this with me (without knowing anything about Reiki) just the other day.

Stress is one of the most common “ailments” plaguing each and every one of our lives. Yet, much of this stress results in a ton of worry and pressure, that does not help garner the positive energy that the universe has to offer. By pledging to not worry, even if it is just for today, we help bring more peace within our lives, and as a result, in the lives of those surrounding us.

Apart from trying to purely lead a happier life, reducing stress has been linked to a healthier way of life.

If it’s not in your control, why waste time and energy worrying about it?

Believe in the Universe to deliver what you deserve. Remember, everything that happens, happens for a reason. And things have a natural way of working themselves out.

Reiki Principle 2:

Reiki Principle - Just for Today, I will not be angry

“Just for today, I will not be angry.”

Kyo dake wa, Okoru na

Anger is one of the most common human “emotions,” that strives to bring down our energy levels. And it takes very little to spur up. If your spouse or children have made a mess where you just cleaned up, you trigger. If some anxious twenty something year old drives wrecklessly, causing you to almost get into an accident, you trigger. Heck, we get angry at ourselves for not living up to the best of our potentials. Anger is everywhere. There’s always an opportunity to get angry. But let us practice resisting this opportunity, and trading in that dose of anger for a dose of forgiveness and optimism.

James Deacon details the physical repercussions of anger here. Anger causes both our heart rate and rate of respiration to increase. The digestive processes are suspended, muscles begin to tense up, tension is built up, blood pressure rises, and the blood is drawn away from our key organs to flow to the muscles to alleviate them. It’s dangerous.

The next time you are angry, stop. Become hyper-aware that you are angry. Take deep breaths and try and notice the inhales and exhales. Meditate. Relax. Forgive. Let it go. Nothing good is going to come about from this anger.

Fight the negative energy by pouring an influx of positivity onto it. I promise you, the anger will subside, and you will rise above.

Reiki Principle 3:

Reiki Principle - Just for Today, I will be grateful

“Just for today, I will be grateful.”

Kyo dake wa, kansha shite

When is the last time you stopped and simply noticed how blessed of a life you have?

If you’re anything like me, you most likely cannot remember the last time. In this rat race of life, we are consistently dissatisfied and always crave more. More money, more love, more time, more vacations. More, more, more.

Let’s take a minute together to appreciate and be thankful for all the things and elements we do have.

First let’s focus on the basics: food, shelter, and unconditional love from our families and friends.

Next, let’s focus on the luxuries we have: a car to get places, reliable electricity and clean water, clothes, televisions, the Internet, education, money, freedom, etc. The list goes on and on. And this list changes as we go from individual to individual. Take some time to figure out what you’re grateful for, and sit there in absolute silence and say it out loud.

“I am grateful for…”

This exercise helps us to develop a mindset of gratitude. We attract whatever we think of ourselves. At the end of the day, we project a reflection of us onto others. Stay positive and be grateful for what you do have, rather than feeling sorry for what you do not have. It pays off in spades.

Reiki Principle 4:

Reiki Principle - Just for Today, I will work diligently

“Just for today, I will do my work diligently.”

Kyo dake wa, gyo wo hage me

Pour your heart into everything you do. If you aren’t going to give something your best efforts, why do it at all?

Being mindful of the work you are doing, and the manner in which the work is being done, helps to add more purpose, meaning and value in your life. It helps us achieve one of the most basic human needs of wanting to feel fulfilled.

This principle extends beyond just doing work in our day jobs. Spending time with your spouse and kids, cleaning, cooking, exercising, teaching, volunteering – all of these things and many more, require effort.

A theme that you may have started to notice with all of these principles is that there is a domino effect here. By starting with giving your 100% in your day jobs, this effect slowly starts to leak into other areas of your life.

Eventually, this principle helps you feel more fulfilled in ALL aspects of your life, which slowly and steadily helps create an influx of positivity into your lives.

Reiki Principle 5:

Reiki Principle - i will be kind to every living thing

“Just for today, I will be kind to every living thing.”

Kyo dake wa, hito ni shinsetsu ni

Be kind. Be compassionate. Be caring. Love others.

We have all been taught the golden rule – “Treat others the way you would want to be treated.”

Wouldn’t you want to be treated with kindness and feel loved? I know I would. By doing so, this helps us input positive energy into the lives of everyone that we come in contact with during the day.  And this, in turn, helps us feel valued at our core. By knowing and physically witnessing a difference that you were able to make in someone’s life, this fulfills our inherent desire to feel wanted and needed.

There are many ways to be kind beyond just everyday interactions. Start volunteering for organizations and causes that you genuinely care about. Donate, if you have the financial means to do so. Encourage others to live a similar life. The Universe has a karmic way of appreciating and respecting kindness.

It will come around, in a full circle, when you least expect it, and most need it.


These Five Principles are fundamental not only to Usui Reiki, but also to leading a life filled with positivity.

To recap:

Just for today:

  1. Don’t get angry
  2. Don’t worry
  3. Be grateful
  4. Work diligently
  5. Be kind to others

Start keeping a daily journal or a diary to track if you were able to incorporate these principles into your day. Provide examples of your actions that helped you feel fulfilled and valued. Keep an inventory of your thoughts and behaviors that helped increase the positive energy within your body. Understand which of these principles you need to improve on.

You’ll notice over time that there is a pattern and direct correlation. Positive actions attract positive energy. Negative actions attract negative energy.

I hope this helps you start to lead a healthier, happier life each day.


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