Here, too, there is some difference among the different branches of Reiki as to the precise wording of the Reiki Principles. I feel that the intent is basically similar in all the versions I have seen. The version attributed to Usui himself suggests using the principles as the basis of morning and evening prayer. I present the wording I was taught at Level One. "The Reiki Threshold," one of the sites listed on the links page, goes into the different versions in detail.
You might want to try rewriting them as positive affirmations and repeating them along with any other affirmations you use, eg. Today, I live each moment in gratitude for my many blessings. Today, I live in trust that God/dess will help me meet all my needs. Today, I live in peace. Today, I stay in the present moment, and complete every task to the best of my ability. Today, I find it easy to show only love and respect for all living things.
You might want to try adapting them to a morning prayer, eg. Mother/Father God, be with me in each moment today, and help me to live the attitude of gratitude for my many blessings, etc.
You might want to use the key words as mantras in meditation.
You could make little cards like Angel cards with the words "gratitude", "trust", "peace", "honesty", and "love" on them and pull one as a focus each day.
You could let each principle be a seed for a journal session.
Use your imagination; the possibilities are endless.
Living where we do, we can take many things for granted. We all have a place to live, more than one change of clothes, plenty of good drinking water, and the beauty of Nature to feed our soul. There is a welfare system to make sure everyone eats. Many aren't so blessed.
Taking a moment each day to count your blessings helps you realise how much you have. Spending time seeing the good in all things opens you to receive more good. You will hear a lot about "abundance consciousness" if you spend time with New Age people. It's simple. If you believe your life is full of good things, you tend to attract good things to yourself.
When you start on the healing journey that Reiki offers, you will have many days when things don't feel wonderful. Feelings will come up to be dealt with, your body will send aches to let you know you need to change a habit, and the Universe will send unexpected events to serve as lessons. You could curse out the toilet for overflowing, or you could laugh at the appropriate message that maybe it's time to stop saying your life is turning to sh*t! See the lessons and the teachings that come in what we inaccurately call "accidents". If you allow such events to help you grow, you will come to see them as the blessings they are.
Another important aspect to living in gratitude is that we need to stop convincing ourselves that anything we perceive as lack is a punishment, and that we deserve no better. God/dess's creation is perfect, and each of us is a perfect part of that creation. No part of God/dess's creation is unworthy, and each of us is entitled to as much happiness and prosperity as any other. The world will meet all our needs if we let it. We tend to believe so unquestioningly in lack that we assume we can take more than our share. The world can feed every one of us, we just have to believe this enough to make it work. It is actually the worst sort of ingratitude to refuse the blessings God/dess offers because we feel we know more than Her/Him about who is worthy to receive them. So receive all the blessings that come your way with open-handed and open-hearted gratitude.
It's the best way to insure that they keep coming.
This is about living in the present. Yes, you need to prepare yourself to deal with what comes. Ironically this is better done by learning to live in the present, perceive what it shows you, and respond appropriately, than by spending your present focussed on the future and trying to control it. You need to learn from the past so that you don't repeat your mistakes , but if you spend your time and energy ruminating on those mistakes, you won't be open to inspiration about how to do better in the present.
If you want something to work, do your best to be sure you have the materials and the skills to make it work. Maybe even write a timetable to let you know how you are progressing as you work. Pray for help and guidance, and then let the worry go so that you will be able to hear that guidance when it comes. Keep focussed on using your talents in the present, and things will work out as well as they can.
If you want to avoid repeating past mistakes, pray for help to understand why things worked or failed to work as they did, then stop ruminating so that you can receive the insights that will come your way if you listen. Make a commitment to yourself and God/dess to do better next time and ask for help to do so. If it still doesn't work, hey, this is obviously just a lesson that requires more effort. If you are willing to do the work rather than afraid the world will end if you make a mistake, your performance is bound to improve with time.
There is no such thing as perfection, only the best you can do in a given moment with the resources and knowledge you have at the time. If you open to Divine help, your resources will be immense, indeed.
This principle is also about trust. As I learn to trust in a loving, compassionate God/dess, and learn how to make my needs known to Her/Him, I find that I more often receive precisely what I need. Worrying is something we do when we don't really trust God/dess to look after things if we don't do them ourselves.
Anger can be a good clean way to let someone know they have gone too far; it can be expressed calmly and respectfully, and let go. Many of us have been hurt repeatedly because we learned not to express ourselves when we were abused or violated. I don't think Usui is telling us to open to abuse.
After a while of not expressing anger promptly and appropriately, enough gets stored up inside that it starts to explode when it gets triggered by something in the present. Such displays of anger are often totally inappropriate and out of proportion to the spark that ignited them.
The people on the receiving end of such outbursts see them, rightly, as abusive; if they don't get their responsive anger expressed and released, they hold onto it and the circle continues. If one holds on to anger long enough, it becomes the chronic process of resentment. This is particularly insidious because people often see it as justified. Then it explodes at their children, and the problem cycles through the next generation.
Anger, in its various forms, is extremely disharmonious energy that creates many diseases in the body. It releases hormones into the system that raise blood pressure, deplete energy resources, and disrupt sugar metabolism. The damage it does to the body of society is even more devastating; witness the current massive escalation in violent crimes. The cycle has to be broken, and the only way to break it is for individuals to make the decision , "Just for today, I will not anger."
The first step is not to deny the anger we have packed inside, but to be willing to feel it in a new way and to let it go. This isn't easy. If it were, the world would be a lot better off right now.
We need to look honestly at the anger we feel, figure out what caused it, find ways to express or transmute the energy behind it without hurting anyone, especially ourselves, and to let go of the hurts we have been nursing. We need to process the anger without being dragged into it. We need to acknowledge that the hurts that prompted it are in the past and make conscious decisions about how we want to respond in the present.
We need to develop the kind of compassion that lets us see that many of these hurts were not malicious, but a result of conditioning and the same kind of hurts inflicted years before on those who hurt us. We need to accept the very painful lesson that our own anger prompts us to hurt others in the same way. Finally, we need to forgive those who hurt us so that we can forgive ourselves.
For me, Reiki has been like a huge cocoon of Divine compassion, creating a safe space in which I could undertake this process. I had to learn not to feel guilty for my anger before I was able to see it with loving detachment. I had to feel the Divine love around me before I could surmount the fear of abandonment that prompted so much of my anger. I also needed to see how Reiki could wash away unhealthy energy without hurting anyone before I was willing to let my anger go. It was my growing capacity to channel Reiki which showed me how wonderful forgiveness could feel.
And it was in the peace that comes of knowing that a loving God/dess orders the universe for the highest good of all Her/His children that I have been able to start giving up the need to fight, and simply let be.
So, when you are writing affirmations that you won't anger, what is the positive opposite of anger? Depending on where you are in your healing process, it might be getting to know your feelings honestly; it might be learning to express them in a loving respectful way; it might be responding to the present with trust or from a foundation of peace; it might be learning to forgive; or it might be learning to love unconditionally. All of these processes represent steps on the path of healing our anger. There may be further steps I don't know about yet.
One of the greatest gifts in life is to find one's soul purpose and to be able to work toward it on a daily basis. If you aren't there yet, it is still important to do work that you feel to be worthwhile and to do it to the best of your ability, using all your talents, and employing every part of yourself. Otherwise, parts of us whither from disuse, and we become only half alive.
Another aspect of this principle is the need to develop an honesty that comes from our core and becomes a way of life. This means learning to be honest in our self-assessment and our responses to the world and all the beings in it. It is hard to trust in Divine order if we haven't learned through experience that we can trust ourselves. We learn to trust ourselves as we get to know ourselves well enough to recognise what our truths are. Then we can learn to express these truths honestly, not only in words but in the more productive expression of our actions and our work. For it is through grounding our truths in work that we accomplish what we are on Earth to do.
Sounds very idealised and potentially guilt-making, doesn't it? That's what I thought when I first thought about it. But here, too, opening to Reiki has helped me find the resources I need to work toward its principles. My experience has been that the more I open to Reiki, the more I find the courage to admit the faults I find in myself. Somehow running Reiki helps me to recognise that at my core I am the stuff of God/dess, and the faults I find around that core become easier to accept. Once I accept them, I can release them. As I give up the denial systems I have used to cope with my fears and pains, I become better able to see what is actually happening in the world and how I respond to it. Then, I start to trust my own judgement and ability to act.
As I learn to trust myself, I learn to trust the world. As I learn to trust the world, the need for comforting half-truths diminishes, and I learn to trust myself. Then it feels safe to be honest with myself....and I learn to trust myself more....
Isn't it wonderful when the spirals in our lives start to move upward?
The world tends to reflect to us what we project into it; witches believe threefold. One who is loving and respectful will be loved and respected, and we must love and respect ourselves in order to be able to love and respect others. It is another self-amplifying cycle.
It is less a matter of learning to love ourselves so that we can learn to be more loving, than a matter of opening to love, which is directionless. Like Reiki, which heals both giver and receiver so that the very concept of giving or receiving is irrelevant, love heals in both giving and receiving. If we open to learning to become loving, we learn to love both ourselves and others. And as we open to learning to become loving, we become the kind of beings it is easy to love.
Some people say that Reiki is love. Love is probably the single word that best describes how Reiki feels. Love/Reiki/God/dess. Open and let It All in.