Just for today, I will let go of my anger
Just for today, I will let go of my worry
Just for today, I will be grateful for my many blessings
Just for today, I will do my work honestly
Just for today, I will be kind to every living thing
These are the Reiki Precepts, the principles adhered to by Reiki Practitioners all over the world, regardless the lineage that they might hail from. Sometimes there are variances in the order or the words themselves, but those are largely due to differences in translations from Japanese to English. The meaning is always the same, and following these 5 Rules is an excellent and healthy practice not only as a Reiki healer, but as a human being.
Just for today
Each of the precepts begins with the qualifier ‘just for today’. Every day, these are our goals. Just for today, we will strive toward accomplishing these things. It is easily agreed that we are human, and we will still experience moments of anger or worry and so on, but we are working on it and that is what counts. We are making an active daily effort.
In a more Zen sense, we can also read ‘just for today’ as ‘in this moment’, and that with every breath and every second of every day, this is what we wish to accomplish. It is our constant, vigilant effort to try to become more and more able to do and be these things.
I will let go of my anger
Anger itself is a useful emotion, in its proper moment. As a force of reaction, as an outpouring of emotion, anger has its place, but more importantly, it has its time. When faced with a confrontation, it can be appropriate, and even important. It is healthy to express this disquiet. But then the moment passes, and it is done. Let the anger stay with that moment, not in your heart. To carry that anger with you, that hurt and that frustration and fury, is to live in the past. It keeps a negative instance alive when what is truly needed is to move on and let it go.
I will let go of my worry
Whereas anger locks us in a negative moment in the past, worry binds us to an event that has not even come to pass. Worrying is praying for what we do not wish to happen, as my own Reiki Master used to say. When we worry, we are putting our thoughts and energies into a possible outcome, and into a negative possibility at that. Why waste your efforts when you can focus on a constructive plan?
Of course we will have moments of worry. When people we love are sick, we worry. When we have important events coming up, we may worry. That is normal. What is not healthy is dwelling in worry and not being able to see that there are other ways to plan around events, or eventualities. What can you do to change an outcome in a positive way? That is a far wiser course than to let yourself be stopped up by fear, and by grieving for something that might not even happen.
I will be grateful for my many blessings
You have so many things to be grateful for. The fact is, if you can read this, then you have a way to view my blog, which means that you have a computer, or else a smartphone. If you have either of those, than it is safe to assume that you can afford the internet connection and electricity or phone bills that come with those. Following this logic, chances are fairly good that you have a home, and that regardless of quality of food, you’ve probably also eaten at least one meal today. You are wearing clothes, have shoes. You can read, which implies at least a certain amount of education. All of these are things to be grateful for, simple as they may sound. It is not to say that you have no difficulty in your life, but that these things you do, and others do not.
By seeing what we have and realizing that others may lack these, we can begin to realize our good fortune, yes, but more importantly, we can begin to grow in compassion for one another. Gratitude is a gateway toward opening your heart up to others.
I will do my work honestly
What is your work? Are you someone’s child? Someone’s parent? A friend? A lover? A co-worker? An employee? All of these relationships are work with expected roles to be played out, things you can expect in return. Your job is also your work, in case that needs saying! Your life path is your work, too. Your aspirations and dreams will take work to be achieved. Any promise you make is work, too. Lots of work!
Remember that these are also choices that you’ve made, to maintain these relationships, to work where you do, to strive toward those goals, and to make those promises. No one decided these things for you. If you dislike them, or even resent them, then it is time to decide to walk away. Don’t make a promise that you cannot keep. Be honest with your excuses why you choose to or not to do things. If you have no intention of doing your job properly, then don’t do it at all.
Most importantly, be honest with yourself. Know your motivations for doing things. Respect yourself enough not to lie, and to stand by your words and to back them up with your actions.
I will be kind to every living thing
Every living thing? That’s a lot of things! From every worm that needs a little nudge back onto the grass, to the stranger on the bus who needs a shoulder to cry on, do your best to always be kind. Always have an open heart. It is my sincerest wish that we can all work on this together, and create change for one another in this way.
Let’s also be realistic: being kind is also not about being nice. Sometimes tough love is what is kindest. Sometimes the kindest action is to stand up to someone and tell them that they are wrong, instead of respecting the status quo that keeps the peace. Sometimes being kind means teaching old dogs new tricks, or sharing uncomfortable truths. It won’t always win you friends, but it will certainly earn you respect.