Each Reiki practitioner is familiar with Usui’s five precepts; principles by which to live a happy life. The more we align with the five principles, the more heightened our practice becomes. And each time we experience a little miracle, a drop of magic, within the practice of Reiki, we deepen our belief and faith in the process.
Each precept begins with the term “Just for today”. This reminds us to stay in the present moment, doing the best we can at any given time. Regretting a past that cannot be undone or worrying about a future that hasn’t arrived only hinders us and keeps us from living in the now. Just for today gives us permission to forgive ourselves for past transgressions and frees us from the impulse to try to control the future.
The first principle is not to turn to anger. Anger is a secondary emotion, a fierce reaction to fear or hurt. If we dig down to the source of our anger, we will discover a raw feeling of pain or fear. For example, if we are cut off in traffic, nearly escaping an accident we may get angry, but the underlying feeling is one of sudden fear. Or if we are treated disrespectfully, our anger stems from hurt feelings. Recognizing the feeling that is at the core of our anger is key to bringing ourselves back to an emotional center, allowing us the opportunity to move into the present moment.
The second principle is not to worry. Engaging in constant worry is extremely destructive to both our mental and physical health. There is absolutely nothing to be gained from worrying about the future or fretting about the past. There is a difference in being concerned about a situation and taking appropriate action and worrying about a future in which we have no control. Gaining clarity around how much control we have over the situation will help guide us back to a place of acceptance and peace.
Living in a place of gratitude is the third principle. We can all come up with things to be grateful for, and some days the list is longer than others. Gratitude can encompass both the big things and little things in life. Good health, loving family and friends, and financial flow are all big things that we are grateful for, but how about when one of these main areas is challenged by illness, loss of a loved one, or financial hardship? We can still be grateful for the sun shining, a place to lay our head each night, or the opportunity to brighten someone else’s world. Even in our darkest hours, we can be grateful that we lived to see another day. Practicing gratitude keeps us in the here and now.
The fourth principle is to do the work that is ours to do. This precept has more than one meaning. First, we are reminded to complete the work that is ours to do each day with honesty and integrity. Next, when one of our tasks is to support and be of service to another, we recognize that our work is not to fix anyone or try to take on their work. This principle is also a reminder to get out of own way and allow Spirit to work in our lives. Discerning the difference in what action is ours to take, and when to let go and let things unfold.
Loving and respecting all is the fifth principle. Sometimes when we strongly disagree or find ourselves engaged in conflict it is hard to remember that we are all divine souls having a human experience, and as such we are far more alike than we are different.
The key to living these principles is to take it one day at a time, acknowledging that we will not live each principle 100% on any given day. But by being mindful of when our thoughts stray to anger, worry, self-pity, frustration, etc. we can more quickly move back into our heart center. Practicing Usui’s precepts will ultimately lead us to more peaceful, joyful and fulfilling lives.
Intention, intuition and integrity are the underlying keystones of Reiki. Intention is when we turn our attention to channeling Reiki. We set a deliberate intention to begin the energy flow. This is necessary as we practitioners must be able to do other work without automatically facilitating the flow of Reiki. We do not automatically channel Reiki while doing dishes, shaking hands or petting our animals. We must communicate to Spirit that we desire to access the life force energy. This is done by setting a clear intention. One can state the intention out loud, or simply in the mind.
New practitioners often feel awkward and unsure of themselves. Most of us pay close attention to hand positions, whether working on ourselves or others. But within a fairly short time we all begin to discover the power of our intuition. Intuition is the most effective tool we have when we practice Reiki. With experience we begin to understand the subtle nuances of the energy body, and intuitively begin to move our hands, letting our inner self guide. Once we begin to hone our intuition, and trust it, we can start to draw conclusions about how we are experiencing the energy flow. And those conclusions are used to help guide the practitioner further into the practice or Reiki.
Integrity is critical when practicing Reiki. We must always set the highest intention, working to the highest good of both the facilitator and the recipient. Using our intuition to guide us, and then being mindful of the language we use, the suggestions we make, and the information we share will must be sheathed in integrity.
The keystones of intention, intuition, and integrity are present in each Reiki session, be it in person or distant healing. Each of these keystones is essential to the practice of Reiki. Each Reiki experience gives us the opportunity to be clear about our intention, to practice listening to our intuition and strengthen our faith, and to work to the highest good of all involved.
Reiki practitioners have many different reasons to begin the practice of Reiki. Some become practitioners to be the healer in their family or tribe. These practitioners typically reach the level of Reiki II and are at peace with a practice where they are of service to those that they love, providing healing energy as a supplement or alternative to drugs or invasive procedures. Some Reiki practitioners train in the practice of Reiki to enhance their primary vocation, be it massage therapy, nursing, mental health counseling, physical therapy, yoga, etc. These practitioners use the practice of Reiki to improve the lives of their clients or patients by providing them with an added method of integrative health care. And some Reiki practitioners discover a desire to spend their lives following the calling of becoming a full-time Reiki professional, guiding and supporting their clients in positive change, and educating and training future energy medicine facilitators.
One thing that each of these practitioners have in common is the transformative nature of Reiki, and the magic that begins to manifest in their own lives. Each time the practitioner observes a positive response or change as a result of their work, faith in the healing power of energy is confirmed. Witnessing a relief of chronic pain, renewed vitality and sense of purpose, a release of grief, or an awakening of spirit will have a great influence on the Reiki practitioner. Each time the practitioner feels or observes the power of Reiki there is another moment of clarity, a deeper understanding of the simplicity of the natural laws of energy.
And this deeper understanding eventually leads to a sincere desire to align oneself with the natural laws of the Universe and energy. The five precepts of Reiki – to not anger, to do our work in the world, to be grateful, to not worry, and to love and respect all – become a way of life. The day begins with a promise to oneself to stay in a place of peace, being present in each moment, observing our feelings and reactions as we go about daily business. These actions eventually lead to living a life of greater compassion and authenticity, abundant with magic and little miracles.
As a Reiki practitioner, one will be awed and inspired by the power of Reiki and its impact on the lives of those served, but the greatest transformation manifests within the Reiki practitioner themselves. Faith in the healing power of Reiki energy continues to grow, strengthened by continued commitment to the practice.
Late at night, once the little town of Excelsior has gone to bed, the lake lies silent under a blanket of snow. The sound of that silence is penetrating, embracing. A quiet, inviting place that urges the soul to speak. And more importantly, a place to hear what the soul is saying. The still, small voice of the soul is always in dialogue with us. Sometimes as a quiet feeling that urges us to move in a certain direction, or occasionally as a strong feeling in the pit of the stomach that shouts out for our attention. So why don’t we always listen to what the soul is trying to say?
In this, our Western culture, we are not taught to listen to our inner voice. But rather we are encouraged to put our trust in proof, facts that can be substantiated by evidence. Acting upon a gut feeling is considered unwise, or even irresponsible. In this human experience, we yearn to know what the future holds, and tend to act based on what the tangible evidence suggests will be the outcome of those actions. But the soul speaks a different language, a language based on feeling. And frequently, there doesn’t seem to be any logical or tangible reason for the feeling. So, we ignore it. But how many times have we found ourselves crying out in exasperation, “I knew that was going to happen!”
The sound of the soul will never misguide us, and it will always lead us down the path of our highest good. But we need to learn how to listen for it, hear what it says, and then act upon it. Because the voice of the soul is a quiet one, it is often eclipsed by the clatter of our busy lives. Spending our days doing this, taking care of that, running here, stopping there, leaves little time for quiet space. In order to hear the still, small voice we need to take a few minutes each day – even five minutes – to just sit quietly. Whether the focus is on the breath, or letting the mind wander through the hills and valleys of the imagination, spending quiet time with oneself is a critical first step in learning to hear what our inner voice is trying to say.
And when we have made the space to listen to our highest voice, what do we hear? We can hear ANYTHING! There is an infinite number of possibilities for every situation that we face each day. Comforting for when we think we know the next best thing to do, but disconcerting when we cannot fathom why our gut feel is guiding us off into a totally unexpected direction. And yet, the feeling persists.
Once we are aware of the still, small voice, and can sense what it is trying to say, the final step is acting in accordance with the message. Acting upon a strong, but vague feeling takes a special kind of faith and courage. Even if we must shut our eyes, hold our breath, and jump! Remembering that the voice of the soul will never deceive us, and what may feel like a leap off the edge of a cliff, is really only a step down from the curb. Into a whole new Adventure.
“A gut feeling is actually every cell in your body making a decision.” – Deepak Chopra
Einstein showed us that everything is energy. The lower the vibration, the more solid the mass. The higher the vibration, the less solid the mass. The human body is a perfect example of a system that includes all types of energetic vibrations. The physical body consists of lower vibrations such as the skeleton, muscles, and organs. Higher vibrations would include bodily fluids such as blood, semen, and saliva. The highest vibrations of the physical body comprise the energy body and consist of the aura, the chakras and the meridians.
The chakras are the body’s energy transmission centers, receiving energetic information from the environment, and sending transformed energy to the physical body. The chakras vibrate at very high frequencies and are therefore transparent, or invisible.
Dr. Valerie Hunt, a professor of kinesiology (study of human movement) at the University of California has been studying the body’s energy systems since she began to measure the aura in the 1970’s. Her work with chakras uses an electromyograph, which measures the electromagnetic output of the human body. She discovered that the physical body emanated radiation at sites typically associated with the chakras. In addition, she realized that specific levels of consciousness were related to specific frequencies. For example, when people are going about their daily lives their energy reads about 250 Hz (hertz is one cycle per second), more sensitive individuals that demonstrate a connection with their psychic abilities usually range from 400 to 800 Hz, and those that are extremely sensitive such as trance specialists and channelers typically range between 800 and 900 Hz. Based on these and other studies, Hunt concluded that the body is more than a conglomerate of physical systems, but that all physical systems are organized by energy – specifically bioenergy. The study suggests the existence of the chakras, and identifies them as involved with the physical, emotional and energetic nature of the body.
Dr. Hiroshi Motoyama, a scientist and Shinto priest (indigenous faith of the Japanese people), has conducted numerous studies to verify the human energy systems, many of which have become the subject of his more than twenty books. Motoyama’s observations were that internal feelings correlate to objectively measured periods of heart energy and led him to conclude that mental concentration on a chakra is the key to activating it. Itzhak Bentov, scientist and inventor who helped pioneer the biomedical engineering industry by inventing the steerable cardiac catheter, has duplicated Motoyama’s findings.
More research will lead us to a greater understanding of the chakra system and how to use energy medicine to strengthen and support our energy bodies.
The chakras are a major system of our body’s energy structure. The word chakra is Sanskrit in origin, meaning wheel or vortex. The chakras are the body’s energy centers, located along the spine from the tailbone to the crown of the head.
The chakras are the energy body’s information transmission system. They are the organizing centers for reception, absorption, and transmission of life energies. The chakras receive information in the form of subtle energies of the Universal Life Force from our environment – physical, emotional and spiritual. They absorb and assimilate the energies, and then transform the energies into information that is useful for the individual. They are core centers for the coordination network of our interconnected mind/body system.
The chakras are radiant clusters of energy, each vibrating at a different frequency. There are seven primary chakras located along the spine, with each impacting and influencing each other as well as the physical body and organs. For example, the heart chakra is located at the center of the chest, near the lungs. When one experiences a time of grief or great sorrow the lungs can be affected from a simple chest cold to pneumonia.
When the chakras receive too much negative energy from our beliefs, thoughts and emotions they can become sluggish or unbalanced. The chakras must remain vibrant and clear for optimum health and well-being. Reiki can help the chakras remain strong and resilient, resulting in better physical, emotional and spiritual health.
Have you ever had one of those days? A day when nothing seems to flow, and everything, even the most simple, everyday tasks run into obstacles and problems. Do you ever find yourself exclaiming in exasperation “Why is this happening?!?!” Or, have you ever found yourself in the middle of a challenging week, month, or even a year? When it seems that no matter what you do, nothing turns out the way you intended?
We know that our thoughts influence and create our circumstances. And we know that by living in a place of gratitude, compassion and kindness we will attract prosperity and abundance with ease. But even when our lives are flowing in a harmonious rhythm with the Universe overall, we still can find ourselves in a cycle of small complications and hindrances that at the very least drive us crazy, and at worst lead to major problems.
When we begin to feel our frustration rise and our patience dwindle, what can we do to turn the tide and get back into the highest energetic flow? Get curious. There is a reason that we are attracting negative conditions and situations. Clearly our personal energy is off balance or stuck. And getting curious regarding this imbalance is a way to clear the blocks and return to a place of high energetic vibration.
Getting curious begins when we become aware that our lives have entered a place of inequity, followed by an honest evaluation of where our thoughts and beliefs have led us. Are we feeling bitter or angry about something? Are we spinning in a state of worry? Are we experiencing an underlying sense of longing or discontent? Sometimes it is simple to identify the source of our negative energy. Other times, not so much. The key is to stay curious, and then spend some quiet time with ourselves, listening to the still, small voice of the soul. Maintaining our curiosity gives us an opportunity to get to know ourselves better.
Frustration can help our self-development by providing occasions for increased understanding of our thoughts and beliefs. Shifting from frustration to curiosity gives us a chance to evaluate them and if needed, change them to more closely align with our higher selves. Rather than exclaiming "WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?!?!", take a moment and ask yourself, "Why is this happening?"
It becomes clear with a look, a tone of voice. Someone doesn’t like you. And they are letting you know. Immediately, a flood of emotions erupts. Confusion, shame, and self-loathing all flare up instantly, putting us into a place of indecision and fear. Thoughts of "why don’t they like me?" rage in the mind, consuming our thoughts and impacting our actions. Our confidence wanes, our power diminishes, and we become small. It kills our joy. It all happens in a moment or two.
But the truth is, what others think of you is none of your business. It is only their business, and can only be their business, as no one perceives the world in the same way. We all observe and identify with the world through our own lenses, our unique filter system. Our filter system is created by experience. Each one of us has our own history, both individually and collectively as part of a familial group. As such, we will process information within the framework of that history and experience, basing all our judgements regarding the world on our personal experiences. Since not everyone’s experiences are the same, perceptions and judgements cannot be the same. Human feelings are rooted in familiarity, and judgements derived from that familiarity will often transcend common sense or reason. In other words, there is nothing you can do about someone else’s perceptions.
When someone doesn’t like you, it’s about them, not you. In fact, no matter how any one feels about you, it is still all about them. It doesn’t matter if someone feels a great deal of loathing toward you, or a great deal of love. It has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with them.
On our walk of life, being met with disdain, distrust, or dis-interest from others is hurtful and difficult. Remembering that others don’t see the world the same way you do, and continuing to always do your best, will soften the blow of animosity. Once you begin to understand this, compassion becomes your armor and kindness your strength.
“…The bad thing about life is not aging, it is that you lived as a slave, trapped in what others might think about you.” Anonymous
As a Reiki practitioner I try not to get angry, I try not to worry, I am mindful of the work that is mine to do, and I try to stay in a place of gratitude, kindness and compassion. But I am not always successful. In fact, I probably move away from one or more of these principles, and enter an ego-based dialogue with myself, every single day. It is in this self-awareness that I have found the greatest gifts, but I have also learned that this awareness can be a great challenge.
There is a moment, once one has embarked upon a spiritual journey, when we realize that we have crossed an invisible threshold, a definitive line that separates who we were then, and who we are now. It is that moment when we embrace our ability to co-create with Source, and we accept responsibility for our current conditions, rejoicing in the freedom to change and expand as we create more abundance and joy. We are excited to practice our new-found abilities to manifest, looking forward to where the journey will take us.
But the spiritual journey of self-discovery can be arduous and painful. Despite the commitment to meet the world each day with compassion and respect, sometimes things make us angry, or we worry when we cannot see the outcome. And then, when we become aware that we are prone to judgement, we judge ourselves for judging. This cycle will continue until we begin to accept ourselves. Acknowledge our flaws. Break past our limitations. When we notice that we have strayed from the path of kindness, send a prayer of good wishes. If we realize that our minds have entered the abyss of what ifs, we remind ourselves of all the good in our lives.
It is only in embracing the journey, that the path will become wider and our world will expand. When our world expands, we see more opportunities to step into the flow of life. The journey becomes a quest of exploration, and that is where the adventure begins.