These precepts are given to us by our Reiki Masters and follow us on the path to our own discovery and healing. In no particular order, the precepts are:
These precepts, when they first reach our awareness, seem to point to a better way of life, a chance for us to increase our presence and positive impact on the world. But the truth of the precepts goes far deeper than simply being a better person.
We, as human beings, all have energetic chains, formed throughout our lives as we navigate a world with inevitable pains and traumas. When we encounter these pains, the links of our chain can become dirty, bent, or broken. Our body remembers these events in its own energy, and stores them until they can be processed and healed.
The precepts, far more than calling us to a better way of life, are calling us to heal these chains. They are calling us to release our old pains, traumas, and resistances, and step into our truth as happy, healthy, and whole beings of light and love.
They begin with ‘Just for today.’ Just for today, I will not anger. Just for today, I will be grateful. This small addition of a timeline allows our egos to hold onto a time frame without becoming overwhelmed with an insurmountable task.
If the precepts were simply to say, ‘I will not be angry,’ that would seem like an impossible goal- what human being alive lives without anger? Often, we set impossible goals like this for ourselves to reinstate a narrative of failure. To keep ourselves tied to our old, broken, dirty chains.
But when we can say, ‘Just for Today,’ we are really giving ourselves a goal that we know we can achieve. We are allowing the mind to set aside its concept of time and to welcome the possibility of change.
What are we, as Reiki practitioners, called to do? We are called to step into a space beyond worry and beyond anger. When we let go of anger, we are able to let go of both the future and the past. In being fully present, we allow the anger over what has already happened and the worry about what is to come to simply fade away.
When you can maintain this state of presence, either as a practitioner or a client, you are able to come fully into the moment and relinquish the pain and suffering you have brought with you from your past. This state of presence is especially healing, given that every time we reflect on a situation, the energy of that situation is recycled through our bodies, good or bad, healing or damaging.
In following these two precepts, we naturally come to doing our work honestly. When you reside in the present, without the anger from the past or the worry over the future, you recognize that only you can walk your journey. Your path to healing is yours and yours alone. No one else can walk it for you- and you cannot walk it for anyone else.
This realization calls you to honesty in your work, allowing you to simply become the clear conduit without adding in your own perceptions, expectations, or beliefs to infiltrate your practice. When you do your work honestly, the need to diagnose, prescribe, or even describe what you as the practitioner experienced during your client’s sessions fades away as you realize that any explanation you could give will cause unnecessary resistance and further pain for your client.
You begin to recognize that their path is theirs to walk, and not yours to direct. In other words, you realize that there is nothing you could offer at the end of a Reiki session that could be done in honesty, if the words you share carry with them the coloration of your own perceptions or beliefs. For every time that you are right about an energetic block or potential diagnosis, what about all the times you are wrong?
Doing our work honestly brings us to awareness that everyone has their own path to walk, their own healing journey to follow. This realization brings with it feelings of gratitude as we come to appreciate everyone and everything in our lives and the paths they had to take to get there. We become grateful for our families, our friends, our acquaintances, our co-workers. We become grateful for those around us, knowing that they too have their fair share of broken, dirty chains.
It is this gratitude that brings us to the final precept- Just for today I will be kind to every living thing. In our gratitude for them we find compassion and in our compassion we find kindness as we recognize the pain and forbearance of those around us as they too walk their own path. Through this kindness, we release resistance to what could have been, and step into gentle gratitude and love for what is.
In this way the precepts blend into one another, first calling us to release the past and future and then directing us to come fully into the present with love, gratitude, and kindness. These precepts call us to so much more than an effective Reiki practice or better way of life. They call us to dust off our old dirty chains and step into our truest selves. They call us to release what might have been so that we can see the beauty of what is. And they allow us to share the power of healing with others as we walk our own path to wellness.