The 5 Reiki Principles – a blueprint for mindful living

5 Reiki Principles


Dr Usui believed that before anyone practices Reiki, they must first take responsibility for their own health and well being to be a pure and open channel for healing energy to flow. He developed five principles, based on writings of the Meiji Emperor, which he taught to his students as a spiritual guide to apply to life, advising chanting these five principles every morning and evening. They are described as ‘the secret art of inviting happiness; the spiritual medicine for all diseases of body and mind’.

There are infinite versions of these five principles published in books and online. There’s no right and wrong version, so choose the version that resonates with you. I’m currently working with these words in my own practice:


The 5 Principles of Reiki

  • Just for today I release anger
  • Just for today I release worry
  • Just for today I practice gratitude
  • Just for today I work honestly and with integrity
  • Just for today I am kind to every living thing


As a Reiki Master Teacher, I believe in the wisdom of these five principles which form an important part of the spiritual discipline of Reiki. Focusing on them every day has a profound effect on your ability to live a happier, more mindful life. “Just for today” invites you to live in the present moment and opens you to opportunities for appreciation and awe of each moment as it happens.

Let’s look at the principles more closely to see why.


Just for today I release anger

Anger is a destructive emotion rooted in fear and we often use it against ourselves and loved ones.

Consciously choosing to release anger opens the door for forgiveness and understanding. This can be challenging when you know that someone has harmed you intentionally but if you are consumed by anger the Universe will respond to your angry, negative energy in the same way that it will respond to the person you’re angry with and will bounce that negative energy straight back to you.

When you observe your emotions without judgement in meditation you become more able to let that emotion, and whatever happened to create it, go.


Just for today I release worry

Worrying draws negative energy into your life. So many people use a huge amount of energy thinking about what might happen, what you don’t want to happen, and what you think is wrong in your life. All of that energy flows out into the Universe, telling it, “These are the important things in my life! Please keep on sending them my way!” The Universe then responds by sending you what it thinks you are asking for – a broken boiler, red lights and traffic jams when you’re late for work, illness, and all the myriad worries that keep your mind occupied and keep you awake at night. And all that worrying lowers your vibes.

Instead of wasting energy on something that may not happen, you can raise your vibes by changing your thoughts and focusing on what you do want to happen. One way is to visualise every single worry as a leaf on a tree overhanging a stream, then watch as autumn comes and each leaf (and the worry associated with it) falls from the tree and is washed away in the fast moving current of the stream. When all of the leaves have been washed away, you can visualise the return of spring and new leaves budding on the trees, each one representing the positive changes you would like to see in your life. As you release your worries and watch the positive new leaves grow, you will find that focus more on the good stuff and less on your old worries, and thoughts are replaced with a sense of inner calm and ease.


Just for today I practice gratitude

When you focus on gratitude, giving thanks to the Universe for its love and support, focusing on all the wonderful things you already have in your life, you send the message that the Universe is infinitely abundant and that “there is always more than enough.” When you live with this positive mind set, the Universe responds in kind.


Just for today I work honestly and with integrity

We are all connected; part of the whole; One. This means our actions and reactions impact on everyone else so it’s vital to demonstrate honesty and integrity in all that we do.

We all know that lying, cheating and sending negative energy out into the Universe will catch up with us eventually (the Universe is always watching!).


Just for today I am kind to every living thing

Treat others with kindness and compassion, and you will reap the rewards by surrounding yourself with kindness and compassion, in an eternal cycle that brings joy and gratitude when you open to the possibility that there is enough abundance for all when we live in the flow of the Universe.


How do you bring the 5 Reiki Principles into your own life? What changes have you noticed since you started meditating on them? Let me know in the comments!


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