The Gokai – 5 Reiki Principles

Mikao Usui believed that in order for anyone to practice Reiki and transfer healing energy to others, they must have first taken responsibility for their own health and wellbeing. He also realised the importance of a person’s participation in the healing process. To address this Usui developed five principles which he taught to his students as strategies to apply to life. These principles were:-

Just for today, do not be angry

Just for today, do not worry

Just for today, be grateful

Just for today, work hard

Just for today, be kind to all living things.

Mikao Usui


The 5 Reiki Principles in Japanese – the Gokai


Just for today, do not be angry.

Anger is when we respond to an event in an irrational because something happens differently to how you would like it to happen. It is a fight reaction that raises cortisol levels in the body and stimulates the production of adrenaline to ready the body to engage in combat.

When an event happens to trigger us, perhaps a friend is late for example, if we come from a cool, calm and completely present space then we are able to peacefully ride the circumstances, or if necessary feel passion to take strong and decisive action. However, if we resist an event and proclaim that it “shouldn’t have happened” we can become angry. Remaining angry after an event has happened can be a vastly destructive force, hurting ourselves and others.

Reiki helps us to become loving and accepting of life in all its variations and to know when it is appropriate to respond and when it is appropriate to let something go and move on.

Just for today, do not worry.

Worry is when we fear an outcome that we have little or no control over. Our most common forms of worry are our health, finances, career and loved ones.

This emotion is hugely draining on the body and can distract us from being fully in the present moment. Short levels of worry can be healthy in helping us to take precautions or pay more attention. However, when our thinking becomes pre-occupied with worrying thoughts it is best to take action to restore balance.

In order to deal with worry it is necessary to know that we all live in an uncertain world that carries a certain element of risk. If what you are worrying about cannot be acted upon, it is best to acknowledge the feeling and seek balance. Where your worrying thought can be acted on, use it to motivate you to begin the process of taking action. This may be creating a plan, seeking outside help or gathering more information so you can make an informed decision.

Just for today, be grateful.

Gratitude is one of human’s highest and most positive emotions. Being grateful for what we have, rather than focusing on what we do not, fills us with positivity and makes it more likely for us to draw more of the same towards us.

To be grateful is to see the wonder in all the gifts you have such as; friends, family, a functioning body, talents, skills and abilities, food to eat or a roof over your head.

To be ungrateful is to dissociate yourself with life and block good things coming to you. Ingratitude is the source of many serious health, social and psychological imbalances. It often goes hand in hand with a sense of entitlement and overly high expectations.

The ability to be grateful is an important muscle to exercise in order to retain a sense of balance. If we live in a state of gratitude, appreciating and giving thanks for the many blessings of life we can help transform negative attitudes and thoughts into positive ones.

There is always something to be grateful for.

Just for today, work hard.

Usui was very clear that in order to achieve anything in life, it requires a certain amount of diligence, commitment and effort. Commitment is the backbone of success and lasting improvement and is necessary in building a strong and harmonious relationship with ourselves and others.

Each task we do deserves our full attention, even if it is very mundane. Having a work ethic is necessary for us to make a contribution to our community and master the attributes we require to be successful. These attributes include being truthful and honest, self-motivated and willing to share our gifts with others.

Just for today, be kind to all living things.

Kindness is a choice. It involves the attributes of empathy, positivity, seeing the best in people and a willingness to be gentle and go easy on things, including ourselves. From this place of strength, yet softness, we are able to bring forth other attributes such as love and compassion.

Kindness is about loving and respecting ourselves and others. It is about keeping a soft and open heart, and treating others the way you would like to be treated yourself.


Put together, these Reiki Principles create a foundation for our personal spiritual growth. You are never done learning from the 5 Reiki Principles, there is always more to be explored with regards to letting go of anger, worry, gratitude, a good work ethic and kindness. Reiki will help you to reconnect to the purity of the energy that surrounds us.  Seeing as Reiki energy is complete, whole, balanced and harmonious – through exploring Reiki energy, we become complete, whole, balanced, harmonious and free from suffering.

Reiki Self treatment 2

This blog post forms part of the Reiki 21 Day Challenge – 21 days of self treatment, and meditation starting from 1st January 2018. Join in by following this event on Facebook, and taking part in a 21 day healing journey to bring more peace, love and harmony to yourself and the world around you.


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