Article by Phoenix Fenegan
Gassho meditation was given by Mikao Usui to his Reiki students to help them develop their Reiki and personal development skills, and is most often taught to students at Reiki 1 level. However, it is to be used throughout your life as a means of developing your Reiki and improving your life generally.
Gassho is the name of the hand position – hands together in prayer at the chest. A Gassho is the greeting gesture used in many eastern cultures as an expression of welcome, recognition, humbleness and respect. It is these qualities we bring to mind when we adopt this position.
Below, is a short, morning Gassho Meditation with the Reiki Precepts included. It is designed to start your day right and help you keep Reiki in mind throughout the day.
A Morning Gassho Meditation (10 minutes)
How To Do Gassho Meditation
- Sit upright in a comfortable position.
- Draw the Reiki symbols for your level on each palm with your finger.
- Place your hands in a prayer position at your chest.
- Take a few deep breaths and centre yourself with eyes closed.
- Now move your focus of attention to the space between the palms of your hands.
- As your mind wanders, return your attention to the space between the palms.
- When you are ready, run through the Reiki Precepts given to you by your teacher, or use this version below.
“Just for today, I will not worry.
Just for today, I will not get angry.
I will do my work diligently,
I will be grateful for my many blessings,
I will be kind to myself and all living things.”
The gassho meditation is best done twice a day, morning and evening. In the meditation above, this 10 minute morning meditation also includes the Reiki Precepts to help you set the day right. There is no limit to the time you can spend, but if your hands or wrists get tired, place them on your thighs.
By placing your attention on the space between the palms, you are activating the small chakras in your hands. You may feel warmth, tingles or a sense of expansion as you do this meditation.
You can also perform Gassho meditation in the evening. I use this time to express gratitude while holding a Gassho position for about 15 minutes.
Why Do This Meditation?
The Precepts were passed from Usui to his students as a way of keeping them from stress and therefore dis-ease. The commemorative stone erected by Usui’s students shortly after his death contains the Precepts written in Japanese Kanji. On the stone, preceding the Precepts are the following lines:
“This is the secret art of inviting happiness.
This is the miraculous medicine of all diseases.”
The Precepts have been altered slightly through translation and for ease of use, to give us the versions that we know and are taught today.
Regular repetition of the Gassho meditation will increase your hand sensitivity and calm your mind. By dedicating yourself to daily practice you are increasing and strengthening the Reiki flow into your life.
It is not uncommon to hear of Reiki practitioners whose lives have been transformed by this daily practice.
You do not need to have been attuned or attended formal Reiki training to benefit from this meditation practice, try it and see for yourself. The hand chakras will activate when you repeatedly place your attention on them and the Reiki energy will flow easily.
Why “Just for today…”?
When we repeat this prayer every morning, we only need to think about today. To try to keep the precepts as promises for the foreseeable future seems a bit unrealistic, so we say, ‘just for today’, but we say it every day as if for the first time.
In this way, we need only think about how we react to the world just for today, and allow yesterday’s reactions to be at peace and tomorrow’s to be left in the future.
Hands too Painful?
The Gassho position isn’t always comfortable. Especially for those with carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, wrist problems or weak hands. If the Gassho position is too painful or awkward for you, explore these alternatives:
- Modified Gassho – hands loosely in prayer but with fingers bent slightly and elbows down.
- Alternative Position – hands clasped at diagonals like you’re gently holding a bug, one palm up, one palm down. Wrists are not bent in this position but the space between the hands can still be felt.
- One-handed Position – place your hand palm down on the heart. There is still a small space between the palm and chest, focus your attention here.
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Phoenix Fenegan is a Reiki Master Teacher, yoga teacher, spiritual and energy explorer. Phoenix has a YouTube channel called Reiki Meditations which has many resources for Reiki students and those looking to experience Reiki. She is a writer of some note on yoga and spiritual matters and was first published way back in 1997. You can follow her on Instagram @reikimeditationsyoutube