In this article, we will be discussing the first five pearls of Reiki – the Gokai – the principles that are so simple to state but so difficult to follow. In my next article of this series you will learn about the Sixth Pearl of Reiki, the affirmation KYO DAKEWA – Only for Today.
First Principle – IKARU-NA – (Only for Today), I Release all Anger
Anger, if not controlled, is one of the most pernicious emotions that humans can have. It is absolutely unnecessary and very often harmful for our evolution. Anger is a primitive feeling connected to the instinct of survival.
It is perfectly legitimate to feel anger in some occasions but we cannot allow it to grow and take the lead in a given situation.
Anger clouds our reasoning and leads us to take thoughtless actions. It is a poison to the soul as well as to the body. Anger feeds on negative emotions, constituting a negative state of mind that, like a poison, destroys our discernment.
When we get angry, we release hatred and negative emotions that are originated from fear and guilt, thus limiting our consciousness. Anger is contagious, it contaminates our environment; anger blinds and generates unhappiness. Negative emotions and negative feelings weaken the Heart chakra and, as consequence our immune system, since the Heart chakra is responsible for its proper functioning.
Anger blocks our Root chakra (also called the basic chakra) and decreases our vitality. Anger (if not controlled) is a useless and harmful expenditure of energy. It speeds up the heart rate, causes adrenaline discharges, and, in the end, leaves us physically and emotionally worn out. Some people say that a flight of anger causes an emotional wear equal, or even greater, than a stressful day’s work.
It’s a pure waste of energy. It is important to free ourselves from these negative charges and learn not to think over and over as we usually do. Each step taken on the path of the heart corresponds to a step taken on the path of healing. We have to heal – inside!!!!
Jesus said – “Love one another.” This phrase from one of the greatest Prophets and Teachers of Mankind will be easily understood from this perspective. Love is the spring that makes the world move. Brian Weiss has a book, “Only Love Is Real”, and that’s a great truth.
Reiki is an energy of pure love, of unconditional love. For this reason, Reiki can be a way to our evolution and our inner growth, freeing us from countless problems and helping us on the path of transformation.
2nd Principle – SHINPAI SUNA – (Only for Today), I Release all Worry/I Trust
When we worry, we suffer by anticipation. Thus, it will be much better for us to occupy ourselves in such a way that we can live the present in the best possible manner.
The big difference between the adult and the child is that the child trusts and, as such, is happy. He lives in the here and now. When the child grows up, happiness is gone as fear and worry step in. Fear blocks the 2nd chakra (which gives us the joy of living) causing unhappiness and entraining disharmony and disease.
There is a divine purpose in everything that happens. The present is lived now and, by living now, we build the future. We must not forget that decisions made in the past were based on the knowledge we had at that time. It doesn’t help thinking over and over again about the past; we’re poisoning the present and compromising the future.
There is a famous phrase that says it all: “The fool worries, the intelligent occupies himself, and the wise smiles”.
To Trust is, for me, certainly the most difficult principle to follow, let’s see.
A couple of years ago, I received an email with a movie attached. In that movie there was a man hanging from a cliff and desperately calling for help. Suddenly he hears a loud voice saying: “Let go of you and I will catch you.” The man asked again, who is there? And the voice answered again: “I’m God, let go of you and I will catch you.” In despair, the man cries: “Is there someone else? Is there someone else?” We trust but…
3rd Principle – KANSHA-SHITE – (Only for Today), I Give Thanks for My Many Blessings
Gratitude is a beautiful feeling, although very often difficult to express.
How many of us forget to thank for something offered to us because we consider it’s our right to receive it?
How many times do we ask for a grace and, after receiving it, forget to thank for the grace received? How many times have we stopped thanking for the gifts we receive every day?
We should be grateful for what we have (and also for what we don’t have because, if we don’t have, there is certainly a reason for it – we may, or may not, be aware of that reason, we usually don’t), because all that we have are gifts. Life, sun and health are examples of this. The problem is that we have taken them for granted and, as such, we give them little value and so we forget to give thanks for them.
In general, we only realize the value of things after losing them and, until then, we consider that there is not much to thank.
Those who complain about being a horrible rainy and cold day should be thankful for the watering of the fields, for the replacement of the water levels (or a free car wash).
The way we look at things is very important. If we look at them positively, the return will be positive; if we consider them as a burden, the return may not be light.
The Universe gives – we must receive and give thanks for the gifts received. An attitude of gratitude, even towards what has not yet been received, releases energy flows that bring us closer to our goal. If we want to live in abundance, we have to call for it. We cannot block the attraction of abundance with negative thoughts and we must not forget about recognition and gratitude as they generate abundance.
Reiki, unblocking the energy flows and establishing a connection with the Source, helps us to fulfill our longings. Once our wish has been granted (beware of any exaggeration in relation to what is asked), it is necessary to thank for the gift received and it is important to bear in mind that if something has not been granted, there has been certainly a very strong reason for that to happen (nothing happens by chance).
4th Principle – GYO O HAGE ME – (Only for Today), I Will Work Hard; I Will Earn My Living Honestly/With Integrity/With Truth
Nothing can be achieved without honesty and dedicated work, and in the spiritual field, apart from honest work, you have to work hard. On a spiritual path, such as Reiki, daily work, dedication, and perseverance are fundamental to be able to evolve. Facilitation and negligent work are not compatible with spiritual evolution.
This 4th Principle says in its current version – Just for today, work hard. There are also some Western Schools that use – Just for today, I will do my work honestly, I will work with the Truth.
In the day-to-day of our lives, honesty and dedicated work, with devotion to what we do, is a starting point for our lives to be more balanced and richer. Being more balanced and richer, our life will be happier. Happiness is something which we all aspire to but, unfortunately, many will never find.
Our attitude and commitment towards things are decisive in the way we carry them out and in the satisfaction we take from them. The work done with fulfillment, with joy is much more productive and strengthens our self-esteem. If the work is performed unwillingly, it will be harder to execute and will take much longer and, eventually, it may get badly done and will certainly leave us more tired and, ultimately, the excess of tiredness and stress generated may result in an illness.
5th Principle – HITO NI SHINSETSU NI – (Only for Today), I Will Be Kind To Every Living Thing
We all are an integral part of the universe. In each of the living beings shines a divine spark. We’re all sparks from the “Big Fire”. Respecting other living beings, we also respect ourselves, and the respect for ourselves is of great importance.
Everything has its reason for existing, nothing is there by chance. There is a well-defined purpose in everything but often we cannot understand or uncover it.
The saying goes “don’t do to others what you don’t like to be done to you”. Treat others nicely and you’ll receive kindness in return. Those who sows winds, reap storms – another true saying. We are responsible for all of our actions as well as for the consequences that result from them. Negative attitudes generate negative energies and negative feedback.
If we respect all other living things, we are respecting the Earth and contributing to a better tomorrow. If there is love, there is harmony and respect. There is a dissolution of selfishness and, then, the risk of conflict and destruction will be greatly reduced.
Reiki, as the (spiritual) path it is, helps us to respect life and love others as ourselves.
These Five Principles, which should work as guidelines for all Reiki practitioners, are also the basis for the creation of a positive mental attitude which, for itself, is an essential factor in self-healing and in the path to be able to help others in the most adequate way.
Personally, I have the habit to repeat the Gokai together with my students before starting any attunement, whichever the Level, (using the Japanese version, as it is in Japanese that the Gokai have their greater strength, since it was in Japanese they were first enunciated), since this practice will help us to connect to the energy as well as with Mikao Usui and other Reiki Masters, in particular with those attuned by Mikao Usui.
According to Mikao Usui, the Reiki practitioner would sit every morning and every afternoon in silence with hands in “Gassho” in front of the heart and repeat three times the Gokai, internalizing their meaning. This practice would work as an active meditation, inducing a healthy mind. He also recommended that, prior and after the verbalization, Reiki should be applied for five minutes placing the dominant hand in the front and the non-dominant hand in the occipital. The repetition of the Gokai three times gives strength to the words and helps to accomplish them.
Article by João Antão Marques
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João Antão Marques, a retired chemical engineer, is an Usui Tibetan Reiki Master/teacher living in Lisbon, Portugal, with training in Jikiden Reiki, Karuna® Reiki and Seichim, Lotus Light Jewel, Tibetan Bowls Massage and Therapy of Past Lives. Works as a volunteer with elder people in a Daily Center of the Portuguese Red Cross and has also worked with drugs and alcohol addicted. In the meantime, has published a book for non-Reiki people “Hello I am the Reiki”. João can be reached by mail at email@example.com.