Philosophy of Reiki

| 8 min read |

Reiki is the practice of channeling Ki energy for the purpose of  healing and balancing energy in the body. What is often overlooked is that Reiki is both a healing energy practice as well as a philosophy, and that this is by design. From the teachings of Usuei Sensei, in order to create the physical health and mental clarity we desire through Reiki energy we must first deeply understand the philosophic principles that create an open channel for Reiki energy. By exploring the history and origins of Reiki, as well as the principles behind this practice, we can begin to understand Reiki as a philosophy and a practice.


What is philosophy?

First let us define what we mean by philosophy, what is philosophy? A philosophy is a set of well thought out principles that contribute to one’s understanding, acceptance, and therefore happiness in life. The key word here being, happiness. Historically, philosophy is not a matter of secrecy. Whereas one may keep their religious or political ideologies to themselves; philosophy is meant to be aired. This important distinction is in part why philosophy is held in such high scientific esteem by thought leaders of their times. Much like a master thesis, philosophical theory was debated and defended in a public forum in order to realize it’s inherent legitimacy or fallacies.


The Purpose of Reiki

Reiki is considered to be an ancient spiritual method for inviting good luck in one’s life and for inviting health into one’s body and the healing of any disease. This method is based on centuries of both understanding and mapping the flow of energy within the body, the medicine that has been practiced in the Far East for thousands of years. Energy medicine as a practice has a long history of proven results from acupuncture, electromagnetic therapy, medical Intuitives, and energy healing such as Reiki.

As the healing practice made its way from China into Japan, it became known as Reiki. It is perhaps the most popular energy healing practice today. From the teachings of Usuei Sensei, we must as individuals clear our channel and balance the energy centers within the body to create physical health and mental clarity, this is done through practice of the five Reiki principles and channeling Reiki for ourselves and for others (with their permission).

Five Reiki Principles

The five Reiki principles, also known as the Reiki Gokai are the foundation of Reiki. Of course, they are written in Japanese characters and therefore hold a different meaning for a native speaker. I am fortunate to have studied Reiki from a master teacher and native speaker , which led to an in-depth discussion on the cultural nuances between the two languages. This approach has led to a contemporary and culturally integrated understanding of the eastern and western definitions of the five principles.

1. Just for today I will not be angry.
Of course this does not mean do not get angry as our anger is a natural part of our humanness. This principle simply means that I will not hold onto the anger, I will not allow it to become my words or my actions. Rather I will recognize it and prepare myself to accept and change rather than deny and fight… Repeat daily.

2. Just for today I will not worry.
The principal of “don’t worry” is a means of accepting what is happening in one’s life. Saying, I will do my best to improve as I can if I am not happy with something because I know it is my choice to either keep it in my life; or to find a way to push through without worry. This principle embodies having faith. When we lose our connection to faith and give in to our fear and worry, we lose our connection to Reiki.

3. I will fill myself with gratitude.
At any given moment there are things we can feel incredibly grateful for, do you agree? What is your relationship with gratitude? We all need to look deep within ourselves; into the many things which are going great in life and to be grateful for our health even if the things in our lives do not go the way we had wanted. This is true gratitude and it is a sign of our spiritual maturation.

4. I will earn my living honestly and honor my family, my ancestors, and I will honor myself with the discipline of honesty.
This principle reminds and encourages us to work and believe in the power of your intentions, is your Reiki practice part of your daily intention? What are you drawing into your life through the energy of your work? Are you prepared to work hard to create that which you dream with your whole heart?

According to the Gokai, the quality of honest living brings honor to one’s teachers and to oneself by bringing honor to your family and ancestors. Bringing honor to our family and our ancestors is not a typical motivation within the modern mind; particularly for modern Western mind. It may not be typical, but is it valuable? Can it help us to make better choices? Is this way of thinking something that can heal old wounds? Could it make the path easier future generations?

5. I am kind to all.
Reiki holds the truth that all things are sacred, all things are made of the living energy of Ki or prana. This is as true for your toothbrush as it is true for your coworker. The highest and most potent energy vibration is that of love and loving – kindness. Look at how kindness moves us forward; what we send out does come back and therefore no choice, thought or action, is insignificant. When we come up against obstacles that seem to stop us from moving forward in our lives, that is the most important time to remember to act with loving kindness. If we can let our hearts share love, than love will be shared in return, this is the basis of Reiki.

Reiki as a philosophy

Reiki philosophy is meant to bring us into greater alignment with Reiki energy and these philosophical principles provide a foundation for this alignment. Reiki is a practice that requires that the practitioner /receiver protects the clarity of their energy through adherence of the five principles. The more you practice the clearer your channel. We cannot all have that level of commitment that brought Usui Sensei to the top of Mount Kurama with his readiness to die rather than go on living without meaningful purpose and spiritual conviction in life, but commitment is key.

Unlike other philosophic practices, Reiki is an energy based practice. Energy never lies, meaning you cannot hide your energy. Thus if you are not doing the work it will be evident in your energy field. The more you practice the more you will become in tune with your energy and in relationship with the five principles. Likewise, the more you will be able to see the energy of others and their relationship to the five principles. Another way of thinking of this is that the five principles help to clear the negative energy that caused the energetic imbalance of health in the first place.

The five philosophical principles bring us into greater alignment with the life force energy that brings health and mental clarity into our bodies. When we are healthy and clear, we are better prepared to face life’s obstacles with a positive outlook. With increased clarity, we have greater awareness of the options that are available for us. Whoever practices the five principles becomes more in tune with the universal synchronistic forces that bring a sense of ease and happiness into one’s life.


From the Heart,

Tracy Rose

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