Five principles of reiki – 3. Be grateful

This post is part 3 of 5 on the Five Principles of Reiki (“go-kai” in Japanese). As I wrote on my page “What is reiki and how does it work?“, one of the most important aspects of reiki (in my opinion) is the five principles of reiki.

They are so simple, yet so profound. These five principles start with, “Just for today“, followed by:

  1. Don’t be angry
  2. Do not worry
  3. Be grateful
  4. Work hard (fulfill your duties)
  5. Be kind to others

Today, I want to share with you about the “gratefulness” and the reiki practice. Of all the five five-principles-of-reikiprinciples, gratitude is perhaps the easiest principle to apply to your life, because it’s relatively easy for all of us to find at least one thing we can be thankful about.

For example, you can be thankful for having a place to live, food to eat, clothes to wear. But it could even be simpler like having clean water to drink or having electricity in your home.

You can be grateful about anything

I lived and worked for a number of years in countries where there was no clean running water or constant supply of electricity. When I worked in northern Afghanistan, I was lucky to be living in a guesthouse where clean water was delivered (from the river) and boiled for us so we can drink it or bathe in it.

The same guesthouse had a generator so we could have electricity to charge our computers. But by 10pm, the generator had to be turned off as it made a lot of noise and it consumed gas.

So after I returned to “the West”, and for a while, I was pleasantly surprised every time I turned the tap on clean water came out…even hot water! Every time I turned the light switch and the light came on, and said to myself “oh thank God” out loud.

The problem is that we humans tend to forget once we are in comfort. It’s so easy to get used to having electricity all the time that when we do have a blackout once in a while we get annoyed. Likewise, we are so used to turning the tap on and having clean water that when the water is turned off temporarily or there is brown water, we complain.

When we turn to the negative mode and start going down that path, annoyance could turn into anger, and accumulation of which could have negative consequences (as I’ve written in my previous post “Five principles of reiki – 1. Don’t be angry“.

So what are some things you can do to practice gratitude?

  1. Bring your attention to the now, that’s “pain-free”

    Think of a time when you were really sick, i.e. with a fever, bad cold, a stomachache, headache, fracture, etc and imagine how miserable you felt. Then bring your attention to the now, (hopefully) without these illnesses or pains.

  2. Daily gratitude exercise

    Find at least 3 things for which you are grateful and write japanese-reiki-healingthem in your journal for at least 21 days. Schedule it in your phone calendar so that you are alerted everyday.

  3. Starting and ending with “thank you”

    Start your emails with “thank you for your message”, or end your phone calls with “thanks for your call” or “thanks for thinking of me”. Mikao Usui, the founder of reiki, recommended to start and finish each day with the five principles of reiki, and this of course includes starting and ending your day with gratitude. five-reiki-principles

  4. Walk with “thank you”

    When you walk and every step you take, say “thank you” to yourself. Even if you may not have started feeling so thankful, by the end of the walk you would feel grateful, as the mind starts to look for something to be grateful for.

So, just for today, be grateful, no matter how small it may be. And, even if you forget to be grateful today, don’t criticize yourself and just try it tomorrow!


2 thoughts on “Five principles of reiki – 3. Be grateful

  1. These 5 principles of reiki sound so easy, but when I really thought hard, I realised that I was a little lacking in 3 of the 5 particularly.
    I often get angry, well perhaps frustrated is a better word and I’m a real worry guts. I often moan about things that go wrong in my life but neglect being grateful for all I have.
    As for working hard, I do that no problem. Being kind to others is something my parents instilled into me. “Treat others as you would wish to be treated” they always said.
    These principles remind me of my dear friend in California who is a Buddhist (I’m in the UK). He lives his life with these principles and many more. Has Reiki anything to do with Buddhism? Thank you for this enlightening website. Ches

    • Hi ches

      Thank you for your lovely comment! Yes, these five principles sound rather straight forward, but if you have to actually implement them in your daily life, it’s not that easy…at least for me. Therefore, I have a lot of respect for your Buddhist friend in California who lives with these principles.

      As for reiki, Mr Mikao Usui, the founder of reiki, was brought up in a village where there was no elementary school (back in 1870’s) so he went to a Buddhist temple school (called “terakoya” in Japanese) which was very common in rural Japan back then, where children received Buddhist education.

      “Treat others as you would wish to be treated” is SO important and I’ll remember to include that when I write about the fifth principle. Thank you for your comment!


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