Five principles of reiki – 4. Work hard (perform your duties fully)

This post is part 4 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 is the Five Principles.

In my previous three posts, I talked about the first three principles, and I only shared the actual five principles. But, in fact, there is a prelude to the Five Principles of Reiki, reiki-five-principleswhich says:

The secret art of inviting happiness

The miraculous medicine of all diseases

This is followed by the five principles, which start with, “Just for today“,

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

Every morning and evening, join your hands in prayer, pray these words in your heart, and chant these words out loud.

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Usui Mikao, Founder

Today, I want to talk about the fourth principle, “work hard“, which sounds simple, but there is actually a bit more to it than in a contemporary sense of working long hours or being productive.

Fulfill your mission in life

The “work” in this context doesn’t only refer to your daily job, but also any other duties you may have (in community or at home) and your mission in life (if you already know it). Even if you haven’t realized your mission in this life time, you just give 100% to everything you do.

In traditional Japanese society, Buddhist monks went through hardship as part of their practice to attain enlightenment. That’s one way of becoming a better human being, but ordinary people don’t have to go through the rigorous training of a Buddhist monk.

By becoming mindful of each moment and becoming fully aware of yourself and your surrounding environment, we can be free of our anger and worries (principles 1 and 2) and be grateful of what we are given (principle 3), we can be kind to ourselves and to others (principle 5).

The idea is if you lived by these principles, not only will you be healthy and happy, but you will also be able to help others who may be suffering and alleviate them from their pain.

So, just for today, work hard and perform your duties fully. But if you forget, don’t be tough on yourself and try again tomorrow!

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.

If you want to learn how to become more mindful, I highly recommend Eckhart Tolle’s books.

If you want to know more about Japanese Reiki, my teacher Tadao Yamaguchi has written a great book, which is easy to read and understand but explains how Japanese Reiki is different from so called Western Reiki.


2 thoughts on “Five principles of reiki – 4. Work hard (perform your duties fully)

  1. Hi Ayako,

    I love the principles of Reiki and my favourite part of them is ‘Just for today’ because it helps me to do my best today and not worry about whether I can do it every day. If it said ‘every day’ I think most of us would be overwhelmed by it and could easily stop simply becasue it felt stressful and demanding. As it is, I find that even if I forget about the Reiki principles for a while, when I read them again I know that I can do those 5 things today.
    I like the ‘work hard’ principle because for me it means whatever I am doing I should give it my best efforts. Whether that is working in my business, cleaning the house, helping my children with homework, going to the gym, etc it encourages me to be in the moment and do my best.
    Will you be writing more about the differences between the Japanese and Western Reiki, and about the symbols?
    Thanks, Rachel

    • Hi Rachel,

      I’m glad you enjoyed reading about the five principles of reiki, and yes, “just for today” is such an important part of the principles. I also like the fourth principle, because it boils down to being mindful at each moment and giving your full attention to whatever you are doing at that moment, whether managing your business or taking care of your family.

      I definitely hope to be writing more on the differences between Japanese and Western Reiki, and I’ll also touch on symbols and other teachings.


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