Five principles of reiki – 5. Be kind to others

This post is part 5 and last of 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.

Today, I want to talk about the fifth and the last reiki-five-principlesprinciple, “Be kind to others”, which again sounds simple but it’s not always easy to implement in your daily life.

As I wrote in my previous post, the Five Principles of Reiki start with:

The secret art of inviting happiness, the miraculous medicine of all diseases

Followed by the five principles, starting 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.

Usui Reiki Treatment for the Improvent of Body and Mind

Usui Mikao, Founder

Mrs Chiyoko Yamaguchi, highly respected reiki teacher and late mother of my teacher Tadao Yamaguchi, has told her students to follow the first four principles well, then the fifth will happen naturally.

In other words, if you took good care of yourself, then you would naturally be kind to others and would be able to take good care of others (by offering reiki, if you are a practitioner). And she lived by these words until the end of her life.

Taking yourself first vs. putting others before you

One of the reasons why I think it’s not easy to apply the fifth principle is those of us in so called “healing business” tend to put others before ourselves. We may sacrifice ourselves to try to heal others. We also may try to be there for friends or try to look after your family before looking after yourself.

After a while, you start to feel the strain in your health and emotions, and eventually stop enjoying the healing work which you’re supposed to love.

Put oxygen mask on you first, before helping others

reiki-five-principlesWhen I used to work in the humanitarian assistance sector, I traveled often to countries hit by disasters. Every time I flew, I would hear the safety video tells you in case of emergency, “put the oxygen mask on you first, before helping others”.

Back then, I was highly stressed, ate little, drank a lot of coffee, didn’t sleep well and worked long hours. Whenever I heard the safety video, I felt that the voice in the video was speaking to me, as if to say, “you’re trying to save lives, but are you saving yourself?”.

Can other people’s happiness make you happy?

Some people might say “I can become happy only when others are happy”. Again, this is an idea that humanitarian workers tend to have. However, I think other people would be difficult to feel happy if you look like you’re suffering.

If you are happy and smiling, that would rub off on other people, and they may want to become happy and healthy like you.

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize (your time and energy)

I think one of the biggest challenges we have today is our lives have become so busy. We pack so much into a day, spread ourselves everywhere, in addition to being online all the time.

I hate to admit but, I feel nostalgic about those days when we didn’t have the internet around the clock, and we had to dial in to check emails or search on the net.

Those days are gone, and we now have the reiki-five-principlesconvenience of fast PCs and smartphones. But we also have the family, friends and clients whom we want to spend time with and to look after. So who/what is most important to you? Only you know the answer.

So, just for today, be kind to others, and treat others as you would wish to be treated. But remember to be kind to yourself too, and apply the first four principles (don’t be angry, do not worry, be grateful, work hard) as best as you can, the the kindness will follow.

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


2 thoughts on “Five principles of reiki – 5. Be kind to others

  1. This is a great article on the five principles of reiki, I think this is a great concept but it will be rather difficult to implement these five principles on a daily basis. We live in an extremely competitive world where everyone is trying to get ahead and that makes it difficult for me not to worry, I’m always worried. If someone is intentionally doing something to make me angry, it will be difficult for me not to get angry. Do you have a hard time implementing these five principles on a daily basis? How do you do it?

    • Hi WMP

      I know what you mean about the difficulty of implementing these principles to your daily life. This is why, I think, there is a precursor “Just for today” for the 5 principles. If you think you have to apply them everyday for the rest of your life, it would seem impossible. But, if it’s just for today, it’s probably doable:). I used to worry a lot too (and still do sometimes, but not as much) but I’ve consciously learned to let go. Same with anger. You need to be aware of your mind, and consciously control your anger and eventually forgive. I have written a separate post on “do not worry” and “don’t be angry“, which you may find useful– they aren’t long articles. I think the most important thing is to remember to be kind to yourself and pat on your back on the days you manage to apply these principles, and not to beat yourself…and remember it’s just for today!


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