Just for today…the Five Reiki Principles

Just for today, do not be angry
Just for today, do not worry
Just for today, be grateful
Just for today, work hard
Just for today, be kind to others.

Just for today…just for this moment.

Sometimes it is hard to commit to a day, it can seem like an eternity. In Reiki, as in meditation, start with where you are, start with what you can do.

This type of approach of “working where you are” works well with healing, or working with any kind of major suffering.

When we recognize anger has arisen, we can say, “I have anger.” In the recognition, and the allowing for the emotion to be there, we can say, “just for this moment, I am calm”. But to be in the calm, embodiment and THE ABILITY TO BE WITH ANGER is essential to transform it. Developing the skills to be with your own anger over time puts it in the place of what it actually is, a reaction. It can then be navigated and eventually the body and brain can choose and naturally flow into a calm response rather than anger.

When we recognize fear has arisen, we can pay attention. For many fear looks like worry. We can pay attention to what fear looks like, it may have a face, a name, be assigned to a place of memory in our minds. When fear comes up during the day, we can say, “just for this moment, I am aware I am safe.” And use the breath to bring yourself back. Breathing in slowly, bringing your awareness to the air flowing in and out. This of course may require more in depth work but breathing during fearful moments can be a rapid way to bring oneself back.

There is much we are being given in every moment, although when we suffer it is hard to see this. Very often our resistance to what is in front of us, what is here in the moment is what gives us the most suffering. If we can say, “just for this moment, I am grateful for…the smile of the grocery clerk, the food in front of me, the sensation in my hand” and really pause to take it in. Over time that moment can grow and become a larger part of the day. Even though life may be painful, we ease the resistance to seeing what is here and have gratitude for what is working; much of what is working with then will fill our hearts and minds, and eases the edges of suffering.

Working hard does not mean working hard and doing damage to ourselves, to another or to the earth. Working hard in this context means to work with one’s gifts and passions to make the world a better place. When we express our gifts, even if it is not in a current job but done as a hobby, we are making ourselves better, and satisfying the need of the world and humanity to be whole. We are one large organism: the earth, humanity, and each creature on it. When one is suffering, we all suffer in some realm of the psyche. “Just for this moment, I will work hard for I know we are all connected.”

Which brings us to being kind. There may be situations of danger and distress where we just cannot be kind to what is outside of us, and we must raise our voices against an injustice or step away if we feel danger. Kindness requires right action in terms of self care and self responsibility. Kindness also requires paying attention to the internal voices of self judgement. The meditation teacher Jonathan Foust jokes, “raise your hand if you have ever looked in the mirror and had a critical thought”. We are immersed in a society, especially this western one, where we confuse self aggrandizement and harshness with motivation. It is completely possible to be internally motivated without judgement and criticism, but our bodies and minds must learn to do so with kindness. Start with getting out of bed in the morning, “just for this moment, I will be kind to myself.” We can wake up 5 minutes earlier and leave the house 5 minutes earlier so that we can offer the person in traffic or the elevator to go ahead of us. Those extra moments may be priceless to another, and that kindness will reflect in their lives and yours.

May these Reiki principles live in you and radiate out to all beings.

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