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Copyright 2012 James Deacon ]

One day, a Reiki Student went to see his Master.

“Master,” he said, “I am conflicted.
Originally, when I was taught the Reiki Principles in Japanese, I learnt that these characters,” he paused momentarily, held out a xerox copy of the Principles, and pointed to the characters:

First Principle

then continued, “should be read as: 'oko-ru na'. Now I have been told that they should be read as 'ika-ru na'. Master, which is correct?

“Ah, yes.” the Master nodded, “It is the nature of kanji characters that they tend to have several different 'readings' - often depending on context. 
The kanji: ika - oko in the first Principle can indeed be read as ika, and it can also be read as oko.”

“So, which is correct Master - in this context?”

The Master smiled.
“Both”, he said.

The student frowned slightly.

“Nowadays, the Master explained, “oko is the more usual reading in this context. 
However, it is believed by some that, in Usui-sensei's time, ika was the more usual reading.
So, in reading the first Principle as 'ika-ru na', we honour the tradition of the past.
In reading the first Principle as 'oko-ru na', we honour the present. (“Just for Today...”)
There is great power in Tradition.
Yet there is also great power in being Mindfully Present in the NOW.”

The student was silent for a while - a very serious expression on his face.

At last, he spoke.
“Thank you for explaining this Master, but now I am even more conflicted.
Do I read this Principle as 'ika-ru na' and honour the Power of Tradition, or do I read it as 'oko-ru na' and honour the Power of Now?”

“Ah, decisions, decisions!” the Master said, in a kind-hearted, playfully mocking tone. Then,
“Of course you could always settle for a compromise – alternate between the two - read it as 'ika-ru na' one time, and as 'oko-ru na' the next.”

The Student was nodding thoughtfully. “Yes, possibly …”

“However, “ the master suggested, “perhaps the best answer to your predicament is to be found in a totally different 'reading'.

The student looked even more confused. “A different reading

Yes,” the Master said, “The reading of the Second Principle ...”

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