of the Reiki gokai (Five Principles / Precepts)
Copyright ę 2002/5 James Deacon
[Last update: Jan.21, 2006]
secret method of inviting blessings, the spiritual medicine of many
illnesses (Sh˘fuku no hih˘, Manbyo no rei yaku)
Just for today (Kyo dake wa):
Don't get angry (Okoru na*)
Don't worry (Shinpai su na)
Be grateful (Kansha shite)
Work diligently (Gyo wo hage me)
Be kind to others (Hito ni shinsetsu ni)
Mornings and evenings sit in the gassho position and repeat these
words out loud and in your heart (Asa you gassho shite kokoro ni nenji
kuchi ni tonaeyo)
For the improvement of mind and body (Shin shin kaizen)
Spiritual Healing Method (Usui Reiki Ryoho)
The founder, Mikao Usui (Choss˘, Usui Mikao)"
* * * * *
Meiji and the Reiki Principles?
commonly claimed that the Five Principles are (or are directly
derived from) the words of the Emperor Meiji. However there
is no clear evidence to support this claim.
possible that this belief that the principles came from the Emperor may
have something to do with the following sentence which appears on the
Usui Memorial stone in the Saihoji Temple graveyard in Tokyo:
when it comes to teaching, first let the student understand the Emperor
Meiji's admonitions; and let them chant the gokai
mornings and evenings, and keep them in mind."
the particular wording used in some translations of the original
Japanese, a number of people have been led to believe that the gokai are
the Emperor's admonitions - when in fact this sentence speaks of the
Emperors admonitions and also of the Reiki
Principles - there is distinction between the two.
similarly, in the Q&A section of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Hikkei,
where Usui-sensei is quoted as saying:
we have received the Emperor Meiji's precepts.
That humanity may discover its proper path, we must live according to
also apparently added weight to the erroneous belief that the Reiki
Precepts and the Emperor's
Precepts were one and the same.
The Emperor Meiji's 'admonitions' ?
what are the Emperor Meiji's 'admonitions' or
'precepts' mentioned here?
the Emperor wrote a large number of poems intended to be of moral
guidance for his people, however, it seems, what is being referred to
here is most likely something called the ky˘iku [ni kansuru]
chokugo or Imperial Rescript on Education (1890) is generally
acknowledged as being the most important Imperial pronouncement on
moral education (shushin) to be made throughout the
entire period from the start of the Meiji era to the end of WWII.
out the Moral Principles/Precepts that all Imperial subjects should
ye, Our subjects:
Our lmperial Ancestors have founded Our Empire on a basis broad and
everlasting and have deeply and firmly implanted virtue; Our subjects
ever united in loyalty and filial piety have from generation to
generation illustrated the beauty thereof.
This is the glory of the fundamental character of Our Empire, and
herein also lies the source of Our education.
Subjects, be filial to your parents, affectionate to your brothers and
sisters; as husbands and wives be harmonious, as friends true; bear
yourselves in modesty and moderation; extend your benevolence to all;
pursue learning and cultivate arts, and thereby develop intellectual
faculties and perfect moral powers; furthermore advance public good and
promote common interests; always respect the Constitution and observe
the laws; should emergency arise, offer yourselves courageously to the
State; and thus guard and maintain the prosperity of Our Imperial
Throne coeval with heaven and earth.
ye not only be Our good and faithful subjects, but render illustrious
the best traditions of your forefathers.
The Way here set forth is indeed the teaching bequeathed by Our
Imperial Ancestors, to be observed. alike by Their Descendants and the
subjects, infallible for all ages and true in all places.
lt is Our wish to lay it to heart in all reverence, in common with you,
Our Subjects, that we may
all thus attain to the same virtue.
30th day of the 10th month of the 23rd year of Meiji.
(Imperial Signature + Seal.)"
version from the "Junior High School Morals & Manners Textbook
Vol.V Revised Edition", 1914.]
might Usui-sensei make reference to the Emperor Meiji's 'admonitions'
in his teachings?
Some people feel that this suggests that Usui-sensei held the Emperor
Meiji in great esteem, and this may indeed have been the case. However,
there is another possibility. Even though Meiji had died in 1912 and a
new Emperor ruled Japan during the time Usui-sensei was expounding his
Reiki Ryoho, it would have - in the political climate of the time -
been considered prudent for anyone publicly proposing their own
set of guiding principles to make due reference to this particular
Imperial decree - in a sense acknowledging that their own principles
were meant as an adjunct to rather than a
substitute for the Imperial ones, which were still viewed as
the core moral guidelines for the nation.
important to note that, although an Imperial proclamation, and as such
treated with great reverence, the Imperial Rescript on Education was
not composed by the Meiji Emperor himself.
The initial draft of the document was written by Education Minister
Inoue Kowashi (1843-1895) and this was revised with recommendations
made by Confucian scholar Motoda Nagazane (1818-1891)]
Reiki Gokai and Buddhist Precepts?
Reiki masters have claimed that the Reiki Gokai or Precepts are simply
a rewording of the Buddhist Precepts (or Admonitions) known as the Juuzen
Kai - however these paticular Precepts are ten
in number, not five.
The Ten Precepts or Juuzen Kai
admonish the individual to refrain from:
Exaggeration / Boasting / Flattery / Irresponsible speech
Slander / Faultfinding / Defamation
Hypocracy / Duplicity / Equivocacy
Greed / Miserliness
Anger / Hatred
Holding erroneous views / Losing sight of the truth
[Now, admittedly the first Reiki Principle and the ninth of the Juuzen
Kai are indeed the same - the admonition to refrain from
anger. But here the similarity ends.]
Reiki Masters, on learning that in Buddhism there is
also a set of five Precepts/Principles
(and that in Japan, these are actually referred to as the gokai
), have claimed that the Reiki Gokai are actually
based on these.
the Buddhist gokai are specifically admonitions
A direct source for the Reiki Gokai?
where might Usui-sensei have gotten the inspiration for the Reiki Gokai
entitled Kenzen no Genri (Principles of Health),
written by a Dr. Bizan (or: Miyama?) Suzuki, contains the following short passage (or poem, if you
This, rather than the words of the Emperor (or his Ministers), or the
various sets of Buddhist Precepts, is almost certainly the direct
source of Usui Sensei's Five Reiki Principles.
The Japanese characters
pronounced as okoru
can also be pronounced as ikaru
- so we can say 'okoru na' or alternatively 'ikaru na'