In a recent contemplation, it occurred to me that the Reiki Precepts, starting top down, is an exploration from the leaves to the root. Starting with letting go of anger, letting go of fear, feeling gratitude, being true to our way and being, and being compassionate to ourselves and others.
At the same time, it struck me that it takes longer to get from the leaves, and the branches, to the truck and the roots, pruning it all as it were. A massive exercise in self-improvement. It comes with its benefits — feeling better and better about life. It comes with its challenges — the layers of ‘self’ to prune seem to be never-ending.
What if we saw the Reiki Precepts in the reverse order. Starting with being compassionate to ourselves and others, being true to our way and our being, being grateful, letting go of fear, letting go of anger!! Foundation: Love yourself first, and then extend it to others  Orientation: Be authentic, and live from your integrity  Attitude: Be grateful for it all  Impact 1: Witness fear, worry, stress, anxiety vanish  Impact 2: Witness anger, judgment, grudge, resentment vanish
The Basic Blessings: Your life flowers with happiness and wellness
The Secret: The Real Blessings: Go deeper into this way of living, and notice that you are living awake, free from the clutches of your limited self-identity – Nirvana
With this perspective of the Precepts, we start with the core issue first – that we don’t love ourselves first. If we don’t love ourselves, then everything else is like putting lipstick on a pig, isn’t it! Whatever barriers are to loving yourself first, directly examine it, and process it, and begin the transformation right there!
When you love yourself, it is really easy to extend the same love to others. This is because your thoughts and words and actions about others will increasingly emerge from the love you have growing in you.
From the foundation of love for yourself and others, it is more possible to be authentic and live from your integrity. You no longer will have confusion about whether to suppress your thoughts or words as they might naturally arise, because they will increasingly arise from the foundation of love and more likely to be in harmony with it all.
Loving yourself and others, and living life authentically will naturally propel the attitude of gratitude. More and more experiences will come into view that will enhance the feeling of gratitude you have for your life. And the more gratitude you feel, the more experiences to be grateful for, appear naturally in your life.
With love as the foundation, authenticity as the orientation, with an attitude of gratitude, it is natural to not fall into fear or anxiety or worry or stress, and it is also natural to not judge others, hold grudges, or bear anger. i.e. These “normal” things which we stumble on, anger and fear and their ilk, do not seem to impact us any more as they used to.
Live life consistently in this manner, and you can notice that you are more happy more and more in your life, and with it, your sense of wellbeing and wellness naturally expands as well.
Go deeper into the very same idea, from loving yourself to being loving to being love. Then authenticity, gratitude naturally are present with it too. The sense of being a separate person, a separate self-identity, this withers. And with it, anger and fear and their ilk are gone. You live in the moment, not as yourself, but as existence itself. You are free from the traps of self-identity. This is Nirvana.
The way of living with happiness and wellness is also the way of living Awake!
Consider the pointer of the Reiki Precepts in this order:
Love -> Authenticity -> Gratitude -> Freedom from fear -> Freedom from anger.
And see what it does to your journey of self-transformation!
Your words are most beautiful. Thank you! Thank You. I smiled as readmusing in them and laughed out loud at our efforts to maneuver lipstick on a pig :)) (who as I learned in psych is quite high on the intelligence chain, so no doubt would be wearily amused).
I see the Precepts also as an infinity sign interweave curving into, through and around themselves~our selves…as compassion meets its earth and roots it most naturally will
un earth whatever may be in the soil and deepest soul roots at that very instant. So receiving those all without separations~angers And fears And gratitudes is deep authentic self be it rained upon, sun heated, star cooled,. fertilized in this Precept path of infinity. and we are being bloomed.
Thank you again~Blessings
Thank you so much for this article Sundar. This perspective on the precepts really resonates with me. Especially since I am constantly coming back to “Be compassionate with yourself”. Of course, it is hard to be compassionate with others when you have no understanding of what that means for yourself. As the old saying goes, “You can never truly love someone until you love yourself.”