Be Kind to Yourself and Others

Frans StieneArticles, English Leave a Comment


Within the system of Reiki we have the precepts and one precept is this: 

hito ni shinsetsu ni

人 に 親切 に

Be kind to people

This precept is often translated as “Be kind to others.” 

The kanji of 人 hito means people, human beings and person. The kanji hito does not mean others! However, in our modern society we often look outside of ourselves, always projecting externally. And therefore hito has been mistranslated as others.

But we can not separate ourselves from people; we can not separate ourselves from human beings, as we are people and human beings as well. Thus the real meaning for “hito ni shinsetsu ni” is “be kind to yourself and others.” In “other” words – we are others and others are us. So whatever translation is used, this precept points to kindness to (and unity with) all.

“I and others have the same root. All beings and myself are in unity.” – Taisen Deshimaru

I always say, “I can not give you tea if I do not have tea.” I can not be kind to others if I am not kind to myself; both have to go hand in hand. 

According to the Dictionary of Buddhism, hito also means “self” and “ego”.

Thus we also can translate the phrase in this way: Be kind to your self – your ego. This really means let go of the self – let go of the ego, as this is the deepest form of kindness you can show yourself.

And what is the deepest form of kindness you can show others? Show them how to let go of their ego!

When we have let go of our ego, we realize that one and others are of the same root and can not be separated. One and others are in unity. So when we go inside to find and cultivate kindness in ourselves and for ourselves, when we step away from our ego and external view of “others,” we can find and cultivate kindness in all.



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