Hito within the Reiki Precepts

Frans StieneArticles, English Leave a Comment


Within the precepts we have the sentence “hito ni shinsetsu ni” 人に 親切 に which reads as, “be kind to yourself and others.”

Often the word hito has been translated as others but in fact we cannot separate self and others. We see this within Mikao Usui’s teachings again and again, the interconnectedness of ourselves and others. In fact, Mikao Usui goes further as in his teachings he points out the interconnectedness with all that is.

“These relational nuances of self are expressed by other idioms. For example, Hito (人) in Japanese means both self and others, and English words of “human being” and “mankind” are expressed as ningen (人間), which literally means “in-between people.” In sum, for Japanese people, the interdependent perspective of self is not a patchwork of multiple individuals. Rather, the self is a contextually navigated interdependence. Once again, we can see the wisdom of Zen within this Japanese perspective of self and others.” – Body and Japanese Culture extract from Handbook of Zen, Mindfulness, and Behavioral Health by Akihiko Masuda • William T. O’Donohue, Editors

But hito also stands for so much more.

“This idea is expressed in the Chinese character for “person,” hito, which means “to contain the light of God”;” – Mitsugi Saotome. “Aikido and the Harmony of Nature”

Mitsugi points out that hito means, “to contain the light of kami – of god.” But this is not the external God; this is your own true nature, your own divinity.

Mikao Usui also points out that we all possess the light of buddha nature, our great bright light. And he tells us that the whole system of Reiki is about rediscovering that we are this light; we are a true human being. By this he means a human being who has recognised this interconnectedness with all that is and therefore a human being who is kind and compassionate. This true human being shows kindness and compassion which does not change according to circumstances.

So let’s let our practice of the system of Reiki help us rediscover our interconnectedness, our light, so that not only may we show unconditional kindness and compassion, but also embody them, in the spirit of hito ni shinsetsu ni.

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