The five Reiki precepts have so far helped me live in a more aware, considered, way. Shining a light on my mental processes, thoughts, and emotions will hopefully enable me to live a more thoughtful, happy, balanced life. Instead of reacting to thoughts and outside stimuli habitually, in ways that are often not beneficial; considering, and importantly applying, the precepts gives me more choice in how to respond skilfully to whatever life brings. This essay will briefly touch on each of the precepts, and discuss how applying these precepts assist me in living a more balanced life.
Anger is generally considered a negative mind state that affects our whole being, mind, body and spirit. A thick poisonous cloud, that may overwhelm us very quickly, or sometimes more insidiously, anger distorts our thoughts and leads us to be unable to judge situations rationally and openly. There is a lack of equilibrium in anger, and roles of victim or perpetrator are easily formed by an angry mind. Anger closes the heart, and alienates us not only from others but also from the better part of ourselves. I have noticed for myself that I am the person suffering most from my anger, the person I am angry with is generally oblivious. As well as effecting the mind, anger has a negative effect on the body, it is impossible to feel relaxed and balanced when angry. Anger can thankfully be fleeting, often a few days after an argument it’s impossible to see what you were so worked up about, but the harm done to yourself and others lingers longer.
Like anger, worry also clouds our clear thinking, and is depleting mentally and physically. In my experience worry seems to cause a sort of paralysis, it is a stagnant, constricted state, where there is a lack of ability to make decisions in a balanced way. Worry, and it’s close relative fear, destroy our confidence in our own abilities, close down the ability to see other possibilities, and drains our inner strength. Worrying takes us away from life as it’s happening right now, worry is focussed on the past or the future, and saps our ability to life fully right now. Worry and fear erode resilience, and resilience to me, is essential in living life more joyfully.
Humility is a quality that can be hard to find in our modern society. To be humble is to be in a state of openness, of fluidity, to not be a self appointed authority, to have room to question ourselves, and to grow. Humility is a state of exploration; without set views, and concrete ideas about ourselves, we can be more creative in how we live. Arrogance, closes down possibility and growth.
To live honestly is to see clearly your own delusions, and be open and truthful in your dealings with yourself and others. Self delusion, and deluding others, taints our relationships and closes us down. Honesty, used with kindness, is essential in creating close relationships with others and seeing our own difficult mind states more clearly.
Compassion for oneself and others, is to me the scaffolding that supports all the other precepts in Usui Mikao’s teachings. If I can be truly compassionate to myself, and to others, it seems hard to imagine how I could be angry, worried, arrogant, and dishonest. I have found in the few weeks that I have been practicing Reiki that when I am not true to myself, and my own needs, when I do something that doesn’t feel right for me, there are negative repercussions not only for myself, but also for others. To be compassionate is to be in a state of kindness and openness, to be able to empathise with others and treat them with dignity. Compassion draws us together, it unifies, and opens us up the beauty of others, and ourselves.
The Reiki precepts support balance in my life by giving me guidelines to live by. By aspiring to live by the precepts I feel I have a bit of a toolkit to work with. If I can keep in mind the precepts and live by them, just for today, then I feel I will have a more open, equanimous mind, a healthier body, and a happier more connected life.