On the Wall or In Your Heart?

Frans StieneArticles, English 9 Comments

Neon Heart

The precepts within the system of Reiki are the most important element; they are the foundation of the system. Without understanding the foundation the whole system will crumble, like a house without a good solid foundation.

Many people just stick the precepts on the wall, recite them a few times a day and that is about it. Some teachers even insist that you must always perform the initiation/reiju/attunement in front of the precepts which hang on the wall. Merely hanging the precepts on the wall doesn’t bring them into your heart.

The real reason the precepts are there is for us to learn to embody them in our hearts. We can only do this by embodying all of the other elements within the system of Reiki. How do we embody them? By meditating upon them. Simply repeating them three times is not enough; we must contemplate what they mean and what their inner secret is. This is not always that easy, so Mikao Usui also added different tools within his teachings to help us to bring the precepts in our hearts. These tools are: meditating on the mantras and the symbols, meditating with the hand positions, being in a meditative state of mind while performing and receiving the initiation/reiju/attunement, and meditating with techniques like hatsurei-ho and joshin kokyu-ho.

If we get too attached to needing the precepts on the wall to recite or when we do a initiation/reiju/attunement, then we cannot take the wisdom of the precepts out into the big, wide world. If we go out we are not always carrying the precepts on a piece of paper with us. But when we carry the precepts in our hearts,  we are always ready to BE Reiki with others. And to perform real Reijus/Spiritual Blessings, we need to embody the precepts in our hearts.

The real secret of the system of Reiki is therefore meditation, and it is by practicing these meditation techniques that we start to bring the precepts from the wall into our hearts, where they really belong.

Comments 9

  1. Avatar of Susan

    Thanks, Frans, such a great distance I have traveled since my first Reiki class in 1999.  Thank you for showing me the correct thought about Reiki -that it is a spiritual practice with the precepts as foundation and frame.

  2. Avatar of Frans Stiene
  3. Avatar of Elise

    Thank you, Frans. The path does seem to be to always go deeper and deeper.  We might start with a recitation of the Precepts, but soon realize that cannot be an end in itself.  So we begin to dare to go deeper within and explore some difficult ‘hotspots’ we carry with us.  To be honest, it has taken me many years of practice and ongoing training to begin to embody the Precepts so that my thoughts, my speech, and my actions can begin to be in accord with the Precepts.  I will say that life becomes so much easier as this happens.  I think it comes down to non-resistance, which is my current “work”.

  4. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Elly,

    Yes nonresistance is an important element.
    I think if the teacher is in that deeper space she will be able to guide her students into this deeper embodiment of the precepts as well.

    Think about it, if we say the precepts 3 times a day do we really start to embody it? Then we could teach this to the whole world and the whole world would be very soon a peaceful world. But we all know that it takes much more effort than just 3 times repeating the precepts. We need to be really honest with ourselves, another precept.

    But Usui-san knew this too and that is also why he added all the meditation practices in it. These meditation practices help us to embody the precepts. But we have to do them, mostly every day. If not then we start to have difficulty embodying the precepts.

    As you say Elly, we need to dare to go deeper, face our own issues. Not easy but so essential.

  5. Avatar of Paul Edward Czapla

    Frans, you’ll recall the subject of people literally enshrining guidelines on the wall rather than making them an active part of their lives came up in our recent Shinpiden class in NYC in June of 2016. On first seeing the title of your article, I thought that discussion had sparked your writing it. Clearly, though, it was written a year and a half prior. This seems a remarkable synchronicity.

    I have associates in another Reiki lineage by way of Hayashi Chujiro. A highly skilled traditional calligrapher, apparently he hung a Gokai scroll he had drawn in beautiful calligraphy whenever he taught. Now when one attains (full) Shihan in that lineage, one is given a beautiful Gokai scroll and instructed to hang it whenever they teach. It seems to me if they really wanted to imitate him directly, they might make their own scrolls just as he did. It seems they have unwittingly turned his visual teaching aid into something like a religio-magical object or fetish. 

    It seems that as people lose a grasp of the inner meanings of teachings over time, the more rigid and dogmatic they then tend to become about the outer signs. Let this mild criticism of them be on my head and not on anyone else.

  6. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Paul,
    Yes often we make these things as a holy object and get confused that teh real teaching are not in an external element but in our heart-mind.
    I heard that in that lineage they have to buy the scroll which is very expensive as well, if they really want to honour Hayashi then the teacher should give it to the new Shihan for free.

  7. Avatar of Bronwen

    Hi Paul,
    Yes often we make these things as a holy object and get confused that teh real teaching are not in an external element but in our heart-mind.
    I heard that in that lineage they have to buy the scroll which is very expensive as well, if they really want to honour Hayashi then the teacher should give it to the new Shihan for free.

  8. Avatar of Paul Edward Czapla

    I may make a discrete inquiry regarding their policy in that regard. Such entanglements cause me to wonder if they may have had a bearing on Usui Sensei’s being unwilling to shape Usui Reiki Ryoho into a traditional Japanese family-run business as was the custom then. We know it caused a permanent rift in his family. There are surviving relatives who still refuse to speak of him to this day. It seems they feel grievously wronged. I was taught resentments are a burden good only for crushing the spirit whether “justified” or not. Still, we all have a right to our decisions.

  9. Avatar of Bronwen

    Hi Paul,
    Some researchers might say otherwise. One Japanese Reiki teacher recently met up with an older man who studied Mikao Usui’s teachings with Mikao Usui’s brother. So some of his family was teaching Mikao Usui’s teachings. I think that his family was okay with him but not with some of his students and definitly not with modern Reiki teachers and practitioners.

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