Ten Major Precepts of Tendai

Bronwen and Frans StieneArticles, English 1 Comment

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Usui Mikao, the founder of Reiki, was a Tendai practitioner all of his life. Tendai was brought to Japan by Saicho in the 8th century and names Nagarjuna as it’s patriarch. Apart from the belief that the lotus sutra is Buddha’s perfect teaching it also teaches meditation based on esoteric elements. It is interesting to look at the 10 major precepts of Tendai and see their correlation to Reiki and it’s 5 precepts.

The 10 Tendai precepts are:

1. Avoid from killing living things

2. Avoid from stealing 

3. Avoid illicit sex (or abusing others for selfish gain)

4. Avoid speaking falsehood (lying)

5. Avoid malicious speech 

6. Avoid harsh speech (finding fault with others)

7. Avoid indistinctive prattle (or dull contentment of small talk)

8. Avoid greed and envy

9. Avoid anger

10. Avoid wrong views (or to dishonor the Three Treasures)


From the standpoint of Tendai precepts, you wouldn’t say “Just for today”.

In Juuzenkai, you say, “From now to the end of time, I vow…”.


Below is a reminder of Reiki’s original 5 precepts with

1 – introduction, 2- the precepts, 3 – the instructions of use.


The secret of inviting happiness through many blessings

The spiritual medicine for all illness


For today only:

Do not anger

Do not worry

Be humble

Be honest in your work

Be compassionate to yourself and others


Do gassho every morning and evening

Keep in your mind and recite.


Improve your mind and body

Usui Reiki Ryoho

The founder

Usui Mikao

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