The Word Gyo

Frans StieneEnglish, Video 5 Comments

In this video Ryōjun Shionuma is talking about the precepts of the system of Reiki. Here you can see how the essence of Mikao Usui’s precepts are very common in Japanese spiritual practices. 

Do not be angry
Do not worry
Be grateful
Practice this diligently
Show compassion to yourself and others

Below Ryōjun Shionuma explains the word Gyo which in the precepts of the system of Reiki is often translated as “work” but in reality is more like practice. 

“I would like at this point to reflect on what “practice” or “gyō” means in this context. For some, gyō means a special period of time of one-hundred or one-thousand days, but for others gyō is more of a life-time activity or, more precisely, a way of life. Furthermore, for some, gyō is undertaken with the aim to reform oneself, and thus is seen as a self-centered activity. In contrast, others understand gyō as being performed for the benefit of other sentient beings, and is thus seen as an altruistic activity. In short, there are many different ways to understand what gyō really is. “

“I am fully aware of all these points of view; however, as I have performed all kinds of gyō, I must confess that what is most important for me about gyō is not so much that “I” am performing or accomplishing something but, more essentially, that “I” am graced by the gift of being able to perform or accomplish an ascetic practice (gyō).”

“For mountain ascetics, gyō is to live according to the spirit of that precept.”

“The fundamental justification for doing gyō is nothing more and nothing less than that simple act of sharing.”


Comments 5

  1. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi All,

    Here are the precepts in Japanese:

    Kyo dake wa
    Shinpai suna
    Kansha shite
    Gyo o hage me
    Hito ni shin-setsu ni

    Here are some more examples of Gyo:

    “For me, gyō has been a way to let my spiritual life grow and to make it more all-encompassing.” 
    – Ryōjun Shionuma

    “This is also why I think that performing gyō is a never ending task, i.e. a life-long activity.”
    – Ryōjun Shionuma


  2. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi All,

    Here are some more from Ryōjun Shionuma.

    (Ryōjun Shionuma is well known in Japan since he has completed two of the most difficult ascetic practices of the Shugendō tradition: the Ōmine Sennichikaihōgyō (One-thousand Days Trekking Practice on Mt. Ōmine) and the Shimugyō (Four-fold Renouncing Practice).

    “The Shimugyō taught me the most important precepts for guiding my life: refrain from being angry at someone, refrain from hating someone and never blame someone else for what has happened to you.”

    “And if I desire what I do not yet have, I am going to suffer because something is lacking and I will not be content in my present situation. However, if I am able to value those things in my situation which are blessings rather than focusing on what may be lacking, I can feel thankful and this make an enormous difference in the way I live and encounter others.”

    “Who am I?” “What is a human?” “What is life?” These are questions we forget to think about when we live a life filled with contentment and happiness. I am convinced that if we want to answer these questions, we need to rouse to action and take the challenge of embarking on a gyō. “

    “I aim at not causing worry for others.”


  3. Avatar of Seema

    Thank you Frans for all your posts and articles in relation with precepts and practice.And offcourse the chanting videos .
    I am looking forward to your book and may be see ” my inner heart / Reiki ” in there.

  4. Avatar of Frans Stiene
  5. Avatar of Seema Sahoo

    🙂 ,
    It likes to do hide and seek with me , very slippery :-).
    True , its within , not outside , in flashes it comes and shows its face ..
    Thanks !!

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