True Self and The Precepts

Frans Stiene Articles, English Leave a Comment


“Realization of our precepts is our everyday life” – Shunryu Suzuki

Within the system of Reiki we have the precepts:

Do not anger

Do not worry

Be grateful

Be true to your way and your being

Show compassion to yourself and others

The precepts in purest form are a description of our true self. The true self within the system of Reiki is also expressed as dai kômyô – great bright light – or just simply as Reiki.

How do we describe our true self, our great bright light, that we are Reiki? It is simple and yet so deep. When we are in that state of mind of our true self, our great bright light – when we realize that we are Reiki – then there is no more anger, no more worry, then we are profoundly grateful for whatever comes our way, we will be true to our way and our being, and we have laid bare the highest form of compassion for ourselves and others. So, we are Reiki also means we are the precepts.

“If you let go of all things to your foundation, the precepts will be kept naturally, even though you don’t constantly think about them. When this happens, precepts are the wings of freedom. Do not try to adapt yourself to the precepts. Rather, let the precepts, which are already within you, come out naturally.” – No River to Cross: Trusting the Enlightenment That’s Always Right Here by Zen Master Daehaeng

The foundation, which Zen master Daehaeng points out so beautifully, is our great bright light, our true self. And when we let everything just come and go from our great bright light, we are the precepts. Then we can just let them come out all by themselves without the need to focus on or think about observing the precepts. They just flow within and through us in all we are and all we do.

“If you try to observe the precepts, that is not true observation of precepts. When you observe the precepts without trying to observe the precepts, that is true observation of the precepts. Our inmost nature can help us. When we understand the precepts as an expression of our inmost nature, that is the Way as it is. Then there are no precepts. When we are expressing our innermost nature, no precepts are necessary, so we are not observing any precepts.” – Not Always So by Shunryu Suzki

As we can see, all these wonderful Zen masters are saying the same thing as Mikao Usui pointed out. They are saying that the precepts are an expression of our true self, our great bright light, Reiki.

But as we all know it is not easy to uphold the precepts, and that is why Mikao Usui put lots of meditation practices within his teachings. Because it is only through meditating diligently, practicing diligently, that we can lay bare our true self, our great bright light, the precepts.

“When our every thought is returned to and arises from the fundamental place [teu self], this is called the essence of meditation. If you attain the essence of meditation, you will also be able to uphold the essence of the precepts.” – Wake Up and Laugh: The Dharma Teaching of Zen Master Daehaeng

What are these meditation practices within the system of Reiki to help us to embody the precepts in all we do in our daily life, today? They are meditating on or chanting the precepts themselves, performing hands on/off healing on ourselves as an act of meditation (not sleep or daydreaming), practicing the breath meditation practices like joshin kokyu ho and seishin toitsu, meditating on the symbols and chanting the mantras, and of course the meditative action of reiju/initiation/attunement.

“So, seeing reality alone is not enough to gain complete freedom from mundane thoughts and confusion. The view may be intriguing but still it’s just a momentary experience, which will soon pass. In order for that experience become more consistent or continuous, you need to familiarize yourself with it again and again. Deepening the view through familiarization is what’s called “meditation. When you are able to be at that viewpoint with certainty at all times, then all you do is embraced by the aura of that vast view and meditation. This is what’s known as “action” or “conduct.” It enables you to act with love and awareness and to see things more clearly within the experience of openness and spaciousness. This brings great joy in life because now you are seeing the reality in everything your mind touches.” – Excerpt From: Karl Brunnhölzl. “Milarepa’s Kungfu.”

It is only through these diligent practices that we can really lay bare our true self, our great bright light, that we are Reiki and therefore be able to express the precepts in all we do. Not an easy task. And therefore it is so important to sit on our butt daily and apply these meditation practices. Else the precepts will just be empty words we repeat a few times a day to ourselves or others. We will not be internalizing and maintaining them throughout our day in a naturally integrated way.

“When we maintain the precepts and the spirit of the precepts in how we walk, how we sit, how we eat, how we talk, and how we relate to one another and to our environment, their constant presence brings light to our lives.” – No beginning, No End : the intimate heart of Zen by Jakusho Kwong.

Again all these Zen masters say the same, that we have to integrate these precepts in our daily life. Mikao Usui pointed this out as well and that is why, within the precepts, we have the concept of For Today. When we look at it from this perspective we can also start to see that Mikao Usui based his teaching on Japanese spiritual practices like Zen, for example.

“In our daily life, we must return to the precepts again and again” – You Have to Say Something: Manifesting Zen Insight by Dainin Katagiri

When we look deeper into these precepts, we also start to see that there is a link to the Buddhist 8 Fold Path. But to be able to see this you have to look deep within the precepts, not just on the surface. And to look deep into the precepts we need to do the meditation practices.

“Methods are the tools you use to correct yourself, to regulate your conduct, your speech, and your mind. Basically, we rely on the five precepts and the Eightfold Noble Path to correct our physical, mental, and verbal conduct.”

– Attaining the Way by Zen Master Sheng Yen

The 8 Fold Path is this:

Right views

Right thoughts

Right speech

Right action

Right livelihood

Right effort

Right mind/mindfulness

Right concentration

In fact, Mikao Usui points clearly to the 8 Fold Path within Okuden Reiki II. The symbol/mantra Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen translates as, “my original nature is right mind”. Right mind, shonen, is one of the principles of the 8 Fold Path.

For example, what happens to my speech or actions when I am less angry? What happens to my views, effort or mind, when I am less worried? As we can see, the precepts are very much interlinked with the 8 Fold Path; we just have to look clearly to see this.

“For the members of our association, please keep this in mind that the more you have a higher virtue in yourself the stronger your spiritual energy becomes.”

– Reiki Ryôhô no Shiori, handed out by the Usui Reiki Ryôhô Gakkai

What is this higher virtue the Usui Reiki Ryôhô Gakkai is talking about? It is the virtue of not getting angry, not getting worried, of being grateful, of being true to your way and your being, and of being compassionate to yourself and others. It is the virtue of the precepts, and the true self.

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