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Do you Know the Real Reiki Principles and Rules? These are The Gokai.

Updated on July 14, 2013

To understand what is Reiki we must take into account the Reiki Principles or Precepts, also called Gokai. These are not strictly rules but more ideas or advices which can help the Practitioner to live a better life. The Gokai can be used by everyone to improve life quality but they are particularly useful for Reiki Healing. They are the roots of this Spiritual Practice, so to speak.

Reiki Principles: Gokai Introduction

"The Secret Method of Inviting Blessings, the Spiritual Medicine of Many Illnesses".

This is how Mr. Usui described the Five Original Reiki Principles. They are not his invention though as they seem to have been inspired from the teachings of the Meiji Emperor of Japan, who Usui regarded as an enlightened ruler. This can be true or not as they could also be derived from ancient Buddhist teachings; whatever their source they are an integral part of the spiritual practice and of Reiki healing.

Now, as usual with Reiki there are many versions of these Principles for various reasons, not last to have Reiki Practitioners to obey directives from their "Master"; this one is, or should be, the Original version.

What I like most about them is that whatever the religion you've decided to believe and follow, whatever your point of view on life, the Universe or whatever else, whatever your spiritual belief, or absence of spiritual beliefs, these principles are perfectly acceptable and useful for everyone.

If followed they can really help everyone to live a better, healthier life. And clearly to understand the real essence of what is Reiki.The instructions from Mr. Usui are to sit in the Gassho position, that is on your knees with your hand together, and to repeat them in the morning and before going to bed. However the position is unimportant, what really matters is that you remember them and live accordingly.

Reiki Original Principle 1

"Just for today don't get angry".

Well, getting angry is not only most of the times useless, it's also when we take the wrong decisions, or make or say things that we later regret. Remaining calm instead we never do regrettable things, every action is well thought upon and taken in the right way. Beside this being angry reduces our energy and fills us with bad feelings, emotions and tensions which could later develop in illnesses and reduce our healing abilities.

Reiki Original Principle 2

"Just for today don't worry".

Linked to the above one being worried can't do much good for us. As the Eastern saying states "There is no need for worries: if it's something you can change there is no need to worry, if it's something you can't change then worrying is useless".

Even if sometimes it's hard to avoid it, worrying makes no good, it depletes our energies and usually puts us in a kind of circle of negative mood, or emotions and feelings which again affect our health. Not only worrying makes it difficult to find a way to solve our problems, worrying can also end in serious illnesses too.

Reiki Original Principle 3

"Just for today be grateful."

Most of the times we forget to see and thanks for the good things we have in our life. While it is true that there is always someone who stays better than us, it is also true that there is also someone who stays worse than us.

Like the old saying "I felt bad because I had no shoes, until I met someone who had no feet". While we are usually well aware of what we want we usually forget what we already have, and how important it is until it's taken away from us. This regards family, friends, health, etc., etc.

Can you imagine how important can be just a simple glass of water? Think about people in Africa who hasn't just a glass of fresh, clean water. And if you think it's false try to avoid drinking anything for a day and see if as the time passes by a single glass of water isn't that important.

Reiki Original Principle 4

"Just for today work hard".

This doesn't mean that at the end of the day we have to be tired, or exhausted. It simply means that we should aim to do our best everyday becoming everyday better than the day before. Obviously, since no one wants to become exhausted, it also means that when we take a rest we must do our best to rest as well as possible. Or work hard when we have to work, and rest hard wen we have, want or need to rest.

Whatever we do, we should do it at the best of our abilities.

Reiki Original Principle 5

"Just for today be kind to others".

Well, this is pretty self-explanatory. Being kind is always the best way to go, which can help us to receive the most from others and from life as a whole; it can help us to have friends, a happy family, a good work environment, and so on. Since most of the times if we are kind to others then others are kind to us this principle is probably the most important one for social life. Obviously if we are kind and others mistreat us than we can always resort to a different approach. Like a good headbutt.

Final Thoughts on the Reiki Principles

The wonderful thing about the Gokai is that you don't have to live all your life following them, actually you have just to follow them Today. If you follow them today your Reiki healing ability and your life will skyrocket.

So, Just for Today:

  1. Don't get Angry
  2. Don't Worry
  3. Be Grateful
  4. Work Hard
  5. Be Kind to Others

Just for Today.

Now I guess you have a clearer understanding of what are Reiki Principles. What is your opinion on the Gokai?

Reiki Gokai Poll

Which is your Preferred Original Reiki Principle?

See results


This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.

Reiki-Original-Principles Comments

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  • hypnodude profile image

    Andrew 6 years ago from Italy

    Hi sfshine. I think the best way is still to learn Reiki directly from a teacher, just find one who doesn't have with strange ideas and sticks with the original Usui teachings. Also stay clear of those who charge too much. There are many serious Reiki Teachers around even if it takes a bit of effort to find them. Best wishes. :)

  • sfshine profile image

    sfshine 6 years ago from Michigan

    Very good hub. Can I get reiki attunement 1,2 from book or video or do I have to get it from someone personally? I am interested in learing reiki.

  • andrewwilliams63 profile image

    andrewwilliams63 6 years ago

    Thank you, very interesting

  • MellyMoo profile image

    MellyMoo 7 years ago from Australia

    I know about reiki and have used it myself however I did not know these reiki principles. How very true they are! Thank you for sharing

  • jill of alltrades profile image

    jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines

    What a beautiful hub! I had my first Reiki attunement a few years back but have not practiced lately. I'm happy that you wrote about this. It's a good reminder to me to get back to practicing Reiki.

    I love the images you used!

    Rated up and awesome!

  • tvance profile image

    tvance 7 years ago from Chehalis, Washington

    Hello, It is a pleasure to read your Reiki hub. You are a great writer! I'm a Reiki Master in Chehalis, WA and we provide free Reiki I certification for people --

  • hypnodude profile image

    Andrew 7 years ago from Italy

    Thanks SilverGenes, I appreciate it a lot. Thank you very much and I'm glad you liked my article on Reiki Principles so much. :)

  • profile image

    SilverGenes 7 years ago

    Thank you for the gentle reminder. A link to this hub will go on my profile :)

  • hypnodude profile image

    Andrew 7 years ago from Italy

    Hi Money, glad you liked the Reiki principles and found the article so good to rate and digg it. Thank you very much. I'll try to write more about it in the future. :)

  • hypnodude profile image

    Andrew 7 years ago from Italy

    Hi Al, thanks for your kind words. Actually this is a very busy period for me and so I'm forced to be very little on the web. But I should have more free time soon. :)

  • Money Glitch profile image

    Money Glitch 7 years ago from Texas

    Hi Hypnodude, thanks for sharing your insight on the Reiki principles. This is a subject that I am wanting to learn more about in the future. Rating up and digging for you! :)

  • Mystique1957 profile image

    Mystique1957 7 years ago from Caracas-Venezuela

    Mio carissimo fratello...

    Abbiamo preso strade separate per lungo tempo, caro fratello. Tutto è ok con te? E 'stato tanto tempo da quando abbiamo invaso i nostri articoli uni con gli altri commenti. Spero che si possono visitare i miei hubs, come ho intenzione di fare con i tuoi hubs.

    abbracci più caldi e infinite benedizioni celesti,

    tuo fratello,


  • hypnodude profile image

    Andrew 7 years ago from Italy

    Thanks RedElf, glad you like it. And your kind words are right, just repeating the Reiki Principles is already relaxing in itself. Applying them is really one of the best thing we can do to relax and enjoy our life. :)

  • RedElf profile image

    RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

    'dude - such an excellent and beautiful hub! Thanks so much for sharing the principles with us. Serene, like calm cool waters - I feel like I've had a lovely rest break from my day!

  • hypnodude profile image

    Andrew 7 years ago from Italy

    Maita, my dear friend, thanks for your kind comment and the rating up, much appreciated. Reiki Principles are really good as guides to live a better life, glad you like them. :)

  • prettydarkhorse profile image

    prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

    good job how are you HYPNO< miss you already, I like reiki principles, Rated it up, Maita

  • hypnodude profile image

    Andrew 7 years ago from Italy

    LymeLiterate, what can I say, thank you for you appreciation and kind words. :)

  • hypnodude profile image

    Andrew 7 years ago from Italy

    Hi Mike, I can see what you mean, it has been a similar thing for me in this period, it's one of the reasons why I felt inspired to write this hub, plus the reason that I believe the Reiki Principles are good rules to live by and can help many people, especially when life gets difficult. Thanks for appreciating. :)

  • LymeLiterate profile image

    LymeLiterate 7 years ago from Pennsylvania

    As a reiki master- this was a great article! Clicked your ad links in support! Namaste!

  • Mike Lickteig profile image

    Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

    Very nice description of the Reiki Principles. I've recently been trying harder to maintain an emotional balance as life has thrown a curve or two my way, and Reiki certainly offers a blueprint for this. I think these principles go a long way toward demonstrating how to face life in a thoughtful, respectful way. Thanks for sharing your insights.


  • hypnodude profile image

    Andrew 7 years ago from Italy

    Grazie Lady_E :), for your kind words. I like the fifth very much, even if my mum focused on the third one since I was a child. The more I think about the Reiki Principles the more I "believe" that they can really give a life almost free of illnesses and stress. Thanks for you much appreciated appreciation. :):)

  • hypnodude profile image

    Andrew 7 years ago from Italy

    Hi mate, I'm very happy you liked the Reiki Principles, and even more because they were new to you. Beside being a great tool for our health, for various reasons, what I like even more about Reiki is its spiritual side. And thanks for the bookmark my friend. :)

  • hypnodude profile image

    Andrew 7 years ago from Italy

    Thanks Support Med, forgive my little joke but you're really a support for this writer. Thanks for your kind words and have a wonderful day!

  • hypnodude profile image

    Andrew 7 years ago from Italy

    Hi Patti, thanks for such an enthusiastic comment, the rating and the bookmark. All much appreciated. :) Have a great day!

  • hypnodude profile image

    Andrew 7 years ago from Italy

    Hi Amber, I'm glad I've written something new for you, and I definitely agree that the Original Reiki Principles are good rules to live by which if followed could make the world a better place. Also because they are not so difficult to follow. Thanks for your kind comment. :)

  • hypnodude profile image

    Andrew 7 years ago from Italy

    Hi Polly, nice to meet you. Thanks for such a good and correct comment, as you rightly say trying to live well each day, one at a time, will make our whole life better. And the original Reiki principles can help everyone to live a better life. Have a great day! :)

  • hypnodude profile image

    Andrew 7 years ago from Italy

    Thanks Rebecca, your words are always so kind. :) I appreciate them a lot, as much as the rating. :)

  • hypnodude profile image

    Andrew 7 years ago from Italy

    Hi suny, thanks for your kind comment and for the bookmark. I'm glad you liked the Reiki Principles. Have a great day!

  • Lady_E profile image

    Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

    Cheers Guru. I enjoyed this. It's nice to know about the 5 principles. (I can't ever go a day without No 5 though). La sua una gioia per me.

    Great principles. Thanks.:)

  • profile image

    TattoGuy 7 years ago

    Had never heard of Reiki until reading this, really love the priniciples and have bookmarked this hub, nice one my friend !

  • Support Med. profile image

    Support Med. 8 years ago from Michigan

    This is beautiful!. Great principles to follow 'one day at a time.' Voted and rated up!

  • hypnodude profile image

    Andrew 8 years ago from Italy

    Friends, thanks for your comments. Since today my internet connection isn't working I'll reply as soon as it works again. Have a great weekend!

  • Patti Ann profile image

    Patti Ann 8 years ago from Florida

    Excellent - rated this one up! These are great reminders - I'll bookmark this and read it again often. Thanks!

  • Amber Allen profile image

    Amber Allen 8 years ago

    Hi hypnodude

    I had no idea that Reiki had a code to live by. If we all lived by this code just think how much better a place the world would be.


  • Polly C profile image

    Polly C 8 years ago from UK

    Hi Hynodude, I loved this hub as I am very interested in all things spiritual and holistic. The reiki principles just ring so true. They might say 'just for one day', but if you do 'just one day' every day then it can become a way of living. I suppose it is also teaching you to live in the moment, rather than worrying about yesterday or tomorrow or next week or whatever. After all, living in the moment is one of the key principles of Buddhism, I believe.

    There are so many issues and arguments which seem to come up in orthodox religions, yet all anyone really needs is these five simple principles and the world would be a more harmonic place.

  • Rebecca E. profile image

    Rebecca E. 8 years ago from Canada

    wow, you have once again done wonders with your writing, of course this is beautiful and awesome and all that good stuff and I am going to be back to read this one again, there is soo much information in this... rated up and all that good stuff.

  • suny51 profile image

    suny51 8 years ago

    I thought I knew about it,but after reading this article I think I din't know a thing about it,I am book marking to read it again,Thank you for sharing,I vote all of them.

  • hypnodude profile image

    Andrew 8 years ago from Italy

    Thanks Ladyjane for your kind words; I'm sure you're in good company as everyone at times is angry or worried. The Reiki Principles are advices to not indulge more than needed in those feelings but as I said we are all humans. :)

  • hypnodude profile image

    Andrew 8 years ago from Italy

    wavegirl, as always I agree with you and your point of view. :) And I have to say that I share your thoughts, especially the one on being a mother and worrying. Anyway the Reiki principles are guidelines, or ideals; being humans we all have areas which can be worked on, or not like worrying for children. Thanks for all the ratings much appreciated. :)

  • ladyjane1 profile image

    ladyjane1 8 years ago from Texas

    Thanks Hypnodude for this hub it was very informative. I have to admit that anger and worry are traits that are hard for me to control sometimes. I enjoyed all this information. You are very wise to so many emotions. Cheers.

  • wavegirl22 profile image

    Shari 8 years ago from New York, NY

    A- My best one is 'Be Grateful'. and I always find it disturbing when I see others that can not understand what this means. I guess the hardest one for me is not to worry. But that is definitely hard once you become a mom. Working hard and being kind to others.. well that one is and always has been a given.. really do not know any other way. Being angry I learned along time ago was a huge waste of time :)

    As always your Hubs are awesome and always so inspiring. Thanks for sharing &hearts

    rated upwardly awesome and of course useful :)

  • hypnodude profile image

    Andrew 8 years ago from Italy

    Thanks Billy for your positive comment and for appreciating the pictures. Have a great day!

  • hypnodude profile image

    Andrew 8 years ago from Italy

    CMHypno, you know you are right. :) Pressure must be released, but it's better to avoid building pressure up. Or, as we know, instead of letting anger to grow better have a walk and let the pressure disappear. The Reiki Principle is a reminder to do this, in order to avoid further problems. Thanks for your kind comment. :)

  • billyaustindillon profile image

    billyaustindillon 8 years ago

    This is a great explanation of the principles and what they mean - the images are beautiful and perfectly calming.

  • hypnodude profile image

    Andrew 8 years ago from Italy

    Thanks Ron, your kind words are much appreciated. Glad you liked it, and if you begin applying them, they will soon become second nature. :)

  • CMHypno profile image

    CMHypno 8 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

    If we all lived by these principles, the world would be a better place. But when it comes to emotions like anger, I think that it is still important to acknowledge that you are feeling angry and communicate that you are angry in an appropriate way. Repressing powerful emotions, will just lead to the steam kettle exploding later on!

  • rprcarz50 profile image

    rprcarz50 8 years ago

    These are wonderful tips for one's journey through life. I would like to be able to apply them everyday.

    Very good Hub !

    Thank you for putting this one together !


    as always also a2z50

  • hypnodude profile image

    Andrew 8 years ago from Italy

    As you correctly say Violet, living accordingly to the Reiki Principles creates harmony in our life, and they are also pretty easy to remember. I'm glad you've find the article interesting and thanks for spreading it so much, the rating and the bookmark. The third principle resonates with you. :)

  • hypnodude profile image

    Andrew 8 years ago from Italy

    Hi Nellieanna, I agree with you, the Reiki Principles have to be followed altogether to be effective and positively influencing our life. I try to follow them all, even if my preferred one is Be kind to others.

    Thanks for your kind and much appreciated words. :)

  • hypnodude profile image

    Andrew 8 years ago from Italy

    Hi Sandy, thanks for your appreciation. :)

  • hypnodude profile image

    Andrew 8 years ago from Italy

    Hi Kaie, I'm fine, thanks. I'm happy you're already living following the Reiki Principles; that's one of the reasons why I like them, they are so common sense and good for everyone. Btw I worry too sometimes. :) But not today.

  • hypnodude profile image

    Andrew 8 years ago from Italy

    anglnwu you are definitely right, in this world we all need to relax more. Thanks for appreciating the Reiki Principles and for the rating. :)

  • hypnodude profile image

    Andrew 8 years ago from Italy

    Thanks Enlydia, and I agree with you, they are good for everyone and every faith. I've printed them too. :)

  • hypnodude profile image

    Andrew 8 years ago from Italy

    Thanks Green Lotus, whenever I write about Reiki it's always a pleasure to receive kind words from another Reiki Teacher, especially from you. :)

  • VioletSun profile image

    VioletSun 8 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

    Oh, I loved reading this, didn't know that Reiki had principles to live by; I thought was only a healing modality. The principles make much sense in creating harmony within.

    Have bookmarked it, shared in Facebook and rated it up!

  • Nellieanna profile image

    Nellieanna Hay 8 years ago from TEXAS

    Who knew I've lived by those 5 Rieki principles all along! Whether or not "how" I do them is in accordance, I don't know but it seems hard for me to imagine doing them without a similar basis.

    Thanks for a most refreshing hub! I voted for one of the 5 in they little poll, but to be honest - I feel they are all equal and "go-with" each other! In fact I might venture to say that attempting to embrace one or some and not all 5 might account for a lot of things people do which are so contradictory and unsettling - and make for much obvious hypocrisy, which in turn - repels others from wanting to embrace any part of a good way.

  • Sandyspider profile image

    Sandy Mertens 8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

    Wonderful principles.

  • Kaie Arwen profile image

    Kaie Arwen 8 years ago

    So, Just for Today:

    Don't get Angry, Don't Worry, Be Grateful, Work Hard, Be Kind to Others

    I do this everyday.............. I use Rieki principles and I never knew it! Thanks for this! Oh, but have to admit........... worry sometimes. :-( but get over it quickly :-D

    Hope this finds you well!


  • anglnwu profile image

    anglnwu 8 years ago

    Thank you for this inspiring hub. Just for today is what we need to make each day a better one--one day at a time. You ask me what's my favorite Reiki principle, i would say all, well, maybe, except the work hard bit. We need a little relaxation--not just today but everyday. Rated up.

  • profile image

    EnLydia Listener 8 years ago

    Wow, it was good to read them again...I had printed those rules up years ago, and hung them on a wall over the family house rules....yes, those rules are acceptable to all faiths.

  • Green Lotus profile image

    Hillary 8 years ago from Atlanta, GA

    Thanks for putting this out so nicely! As a Reiki practitioner I do try to live by the day at a time:) I L O V E the second picture!

  • hypnodude profile image

    Andrew 8 years ago from Italy

    Hi msorensson, thanks for coming here again. I've left an answer there. Have a great day! :)

  • msorensson profile image

    msorensson 8 years ago

    Hi, hypnodude, I left you a question on your other hub on Reiki..the one that discusses it together with business.

  • hypnodude profile image

    Andrew 8 years ago from Italy

    As fast as a lightning. :) Thanks msorensson for your kind comment much appreciated.

  • msorensson profile image

    msorensson 8 years ago

    Perfect. Thank you for sharing.


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