The Usui Reiki Ryoho Gokai (Principles)

As I re-do this particular blog, I must note that the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gokai will be seen written differently in many publications than in the form I teach. When learning my first level of Reiki Ryoho, I was taught the Principles as:

Just for today, do not worry.
Just for today, do not be angry or anger another.
Honour your parents, teachers and elders.
Earn your living honestly.
Awake with joy in your heart and give thanks for all that comes your way.

Here are some other representations I’ve found during the years of reading books on Reiki and the research done by others.

From Hiroshi Doi, a Japanese Reiki Master and founder of Gendai Reiki Ho:

The Secret Method to Invite Happiness
The Miricle Medicine for All Diseases
~For today only, do not be angry.
~Do not be anxious and be grateful.
~Work hard and be kind to others.
Gassho and repeat them in your mind
at the beginning and the end of each day.
Usui Reiki Ryoho – Improve your mind and body.
Founder, Usui Mikao

From the book “Essential Reiki” by Diane Stein:

Just for today, I will give thanks for my many blessings.
Just for today, I will not worry.
Just for today, I will not be angry.
Just for today, I will do my work honestly.
Just for today, I will be kind to my neighbour and every living thing.

Pamela Miles in her book, “Reiki, A Comprehensive Guide”, presents her version:

Just for today, do not be angry and do not worry.
Value your life and make the effort necessary to actualize your life’s purpose.
Be kind.

From the book “Spirit of Reiki”, by Walter Lubeck, Frank Arjava Petter and William Lee Rand:

Just for today,
Don’t get angry.
Don’t worry.
Be grateful.
Work hard.
Be kind to others.

From Tadao Yamaguchi’s book, “Light on the Origins of Reiki”:

Just for today
Do not be angry
Do not be worried
Be grateful
Do your duties fully
Be kind to others

From my first manuals:

Just for today, I worry not
Just for today, I anger not
Just for today, I honour myself, my elders, my teachers,  my parents
Just for today, I am diligent in my work
Just for today, I live in gratitude for all that I experience

James Dean at has some good articles on the origins of the Gokai, its many translations and how some of them could have come to be.

See this link for the Japanese correlation of characters to the English pronunciations of the Gokai.

As I replied to a question from a student recently on the different translations or interpretations;

 “Now you begin to see the crazies I’ve gone through for many years. Every time I opened a book on Reiki Ryoho, I would find a different translation or interpretation of the Gokai or 5 Principles. I’ve even taught about 3 different ones myself, before contacting Frank Arjava Petter about the interpretation and a correct pronunciation (in Japanese) of the Gokai. So I’ve settled on teaching as per his reply. And as I’ve practiced with it over time it feels like it resonates in a more harmonious fashion with me.”

Regardless, it seems that for the most part (I won’t get into the more esoteric of the interpretations I’ve encountered) however the representation of the Gokai is presented, we can still recognize the five principles in them. I have used at least 3 representations of the Gokai over the past 20 years, and I realize that I am most comfortable and resonate deeply with the one I now present in my Shoden manual;

The secret method of inviting blessings, the spiritual medicine of many illnesses
Just for Today,
    Don’t get angry
    Don’t worry
    Be grateful
    Fulfill your duties
    Have compassion, for yourself and others
Mornings and evenings sit in the gassho position and repeat these words out loud and in your heart
For the improvement of mind and body
Usui Spiritual Healing Method
The founder, Usui Mikao

When I recite the Gokai for myself, I personalize it thus;

Just for today
I don’t get angry
I don’t worry
I am grateful
I fulfill my duties
I have compassion, for myself and others

My take on learning the Gokai and practicing it (not only the saying while in Gassho, but being the embodiment of the principles) would be:

We all have to find our own Michi (“Way”).
Learn more than one way and determine which resonates more with you, then use that, until one of greater harmony finds you.

Enjoy your practice!!

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