A Deeper Look into the 5 Principles of Reiki

These days, we are all familiar with the concept of affirmations and the power the spoken word and thoughts we hold have over our actions and lives.

With Dr. Masaru Emoto’s work, we see how a molecule of water is impacted by the phrase: “You make me sick” and knowing we are over 98% water, we understand the impact any energetic dissonance has within.

This is why when students first see the 5 principles of Reiki, they question them. Why are the statements focusing on negativity and the state we want to avoid, rather than the emotions and energy we want to embody?

Why is every statement prefaced with – just for today? Should we not embrace these values for the future as well?

There are even some more experienced Masters who push the issue aside and say that the translations from Japanese to English was poorly done and does not reflect the actual teachings from Dr. Usui.

I would like to provide a difference perspective. I believe that there is tremendous wisdom in the way these principles were shared.

“Just for today…” Time is a mental construct we have created. It helps us to exist from day to day, but quantum physicists know that the past, present and future exist only here – in this moment.

Our egoic mind takes comfort in the idea that today the sun will set, to rise again tomorrow, but this is not something that is guaranteed. Even from an egoic standpoint, all we have is right here, right now.

You may have heard the saying “one day at a time”. This is commonly referenced by those breaking free of addiction. By releasing the desire to control the future, they are connecting more closely with source and being present.

I believe that “Just for Today” holds us here and now – which is the only place we CAN BE.

So – why include the words and energy of worry and anger? Why not focus on peace and love?

You will notice in some modalities such as EFT and some forms of brain re-patterning, that the individual must focus on the belief, memory or emotion that is causing them distress before they can release it.

With the focus on something that elicits suffering, the areas of the brain and body where the energy is being stored, are triggered. Once they are triggered, they can then be balanced by the body.

The typical pattern is – negative feeling, negative belief or thought, negative memory, then as the body becomes aware of the dissonance and balances it, moving into a new more aligned state.

The 5 Principles of Reiki follow this with worry and anger, following with honesty and kindness.

An affirmation is powerless when it is covering up a deeply held dissonant belief. By stating the principles in this way, it gives the body an opportunity to scan our bodymind for energy, beliefs and memories that connect with anger or worry so they can be balanced and we can truly move into an honest and kind place within our hearts.

As more time goes on, it becomes easier to see the wisdom our ancestors held and I believe the principles are one piece of the tremendous amount of wisdom that Dr. Usui shared with the world.

I hope you find this helpful in your practice and life.
In warmth,


  1. Gabrielle Gonnella on December 23, 2021 at 9:41 pm

    Love this explanation. I never had a problem with Just For Today as I am also in recovery and got it right away. Thank you for sharing this article. 💛

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