The Gokai Experiment: Rewriting the Reiki Principles

The Gokai Experiment: Rewriting the Reiki Principles

A couple of months ago I gave my Reiki discussion group an assignment…The Gokai Experiment: rewrite the Reiki Principles. I can hear a few of you gasp from through the screen, but hear me out.

Usui developed the Reiki method not even 100 years ago, in this time the world has changed, values have changed, people have changed, Reiki has evolved. Reiki has shifted from being something that took years to learn to let’s learn this in a weekend. The Reiki Principles are glossed over and that bugs me (another glossed over Reiki basic…gassho meditation). The Principles really help pull Reiki together into a way of life.

That said, there are a few things I would change. This is what I personally came up with for the assignment:

Sierra version:

Today only

Be present and patient

Express and feel your emotions

Do your best


Be kind and show gratitude

Usui version:

Just for today

I will not be angry

I will not worry

I will work honestly

I will be grateful for my many blessings

I will be kind to others

You probably notice, I just reworded how to say some of the original principles. Instead of saying I will not be angry or worry, I said to be present and patient. Instead of saying work honestly, I said do your best. All of the original 5 principles are there, I just added flavor haha.

When we think of the culture that Usui came from it makes sense of what he has in the Reiki Principles. Do not be angry, do not worry, do your work honestly. All of these are/were culturally significant in living life in Japan. In the years that we’ve had Reiki in the West, we’ve completely changed the face of Reiki, we have different values. I’m not saying that the Reiki Principles as they are are not still relevant. I’m saying that like Reiki is fluid and adjustable, so too are the principles.

When doing this assignment I felt the need to add a principle about expressing and feeling your emotions. So many of us bottle them up until we are ready to explode. And that is not healthy for anyone. So I put the reminder in there for me.

I also felt that forgiveness needed to be put in. We tend to forget that forgiveness is not for the other person, it is for us. So we can move on and live our lives.

The Gokai Experiment

Your assignment if you choose to accept it:

Part 1: Rewrite the Reiki Principles. Don’t just do it to do it though. Put thought into it, why are you putting in the changes you are. Make them your own.

Part 2: Live by your Reiki Principles.

Part 3: Share with us what you wrote!

While you work on your personal Reiki Principles observe your self-Reiki practice. How has it helped you? How can you be more present with Reiki? How can you be more connected with the process? Let the principles guide you, whether your own or the originals. Personally, the experiment helped me feel closer to Reiki.

The Gokai Experiment! A couple of months ago I gave my Reiki discussion group an assignment. Rewrite the Reiki Principles.

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