The Background of the Reiki Precepts?
The Reiki Precepts are the foundation of the system of Reiki. They are:
Do not worry
Do not anger
Show compassion to yourself and others
In the course of one of the lessons during my recent personal training trip to Japan, the Ajari, (eminent monk of Tendai or Shingon Buddhism) showed me a specific Buddhist verse called "shichibutsu tsukaige" (The verse of admonishment of the seven Buddhas, also referred to as the Precepts of the seven Buddhas). This verse is from the Hokku-kyo, Dharma-phrase Sutra, a collection of verses comprising the basic teaching of Buddhist morality.
To do no evil
To do only good
To purify one's mind
This is the teachings of the Buddha
When the Ajari wrote this down on the white board my first thought was, the Reiki precepts created by Usui Mikao, the founder of the system of Reiki!
This is what I saw…
- To do no evil
- directs the practitioner how not to act
- relates directly to Usui's instruction to not have worry or anger (to do no harm to yourself, others… anything)
- To do only good
- directs the practitioner on how to act
- relates to the more detailed instructions from Usui to be humble and honest and compassionate
- To purify one's mind
- directs the practitioner to implement the precepts in order to receive their benefits
- relates to the injunction in the full Reiki precepts "to do gassho every morning and evening, to keep in mind and recite".
Which made me wonder:
Would Usui have used the Precepts of the seven Buddhas as a base for his precepts?
Did he create the Reiki precepts to make the Precepts of the seven Buddhas more accessible for non- Buddhist practitioners?! Remember, in Usui's time State Shinto was the norm. Maybe he changed the Precepts of the seven Buddhas to suit his State Shinto students?
These contemplations also direct us towards a better understanding of what is was that Usui himself may have practiced.