In the hectic, and often stressful, build-up to Christmas I thought it might be useful to look at the Five Reiki Precepts (over the next few weeks) as a way to better cope with everything that is thrown at us at this time. But of course you don’t have to stop once Christmas is over!
Dr Mikao Usui, the founder of Reiki, devised five precepts as a way to help people live a good and spiritual life. They are seen as the art of inviting happiness and a tool to bring us peace and contentment, and I have to say they do work. The precepts are open to interpretation and you will see them written in several different ways, but the sentiment remains the same.
They are given to us when we train in Reiki but personally I don’t feel that you have to be attuned to Reiki to use them, although using Reiki brings its own benefits. I believe that these five precepts can be immensely useful to everyone.
In using the precepts we set our intention to stay with them ‘just for today’.
Although there are only five, and appear quite simple, they do take some getting used to but well worth it.
Precept # 1: Just for today, I will let go of anger
Anger represents a belief that all people should behave as we want them to and when they behave differently we tend to get angry.
Think of the things that make you feel anger – perhaps it’s other drivers on the road, rudeness, cruelty, perhaps the kids are winding you up. But all of those things are because people are not acting in the way you want.
How do you react when you’re feeling anger? Perhaps you shout, maybe you confront the person making you angry, perhaps you have a full-on argument.
Think about Christmas – what pushes your buttons? Perhaps it’s the kids’ never-ending list of gifts that you can’t really afford, perhaps it’s family members who you feel you have to invite, perhaps it’s the pressure of all the preparations. Any supermarket on Christmas Eve is a perfect catalyst for an explosion of anger.
Anger induces a chemical release within our bodies which, in time, can cause us physical symptoms and illness. We can’t help but have some anger from time to time, but we must learn to release it in a way that doesn’t cause even more grief. There are many ways you can do that – physical exercise, martial arts or boxing, getting out in nature, or simply removing yourself from the source of your anger. But so much better to not to get so angry in the first place.
When something is beginning to push you to anger, repeat to yourself “just for today I will not anger”. Say it as many times as you need to and feel yourself becoming calmer.
Not easy I know, but well worth trying.
Next week we’ll be back with Precept #2.