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Natural Awakenings Boston

Walk the Talk on the Reiki Path

Jul 30, 2018 11:52AM ● By Elise M. Brenner

Although hands-on-healing may be the better-known reiki practice, it is actually just one of many meditation and contemplative reiki practices. The 5 Reiki Precepts are the foundation of walking the reiki path because the precepts are instructions for how we show up in the world with our thoughts, words and actions.

Just For Today…

Do Not Live in Anger

Do Not Live in Worry

Practice Gratitude

Live Honestly

Be Compassionate to All Beings and Yourself

When we engage with the precepts daily, we become more familiar with ourselves, and the kind of impact we wish to have on ourselves, on others and on the world. We practice creating an inner world where we do not fuel the fear, anger and worry that arises, and we get to share that world with others that come into our space.

Anger and worry, the first two precepts, can really grip us and bring disconnection from others. When we are in their grip, we are trapped and imprisoned by our own thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations. Furthermore, once they have done their harm on us, they contaminate everyone around us, too. “Walking the talk” with the first two reiki precepts means engaging with them every day in order to recognize our habitual reactions of worry, anger and fear. We may gently and gradually move into more ease and patience, even in the face of harsh and distressing conditions. It takes perseverance, but our thoughts, words and actions will become ever more aligned with the values we wish to live in.

Chipping away at the armor of anger and worry that has built up frees us to open to the state of mind of gratitude, the third reiki precept. We tune into the knowing that none of us and nothing exists in isolation. Our attention moves from our limited view to a wide, expansive view with a sense of inter-being beyond ourselves. Engaging with this precept is all about how we choose to participate in the world. The reiki precept about gratitude does not ask us to deny painful feelings and experiences. Instead, by cultivating a state of gratitude, we are propelled to practice gratitude with the words and actions we choose. With a heart-mind of thankfulness we can better navigate the tough times with a wider perspective and greater resiliency.

Incorporating the fourth reiki precept, to live honestly, means we live in accord with our deepest values and principles, and we express them in daily life with our words and actions. When we live honestly, we embody integrity, allowing us to live peacefully and without regret. When we live honestly, we can stand tall behind the choices we make, bringing ease and an experience of emotional freedom.

The last precept is to be compassionate to yourself and others. By resting our consciousness on the precept of compassion, we can re-connect to our capacity for loving, kind words and actions. Our task is to embody the capacity for compassion in how we speak and act in everyday life—in line at the bank, on the subway, in traffic, at work and with our families. Re-connecting to compassion can mobilize us to compassionate action to counter social injustices. Compassion is not merely a feeling; it is a practice, and our daily life is the laboratory for our practice of compassionate action.

When we engage with the reiki precepts we can begin to find ways to live in accord with ourselves, even amidst uncertainty and instability. When we fulfill a peaceful and joyful life for ourselves, this energy extends out to others.

Elise M. Brenner, Ph.D., reiki practitioner and teacher, and founder of the nonprofi t reiki educational and outreach organization, Celebration of Reiki, Inc., is a strong advocate for reiki outreach, education and empowerment. She assists clients at Brenner Reiki Healing, in Newton, and is the reiki trainer for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center staff as well as the staff at the Edith Norse Rogers VA hospital, in Bedford. For more information, visit

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