• mcbollard

My 60 Second Morning Ritual that Sets Me Up for a Calm and Focused Day

The Five Principles

Like many Reiki practitioners I recite the Gokai, or Five Principles, each morning. They are short and simple but powerful and packed with meaning. With a few words I am reminded of who I want to be and how I want to live. What are these amazing Principles? And why do I recite them in Japanese?

The Five Principles in Japanese, the language I use to recite them in each morning.

I recite these beautiful words in Japanese because of something called Kotodama. Roughly translated Kotodama means 'word energy'. The words of the Gokai have good Kotodama and saying them aloud brings good "word energy". And us Reiki types are all about that good energy! Speaking the Gokai aloud in Japanese brings me a feeling of peace, the words are so beautiful and lulling. Of course I also know the English translations and understanding the meaning of Gokai is as important as it's Kotodama. Below is the English translation of the Five Principles and what they mean to me.

Just for today – this reminds us to live in the present

  1. Do not be angry – it's easy to become trapped by anger and hatred. Anger can get in the way of finding solutions. Past slights and grudges can keep us rooted in the past and stop us from living and finding joy right now.

  2. Do not be worried - like anger, worry can block us and keep us from living in the present. Worrying doesn't affect outcomes but it does take our energy and focus away from the now and perhaps even from finding solutions to the very problems that we may be worrying about.

  3. Be grateful - when we see only what we don't have, enjoyment is hard to come by but when we are grateful for what we have it is difficult to be dissatisfied.

  4. Do your duties fully- this for me is about being present in each thing that we do. In our obligations to our friends and family, in our responsibilities and in our mission or purpose in life.

  5. Be kind to others (and yourself too) – kindness begets kindness and really, do we need a reason to be kind?

These are the simple but impactful words I utter three times each morning. It takes less than a minute and they ground me and set me up to be mindful during my day. If I start to feel a bit ruffled I take a few seconds to recite them and then continue with my day. Give it a try and see how it makes you feel.

Do you have a special way of starting your day? I'd love to hear about it. Please share it with us in the comments.

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