top of page

Gokai - Five Principles of Reiki

Kyo Dake Wa                     Just for today
Ikaruna                                Do not be angry
Shin Pai Suna                      Do not worry
Kan Sha Shite                    Be grateful
Gyo o Hagame                     Do your duties  
Hito ni Shinsetsu ni           Be kind to others


About the gokai

The Gokai (five principles) are one of the most important elements of Reiki. Usui sensei created them to help people 'self-cultivate', as it was called.

At first glance, they can seem over-simplified, and I have seen many people disregard them as too obvious or of no significance. Yet they are not the rigid orders they may seem to be on first reading, there is great depth if you stop to feel them. We talk a little about them during the training and show you how and why Usui used the gokai in his training and his life.  


In these five basic phrases is a wealth of wisdom around living a more joyful, simple life.

Saying the gokai

We encourage students to learn the gokai in Japanese as it has the original kototama in it.

You can listen to the principles being spoken in Japanese in this short video by Mari Okazaki, a Jikiden Reiki Shihan in Vancouver, Canada. It is easier to learn line by line listening and repeating to get the correct pronunciation. If you are interested in seminars in Vancouver, Mari's website can be found at


In Japan, the concept of kototama is well known. Kototama can be translated as ‘word spirit’ and refers to the powerful energy inherent in words and phrases and the intention behind them. 


Anyone familiar with the work of Dr. Masaru Emoto may have heard about Kototama – his experiments with ice crystals clearly show the effect that words can have on water. As the majority of our body consists of water it is possible to see that words can have a calming and healing effect or a detrimental effect on our body and our feelings.  


I find that just saying the gokai in Japanese feels really good to me and helps me to feel calm and centred when I get up in the morning (not my best time!) or when things around me are scattered or feeling a bit crazy. 

bottom of page