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My Encounter with Reiki and Gokai

Gokai is listed in the official Gendai Reiki manuals, and we teach it repeatedly during Gendai Reiki classes as one of the core teachings of original Japanese Usui Reiki Ryoho. At first, I probably misunderstood what Gokai really means. I took the significance of Gokai too light. The other day, I found a booklet of Gokai from the pile of paperwork. The booklet was originally made from a recorded material at the Gendai Reiki Network 3rd General Meeting held on May 26, 2007.  I spoke about my understanding of Gokai and how it had changed over five stages. Today, I would like to talk about Gokai and these stages again. 

My understanding of Gokai has shifted over five stages, and I would like to share it with you. I don’t know how Reiki masters/teachers from other Reiki systems teach Reiki in general, but as far as I know, most other Reiki systems do not teach Gokai. Some of them might list it in their manuals, but it isn’t explained much.

My first Reiki class was the Radiance Technique from the United States. My teacher was a journalist who lived in New York and was the only Japanese teacher at that time. She was very short-tempered and used to be upset when her trainees asked her difficult questions. At my first-degree class, she explained that Reiki was energy from the Universe and that it had something to do with the famous formula by Albert Einstein, E=MC2. I didn't understand why Reiki was related to the formula, but nobody asked about it because we were all so scared of her.

My teacher told us that Mikao Usui rediscovered this energy and named it Reiki, Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai did not exist anymore, and the types of symptoms and illness that Reiki could be used. After that, each one of us was taken to a dark room to receive an attunement for about three minutes. The class was finished with Reiki Mawashi. There were about 40 trainees, and the class was held for three hours. Two hours out of three were spent giving attunements to all the 40 trainees. The manual was only one piece of paper that explained the basic 12 positions with the effects of each position. While other people were getting attunements, we practiced the 12 positions on ourselves. On the following day, we learned three symbols in the Second Degree class. We had to memorize them without writing on paper! We then practiced distant Reiki sessions and learned how to use a Reiki box. An individual attunement took about three minutes in the darkroom again. There wasn’t any explanation about Gokai.

My Gokai Understanding - Part One to Three

Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai gave me a copy of Gokai, and we chanted it together, but they didn't give us any explanation about it. I did not give it too much importance either. My understanding was that we must not be angry or worried, and be kind to others and grateful as a Reiki practitioner. I gave my trainees the copies of Gokai that I had received from my master, Ms. Kimiko Koyama, but did not explain much about it, too. That was the first stage of my understanding of Gokai.

In the second stage, I found that Gokai included all negative emotions such as anger, fear, hate, worry, and sorrow. One of my trainees mentioned that Gokai should also include "do not be obsessed" because that was what she wanted to work on.  For most people, just “do not be angry, do not worry” does not seem to be enough; however, what Gokai really means is that we should prepare and stabilize our minds. This makes Gokai completely perfect, and nothing else needs to be added.

In the third stage, my view of Gokai changed to this one: Gokai teaches how you can start, proceed, and reach the goal. The title of Gokai, “the secret for happiness,” indicates the goal that we will be happier using Reiki, and “the remedy for all illnesses,” indicate the start that we will be healthier using Reiki. In this third stage, I acknowledged that Gokai taught us how to be healthy and happy with Reiki.

My Gokai Understanding - Part Four and Five

In the fourth stage, my view changed again to the following acknowledgment: walking the path to health and happiness is to resonate with Reiki and improves the resonance. Until then, I had a hard time understanding why Reiki began with hand treatment to achieve Anshin Ritsumei. To resonate with Reiki is such a vague expression, however, it is the most critical factor in a Reiki journey.

When we give a Reiki session, we transmit the Reiki energy in resonance with it. Reiki sessions train us to resonate with Reiki consciously. When you are naturally in resonance with Reiki all the time, you no longer need to intentionally eliminate your negative emotions such as anger and anxiety because you will be filled with the vibrations of love and gratitude as long as you resonate with Reiki. I have realized that people who have negative emotions can’t receive Reiki because Reiki doesn’t resonate with the negative emotions. If you want to receive and resonate with Reiki and benefit fully from it, you will need to fill your heart with love and gratitude. That’s the only way.

Although Gokai has five teachings, it actually consists of three parts, and this is what I found in my fifth stage. Walking the Reiki path can be compared to driving. You can either drive on small local streets making many wrong turns, or, drive on a highway that takes you directly to a destination of a healthy and happy life. This is the highway that connects directly to Anshin Ritsumei. In Gokai, the main road is “do what you are meant to do.”  You need to drive safely and pleasantly, and other teachings of Gokai are road signs. You will find some rest areas on the highway where you can find trashcans, bathrooms, restaurants, and gas stations. You can throw away things you don’t need in a trashcan (eliminating negative things) and fill gasoline (adding positive vibrations). This is how we should live our lives. We get rid of things that inhibit our resonance with Reiki and obtain things that improve resonance with Reiki.

Again, get rid of unnecessary emotions, such as anger and anxiety, that inhibit your resonance with Reiki. Take in positive emotions such as gratitude, love, and kindness that enhance your resonance with Reiki. The three major parts of Gokai are the main road and two service areas.  The main road (the goal) is "do what you are meant to do," and “do not be angry, do not worry, be grateful, be kind to others” are not the goals.

In Conclusion - Create a Happy Life

There were a few more shifts in my understanding of Gokai, and the current one is very simple. I am putting more importance on “just for today.” Anything else is not important. “Just for today,” tells us that we only have today (this moment).  Recognize that your life is just today.  Live today carefully and joyfully with Reiki and make the most of today. Make today the best day so that your past and future will also shine. Just know that all the pains and sufferings you experienced in the past have given you this beautiful day.  

Your beautiful thoughts and actions will shape your future.

If you want to change your past and future, change today. Today exists here with you.

Change things you can change. 

Today is the beginning of your new life and the last day of your old life.

Don’t waste your time dwelling in negative emotions.

Be grateful that you are here alive.

Love your friends, tackle the challenges and issues you need to face, and create a happy life.

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