Usui Gainen

The Usui Gainen (concepts) also called the Gokai are also known as the Usui Precepts, Usui affirmations or Usui Principles. They are the heart of every system of Reiki which is attributed specifically to Miako Usui. The original Usui concepts were mistakenly called “precepts” or “principles. They are what are also commonly referred to in Western Reiki as the “Reiki Ideals.” The correct term for Usui’s writing is “Gainen,” which means concepts. The original writing was brushed (shodo style) on blue mitsumata paper of the time, made from the mulberry bush. All Western version of this document are from a photo taken most likely by Dr. Hayashi, who was also an amateur photographer.  

“Usui-sama frequently made trips to Hiei-Zan (Mount Hiei in Kyoto). He told us that he was waiting. We asked what is it that he was waiting for? He replied, he would know when it arrived. Then one day in 1921, Usui-sama made yet another trip to the Enrakyu Temple (on Mount Hiei) and returned several days later with a sheet of gold colored paper.

“O-Sensei sent us to buy a sheet of mitsumata washi (paper made from a mulberry type bush) and he spent the rest of the day with ink and brush. When we returned the next day, the paper was already mounted on the tokonama (alcove). He had signed the sheet in red ink and had spilled some of the ink on the edge of his cushion which looked like shape of kokoro (the kanji for heart).” ~ Written comments of Tenon-in to the Usui Reiki Ryoto International gathering in Toronto, 2022

Interpretations & Translations

“The Gainen ARE Usui’s system! They can be a philosophy, a way of living, a way of practicing the system (or “all of the above”). They are NOT a set of control statements! The term gainen (from Mandarin Gai Nian) translates as “Concept.” ” ~ Dave King’s Usui Teate Class

The Concepts

“Usui Sensei created (the) Gokai (the 5 principles) getting hints from a book “Kenzo no Gebri” written by Dr. Bizan Suzuki (published in March 1914). The book says, “Just for today, do not get angry, do not fear, be honest, work hard, and be kind to others.” ~ Teaching from Doi-Sensei’s Gendai Reiki Master Class

During a meditation several years after developing Reiki, Mikao Usui decided to add the Reiki Ideals to the practice of Reiki. The Ideals were developed to add spiritual balance to Usui Reiki. Their purpose is to help students realize that healing the spirit by consciously deciding to improve oneself is a necessary part of the Reiki healing experience. Usui believed that in order for the Reiki healing energies to have lasting results, the receiver must accept responsibility for her or his healing and take an active part in it. Therefore, the Usui system of Reiki is more than the use of just the Reiki energy. Usui felt It should also include an active commitment to improve oneself in order for it to be a complete system. As students spiritually progresses their way through the structure of Usui’s healing system, eventually they come to a deeper understanding of the meaning of the Gainen. The Gainen are guidelines for living a gracious life and virtues worthy of practicing for their inherent value.