Have you ever wanted to cancel an appointment and stay home? Or continue your nap? Or just veg out? That’s what I wanted to do yesterday, but I’d already made a financial commitment to attend an Introduction to Animal Reiki event at Namaste Bookshop in Manhattan, so I ripped myself from my brief not-so-power nap and got myself there. Now I know that I would have kicked myself if I’d missed it because I learned some important differences in offering Reiki to people and Reiki to animals.
Liz Wassell, a SARA (Shelter Animal Reiki Association) Teacher who traveled from upstate New York, has studied with Kathleen Prasad, the association’s co-founder. Liz introduced animal Reiki to our group, which included a black lab mix therapy dog, whose name, by the way, is Sara. Liz volunteers at the Ulster County SPCA and Animal Farm Foundation, both in the Hudson Valley in upstate New York and is also a founding member of her local community Reiki group.
My cat, Pushkin, was the first recipient of animal Reiki after I received my attunement about a month ago, and from the beginning, it was hands-on, all the way, up close and personal for him. Reiki for humans consists of a series of lightly-placed hand positions on different parts of a clothed body; Reiki for our animal friends, however, not so much. It’s better for them from several feet away, especially in a shelter setting or wherever an animal is shy or too traumatized for touch. That distance allows the animal to approach the practitioner, allows the animal to accept or reject it, allows the animal to call the shots. Sometimes the animal will place parts of his body in the practitioner’s hands to show where Reiki is needed. It was good to find out that treatment is not dependent on physical contact.
She led us through a breathing and visualization meditation that allowed us to create and hold a healing space for the animal, a Reiki healing space that can encompass an entire room. It’s all about intention, focus and meditation. The animals lead the way, taking only as much Reiki as they need. As practitioners, we are offering — not giving — which means that ego has little or no place. No need to perform. No need to put on a show. No need, even to be attached to an outcome.
Our intention for being with the animals is threefold: to connect with them, to learn from them, and—as partners—to work together in healing and in ceremony to co-create a new way of being. — http://reikishamanic.com/2013/03/animals-as-healers-and-teachers-at-harmony-farm/
I look forward to experiencing animals as teachers and healers.
By the way, I have a newly-created Facebook Page: All Creatures Large And Small: Animal Reiki. Stop by and “Like” it, if you will, by clicking the widget on the right.