“Meditation is thus a form of centering, which involves our disengagement from the machine of our mind and our resting in the heart.”— Georg Feuerstein
The benefits of meditation on our health and wellness are many! Science shows that meditation can help us increase our self-awareness and decrease stress. Meditation can also people manage many chronic diseases such as anxiety, depression and chronic pain. Researchers have shown that meditation actually changes the brain. CLICK HERE to read many more interesting scientific studies that have been done, and just a few of the things we have learned about meditation.
I always find articles and discussions about various types of meditation and their unique benefits very interesting from an Animal Reiki perspective. Basically, in the Let Animals Lead® method of Animal Reiki, we are learning to meditate with our animals, which deepens meditation into a true spiritual practice and is a way of sharing all these wonderful benefits with the animals we love and want to support.
Thanks to Reiki’s founder, Mikao Usui, who must have been an amazing teacher (based on the foundation he created that all modern Reiki practice is built upon), Reiki practice incorporates multiple types of meditation practices into one system. In my Reiki journey, I have found all of these meditations are greatly enhanced by sharing our practice with animals. Let’s explore six of the types of meditation our Animal Reiki practices teaches us:
1) Visualization Meditation:
Reiki practices such as the Hatsurei Ho gives a positive visualization of being the light. This is a very peaceful and grounding visualization. Although in basic teachings the practitioner visualizes the light coming from the outside in, as an advanced practitioner we awaken to the reality that we already are the light. In a world that can often feel dark and difficult, this is such a comforting truth to realize. This practice also gives Reiki practitioners the opportunity to experience the healing benefits of focusing on the positive, especially in difficult moments. When we let go of what is wrong and just sit in the light, animals will come forward and want to connect with us and share the peacefulness of the moment.
2) Mindfulness Meditation:
Reiki practices such as hands-on healing (for the self and others) help bring awareness to this present moment without judgement or expectation. By simply being present with ourselves in this moment, we learn to become listeners and observers so that we can more easily hold space for others. This practice also gives Reiki practitioners the opportunity to experience the healing benefits of touch. As Let Animals Lead® practitioners, in order to honor animal choice, we always let animals be the ones to initiate touch, and the benefits of Reiki are not dependent upon it. Seeing an animal once terrified of human contact choose to come forward and connect physically during a Reiki session is a transformative experience.
3) Mantra Meditation:
In more advanced teachings of Reiki, we chant specific mantras. This is a wonderful way to focus the mind and also gives Reiki practitioners the opportunity to experience the healing benefits of sound. Animals respond in amazing ways to the healing power of mantra!
4) Movement Meditation:
Especially when we work with animals, we learn how to adapt our Reiki practice to many different situations, including sitting, standing and walking meditations. This is a wonderful way to engage kinesthetic learners in the beautiful benefits meditation can bring. After all, as animals often remind us in real-world ways, meditation is a state of mind (and heart), not a physical position. It’s possible (and wonderful) to meditate with animals wherever we may find them!
5) Compassion Meditation:
At the heart of Reiki practice is an aspiration to live a kinder live and to help others. The virtue of service is central to Reiki because Usui embodied it himself and all practices come back to this ideal. Reiki practices such as the 5 Precepts and the 3rd and 4th symbol and mantra remind us that we are all connected and all One. At the center of our compassion practice is the attitude of honoring, and animals help us stay humble!
“All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything.”― Swami Vivekananda
6) Spiritual Meditation:
Not every meditation practice engages the spiritual self, but Reiki definitely does. The very word Reiki refers to the energy of Source, and so from the very beginning Reiki challenges us to look deeper within ourselves to rediscover the essence of our soul. I often tell students that practicing Reiki is like coming home, in the sense that home is where the heart is 🙂 Reiki is a spiritual practice of peace, love and compassion that embraces and radiates from the heart. Animals gravitate to our energy when we are in alignment with our core and essence, and this why Animal Reiki practice results in a deepened bond with the animals we love.
It’s such an amazing gift that in practicing the system of Reiki with the animals we love, we are actually incorporating all six of these very powerful and effective types of meditation.
I’d love to hear which of these types of meditations are your favorite and why? Are there more I haven’t discussed? Let me know your thoughts on this topic 🙂
Want to learn more? Visit our Animal Reiki Source Academy for training options.
Stay safe, be well, and may the animals light your way,