I just got back from several days in Scotland with my family. What a beautiful country; we enjoyed every minute! Feels good to be back in the California sun, though 🙂
It was also such an honor to be able to spend time at Remus in Essex, England as well. It was wonderful sharing the Let Animals Lead® method with so many students, and seeing their faces light up as they watched the animals come forward and take charge of each session.
Differences in Approach Matter
In meaning, “Reiki” is spiritual or Source energy and therefore is non-dual and encompasses All. However in practice, it’s important to differentiate our approach. In my experience the Reiki approach for animals should be very different than our Reiki approach with humans, and these differences matter. They matter to the animals in cultivating trust and safety, but also, they matter to us as humans who want to make sure we are respecting animal preference and allowing freedom of expression with every connection we make with other species.
Letting Go of Specific Patterns and Hand Positions
Watching my students, I realize it takes a lot of courage to step back and allow the animals to lead. Human Reiki treatments are so much more about protocol, knowing what to expect and having a pattern of hand positions to rely upon. It creates a great amount of confidence when practitioners know they are in charge of each Reiki session with humans.
Be Flexible, Listen and Be Patient
With animals, we never know what kind of environment we will find ourselves in: many times it could be a stressful or loud environment, or a weather extreme. We have to be flexible about practicing our meditation sitting, standing and/or walking: whatever makes the animal–not necessarily us–most comfortable. We can’t rely upon verbal feedback, so we’ve got to learn to listen to what animals are telling us without words. We’ve also got to practice patience, as many animals take a lot of time (sometimes even multiple sessions) to fully relax and trust.
Remember to See the Perfection in This Moment
Through our practice with animals, we’ll also become more aware of our limitations as human beings to sense and connect with energy. It can be a bit intimidating when we realize how much more animals know about the Reiki space than we do! It can be tempting to try to fall back upon the human-based protocol and lead the session. Sometimes it feels easier to “know what to do” with our hands, rather than to allow each animal to take charge in the moment, responding organically to what unfolds, often without any physical contact. Sometimes it feels easier to focus with other humans on what is “wrong” with the animal and what needs to be fixed, rather than to clear our minds and look with our hearts, focusing on the perfection and wholeness of the animal in this moment.
Bringing Back Balance to the Human/Animal Dynamic
For all these reasons (and more) you deserve a lot of kudos and credit for practicing Animal Reiki the Let Animals Lead® way! You are brave, flexible, compassionate and you remember that animals are your teachers. You are allowing animals a position of leadership that they are not often given in this world! You are focusing on the good within a difficult situation which is also not easy. Most importantly, with this gentle approach you are bringing back balance to the human/animal dynamic, which has been broken by human ignorance, dominance and violence for so long. The animals are calling you to keep practicing! Animals deserve more freedom and equality in this world and the Let Animals Lead® method is a great way to awaken to this within the context of meditation. So be brave and know that the animals will always light your way!
Let’s honor animals together!
Join me as a new or resitting student for Reiki classes at Lily’s Legacy Senior Dog Rescue in Petaluma, California: Level 1 in September and October for Level 2 in the Let Animals Lead® method. I won’t be back at Lily’s until Spring 2020, so don’t miss these special classes! Can’t make it to an in-person class? CLICK HERE for the important audio course on this topic: “How Animal Reiki is Different than Human Reiki, and Why it Matters.”