Today I mourn a loss and I celebrate a teacher. A few days ago, one of my dearest equine teachers passed away, Luke. This photo is a picture of him gently touching his nose to my hand during a Reiki session we shared several years ago.
Luke belonged to my trainer Susan, or perhaps she belonged to him, and besides winning Susan a gold medal in dressage, he had a way of teaching subtle Reiki lessons in very direct ways.
I remember once, when he was suffering from bladder stones, he refused to connect with me during meditation unless I stopped worrying about his pain and instead focused on peace and calm. As soon as I let go of my worries and calmed my mind, he came forward and touched his nose to my heart and we stood peacefully together. What a profound way to see the way our thoughts can affect the animals we want to help!
The farm seems different without his physical presence, but I find comfort in imagining him reunited with Susan, who passed very suddenly a few years ago, across the rainbow bridge.
As I honor and remember Luke, I can see it is hard sometimes to realize that animals are our truly our teachers.
Although we love our animals and look upon them as special, we are used to being the caretaker and deciding everything for them, like what kind of food they eat, when it is time to play, when to go the vet and when they may need some training.
We want to do our best as caregivers, but when we practice our Animal Reiki meditations with our animals, it’s time to let this role go and find a new way of being with them.
Think of your meditations as a shared space, rather than something you yourself are “giving” to them. Invite the animals to come forward and be in charge and be the leaders in each session. Through the quiet space of meditation, give them space to show you something about energy, about connection and about healing.
To successfully connect with animals, we’ve go to come from a humble place. Our energy and intention has to say to the animal, “I am still learning about this energy, and I know you know a lot more about it than I do. I am here, listening. Show me the right way to be with you in this moment.”
When we approach the animal from this perspective, without having to fix something about them and without having to change the moment we are in, it builds so much trust. When animals sense a listening vibration, rather than a dominant “doing” vibration from us, they appreciate it so much and are much more open to connecting with us.
In order to create this humble space, we must experience two shifts in our state of mind:
1) Letting go of the “healer” mentality.
The healer mentality is when we say to ourselves, “Okay I am the Reiki healer and this animal needs healing on this and that issue, and I am here to do Reiki on you because you need it.” This state of mind creates separation between ourselves and the animal. It sees the animal as “less than” us and sees ourselves as having a “special” gift to offer the animal that the animal can’t return. It is very much a one-way relationship, where we are the “givers.” In reality, a healing space is shared, and if we are open to this possibility, we can realize we have much to learn from the animals we connect to. Seeing the animals as partners and teachers in the journey shifts our energy into a gentle and open space that even the most sensitive animals can trust.
2) Letting go of what is “wrong” with the animal.
It’s human nature to focus on the negative. Researchers call this the “negativity bias,” and it helps explain why we often find ourselves dwelling on dark thoughts surrounding a difficult diagnosis our animal has received or ruminating on the terrible details of a traumatic past a rescued animal may have faced. In order to overcome this, we’ve got to reframe the way we see the animal. This is not easy and can only be done with repeated practice. This is where our meditation practice comes in. When we meditate, we can begin to expand the way we view things. We can begin to see more deeply into the animal’s essence of being.
In this deeper perspective, we can realize that wholeness is at the heart of each of us. It is possible to find this wholeness in every moment, even difficult ones. At the essence of our animal is a bright, beautiful spirit and that spirit can never be dimmed or diminished, no matter past events, present challenges or future uncertainty. Being able to bring our focus to this inner perfection creates a positive vibration that animals will trust and be attracted to. And you know what? Our animals model this for us: every time they look at us they see our essence, not our faults, so we can just follow their examples and we’ll know what to do 🙂
When we want to connect with our animals in meditations, we can strive to see ourselves as beginners, listeners, observers and learners with the animals. This is what is going to bring us successful Animal Reiki connections. The most powerful healing we can ever offer to another being is simply being present with them in an open-hearted, non judgmental way.
May your spirit run free, dear Luke, and thank you for all the lessons you taught and the smiles you brought. I will never forget you.
Here are a couple of photos of Susan and Luke together in good and happy times.
Stay safe, be well and may the animals light your way!