The Let Animals Lead® method is unique in its simple yet profound intention to “hold space” for animals and their caregivers. We are not “animal healers,” but rather Reiki practitioners who focus on the meditative teachings of Reiki as powerful support for animals to self-heal. Animals are drawn to the meditative space, and very sensitive and responsive to this space of compassionate connection.
“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” –Jane Goodall
I love this quote by Jane Goodall, as it reminds us that kindness is a choice, and not always an easy one. Don’t be afraid to take the high road and choose kindness, even in a difficult conversation. Perhaps when we’re with animals, we find it easier to choose kindness. However this can be hard to remember in the online culture, where people often hide behind their computers and make critical comments that they would never say to someone’s face. As members of the Animal Reiki Community I invite each of you to help me make a positive difference in the world by practicing kindness on social media.
I’m proud to say that one of the most unique things about the Let Animals Lead® method is its co-creative quality. Human Reiki methodology is a very practitioner-led way of practice. Even if it’s understood the space is shared between client and practitioner, the practitioner is responsible for all the movement, hand positions chosen or not chosen, etc. during all sessions. In the Let Animals Lead® method, because our primary concern is not practitioner protocol, but rather honoring animals’ choice, preference and freedom to express themselves, we take a step back and allow the animals to lead each session. When we do so, we give them the space to show us a new way forward in healing.
One of my favorite things to see in Maui, besides the beach of course, is animals. This trip my highlight was adorable feral kitties! I was also heartened to see some beautiful people feeding this colony living along the beach path near the hotel where I stayed. I could see by the cats’ tipped ears that many had been TNR (trapped, neutered, released), so the problem of population increase is being worked on, which is wonderful. The kitties were adorable, of so many colors!
One of the Reiki precepts is “be kind to others.” For Animal Reiki practitioners, this kindness is actively practiced when we share Reiki with other species on a daily basis. Of course the animals we live with have touched our hearts and changed our lives for the better, but for many other unusual species, it is the context of an Animal Reiki session that helps us realize our connectedness and to awaken to the spiritual gifts these animals teach.
Mikao Usui was Buddhist, and although he did not have specific teachings about connecting with the animals in our lives, I have no doubt that his teachings on compassion were not meant to extend only to human beings.
Following are three quotes from well-known Buddhist teachers that, for me, shed light on the way of compassion that Animal Reiki meditation inspires with us.