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Gratitude and Kindness Can Heal Our World: Animal Reiki Practice, Precepts and the Pandemic

Last week we celebrated 50 years of Earth Day, and I want to share with you that I believe gratitude and kindness can heal our world! I’ve created a special video meditation connecting with trees to help bring a sense of gratitude, peace and calm to your day. CLICK HERE to watch, and I hope you enjoy it!

It was 98 years ago that Usui sensei, founder of Reiki, created his first clinic and school in Tokyo. The central teachings in his system of spiritual practice are the Reiki precepts: For today only: do not anger, do not worry, be grateful, work diligently, be kind to others. These precepts, when contemplated and practiced mindfully, help us bring awareness and mindfulness to our state of mind and heart in each moment and help us to remember the importance of our connection to others in this world. As an Animal Reiki practitioner, I’ve also found animals to be amazing teachers of the precepts! CLICK HERE for a short video I’ve made with some animals who’ve taught me so much about the wisdom of the Reiki precepts.

These precepts aren’t just for meditation and contemplation however, they’re also meant to be put into practice in real-world ways. Right now, due to the pandemic, the world is getting a very real-life, hard-truth experience about the reality of just how connected we really are. The system of Reiki centers on the spiritual truth that we are all One, but we can now see this truth physically with our eyes on every news channel and read it in real-life stories around the world. A tragedy that started in one small community, now strongly affects the daily life of every single person in the world. Acts of compassion by people helping each other can be seen in every community, reminding us of all the good in the world and giving us so much hope for the future! We have never before been faced with the truth of interconnection as we are today. We have also never been afforded such a profound opportunity for positive change in the world as we are now! Now is the time to re-evaluate our relationship with each other, with animals and with nature, so that we can move forward with more harmony and health for everyone! [bctt tweet=”Now is the time to re-evaluate our relationship with each other, with animals and with nature, so that we can move forward with more harmony and health for everyone!” username=”ARS_animalreiki”]

The Reiki precepts are about honoring and respecting this connection of all life, so that we can live with more balance, peace and happiness. CLICK HERE to meet some very special animals who’ve mastered the Reiki precepts.

The Reiki precept “be grateful” has taken on a whole deeper meaning in light of all the good that is happening in the world right now at this scary and uncertain time. Medical professionals and public safety officials are risking their own health and safety to help those who are sick and ailing. Workers at various levels in our food chain are going to work every day, even at risk to their own health, to help us keep food on our tables. School personnel are going the extra mile to provide online and at-home learning for kids, and even to provide free lunches to families in need. Even neighbors are helping each other as never before, reaching out to at-risk individuals and supporting them by doing errands and shopping for them. In our county, at 8pm everyone “howls” in grateful support for doctors, nurses and frontline support people. This global tragedy has opened our eyes to our connections to each other, and made us more grateful for generosity, courage, selflessness and community goodwill. [bctt tweet=”We stand now in a very profound moment and at a crossroads: a crossroads of awakening and the opportunity to heal our Earth. Our relationship to animals is central to this healing process.” username=”ARS_animalreiki”]

Our Animal Reiki Practitioner Code of Ethics reminds us to honor animals as our teachers in the journey of healing. These ethics remind us that:

“bringing Reiki to the human/animal relationship is transformational to the human view of the animal kingdom. As Animal Reiki practitioners, we nurture a belief in the sacred nature of all beings and in the value and depth of animalkind as our partners on this planet.”

When we truly allow the sacredness of animals, their gifts and wisdom in our lives to sink in, and when we process this at a deep, soul level, we can see that our differences in species are really just on the surface. Animals are spiritual, sentient beings and deserve to be respected and protected. Compassion tells us that we have no choice but to be mindful of our consumer choices and take positive action.

Yet we, as Animal Reiki practitioners are not the only ones who are awakening to this truth. Some of the greatest minds of our time are speaking out about the reality that we must change the way we relate to animals, nature and our world if we want to be able to live healthy and happy lives. The wisdom of the precepts shows us that truly millions of lives are at stake if we don’t take gratitude and kindness into account when we make daily choices in our lives. We can no longer afford to live in blissful ignorance of how our personal lifestyle choices affect others. [bctt tweet=”We must heal not only ourselves, but also our broken relationships with animals and nature if we want to heal our Earth.” username=”ARS_animalreiki”]

Jane Goodall noted, “It is our disregard for nature and our disrespect of the animals we should share the planet with that has caused this pandemic.”

Pope Francis said, “the coronavirus pandemic is one of ‘nature’s responses’ to humans ignoring the current ecological crisis.”

In a recent NY Times opinion piece by professor of philosophy, David Benatar, wrote, “the coronavirus pandemic is a result of our gross maltreatment of animals.”

Dr. Fauci, America’s top infectious disease expert says of the wet markets where Covid-19 originated, “It boggles my mind how when we have so many diseases that emanate out of that unusual human-animal interface, that we don’t just shut it down,” he said. “I don’t know what else has to happen to get us to appreciate that.”

Imagine if everyone’s actions were guided by the Reiki precepts’ values of letting go of anger and worry as well as bringing gratitude and kindness to every decision. We certainly wouldn’t be treating animals as we do, and perhaps we wouldn’t be facing some of the health and climate issues we’re facing today. The question is, what choices will we make today, tomorrow and in the future to protect our loved ones, to advocate for animal compassion and to shine kindness into our world? The health and wellbeing of ourselves, our family and all animals and people on the planet hinge upon the daily kindnesses we choose.

To begin healing ourselves and our loved ones with the Reiki precepts, we can start by practicing meditation with our animals and being open to the teachings they share with us. CLICK HERE for a powerfully healing guided meditation to help you embody the Reiki precepts with the help of your animals.

This kind of meditation practice will help us let go of anger and worry while we stay in a space of gratitude for what our animals teach us. It will begin bringing peace into our homes and more balance into our lives.

Practicing with our animals can also help us nurture our compassion for others in a bigger way, so that we become more aware of how the seemingly small, daily choices we make affect the lives and wellbeing of others. Most immediately, how can my personal choices protect or endanger those vulnerable to this virus? Also, how does what I eat, wear and buy help or harm animals, workers, the environment and more? Our choices matter and if all of us practice the precepts not only in meditation with our animals but also in our life choices, there is so much good we can do for everyone!

On Earth Day and every day, truly nothing matters more than being grateful and kind to others in all that we think, say and do, and this is the biggest lesson from our practice and the precepts during this pandemic. Shining with gratitude and kindness is our best way forward, for the good of ourselves, our family, the animals and our world. With the dear presence of our beloved animals and the light of gratitude and kindness to show us the way, we will get through this, together!


  1. Want a guided program of meditation support? CLICK HERE for my 21-day Meditation Challenge, focused on bringing together the precepts with wisdom from 21 different animal species.

  2. Follow the Leaping Bunny for cruelty-free products.

  3. Check out “Over 45 of the Best Ethical and Sustainable Brands in 2020.”

  4. Learn how “your food choices can change the world,” HERE.

  5. Learn ways to nourish gratitude, generosity, hope, and your inner solutionary from Zoe Weil, founder of the Institute for Humane Education, HERE.

  6. Learn about a fascinating new book about how we can learn from animals that self-care is truly about caring for the Earth: Wisdom from a Humble Jellyfish: And Other Self-Care Rituals From Nature, HERE.

  7. Binge-watch Netflix and get inspired by the beauty and resilience of Earth through the David Attenborough documentary series, Our Planet.

  8. Follow Patrick McDonnell, inspiring artist, animal and environmental activist, and creator of the comic MUTTS,  HERE.

Stay safe, be well and may the animals light your way!


Kathleen Prasad
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