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Practicing Mindfulness with Animals with Animal Reiki Meditations

Practicing Mindfulness with Animals with Animal Reiki Meditations

Practicing mindfulness with animals when they are going through stressful times is a way of offering them our pure presence and, often, this can be the greatest source of comfort and healing to them. With the Let Animals Lead® method of Animal Reiki, we use flexible forms of meditation (sitting, standing, walking, moving around) and animal affirmations to practice mindfulness with our animals and remind ourselves to stay put—in our bodies and grounded—so we can be here for them when they need us most.

According to Mindful Magazine, “mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.” And, after 25 years of working with animals in all sorts of states in all kinds of situations, I have no doubt that mindfulness is what animals seek from us the most. When they are distressed, injured, or dying, everything feels chaotic and uncertain to them and what they need most is calm reassurance that—regardless of what is happening in this moment—everything is going to be okay.

And, side note, when I say “okay,” I don’t mean that we “tell” an animal that they will be miraculously healed if they connect energetically with us. I mean that our energy holds the “All is Well” vibration and animals feel it and connect with it and it soothes them, no matter their situation. Being fully present is about shifting our awareness to see more deeply into the heart of this moment. And the truth is, that peace and compassion are at the heart of every moment, even if they are covered up by physical or emotional stress. That is something we learn with Pillar 3 of the LAL® method, which teaches us how to stay positive and focus on the perfection of any animal in any given moment.

Why is Practicing Mindfulness with Animals so important for helping them?

Over the years, animals have taught me that less is always more. True healing is a space of being, not doing.

When I focused on physical ritual (in other words, placing my hands on their bodies and focusing on “sending” or “beaming” healing energy into their bodies) animals would often walk away (if they were able) or they would tense up and be unable to relax—they would show me, very clearly, that they did NOT want to connect.

And, eventually, I realized that it was my tendency to focus mentally on what was “wrong” with a particular animal and how I needed to send it some healing or “fix” the issue that was preventing the animal from connecting with me. My own mental and physical actions were focused outward on the animal instead of inward on my own energy, my own calmness, my own peace. And it was NOT an effective way to reach animals or help them. And so, with time, I came to understand that the animals I was trying to help preferred me to simply hold space for them by focusing inward and creating a center of peace and calm that I could invite them to step into, rather than try to “cure” this or that issue. In this way, over time, I discovered that in this new approach I was actually making space for an animal to have agency over their own healing journey.

When I would focus on relaxing and just “being” in this present moment with them—with an open heart—they would be drawn to me like a magnet and able to deeply relax into a state of peace for their own self-healing. Animals know when we make space for them to be empowered, and they appreciate it so much! And this is why, for the past 25 years that I’ve been practicing Animal Reiki meditations with animals, I’ve developed my tried and true method (Let Animals Lead®) that empowers animals and gives them agency, rather than focusing on dominating the situation by trying to fix or heal this or that issue for them.

It works. I have trained thousands of people to use my Animal Reiki method (with their own animals and those they work with) to focus on animal empowerment through mindfulness and presence as opposed to human-controlled sending, beaming, fixing or healing. And, honestly, the positive results far surpass those achieved at the beginning of my career. Through the peaceful space of “being” that mindfulness cultivates, we can quickly develop trust with animals, and this helps them drop into a deep state of relaxation. It is in this deeply relaxed state that their own self-healing process and wisdom work best!

Animals teach us to be mindful and to stop zoning out or floating in space.

The 5th Pillar of the Let Animals Lead® method of Animal Reiki is—for me—the essence of Reiki practice with animals. It’s 100% about learning to be here, right now, in this moment with the animals we are with, sharing this moment with them in a state of open awareness and compassion. Whatever meditation we are practicing—be it the precepts or the Hatsurei Ho meditation or the symbols and the mantras or even when we’re doing hands-on healing for ourselves in the presence of animals—we’re creating a space where we let go of distracting thoughts and emotions and everything else that takes us away from this present moment. That’s what Pillar 5 teaches us and gives to our animals, a clear message of “I’m fully here with you now, with an open heart and open mind.”

All the tools we use to create that open-hearted, fully present space make it much easier for us to connect with our animals and offer them that beautiful space of healing and wholeness possibility.

And, honestly, that is exactly what animals seek in us: fully present, open-hearted being. Because that is their natural state of being; so in essence we are simply learning how to meet animals where they are.

A little story about Pillar 5 and mindfulness.

I once took some students to Guide Dogs for the Blind to train and meditate with the dogs. The students were trying to be perfectionists about their meditation practice and they were all sitting in a room—inward and totally focused—with the dogs walking around.

At one point, one of the dogs came and sat in front of one of my students and looked at her. She opened her eyes, and she was like, “No! I’m meditating. Don’t bother me.” Then the dog put one foot on her, and she kept still with eyes closed, trying to meditate. Then the dog licked her on the nose, and she ignored him, still trying to meditate. Finally, the dog goes, “Whatever.” He just walked away. Afterward, I was like, “Why didn’t you engage with the dog?” And she said, “Well, because I was meditating.” And then I reminded her, “But what’s the purpose of your meditation?” And she’s answered, “Well, to connect to them…Oh! Okay!” And the light bulb clicked on. 💡🙃

And so, animals teach us that to connect with them, we must stay present, stay grounded, and stay here or we’ll miss the chance to connect.

Easy Ways to Be Present with our Animals

Becoming more mindful with our own animals, animals we work with, or even wild animals, is actually easier than many people believe. Often, it can just a few minutes a day to get started on paying more attention to ourselves, our reactions, and our patterns and every little bit takes us closer to a deeper connection with all sentient beings on our planet—especially our animals!

Here are some easy ways to raise your self-awareness and become more present and mindful around your animals:

Learn How to do Flexible or Guided Meditations

The newest Mindfulness Movement (there have been many throughout the last two hundred years) began in 2014 and it still shows up regularly in-person and online wherever we go and there’s a reason for that! The amount of “bad” stress that exists in our world has skyrocketed in the past few decades and one of the best ways to reduce or eliminate that stress is to become more mindful—of ourselves and others.

Meditation is not only amazing for reducing stress—it’s physiological and mental benefits have been rigorously studied and proven—but it’s also the ideal way to connect with animals energetically. There are, of course, many forms of meditation, but here at Animal Reiki Source, we use MANY forms and they are all flexible. Meaning, we learn how to meditate while sitting, walking, standing, and moving around while using mantras, affirmations, and visualizations that allow us to connect with animals while staying fully with them, in the moment.

For some help getting started, check out these guided meditations that will help you develop mindfulness around animals:

Become an avid “Observer”

One of the fun ways we can practice mindfulness (especially if your brain has a tendency to send you a lot of chatter) is to become your own life commentator by taking five minutes at at time and talking through everything you’re doing for those five minutes—either out loud or in your mind. It might seem a bit counter-intuitive, as it sort of embraces the monkey mind, but because it does so in a controlled, deliberate way, it will help you make real progress. 🐒

Here’s what being the Observer sounds like:

I’m sitting in the sun on my lawn and I can feel the coolness of the grass touching my legs and the grass feels soft and slippery as I run my hand back and forth across it. I can feel the sun’s warmth on my face and there is a slight breeze ruffling my hair. I hear a bird singing above my head. A Robin is perched on a branch just above me. The branch has a lot of new spring growth and the Robin is partially hidden by the new foliage. My dog is laying at the other end of the lawn, upside down with his paws in the air. The neighbour’s kids are outside kicking a ball around their yard and their giggles are loud and high-pitched. My lips raise in a smile at their joy. I can feel the warmth of the sun on my lips. ..

At first, the Observer exercise may seem very “busy” in comparison to the quiet qualities of being mindful, but this fun little trick is a powerful method of bringing ourselves back into the present moment. And, the more often we do it, the more it becomes second nature to pay attention to what’s going on within and around us.

The bonus to being the Observer is that our animals feel the shift within us into grounded, open-hearted space and they respond to it. Next time you take your dog out for a walk or you’re petting your cat, try being the observer and talk your way through everything that happens around you, and see what happens with your animals. ✨Magic✨

Learn Animal Reiki Source Mindfulness Techniques with Us

Join us to learn how to practice presence and mindfulness with your animals (and so much more) with one of our entry-level Animal Reiki meditation courses. The Let Animals Lead® method will teach you many meditation techniques to use with animals to support their healing. This method will teach you how to build better bonds with your beloved animals and, if you work with animals, it will teach you how to get through all sorts of chaotic situations with much more peace and calm.

For more information on developing mindfulness with animals, check out some more of our most popular resources:

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