Posts Tagged ‘be present’

The greatest gift we can give to the animals

Have you ever wondered: What is the greatest gift we can give to the animals? Things like providing them a safe home, healthy food and access to veterinary care come to mind. Those are all wonderful things. Now imagine if you had a million dollars—you could give all that money to your favorite animal shelter or sanctuary (or even start your own).

Unfortunately, all of those things cost money. What is the greatest gift we can give to the animals that doesn’t cost a thing? (Aside from the obvious answer: love.)

The answer to that question came to me during my years of Reiki work with animals. And it is quite simple, really: to be in the moment. That really is the biggest gift we can give to the animals—to be present and with an open heart, right here and right now—without anger or worry or ego. And meditation can help bring us to this peaceful place.

Meditation helps you find that space where the animals can reach out to you and connect with you.

This isn’t always so easy to do, but luckily, animals will really help us. A lot of my students come to me and say, “Oh no, it’s a meditation with your animal? But I hate doing meditation. I can’t meditate. My mind won’t quiet.”

And I say, “Well, do you meditate by yourself?”

“Well, yes.”

“OK. Instead, try meditating with your animal. Ask your animal to help you meditate. Ask your cat. Ask your dog. Ask your guinea pig. Ask your rabbit. Go out in the pasture and ask your horse or your cow or your goat or your sheep. Ask your bird. Ask your lizard. Ask your fish.”

When you share a meditative space with an animal, it is much easier to let go of that monkey mind because animals’ minds are much quieter than ours. So when we open up and share an energetic space, they teach us how to let go and just be. They do that already very easily.

A wonderful meditation to use is the Joshin Kokyu Ho meditation, which involves Hara (lower belly) breathing. With this meditation, we breathe in through the nose and connect with the Hara, and then breath out and expand. Inhale and connect, exhale and expand. This meditation is a traditional Japanese technique, and it helps us to get in touch with the Hara—our center, grounding and stability.

This is why I encourage my students to meditate as often as possible. Meditation helps you find that space where the animals can reach out to you and connect with you. Meditation helps us quiet our minds and go inward—and that truly is the greatest gift we can give to the animals. Of course, depending on how you look at it, that is also one of the greatest gifts the animals can give to us.

Excerpted from How to Help Animals With Reiki by Kathleen Prasad

These spiritual lessons from animals make every day better

I’ve said before that animals are our greatest teachers. My beloved dog Dakota was my first animal Reiki teacher. And the animals I’ve worked with over the years have taught me so much about compassion and even guidance on meditation. But the other day, as I caught sight of my dog Mystic napping contentedly in her little dog bed, I realized the animals teach us other important lessons, too. Do any of these spiritual lessons from animals sound familiar to you?

1. Unconditional love. Mystic loves me when I’m in my PJs, grumpy, sick and even if the house is messy. No matter what mood I’m in, she’s there for me without judgement. It’s definitely a perk when you share your life with a dog, isn’t it? You can just be yourself. And it’s always been the same for the other dogs I’ve shared my life with, too (and also the cats!). Even my horses love and accept me for who I am. They don’t tell me, “Be different. Change who you are.” The wisdom of animals in rising above and embracing their humans (warts and all) is something for me to remember, learn and carry over into my life and those I share it with.