I am a Reiki teacher who works with animals. Some might ask me if I’m an “animal healer,” but I don’t like that term: Partly because I respect the wisdom and power of animals too much to claim that I’m the one doing the helping, and partly because of what some amazing cats in my Reiki journey have revealed to me.
For those of you new to Reiki, the word itself literally translates as “spiritual energy,” which points toward our inner self. I see Reiki as our beautiful light of compassion, or our “heart.” Reiki meditation helps us remember that we are all connected, and in that place of Oneness, all healing possibility exists.
There’s nothing like the power of joy that animals bring to our lives. And when we strive to live a sacred and mindful life, it’s often the animals that serve as powerful reminders of how to live a life filled with compassion, gratitude, kindness, joy, patience and connectedness. Whenever I start to feel disconnected and distracted, the following quotes help me to get back on track. They remind me never to lose sight of the endless grace and wisdom of animals:
“Lots of people talk to animals. … Not very many listen, though. … That’s the problem.”
—Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh
“My little old dog … a heartbeat at my feet.” —Edith Wharton
Anyone who’s loved a cat or dog into his or her golden years understands the powerful bond shared following years of weathering life’s ups and downs together. And though our senior animals eventually succumb to health problems—a road not easily traveled— physical hardships don’t alter the size of their heart or their capacity to love.
But you may be surprised by the age at which your best furry friend is considered a senior. Different breeds age at different rates: Irish Wolfhounds (so adorable!) enter their sunset years at the mere age of 4.5; other breeds, like Dachshunds, don’t dip a paw into the next chapter until 11. (You can check your dog’s breed here.) Cats become seniors anywhere between 7 and 10 years of age. Keeping up on well checks helps you stay informed.
“Pray to understand what man has forgotten.” —Native American proverb
It’s been a tough several days of news for animal lovers. Right on the heels of the incident that resulted in the tragic death of Harambe at the Cincinnati Zoo, the world-famous tiger temple in Thailand has been closed amidst evidence of wildlife trafficking.
In addition, in Miami, a judge dismissed the Orca Network’s case against Seaquarium for violations of the Endangered Species Act. Thanks to this ruling, Lolita—the orca captured at age 4 and kept in the smallest orca tank in the U.S. for 45 years—will not be allowed to live out the remainder of her life in a seaside sanctuary in her home waters where her relatives still live and travel together, protected.
Do you love animals? Are you interested in holistic modalities? Have you ever tried meditation? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you are a perfect candidate for learning animal Reiki.
What? Animal Reiki is not for you, you say? Well, hear me out for a few seconds. Having spent so many years in this field, I’ve encountered every reason or excuse you can think of. But I’m here to let you know it’s worth another few moments of consideration because—and I truly believe this—animal Reiki might not actually be what you think it is.