Release Stress And Cultivate Peace And Wellness With The Help Of Animals
Reiki I will be taught at Lily’s Legacy Senior Dog Sanctuary, a volunteer run nonprofit organization based in Petaluma, CA. Founded in 2009, their mission is to provide a safe and loving home for senior large breed dogs who have been displaced from their homes and/or abandoned for any reason, until they are adopted or to remain at the sanctuary until they pass on.
This class is for animal people who want to deepen their relationships with animals and learn practical ways to heal the animals in their lives. Most Reiki I classes focus on Reiki for people, but Kathleen’s class is unique in its emphasis on Reiki for both humans and animals.
In the Let Animals Lead® method, created by Kathleen Prasad, Animal Reiki is defined as holding space for animals through meditation, to support their self-healing. This approach is composed of 6 Pillars of Practice. Kathleen describes these pillars as follows:
1. This method is founded upon traditional Japanese Reiki techniques and philosophy.
Although I learned Reiki initially in 1998, in 2006 I was very excited to learn that Reiki was about meditation and that it was also an internal mindfulness practice, as I had originally learned it as an energy therapy using touch. I loved incorporating the simplicity and power of the Usui Reiki Ryoho meditation-based Reiki system into what I was already doing with animals. So many things I had experienced with animals wanting me to just sit still and hold the space, suddenly fell into place. Since then, I have had hundreds of professional training hours to practice and develop my understanding of these traditional Japanese techniques. These techniques and philosophy are the foundation for my Let Animals Lead® method.
The Louisiana flood of 2016—the most catastrophic natural disaster in the U.S. since Hurricane Sandy—displaced thousands of people from their homes. But people weren’t the only ones affected—animals were, too: More than 3,300 were rescued from the rising waters.
Thankfully, we have countless heroes risking their lives to save the animals stranded by the flood waters—such as shelter workers and volunteers, volunteer pilots (who fly animal victims out of the area), and these two men in a boat who rescued this frightened pit bull in need:
There are far too many animals in shelters around the world, and all of them could benefit from the healing power of Reiki. In the U.S. alone, 7.6 million companion animals enter shelters each year. Because Reiki helps stressed or abused animals rebuild trust with humans, it’s crucial to their healing and adoptability. But many Reiki practitioners still avoid shelters and rescues—maybe because they believe some of the following myths and misconceptions about Reiki in a shelter environment. Let’s crush these stereotypes once and for all and illuminate six happy truths about rescue Reiki:
Myth #1: If Reiki isn’t on their radar, you will be turned away. Many shelters are interested in holistic modalities and are always looking for enrichment and companionship for the animals in their care. Even skeptical shelters will happily take you on as a regular volunteer, and in time they may become more open to your sharing of Reiki in addition to your regular duties.
“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.