This is a five-part series corresponding to five weeks of the Animal Reiki Workshop, for which I signed up in a short while after the fact after Boston, a fellow pet sitter/friend’s pit bull, was suddenly struck with immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA). I wanted to help in some way after learning that natural approaches have been used successfully to treat various diseases, including autoimmune disorders. I had already wanted to sign up for the workshop for quite some time, so the timing was spot on.
Reiki, literally translated as spiritual energy or spiritual life force, is a Japanese holistic healing system incorporating touch and meditation. Used to treat both humans, animals, and even situations, it promotes balance, relaxation, pain relief, and stress reduction among many others.
Animals present special challenges in Reiki treatments because of their very high sensitivity to energy and need for more personal space. Unlike humans, animals can’t provide direct verbal feedback, so it can be difficult to determine their specific needs. The practice of meditation on a regular basis helps to sharpen intuition as a way to communicate with them and achieve a calm, balanced, undisturbed state of mind that is attractive to them, making them more receptive to Reiki. As energetically sensitive and carefree beings, animals are often our own healers and teachers, showing us the way to be in tune with the energy within us and to remain still, detached from outcomes.
Week One assignment calls for a one-sentence description in a form of a short prose poem, along with the symbol representing it [the obvious Ø (zero)], to sum up the experience of hara breathing meditation adapted from the joshin kokyu ho to mentally connect with the animals we wish to offer Reiki to in a noninvasive, respectful, and harmonious way:
blank state/blank slate
nothingness: self-explanatory. I didn’t see or hear anything special or unusual. No unexpected images or sensations other than my own pets and those of my colleagues/friends in need that I offered Reiki to.
No clear signal from them either refusing or accepting my offer, but it seemed that there wasn’t any flat-out rejection, and their respective situation had been stabilized in the meantime (at the time of the completion of this particular assignment).
blank state/blank slate: a little wordplay. See nothingness above. Meditation is emptying of all of the baggage of the day (or days, weeks, and months before), letting go of all concerns to get into a calm, peaceful state. Inhaling and exhaling cleansing breaths to start fresh again.
wandering stillness: an intentional oxymoronic statement, but it’s self-explanatory. I live in my head 24/7. It constantly spins, always working, always chattering at 600 miles per hour. As I’m still getting into the habit of meditation and concentration, my mind still wanders from time to time, but I find that it gets me into a quiet, sleep-inducing state.
dowsing drowsiness: a bit of a wordplay here on the act, purpose, and effects of meditation: getting in touch with our higher selves, finding the answers by becoming still inside, resulting in sleepiness. I’ve actually come to enjoy meditation because of that particular side effect! But I’ve learned to imitate the frog: remaining still yet alert enough to catch flies.
A modification of the Nike slogan is in order: Just don’t do (it). Just be.
Sadly, it was decided with much difficulty that Boston’s quick transition was for the best after much suffering, just a couple of days after signing up for ARW. Sometimes Reiki does not result in healing (after all, it’s all up to the Creator, God, the Source of all things), but it makes one’s passing easy, peaceful, and calm. I was honored to be a part of that process along with other friends/colleagues and pet parents.
Thus continues my journey in self-improvement and improving the lives of all beings.