The Crazy Wisdom Community Journal • January - April 2018 • Page 52
21 Questions on Animal Reiki —
An Interview with Kathleen Prasad, Pioneer in Animal-Centered Energy Work By Andrew Anders In the spring of 2017, I invited Kathleen Prasad, one of the world’s leading Animal Reiki teachers, to travel from California to teach her renowned Animal Reiki Teacher Seminar in the Midwest for the first time. Prasad is a pioneer in animal-centered Reiki practice and a leading voice in its acceptance and use in animal shelters and for animal rescues. She’s practiced Reiki for nearly 20 years and has developed a unique perspective on how to join hands and open hearts with our animal companions for mutual healing benefit. She is the founder of Animal Reiki Source and president of the Shelter Animal Reiki Association (SARA). While she was here, I asked Kathleen some questions about Animal Reiki. Andrew Anders: What is Reiki? Kathleen Prasad: The word Reiki can be translated as “Spiritual Energy.” A more traditional interpretation would be, according to my teacher, Frans Stiene, “True Self,” which points toward our inner power of compassion. One of the misunderstandings of the way Reiki works is that we, as practitioners, are somehow “doing” the healing “to” someone else. From a traditional Japanese spiritual viewpoint, the system of Reiki is seen as a path to rediscover our own inner self-healing power which, when practiced, can create a certain radiance of healing around us, from which others can benefit. Because animals are so sensitive to our inner states of mind and heart, they can become easily stressed when we are angry or worried. On the other hand, they can also benefit when we are in a balanced space of peace, compassion, and joy. The system of Reiki, as I practice and teach it, features a series of meditation techniques that can help get us back in touch with our inner compassion, so that we can support the animals we love.
Because animals are so sensitive to our inner states of mind and heart, they can become easily stressed when we are angry or worried. On the other hand, they can also benefit when we are in a balanced space of peace, compassion, and joy.
In Reiki sessions with animals, the Reiki practitioner allows the animal to be the guide. In essence, learning to “do Reiki” for your animals, means learning to meditate with them for healing. Andrew Anders: What is Animal Reiki? Kathleen Prasad: We often think of Reiki as being a hands-on healing modality for humans; however, this is only one small part of the entire system of practice. Reiki for animals uses the techniques of the system of Reiki to support animal healing; however, it does so in a unique way that is respectful of animal sensitivities. It is gentle — and therefore does not force physical contact — and honors the wisdom of animals. In Reiki sessions with humans, the Reiki practitioner will gently guide the treatments. In Reiki sessions with animals, the Reiki practitioner allows the animal to be the guide. In essence, learning to “do Reiki” for your animals, means learning to meditate with them for healing. Andrew Anders: Is this like animal communication or psychic readings? Kathleen Prasad: Reiki practitioners do not diagnose health conditions, nor do they give medical advice. With the system of Reiki, the practitioner’s goal is to become as clear and empty of judgments and expectations as possible, so that we can connect more deeply heart-to-heart with the animal, and to our inner well of healing compassion. We do not need to know what the animal’s problem is; simply being fully present during the heart-to-heart Reiki connection will always bring balance and healing on all levels. You may or may not receive intuitive information as a result of the deep energetic connection created during the treatment: such information, when received, is merely a by-product of the Reiki connection experience, but is not the goal or purpose of the treatment. The goal and purpose, rather, is to let go and just “be,” not attaching to or judging what we might receive, which allows us to connect to the animal without expectation or attachment to outcome. The healing power of Reiki is not in the intellectual mind, or in how we might interpret the animal’s experience, but rather it comes from an open and expansive mind and heart that is fully present without anger, worry, ego, or judgment. In other words, our inner compassion is the ultimate healer.
Often we think the main benefit of meditating is to de-stress and quiet our minds, but an even deeper benefit is to access our inner well of compassion… Just imagine if your meditation practice can blossom into a time not only for de-stressing yourself, but also for sharing compassion with the animals in your life. Anders: Does the practice differ from animal to animal? Prasad: In some ways it differs, yes, in other ways, no. The ethical approach and state of mind and purpose are always the same. However, the way that we might navigate a pasture and herd setting might be different than approaching a feral cat colony, which might be different than sitting with a gaggle of geese, or a pet guinea pig. In each situation, we would always honor the animal as the leader, keep our minds positive, and not force hands-on contact. It’s important to always remain sensitive to what might be acceptable to one species of animal, but not to another. This comes best with time and experience, and also always taking each new situation with a beginner’s mind. Something I’ve learned from horses is that it’s important to respect the herd and the alpha when entering a pasture. When I’m working with a crocodile, snake, or other species that I’m not as familiar with, I try to approach humbly and to “let go” of my humanness as much as possible by focusing deeply on the meditation, so that my energy becomes as calm and open as possible.
Published on Dec 29, 2017