Reiju and Animals: When, How, and Most Importantly, Why?

Kathleen PrasadEnglish 34 Comments


We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals… In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth. 

This quote by Henry Beston illustrates an important point about animals which should be considered when discussing Reiki initiations/attunements/Reiju. (For the purposes of this article, I will use the terms initiation, attunement and Reiju interchangeably.) We must remember that their energetic sensitivities and abilities far exceed ours. This is not because they “practice” (as we must), but rather because it simply is WHO they are, in their bodies on this earth. They are tuned into the language of energy: comfortably fluent and fluid in its ebbs and flows, while we humans must struggle, focus and practice to sense this subtle layer of existence.

There exists lots of confusion surrounding Reiki and initiating animals. For example, I’ve heard some people describing their animals as Reiki Level 1 or 2, or even a “Reiki Master” based solely on receiving an initiation. It seems to me that Reiki levels and the ritual aspect of the system have no meaning or importance for animals. And yet animals do love to connect with us through Reiki and benefit from it as well. In this article, I’d like to share a little bit about the ways I believe animals connect with us in the Reiki space along with some considerations one should make before giving his/her animal a Reiki initiation.

Consideration 1: State of Mind—The Precepts

The most important element of Mikao Usui’s teachings is resting our mind on the precepts, so that we can lead a life without anger and worry, and therefore we can be humble, honest and compassionate. All the rest of the teachings, (hands on healing, meditations, symbols/mantras, Reiju) are tools to help us to be in that state of mind. 

This quote by my teacher Frans Stiene is at the root of the discussion about Reiki initiations and animals. In my opinion, the most successful connections between animals and people within the Reiki space (whether we are talking about treatments, meditations, or Reiju) happen because we attain a correct state of mind. It is the precepts that serve as our guide and foundation. When we are in a peaceful, compassionate state, without anger, fear, ego or judgment, our energy rests. It becomes still, stable, calm. It radiates serenity. The animals sense this and are drawn forward to connect with us. On the other hand, animals also sense when our energy is disturbed (for example by anger, worry, judgment or ego) and may say “no” to connecting with us. So our state of mind will often determine whether or not an animal will choose to share Reiki (treatment, meditation, or Reiju) with us. 

Consideration 2: Practice and Letting Go of Ego

When offering Reiki to animals, I would say that one of the most important qualities we should nurture in ourselves is a letting go of ego. As Frans says, “It is extremely difficult to completely step out of the way — our ego has such a strong grip on everything. This is why the system of Reiki is a spiritual and lifelong practice.”

One key point in this quote is that our personal practice is the real foundation of our work with the animals. It is what will give us the trust and courage that we need to stay stable, strong, grounded and calm no matter what issues we may face when supporting an animal and his family. The precepts, the symbols and mantras, the meditations, the Reiju: practicing all of these elements supports our ability to connect with the animals through treatments. Similarly, each element of the system of Reiki supports the other elements and helps them function successfully as tools for our self-development, like pieces of a perfect and clever puzzle.

The other key point in the quote regards ego; if we can practice letting go of our ego, than it no longer matters that “I am human, you are dog (cat, horse, etc.).” Connecting with animals and Reiki can help us to realize that our species differences are just on the surface, that at our essence we are all one. In this space of oneness we can realize that perhaps it is the animals who will teach us; perhaps it is they who will offer the healing space for us. If we are in a space of ego, (“I am the elevated human, you are the lowly animal. You need me!”) then we are not in a space of listening where we can hear what the animals are telling us about what they need and want from us during Reiki. In fact, we may receive resistance from the animals with whom we are trying to connect. And even worse, we might miss the most beautiful gifts of healing that they are willing to share with us because we just aren’t willing to listen.

Consideration 3: Movement (Ritual) vs. Stillness (State of Mind) 

Here is a key difference in offering Reiki to animals versus people. People usually need the ritual of movement and touch to help them to connect with energy, while animals prefer connecting from a deeper place, more of a mind-to-mind or heart-to-heart connection. For example, when you visualize the human Reiki treatment, you can picture the client lying on a massage table, while the practitioner moves around him or her, using hand positions on or off the body. The overall dynamic here is that the client is basically still, while the practitioner moves, following a sort of physical ritual.

In an animal Reiki treatment, on the other hand, it’s best for the practitioner to sit or stand in the center of the space, remaining quiet, still and meditative while holding an open state of mind. Physical ritual can disturb an animal’s sensibilities, and so animal treatments are most successful when the practitioner can drop the ritual and turn his focus inward. While the practitioner holds this space, the animal will then move around the person, sometimes coming forward to receive hands-on contact, sometimes moving farther away. Occasionally the practitioner might move in sync with the animal, for example in horse treatments where a mirroring of movement is often seen, a Reiki “dance” of sorts. But even in this case, it is the animal who guides the movement, not the practitioner.

So we can say that while movement most often characterizes animal acceptance of Reiki, it is stillness that most often characterizes people’s acceptance of Reiki. And on the other hand, it is the ritual that is most often preferred as practitioner behavior in human treatment; it is the state of mind in the practitioner which helps animal treatment to succeed.

In both the cases of humans and animals, the Reiki practitioner will use intuition to determine where and whether hands-on contact will be used, however in a human treatment, the client wouldn’t usually come forward and guide this part of the treatment, mostly just because we humans are pretty unaware of the subtleties of energy. Animals on the other hand can sense the energy quite easily, moving into and out of its flow at will; in other words, animals know how to take charge of the treatment in their own way. Their deeper knowledge of energy guides us, the practitioners. They often show us just what to do, or more to the point, how to “be.”

Consideration 4: The Human Paradigm 

Although the above description describes Reiki treatment, it is important to consider this difference in regards to initiating animals—whether and why we should or shouldn’t do it. On the one hand, you could say that a Reiju is simply a spiritual blessing, and so of course all beings would benefit from them for this reason. But then we need to look at the ritual aspect of this blessing. After all, wouldn’t the physical aspect of Reiju require the animal to be still, while the practitioner moved around them, following a specified pattern of movements? So asking an animal to sit still for an attunement is similar to asking them to hop onto a massage table while we “do” the treatment. 

As in animal Reiki treatment, when if/when we are offering an initiation to an animal, it is our state of mind which will create that space. If we come from an egoistic state of “doing,” (focusing on the physical ritual) most animals will resist or walk away from connection. Even if we manage to hold an egoless state of mind, animals rarely conform to the paradigm of “animal motionless/practitioner moving.” And so, if we return to the example of treatment dynamic we can see that simply by performing physical ritual “on” the animal, we are asking them to submit to a situation that is not naturally preferred. And so therein lies the problem. 

Frans says, “Reiju, hands on healing, distance healing, initiation, symbols, mantras, meditation, life, the precepts, attunement, you name it, are all one and the same when we start to tap into our true nature, no difference at all.” Why would we perform the ritual of Reiju, asking the animals to conform to our human paradigm, when in essence, if we are in the right space, the right state of mind, we could create just as healing of a space for them as if we simply offered them a Reiki treatment. So the key here really is, as Frans illuminates, to tap into our true nature; and when we do this, species differences melt away and profound interspecies connections are forged.

Wouldn’t it be better to meet the animal on his or her own terms, to allow them to move, to keep our physical body calm and in a non-dominant pose, simply sitting quietly in an open and connected state of mind? Then we can simply invite them to share the healing space. In reality, this is the true Reiju we can give to the animals: being present, flexible, open and accepting of their unique ways of being while dropping all separateness and becoming one.

Consideration 5: Who is Teaching Who?

One of the principles of a Reiju, is that the teacher offering it, presumably has more experience than the student. Well, in the case of animals, clearly the animals are more at home in the world of energy, more attuned to its finer points, more aware of its healing properties. So then I wonder—if we have a human and an animal in the room, and someone should be giving an initiation, perhaps it should be the animal giving it to the person Of course I am saying this tongue in cheek (since these kinds of rituals have no meaning for animals) however the principle still I think is important. The more that we can come from a place of humility in our approach with animals, the better our Reiki responses from them will be. In addition, although personally I’ve never been drawn to offer the ritual of Reiju to an animal, I’ve experienced many times that beautiful space of openness and oneness with the animals, something that, yes, I would describe as a spiritual blessing (without the ritual). Even more, I have had the beautiful privilege of having animals come forward and assist me when I am offering or teaching Reiju to people. 

Recently I was teaching a Level 3 Reiki class, and the students were practicing initiations on each other. As I stood there, guiding the students and holding the space, one of the resident cats at BrightHaven, Rosie, ran into the room, jumped onto the table beside me and meowed plaintively. Clearly she wanted me to pick her up immediately! I lifted her into my arms and held her for the duration of the initiation practice as she cuddled against my chest. It’s difficult to describe the wonderful feeling of communion, her feline purring heart against my quiet human heart, while I held an open space for the students. Connecting with her during the sacred ritual of Reiju created within me a feeling of spiritual expansion and connectedness to the whole, yet at the same time being totally physical in my body, grounded and present. She was supporting me to be a better facilitator for my students at that moment! 

In fact, not only in Reiju, but also in all the elements of Reiki, I believe animals help us to be in a better, more open and receptive place to receive the benefits of our practice and to go deeper into the space of connection. Contemplating the precepts, meditating, chanting, doing treatments and performing Reiju are all, in my opinion, practices that can be even more beneficial and enjoyable when done in the presence of an animal.

So in conclusion, if you are feeling the urge to perform the physical ritual of Reiju on your animal, be sure to ask yourself—is this really for your animal or is it for you?

Kathleen Prasad is a Shinpiden graduate of the International House of Reiki and founder of Animal Reiki Source.

Comments 34

  1. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Kathleen,

    Great article.

    The essence of the reiju/initiation/attunement is not in the ritual but in the mind, if we think that it is in the ritual we are mistaken. If we think it is the ritual, why not teach it to everybody on the planet and suddenly we are all happy and healthy. Of course we all know this can not be done, as the true ritual is in the mind.
    As it is in the mind we can of course bless the animal, Reiju the traditional word for initiation and attunement means Spiritual Blessing, but as you say not with the ritualistic side but with the mind. But to be able to do this we need to delve very deep into the system of Reiki and ourselves.

    There are many great Buddhist teachers who bless animals, just to name a few: Lama Zopa, Chatral Rinpoche etc.

    I agree too that we do not make an animal or human into a Reiki I, II, or Master with the reiju/attunement/initiation.

    Humans are also animals. The word animal comes from the Latin word animale, which means: a being which breaths, living being. It comes from the word anima: breath/soul/air. It is only our ego which thinks we are not animals 🙂


  2. Avatar of Allison Chun

    Aloha Kathleen and much mahalo (thanks & appreciation) for sharing your wisdom in this fantastic article!  I really appreciate your clear, point by point discussion about how we connect with animals in a Reiki space.  I have been trying to conceptualize and organize my own animal Reiki experiences a few weeks before teaching my first public class and here it is in this article!  Much mahalo to you (and Frans!) for being awesome teachers!

  3. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Kathleen,

    Here are a few wonderful quotes about blessings on animals and plants from a Japanese Buddhist teacher.

    From: Kaji: Empowerment and Healing in Esoteric Buddhism by Ryuko Oda

    “Kaji not only affects human beings but can affect other forms as well, such as promoting growth in plants. This is natural since kaji and the energies it produces are not separate from any form and touch the mystery of life itself.”

    “Furthermore, the mind has an effect on the life fore of animals and plants.”

    “kaji = The transference of the Buddha’s power or grace that inspires a sacred peace of mind and a strengthening of the life force.”


  4. Avatar of Kathleen Prasad

    Thanks Frans, glad you enjoyed the article. That is a coincidence, i was just speaking about Lama Zopa with Richard at BrightHaven on Saturday, I guess he visited there once:) I love the idea of blessing animals, and I think that they too, bless us with their many gifts… That Kaji book looks great, hey did you know it costs about $100 to buy it online?? bummer! 

    Hi Allison, Blessings to you in teaching your upcoming class:) Glad the article was helpful! You know I’ve spoken at length in my Reiki 3 classes about this subject, however finally realized I needed to write it down:)

  5. Avatar of Frans Stiene
  6. Avatar of Elly

    Thanks so much for this, Kathleen! I think a central reason why animal/human relations so often take a bad turn is that so many people expect their animals to be human, not realizing that humans are really animals who, despite their many achievements, have lost their connection to their bodies, to the now, and to the All. Only by letting animals be fully themselves—-not furry or feathered versions of us—-can we create the space for a true and loving relationship.

  7. Avatar of Kathleen Prasad

    Hi Elly, Thanks for your comment. Yes I totally agree with you, by embracing the differences in our species, we can deepen our relationships…and in doing so we go deeper and realize that in reality, we are all one! 🙂

  8. Avatar of Frans Stiene
  9. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Just read this wonderful quote:

    “I saw all of creation – humans, plants, animals, fish, insects – as being interrelated and emanating from one source.”

    Morihei Ueshiba

  10. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi All,
    Was just pondering about the Reiki Master dog 🙂 Can you imagine, a dog walks along and hands out her business card, woof, I am a Reiki Master want to learn the system of Reiki. You have to paw the symbols, and woof the mantras but you will be fine 🙂
    No wonder some people think that the System of Reiki is not a serious practice.

    Our cat is just a cat and our dog is just a dog and I am just me. 🙂


  11. Avatar of Elly
  12. Avatar of Colin

    Excellent article, with some great points made! 🙂
    Here is what Mikao Usui is quoted as saying about animals and “healing power”, from the Usui Reiki Ryoho Hikkei: “Every being has healing power. Plants, trees, animals, fish and insects, but especially a human, as the pinnacle of creation, has remarkable power. Usui Reiki Ryoho has appeared to make use of the healing power that humans have.”

  13. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Colin,

    I personally always feel a bit sad when people say that humans are the pinnacle of creation, it is such a human thing to say something like this, I think it is based on ego. No matter if they are Usui-san, the Dalai Lama, or the Pope. 🙂

    Because if we really connect to the universe we are in a state of non-duality, then there is no lower or higher.

    Form is emptiness and emptiness is form.


    PS I always wonder if these questions/and answers were really Mikao Usui’s, or was it someone else who wrote them after Usui-san died? Yes I have used them myself in quotes and articles, yet I still wonder.

  14. Avatar of Colin Powell

    Hi Frans

    Yes it is sad but it is a sign that Mikao Usui (and whoever else talks about humans as the pinnacle of creation) are actually human. Such thinking is the result of thousands of years of programming – not just ego. If we look at Genesis, the very first book of the Bible, Chapter 1 verses 26-28, we see the idea of humans as the pinnacle or crown of creation, with dominion of the rest of the animals, and we know how many millions of people of more than one belief system that book has influenced!

    However, be that as it may, my reason for that quote was to indicate that Mikao Usui also believed that animals are also capable of being healers.

    It is difficult to know with absolute certainty that the words in the Hikkei are Mikao Usui’s but the answers are in the first person and the writer refers to himself as the “founder” of his Reiki Ryoho. Also the reference to the Parliamentary meeting of 1922 is contemporary with Mikao Usui and the beginning of the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai. By similar reasoning, one could also wonder whether Usui Sensei actually studied and taught some of the traditional Japanese spiritual practices that were around at the time, such as kotodama chanting, because there is no verifiable evidence of what else he may have taught, outside of what is mentioned in the Hikkei.

    I guess we will never know for sure 🙂

  15. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Colin,

    Yes we might never know what Usui-san really taught, maybe one day. But in the mean time all we can do is practice his teachings and try to get a direct experience of Reiki (Spiritual energy).

    I agree that it is also programming, however this programming came also from someones ego, (someone who wrote a book), feeling better than others, higher or more evolved.

    I am glad that Usui-san mentioned animals as having healing power, but always find it hard to hear that we humans are better and higher or more evolved. If I look at society I am not really so sure, yes we have computers, planes, you name it, but according to the World Heath Organization depression will be the biggest dis-ease soon, if it isn’t that already.
    So we have to ask ourselves: are we humans really the pinacle of creation?

    Anyway thanks for sharing Usui-san’s insights.

  16. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Just thinking about it 🙂 I think we can still be human and feel that we are equal with the animal word. People like Jesus, Buddha etc.. did this, they are not unique, they have the same essence as us, which means we can do the same thing, all we need to do is just remember.
    I think that being human is in fact being equal, having a feeling of not being equal doesn’t make us humane or human.

  17. Avatar of Joe Moon

    When I read this blog, it occurred to me that this way of connecting to animals for Reiki really is the quintessence of humility…the acknowledgement that they are already deeply connected to the energy that we have to work so hard and long to recognize/experience by undoing our years of various and myriad conditionings and self-perpetuated garbage.  It is beautiful, no? In this space of non-duality/great-humility just being present in the moment with the others present there.  I now can’t help believing that this is the way Reiki should be shared with human animals as well.  We are after all just animals as well, once we disremember our “selves”.  Frans, is this the type of Reiju that Usui Mikao performed with his students as described in the Shinpiden manual?  It seems impossibly coincidental.  Cudos Kathleen for a brilliant blog!  I can’t tell you how much I have learned from this.

    In Genesis, we also see something very interesting.  When the ill-fated couple (perhaps symbolizing mankind in general, ate the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowlege, we see God seeking Adam where He apparently never previously had to do this…Adams departure from energetic space into the realms of his own fantasy world triggerred by the fruit of knowlege?
    God Says, “Adam, where are you?”
    Then we see the couple expelled from the garden to eternal toil (amidst the plexations and vexations of their newfound minds?) where they must now fend for themselves without the understanding of the harmony from which they had been banished.  Is it a return to the garden we experience when in that non-dualistic space be it ever so brief and glancing as we practice?  Was the effect of the fruit of the tree of knowlege to have us be able to create in our own minds a dualistic and very confusing reality where all in reality is so simple?  Ah, this too we may never know. To escape this dualistic prison is indeed the very essence of eternal toil for new layers confront us with each victory…and we toil on.

    So this Reiki Master Dog walks into a bar.  The bartender says what’ll ya have there fella?  The RMD says just make me one with everything.

  18. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Joe,
    I do believe that Usui-san would just sit opposite the student, no ritual needed, he was a vehicle for the cosmos, that is all. We can see this within the DKM, level III symbol and mantra, and in a lot of the other elements taught within the system of Reiki.

    At that stage there would have been no difference between a hands on healing session, reiju, initiation, attunement, Being, etc… what so ever. He just was an embodiment of the cosmos, and no matter who came in contact with this would take what he/she needed.

    I think so too that heaven on earth, the garden of eden, is where we are all in this non-dual state. God asks, Adam where are you? as Adam is lost in the disconnection, not in harmony, but only Adam can find this again within himself.

    This is also why in Japan, the characteristics of SHK, the second symbol from level II, is harmony, it helps us to become more harmonious, eg non-duality.

  19. Avatar of Joe Moon

    No disrespect intended but I think this would have been a good place to end the old testament…at the close of Genesis…‘nuf said.

  20. Avatar of Colin Powell

    Back to the original subject 🙂 I find that animals of the non-human kind usually make it known to the Reiki practitioner when they would appreciate some Reiki. Since I have been practising Reiki I have shared my home with several cats and dogs over the years and they were each different in character. Some would want to be near and soak up any Reiki they could, whether hey appeared to be ill or not and others would move away if I felt Reiki in my hands and I could see they were unwell. But even those that moved away sometimes came to me for me to put my hands on them when they felt they really wanted some Reiki.

    Animals are a great ego lesson! If we watch them, and even listen to them, we can learn a lot from them. Sometimes they do not want (or need) Reiki from us – even if we think they could do with some to help them.

    And, by the way, humans are not the only beings with Ego – as many people who share their lives with cats know only too well! 🙂

  21. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Colin,

    Yes we can learn a lot from the animals. As you say, sometimes we think they need healing yet they do not want. I think this is the same with humans.

    I think that this is why the best healing comes from being in a state of non-judgement, like the sun, the sun just shine but doesn’t judge, however plants, animals, humans, etc. take from the sun what they need.

    This is what DKM means for me, and why we can see the sun and moon character there as well. The whole aim is to just shine/Be and our client/student/animal/etc. takes from this light whatever they need. Now we have become Reiki instead of doing Reiki.

  22. Avatar of Leah D'Ambrosio
  23. Avatar of Leah D'Ambrosio

    Kathleen: Thank you so much for sharing your insight with us.  This is such an important topic as it seems to be coming up more and more frequently.  For those who have not had the honor of studying with you, I think the concept of having the animals as our teachers is a hard concept to fathom.  You always say the animals are our best teachers and that living in the space of humility will open us up to experiences we never dreamed possible.  Could it be you are actually on to something that is deeper than anything Usui could have imagined?!  Being your student, I know that your teachings and knowledge are backed and supported by the experiences we have had with the animals.  Thank you again for sharing your wisdom and for being the leader on a road less traveled.

  24. Avatar of Kathleen Prasad

    Hi Joe, Thanks for your beautiful comments, I’m glad you enjoyed the article:) Yes to me it’s very simple, we try to make it so difficult don’t we, but if we can just let go and be present, that’s all we need.

    Frans, I love what you said about being the sun and shining, I know you teach this in classes and it’s always resonated so much with me, I like to share it with my students as well:)

    Colin, thanks for your comments too. I agree that animals are wonderful teachers. Often animals who are ill prefer to move away and sleep, for example, in their bed or somewhere comfortable or safe while we simply sit and hold the Reiki space. Sometimes we get stuck on the physical aspect and might not realize that—It’s best to just sit and hold a Reiki space for a period of time, then let your animal move into and out of the space as they wish, come to us and move away as they like.

    It is also true that animals can sometimes say no to Reiki even if they aren’t feeling well. In my experience, a “no” to Reiki is very rare, so often this is due to our own state of mind—we are in a space of worry and fear due to their being sick, and we probably are feeling the need to “do” something, to “fix” something which can feel very pushy to their mental sensitivities—so its not really the Reiki they are saying no to, but rather they are saying, “hey let go of all that, THEN let’s connect.” Being in the right state of mind makes all the difference what kind of response you might get! 🙂

    I recently wrote an article about state of mind and the animal treatment. You can find it here:

  25. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Kathleen,
    Your other article is wonderful too.

    I agree what you say about: “hey let go of all that, THEN let’s connect.”

    I think this is the issue in modern healing, we forget to heal ourselves first, to become a clear vehicle, to embody the sun and moon so we can be the bright light.
    So when we go into the space of healing we are in reality not a clear vehicle at all, humans can often not sense this but animals do, this is why they are great teachers.

    Here is a wonderful quote from Morihei Ueshiba:

    “In the spiritual realm, goodness is manifested as the sun, faith is manifested as the moon. As the wise have taught, from the original act of creation waves of light animated existence. Light is divine wisdom, bathing the world with moonbeams of realization. The sun is the Prince of Life, and the moon is the August Spirit. This is the light radiated from by our bodies and minds.”

    But as practitioners and teachers we need to practice, practice, practice to peal away the layers of worry, fear, attachements, to lay our inner light bare.

  26. Avatar of Juanita Zwaryczuk

    I would be interested in your input about having animals in the treatment area when giving a Reiki Treatment to humans. Up to this point I have been keeping my cat out of this area during a treatment thinking that she would be annoying to the client, however, could she perhaps be an enhancement?

  27. Avatar of Kathleen Prasad

    Hi Juanita, Thanks for your question. My answer is yes it might be annoying, and yes it might be helpful:) I’ve given treatments at BrightHaven to people on a massage table and have had a cat come and curl up on almost every chakra (including at the top of the head).  Might not be everyone’s cup of tea:) It just depends on the client and also it depends on your animal (does your cat want to assist you?). You might try it with a cat-loving friend and see what happens:)

  28. Avatar of Juanita Zwaryczuk
  29. Avatar of Caroline Thomas

    My own experience of Attunements and my own dog Megan taught me that I should listen. A few years ago I had to learn a complicated attunement so I could pass my Reiki Master course. My sister was my student who sat patiently in the chair, I kept starting, forgetting and starting over again. My beautiful dog Megan had always given me a wide berth when I tried to ‘do’ Reiki on her came into the room and sat under the chair. That should have been a light bulb moment for me but in reality I was caught up in getting the attunement correct. A few hours later (it was hard), as I came to an end, Megan quietly got up and walked out of the room. It was only after taking classes with Frans and Kathleen that I truly understood what Megan was teaching me. ‘It is not about the attunement it is about offering the Reiki space’ with no attachment or ego. Unknowingly by practicing the attunement I had created the exact ‘reiki’ space for her, as I was not focusing reiki on her.  Megan taught me to listen to what animals have to say as in reality they really do know what is best for them. Sadly Megan was diagnosed with a stomach tumor and was put to sleep a week after finding her ‘reiki space’ . She is always in my heart and would be proud that her mum eventually learnt what ‘animal reiki’ is all about.

  30. Avatar of Kelly McDermott-Burns

    Thank you for this article Kathleen and to all who commented.
    I have often heard of people attuning their animals and the idea never sat well with me. It always felt more about the practitioner than the animal. Even before taking an Animal Reiki class, I felt the cats in my home knew way more than me about the energy!
    Working with animals has taught me the greatest lesson—letting go of ego.  After receiving so much positive feedback from humans (I saw colors, my grandmother was here, I felt whatever…), it was challenging to receive no verbal feedback, and in fact, have an animal just get up and walk away. 
    Through my practice I have learned to let go of expectations. To be comfortable with just being and trusting that all is well. It has also released me from the need to “fix” a person or animal. That, in turn, has freed me to open more, release the ego a little more.
    I often work in hands-off mode at the hospital/hospice. Those are some powerful sessions. My work with animals, which is largely hands off has taught me that the most important thing is to let go of the outcome and just be Reiki.
    Nothing to do, nothing to fix, just be.

  31. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Caroline,
    Thank you for your story.
    For me the ritual helps us to go into that state of mind, but that is it. Therefore the ritual is a tool, a key so to speak, to help us to be in that open state of mind. This means that the real reiju/attunement/initiation is in the mind and not on the ritual.
    I also believe that many Reiki teachers have created very elaborate rituals as they think it is the ritual which does the initiation, so the more elaborate it is the better it will be?! However this will take you out of the right state of mind.

  32. Avatar of Frans Stiene

    Hi Kelly,
    I love your phrase: Nothing to do, nothing to fix, just be.
    This is so hard for many people isn’t it? We always need to do things, or fix stuff.
    I think the system of Reiki will helps us to move closer and closer into embodying just Being.
    What a wonderful journey!

  33. Avatar of Kelly McDermott-Burns
  34. Avatar of Kathleen Prasad

    Hi Caroline, thanks for sharing your experience. Megan was such a wonderful teacher for you! She is for you very much the teacher that Dakota was for me. Beautiful that the universe gives us these gifts of our beloved animals for at least a short time while we are on this earth:)

    Thanks Kelly, glad you enjoyed the article. Yes animals show us how to let go in many ways—of our hands, of expectations, of “doing”…and especially because they don’t stay nearly long enough, so we must even learn to let go of them too when it is time…..

    Blessings, Kathleen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *