Kathleen Prasad’s new book Reiki for Dogs is out and to whet your appetite Kathleen let us publish the first excerpt.
For more information about Kathleen and her animal work please visit her website.
Kathleen will also be teaching her Animal Reiki Training Courses in the UK for the first time this year.
Reiki For Dogs – Chapter 12
Golden Rule No. 5:
Always See the Positive
A bug on a branch
Swept away down the river
Still singing his song.
The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.
As we have discussed earlier, Reiki goes where it needs to go to support balance and create healing possibilities in the dogs with whom we work. We can never give too much Reiki because dogs will only take what they need. So then we can’t really do it wrong, can we?
Well, not exactly. You can’t give “bad” Reiki or cause harm to an animal through the Reiki process, but, as I’ve illustrated in the several previous chapters, our approach as a human being is very important. We are offering the possibility of healing to our dogs, but we need to remember they aren’t just accepting Reiki; they’re accepting a connection with us, as facilitators of the Reiki process. Because dogs are so attuned to our states of being, it is really important that we are in the “right space,” so to speak, within our own attitudes and bodies. Most importantly, we should be in a positive frame of mind during treatment. When we approach them with positivity, we will receive a much deeper trust and openness to the healing of Reiki than we ever could otherwise.
Sometimes, the dogs we work with are facing tremendous healing challenges and crises. They may be shelter animals who endured years of neglect and abuse, or loved family animals who are facing death, with grieving family members all around them. When we arrive on the scene to offer Reiki, we have a very important role to play. We are there to be the beacon of light, love, peace, and pure positivity that the animals (and their people) can hold onto. We must be able to hold this possibility of balance and healing potential within ourselves first, if we are to help others.
It doesn’t help dogs (not to mention their people) if we pity them for their pasts, feel uncomfortable with the physical ailments they show, or fear the deaths they may imminently face. Not only will these attitudes not help, they will actually hinder our ability to help them.
Being the sensitive creatures they are, dogs are completely aware of our emotional states when we are with them. We can’t hide anything from them. If we are afraid, they will know it. If we feel sad and hopeless, they will know it. If we feel sorry for them, they will feel that. This is why when we assist dogs in their healing, we will also confront our own issues.
I clearly remember the dog who taught me my most important lesson in staying positive. This dog was a pit bull whose immune system was compromised, with the result that she had broken out in sores all over her body and lost most of her fur. It was almost impossible to see what her original color must have been. Her feet were swollen to three times their normal size and were bleeding. She couldn’t walk (when she did, she left bloody footprints) and was very uncomfortable.
To make matters worse, she was in a shelter with no family of her own. She was what everyone called “a tough case.” None of the medicines that had been tried had had any effect on her condition, and after a few months, the veterinarian determined that if she didn’t get better within a few weeks on her own, her body may not have the reserves to get well at all.
I was brought into the kennel aisle where the dog was located, given an up-to-date history, and asked to offer Reiki. As we stood there talking about the dog, I observed some members of the public walking through the kennel, looking at all the dogs. Without fail, when someone would walk by her, he or she would have some kind of negative response: an audible exhale or sigh, a head shake, some kind of comment like, “Oh, poor thing!” or even worse, they would quickly avert their eyes and walk by as if she weren’t there. Although I’m sure people didn’t mean any harm, I could feel the negative thoughts and feelings being heaped upon this little dog.
Try This: Traditional Reiki Self-Healing Technique from Nentatsu Ho (The Reiki Sourcebook, p. 263)
You may be seated or lying down to use this technique. Create an affirmation that you wish to use, using language that sees it as already a reality. For example, “I am filled with peace and calm.” Place one hand on your forehead and the other hand at the base of your neck. Repeat your affirmation for as long as five minutes, repeating it aloud or silently in your mind. Remove your hand from your forehead while keeping the other hand on your neck for up to five minutes.
As we approached her kennel, I felt intuition taking over and a strong intention of lightness and joy spread throughout my whole being. I looked at the little dog, then allowed myself to look deeper and see her inner being, her beautiful and courageous spirit. I smiled, introduced myself to her, and told her she was wonderful. And indeed she was—her external condition notwithstanding, her whole body literally wagged with sweetness.
Try This: Technique for Visualizing Positive Outcomes
First try this technique on yourself. Pick a situation in your life that is difficult. Spend some time visualizing how it would look if it were already perfectly healed, resolved, and in perfect balance. Let yourself see all the physical details of this perfection: How does it look, sound, smell, taste? Then allow your body to feel the wonderful healing of the situation. How does your heart feel when this is perfectly resolved? Spend some time just basking in the picture and feelings of this beautiful scene.
Next, choose a health issue or situation that your animal is facing. Rather than going through all your worries and what is wrong, focus only on seeing everything as if it is perfect, in balance, and healed already. Then allow your emotions to follow your mind’s eye. Bask in the joy and peace that follows from the image of perfect healing of your animal.
The staff member went into her kennel, gathered her into a blanket (as she couldn’t walk), and carried her to a private room where we could be alone and quiet for a Reiki treatment. After she was put down on the floor in the room, the most amazing personality emerged from this pit bull. She was gentle, loving, and happy, as if completely unaware of her physical ailments.
She already seemed to know why I was there, and before I could even ask her if she’d like Reiki, she had crawled into my lap and completely relaxed for a deep Reiki nap. As I offered the treatment, I focused my inner vision on her as already being in a perfectly balanced state. I saw her in my mind’s eye as beautiful, smooth, and silky, running playfully on healed feet through endless green grass. She fell into a deep sleep for almost an hour. During this time she sighed and took deep breaths, and even ran in her dreams for part of the time!
After I left, I continued to hold the perfectly healed version of her in my mind and heart every day. Remarkably, soon after that first treatment, she began to show signs of improvement. Against all odds and after so much time, she was finally coming around! I continued to work with her each week for a few weeks. The shelter began to hold out hope that she would be able to heal. After a few weeks of Reiki, she found a foster home to give her the quiet space and attention she needed to build herself back to health. Eventually, she healed completely and found a forever home.
In looking back on this experience, I marveled at this little dog’s strength to come back from such odds. I knew she could do it, and I think that knowing that she was not alone somehow helped her. Because I saw her differently from the way others viewed her, I think she trusted me. This trust allowed her to open to healing more quickly and in a deeper way than might have otherwise been possible.
After that experience, I find myself creating the place of perfection in my mind whenever I perform Reiki with dogs. If I’m with a dog who is old, infirm, and dying, I visualize his vibrant, young puppy self. If I am with an elderly dog who is struggling with arthritis, I visualize an athletic, energetic youngster. If I see a body showing injuries and scars, I visualize them as already perfectly healed. If I’m working with two animals who don’t get along, I see them as perfect friends and allies. If I’m working with a dog who has an overpowering fear and anxiety of the world, I see him or her as fearless and courageous in all things.
Try This: Moonlight Beacon
Find a quiet space to meditate, where you will not be disturbed. Choose a comfortable place to sit, close your eyes, and take a deep breath, exhaling slowly. Imagine you are sitting on the edge of a cliff, looking out to the endless sea. It is night and very dark, except for a beautiful full moon, which illuminates the surface of the waves upon the ocean.
Out there somewhere in the darkness is your animal, looking for a way back to shore. Breathe earth energy up from your roots and moon energy down through your crown. Feel your body, mind, and spirit filling with the brightest moonlight of healing and harmony. Feel your entire being becoming a beacon of balance—a moon of hope and healing for your animal.
Imagine that your animal can easily follow the bright light of healing that you radiate, and if they so choose, may navigate the dark waters to perfect safety, healing, and harmony. The path to healing is easily illuminated by the moonlight; the way becomes clear. Hold this moonlight beacon within yourself for 20 to 30 minutes.
I’ve spent so much time in so many different situations seeing the positive with my heart that sometimes it’s more difficult for me to actually see the external problems that everyone else sems to be focusing on. I encourage you to cultivate this ability to see below the surface of whatever is presented to you—to see hope, possibility, healing, and light in any situation, no matter how dark it may initially seem.
I’ve seen dogs respond to my positive attitude in tangible ways, with physical issues clearing and emotional distresses improving. One time, an old dog picked up a toy and brought it over to me. His person said he hadn’t showed any interest in play for many months. A very fearful dog ended up in my lap by the end of the treatment—a behavior that startled and amazed his people.
Once the dogs decide I am okay, they open up with deep trust to the energy and healing possibilities Reiki offers. It’s so important to communicate to animals through our minds and emotions that we believe in them, that we believe they can heal, be well, and be whole again. When they feel that we are their advocates in love and light, they will not only open to Reiki but will literally run to us for it!
I’ve realized over time that perfect balance is always available, and indeed always exists on some level (whether it be physical, emotional, or spiritual). It isn’t for me to say what the healing for the dog will look like, but for the time I am with him, I will hold him in such love, light, peace, and harmony, nothing else matters. I create the most perfect space for them for the time that I am there. It seems that for dogs, that makes all the difference.