Animal Reiki: It’s not what you think

Do you love animals? Are you interested in holistic modalities? Have you ever tried meditation? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you are a perfect candidate for learning animal Reiki.

What? Animal Reiki is not for you, you say? Well, hear me out for a few seconds. Having spent so many years in this field, I’ve encountered every reason or excuse you can think of. But I’m here to let you know it’s worth another few moments of consideration because—and I truly believe this—animal Reiki might not actually be what you think it is.

So without further ado, here are three likely reasons why you haven’t tried animal Reiki—and why I think you should:

Reason #1: “It’s too woo-woo.” If you think being in a positive and balanced state of mind is woo-woo, if you think kindness and compassion are woo-woo, if you think meditation is woo-woo, then yes, it’s woo-woo! But if you want to learn how meditation can bring your mind and heart back to balance so you can be more kind and compassionate with yourself and your animals, then Reiki is for you.

Reason #2: “I tried it once before, and my animal didn’t like it.” Let me guess, did you “do” Reiki “to” your animal? Animals appreciate humans who see Reiki as a shared partnership—a way of being together. Animals understand the healing power of open-hearted presence much more than we do, so let your animals take the lead and watch their enthusiasm for Reiki blossom!

Reason #3: “I don’t have the talent for it.” Reiki uncovers our inner heart and essence, so whatever talent you have, Reiki will help you get back in touch. The true magic of Reiki doesn’t come from something outside of us; the real magic is about remembering our own inner bright light that is always perfect, even when we are facing difficulty. True and lasting healing can be found through a mind and heart resting in compassion in this present moment. Remember: This is about our intention and practice, not about talent.

So there you have it: Anyone can learn the wonderful practice of animal Reiki. If you’re just getting started, head over to my website for some additional info.

What were (or are) your reasons for not trying animal Reiki? And if you eventually ended up trying it, was it how you thought it would be?

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Kathleen Prasad is an entrepreneur, author, educator, spiritual seeker and animal advocate living in beautiful Marin County, California, with her husband, daughter, dog and two horses. She loves being with animals, listening to hip-hop, eating out at vegan restaurants, riding dressage, hiking in the redwoods and traveling the world to meet animal people.


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  • Hi Kathleen,
    I just took Reiki ART/Master level in April with a goal of using Reiki with animals. I understand from Colleen Benelli that she and others (you?) are working on ICRT class outline for animal Reiki that would be available later this year. I’m sure your input would be wonderful. I SO enjoyed reading your book Animal Reiki. My kitty, Magic, is my teacher. She LOVES Reiki – comes up and asks for it to help with her asthma. For her it’s belly up and go to sleep for an hour or more! Thanks so much for all you do! Just signed up for your blog. Thank you for that as well.

  • I find that I have the most success with giving Reiki to animals when I’m not trying too hard. My friend’s cat, who is semi-feral and approaches no one but her and her son, has now entrusted me with a good deal of affection when she senses Reiki. My own cats seemed to react positively, at times, but let me know when they’d had enough (which I respected). It’s when I try to reach out to some of the hurting cats at my shelter (various emotional or physical traumas) and they’re not receptive that I’m a bit disappointed….my own ego getting in the way, I imagine. Plan to continue, anyway, as I love it when there is a connection that seems deeper than their appreciation of simple head scritches and belly rubs.

    • Hi Karen, Thanks for your comments. So happy to hear of the positive responses you have gotten so far. With the shelter kitties, sometimes thinking of turning inward to your inner quiet space and just inviting the cat to share in that (without expectation) is better than thinking of reaching out or “sending” anything towards them – that can feel a bit too much for the sensitive ones. As you say, we want so badly to help, but sometimes we get in our own way with the “doing” and forget the power of “being.” 🙂 Blessings!

  • Thank you Kathleen, I am a huge fan of yours.
    I have two cats, one absolutely loves Reiki and ask for it all the time. The other one also loves Reiki but enjoys it only for a few minutes.

  • Bravo Kathleen! Your writing ROCKS!!! I’ve been given the opportunity to talk about Reiki for yourself and animals tonight in Tulsa, OK. This simple, clear and down to earth (no woo, woo 🙂 article you wrote is a jewel that I am so excited to share during my presentation.

    I am amazed and so grateful that you have been teaching & mentoring me since 2009! My journey as an Animal Reik Practitioner & Teacher + SARA teacher has been molded by what you continue to teach me along with the animals:)

    Can’t wait to celebrate World Animal Reiki Day, February 5th by teaching from your gem of a book ” 5 Powerful Meditations to Help Heal Your Animals” benefiting SARA!!!

    As you say, ” Anyone can learn the wonderful practice of Reiki” for a more peaceful, balanced Self, Animals, Community & World…..

    Peace & Love, Karren

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