Who We Are
The Shelter Animal Reiki Association is a community of Let Animals Lead® Animal Reiki practitioner and teacher volunteers committed to supporting rescued animals and their caregivers with the healing benefits of meditation. The Let Animals Lead® method of Animal Reiki/meditation supports all aspects of healing. Our proprietary methods can help animals become more adoptable, and help their caretakers stay strong and calm in even the most difficult situations.
Introduction to The
Let Animals Lead® Method of Animal Reiki
In the Let Animals Lead® method, created by Kathleen Prasad the world’s renowned expert, Animal Reiki is defined as animal-guided healing through meditation. This approach is composed of 6 Pillars of Practice (see below).
In addition to these 6 Pillars of Practice, this method also follows the Animal Reiki Practitioner Code of Ethics. Kathleen has developed this groundbreaking method over 23 years of practice and through the inspirational teachings in her books, classes and talks, it is now being practiced around the world. The Let Animals Lead® approach of Animal Reiki honors animals as not only our partners in the healing process, but also our teachers and guides in when, how and indeed if Reiki should be shared.
This unique method of meditation helps us let go of anger, worry, fear and stress to uncover our best self – one that is peaceful, grateful, compassionate and in harmony with others. Animals respond positively when we are peaceful through meditation.
Through the Let Animals Lead® method, SARA offers the world’s most ethical, powerful and safe approach to offering Animal Reiki to animals. This method is hands-off, meditation based and animal-led. Our highly trained members all follow the same ethics, approach and professionalism.
What We Do
How animals are helped by the Let Animals Lead® method
- Decreases the stress animals experience while housed in shelter conditions.
- Supports mistreated animals to rebuild trust with humans.
- Helps animals who are “shut down” from past abuse and trauma to open up again.
- Creates a peaceful space for animals during the dying process.
How caretakers are helped by the Let Animals Lead® method
- Caregivers regain emotional balance in stressful situations.
- Reduces stress and creates a sense of inner well-being.
- Relieves job-stress and prevents and/or heals compassion fatigue.
The 6 Pillars of the Let Animals Lead® Method of Animal Reiki
1. This method is founded upon traditional Japanese Reiki techniques and philosophy.
Although I learned Reiki initially in 1998, in 2006 I was very excited to learn that Reiki was about meditation and that it was also an internal mindfulness practice, as I had originally learned it as an energy therapy using touch. I loved incorporating the simplicity and power of the Usui Reiki Ryoho meditation-based Reiki system into what I was already doing with animals. So many things I had experienced with animals wanting me to just sit still and hold the space, suddenly fell into place. Since then, I have had hundreds of professional training hours to practice and develop my understanding of these traditional Japanese techniques. These techniques and philosophy are the foundation for my Let Animals Lead® method.
2. Touch is used only when animals seek it out, and then only as a compassionate support.
Over twenty years ago, I learned Reiki as a therapy for humans, and touch was very important, as we humans are such tactile creatures. We use touch to indicate our compassion and care for others. It is a wonderful aspect of human Reiki practice. Over the years in sharing Reiki with many animals who had experienced abuse or neglect, or feral/wild animals who did not trust human touch, I learned that touch is not necessary for animals to connect. To honor the sensitivities and preferences of animals, the best way to incorporate touch into a Reiki session is to allow animals to approach us, and only then rest our hands gently on the parts of their bodies they present to us. In addition, we must train our minds not to focus on “sending” or “beaming” anything towards them from our hands. Whether we are or aren’t touching an animal, the Let Animals Lead® method teaches us how to hold a nonjudgmental space of acceptance with an open mind and compassionate heart.
3. Mental focus techniques develop an “All is Well” state of mind for the practitioner that sees the animal’s perfection in the present moment, rather than focusing on what’s “wrong.”
I call this seeing with your “Reiki eyes,” or seeing more deeply with your heart. Animal Reiki helped me to face and heal from breast cancer twice in the past seven years. Facing my own mortality, and suffering the chronic pain and issues of surgeries and ongoing treatments has given me a new perspective on what true “healing” really means. Through Animal Reiki, I was able to realize that peace and healing are possible in this present moment, no matter what we are facing. Our beautiful inner light is always perfect! Rather than being fearful of or overwhelmed by times when our animals may be suffering, the Let Animals Lead® method will teach you a deeper truth about healing that can help you walk with peace through difficult moments. This will make all the difference in your animal’s healing journey!
4. Meditation is taught as a state of mind with flexible physical forms.
I’ve worked with so many species over the years, sometimes very big animals, sometimes very small, sometimes wild and sometimes cuddly. I’ve found myself in all kinds of environments from homes and yards, to parks and beaches, shelters and sanctuaries. I learned pretty early on that connecting with animals didn’t require me to sit still with my eyes closed. In fact, that kind of rigid physical position limited my ability to reach and respond to many species of animals in different environments. Animals taught me that peace and compassion is about our open state of mind and heart, and these are skills we can develop no matter what our physical body is doing – sitting, standing or walking. The Let Animals Lead® method will help you develop your meditation skills so that living a compassionate life becomes your meditation. It will transform your way of being in the world.
5. Animal Reiki is mindfulness meditation practiced “with” our animals, rather than an energy therapy done “to” them.
The Let Animals Lead® method will teach you many meditation techniques to use with animals to support their healing.
Over the years, animals have taught me that less is more. When I focused on physical ritual, many times animals would walk away and not want to connect. When I found myself focusing mentally on what was “wrong” with a particular animal, the animal would be unable to relax and not want to connect. Over a period of many years, in time I learned that animals preferred me simply to hold the space for them peacefully, rather than try to “fix” this or that issue. When I would relax and just “be” in this present moment with them with an open heart, they would be drawn to me like a magnet and able to deeply relax into a state of peace for their own self-healing. The Let Animals Lead® method will teach you many meditation techniques to use with animals to support their healing.
6. This method acknowledges and honors each animal as a spiritual teacher and healer in their own right. Practitioners learn to listen and become receptive to their spiritual wisdom and healing gifts.
When I first shared Reiki with animals, I saw myself as the one helping animals. Sometimes I even felt pity for their situations. Over time and with experience, I began to realize that I received so much more from the animals than I could ever offer. Often the animals who taught me the most were the ones who outwardly seemed the least able to do so (that is, they were fragile or dying). When we learn that even the tiniest creature can be our teacher, our world will be transformed! The Let Animals Lead® method will help you develop your awareness and gratitude for all that animals bring to our lives. Everyone is healed and supported by the peace and compassion that the Animal Reiki connection creates!
Vets Using the Let Animals Lead® method of Animal Reiki
Statement by Marc Malek, DVM, certified veterinarian acupuncturist and therapeutic laser clinician, certified Fear Free Veterinarian, Level 3 Reiki Practitioner and Certified Let Animals Lead® method of Animal Reiki Teacher:
As a veterinarian and a Reiki practitioner I understand the concepts and precepts of both practices.
As a veterinarian I use my knowledge, intellect, intuition, education and practice to aid the healing of my animal patients.
As a Reiki practitioner I use my meditation training, conscious awareness, attention, intention and practice to hold a peaceful, compassionate space to support the animal’s self-healing process.
The Let Animals Lead® method of Animal Reiki is not an allopathic medical treatment. It does not require knowledge of anatomy. It does not require knowledge of biochemistry. It does not require knowledge of any traditional scientific discipline. It does require the ability to meditate and resonate with the space and energy that is compassionate healing energy (Reiki). I conceptualize Reiki as the band of loving compassionate energy which facilitates healing of all beings. Cultivating, radiating and sharing this energy is what the practitioner actually does.
In the Let Animals Lead® method of Animal Reiki, developed by Kathleen Prasad, the practitioner meditates to create a space of peace and compassion to support the animal. Unlike human Reiki sessions, in a Let Animals Lead® method session, the animal chooses how the session will proceed and whether to connect with the practitioner or not. Direct hand to body contact is not required. If contact is initiated by the animal, the practitioner may gently touch the animal as opportunity presents. The intention of a Let Animals Lead® method session is always to facilitate the animal’s well being and highest good.