Reflecting upon the gifts of reiki through ‘The Gifts of Reiki as a Meditative Practice’ graphic, I can see a place for each of these elements throughout my growing personal practice in animal reiki. First and foremost is the GROUNDING aspect of reiki. With the dry brushing technique (Kenyoku Ho), I feel like I can literally brush off any high energy, worries, feelings and thoughts that aren’t serving me at the moment through that action alone. And then when I add in the hara breathing (Joshin Kokyu Ho), I can start to feel that connection to my physical body and to get centered and grounded in it. Without becoming fully present in my body, I truly do not feel as strongly the connection to the universal love energy that is reiki.
I’m also seeing BALANCE as a way towards being at PEACE being so true for me. Without balance, there is no peace as the feeling of being imbalanced is a palpable energy. You are easily swayed towards distraction if you’re already feeling this imbalance within. This can also occur during a session where you get off-kilter somehow, perhaps due to an external distraction but also internally too. Then your mind starts racing, you get a bit fidgety perhaps, you may start opening your eyes and looking around – all of this taking your intention off just BE-ing and being present in your own energy. Maintaining this balance throughout the whole reiki session is so key. I also have noticed that for some period of time after a session, I seem to have this sense of peace within – an energy that can be felt by others around too.
At the shelter when doing the meditative practice that is animal reiki, I find that I strongly desire a sense of PEACE and HARMONY for all there, both humans and animals alike. There is a certain cohesiveness and connectivity to the structure of the environment that we are creating in this healing space. It’s a bit hard to describe but it truly at times does feel like a collective effort of the souls there to create this healing space and a true sense of the giving and receiving of energy to whomever desires it and/or partake in it. It’s as if this beautiful healing space was there the whole time and we’re now activating this space for the good of all present.
Perhaps I have come naturally to this feeling of PATIENCE through the various practices including the visualizations, meditative practices, hands-on work (have not yet tried symbols and mantras) and with the knowing already that the animals are teaching us patience and teaching us that things will occur and unfold in a natural way and that there is no point in rushing any process, especially when it comes to healing. Also due to the fact that we are always encouraged to let go of any expectations on the results of the reiki or of this process, we can cultivate limitless patience in our practice since nothing is tied to any particular end result. This also helps us connect to the NOW energy which is always present.
Sometimes we need help getting into that space of being open to get into this energy of now, so that is why actions like dry brushing, hara breathing, hands-on self reiki, meditations, and visualizations can be quite instrumental in getting there. I feel like these are part of a set of TOOLS we always have at our disposal to get into that space and perhaps rather quickly. Sometimes it just takes a quick dry brush action and hara breathing to get into that state.
I will have to say that for me the REIKI PRECEPTS have served many a time for me to get present wherever I’m at and releasing all that is not serving me at that time. Reciting these over and over again and allowing the words to become alive, I see/hear/feel the messages – perhaps coming from my own higher self, from the souls that are present all around including the animals that we are sharing the reiki space with. It’s so wonderful – almost like an energetic connection has been made – to feel the truth of this connection between these precepts and life and these souls. Sometimes it is a bit sad what you may be shown or feel during the meditation, but you don’t have to keep that story line alive because you are always moving into a space of healing and love knowing that that is all that matters and that is what is being shared by all.
In some ways the COMPASSION, CONNECTION and HEALING are truly the after-effects of this practice. These are constantly being evolved and worked on as a natural outgrowth of being reiki. These aren’t gifts that you seek but that you receive. These are the true cornerstones of this practice so they naturally bolster this practice and without them, one cannot truly in my humble opinion have a meaningful practice certainly for oneself and most definitely for the animals as they are the true masters of these gifts.
I also believe that we naturally EXPAND as we delve more deeply into our practice. It is never-ending and constant and nothing that we necessarily seek but is a natural extension of our soul’s essence. This is a reminder that we are limitless and if we allow it we can expand into infinity and be at one with all and truly feel that who we are is woven into existence with all that is.
I am truly looking forward to understand all the ways we will expand through this course as we move forward in this class and in our practice!
Tina Kim Vaccarello