When looking at the precepts of reiki, it is easy to see how animals are already living some of these basic principles of living life well.
For today only:
- Do not anger
- Do not worry
- Be grateful / be humble
- Be true to your way and your being (practice this diligently)
- Be compassionate to yourself and others
Just by starting to look at the above precepts, we can look at the first line “For today only” which is asking us to be present in the moment. You don’t have to think about how you did yesterday or how you will do tomorrow, just focus on today. Secondly, “Do not anger” which some people write as “I release angry thoughts and feelings” when you think of it in terms of animals, when you you see an angry animal? They are angry when they feel threatened, but for the most part my cats are not living in anger. Thirdly, “Do not worry” which some people write as “I release thoughts of worry” can be one I have an issue with myself. I always grew up thinking “What if …?” and thought of worst case scenarios, but I refrain from doing that anymore. My cats largely live without worry. They have an automatic feeder, a water fountain, and a heated pet bed. The only time they might display any “worry” is when they see my husband and I pack suitcases. I feel like this is less worry and more curiosity about “who will be coming to fill up the water fountain and monitor that there is enough food?” As for being humble, grateful, true to themselves, and being compassionate, my cats certainly have those down.
I wanted to look at how my one cat, Thor, specifically reflects the precept “Be true to your way and your being (practice this diligently).” How often do we do something that we know is against our wishes, but you are doing it “because you have to” or “because it is easier than fighting about it”? There can be many reasons. I feel like cats are true to themselves to be sure. They won’t do something they don’t feel like doing. When Thor first came into our lives, he was given to us by one of my mother’s co-workers. This co-worker was extremely allergic, but that didn’t stop this little gray squeaker from living on her front porch and meowing at her door. Since she knew my family kept cats, she asked if we would take the cat. My last cat Buddy had recently died at the young age of 4 from what we believed to gastrointestinal distress. Losing Buddy was a shock because when we noticed that he didn’t feel well it was late in the evening and he died within the hour. Yet here was new kitten demanding to be loved!
Having one cat is not normally a great thing since most cats desire companionship. Since we agreed to take Thor we adopted another cat and named her Freya. Thor was a tiny kitty but he liked playing on tissue paper and I joked with Nathan that he was like a god making thunder in the clouds. I had always liked Norse mythology so Thor came to mind immediately and Thor grew into his name. At first both cats were indoor cats, but I could see that they were bored. They were very curious about going outside. Thor was even brave enough to let us put him in a body harness so we could take him outside to explore the yard. He loved the outdoors immediately. I was hesitant to let the cats out since they didn’t have their front claws, I tried letting them outside with collars. Freya who would not let us put her in the body harness also nearly scratched her neck off in trying to remove the collar. She would let us walk around outside while we held her so she got to see the yard too. Thor seemed to tolerate the collar since he is more laid back than Freya. I ended up taking the collars off them and just opening the front door with the hope they would come back. Fortunately, it worked!
I have always admired Thor’s ability to go with the flow and his love for the outdoors. He is my snuggle bunny and will cuddle with Nathan and me in the evenings. Some nights, he even sleeps at our feet. He is very much an outdoor cat though. His true nature is being an outdoor creature. Some days, he only comes for two minutes to eat some food and then is gone the rest of the night or day. He normally comes in when we first come home from work for a short cuddle session and then he is right back out the door until bedtime. He goes out in all weather. Even in the snow, he goes outside for minutes instead of his regular hours. I love that he is true to his love of the outdoors and goes out everyday, rain or shine. Thor’s go with the flow, chill nature helps remind me to try to go with the flow too.
Since Thor showed up six months after I lost my previous cat, Buddy, his loving presence was very much a part of my healing process. He is still a little healer today. Like this past week when I was throwing up from whatever I had come down with, he was next to me the whole time and even tried padded my stomach with his paws. He is not normally one for staying inside so long so I know he was healing me with his purring and presence. I know one of my massage therapy teachers had a cat that could balance chakras from where the cat would pad on people with his paws. She could see the chakra balancing happen clairvoyantly. So when Thor was trying to balance my chakras in my abdomen, I tried to relax into it and be open to the healing gift he was giving. I know if I followed Thor’s example of spending most of my time outdoors, I would have more harmony and balance in my life. Since the weather was so nice, but the cat would not leave my side one of the days, I went outside to sit on the porch so Thor could have some time in the grass. He still didn’t move more than a foot from me, but I know being outside was good for both of us. I could also benefit from practicing his go-with-the-flow attitude. I do make an effort to spend more time outside and to be open to the flow of life because of his presence in my life.
Do you have any healing stories from your pets or animals you visit? Share in the comments below or send me a message!
Eva Borho, Owner-Operator of Ascension Holistic Healing and Holy Fire Reiki Master Teacher