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A Letter from Kathleen from S.A.R.A.

Have you watched your special gratitude meditation yet? I hope you've practiced it at least once together with your animal

s, and that it's made a positive difference! Today I want to share with you about a dog in my life whom I'm so incredibly grateful for! This dog gave me the spark that changed the course of my life forever!

This is a picture of me back in 2004 with my best friend, soul companion and life teacher, Dakota. Dakota was an Australian Shepherd mix I adopted from Sacramento County Animal Control when he was just a puppy, and he was my life companion for 16 and 1/2 years. When Dakota was young, I first learned to practice meditation, it was a self-care practice to help calm my anxiety and I had no intentions to share it with Dakota or other animals, but he had other ideas!

Right after my first Reiki meditation class, I started practicing my self-care every day and Dakota had the strangest response. He was always at my side, but always at a respectful distance of 3-5 feet. He was not particularly a lap dog... until I started practicing meditation through Reiki. As soon as I would start, Dakota would get up and walk over to me, placing his body very purposefully (and awkwardly, LOL) on top of my feet. At first I just smiled and humored this unusual behavior, keeping my focus on my practice. As I would finish, Dakota would get up, mo

ve a few feet away and lie down again. After a few days of this, suddenly I realized that somehow Dakota was sensing the peacefulness my practice was creating and that he wanted "in." I sat down on the floor with him and said, "Dakota, do you like this practice?" He looked at me, sighed and rolled onto his side, and closed his eyes as if to say, "Finally, Mom: Yes, I want to practice this with you! It makes me feel relaxed too!" In this moment I had two very big "lightbulb" realizations. First, I realized that Dakota sensed and was drawn to the peaceful space my practice was creating within me, even without me having a purposeful intention to share it. How could that be? Which led me to my 2nd realization: Clearly Dakota understood what I was doing much better than I did; I may have been a newbie, but he was an expert already!

This heartwarming, peaceful, bonding experience with Dakota, all these years ago, set my heart on a mission to

1) learn to listen to animals when I practiced 2) discover w

hat parts of my meditation practice that animals were drawn to 3) figure out how best to create that deep relaxation for every animal, especially those that were traumatized or didn't trust humans. Over the years, this mission has inspired me to share meditation with shelter animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits and more, rescued farm animals such as horses, pigs, cows, goats, chicken and sheep. I've even had the amazing experiences of sharing meditation with rescued wild animals such as elephants, tigers, leopards, alligators, snakes, parrots, monkeys and more.

Through the spark that Dakota created in me, and the path it set me on, I eventually discovered that there is a key to creating deep relaxation, peace, calm and comfort for animals, even when they may be facing pain or suffering. This key is the the open-minded, open-hearted, compassionate space that meditation creates. Learning how to meditate with animals in a way that made them comfortable, secure and empowered wasn't easy. It took me many years of practice, trial and error. Today, through my books, blog articles and classes, I share the many lessons in life and healing the animals have taught me over these 22 years. So amazing to think that it all started with the unusual behavior of my sweet, rescued pup, Dakota all those years ago. I bet there's an animal in your life (and probably more than one) who's inspired you to change your life in some profound w

ay, opened a door to a new interest or inspired a new path. If you like you can reply to this email with your story, I'd love to hear about it! Stay safe, be well and may the animals light your way! Blessings, Stay Connected

Kathleen Prasad at Animal Reiki Source | 369-B Third St., #156, San Rafael, CA 94901

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