Animal Healing Article
Healing Animals With Intention
by Silvia Hartmann
When holding out one's hands over an injured animal to channel universal healing energy, there is still a part of the process that is very physical indeed. You can feel your hands tingling, sensations in your body, and you can see the animal in front of you responding with little twitches, yawns or how it relaxes out as the healing progresses.
Healing by intention, on the other hand, is pure magic - making changes in the physical world by thought alone.
Now you may be forgiven for thinking that this is an unusual approach, yet it is the oldest one there is. Every religious ceremony thought up by every one of the people of Earth that ever lived is there to simply create an environment where intention becomes reality.
When an African shaman waves a rattle at a patient, it is not the rattle that will heal; it's the intentions of the healer and the healee that will bring about the changes. This is often misunderstood and therefore, many mis-beliefs and superstitions have arisen over the millennia as to what that is that really brings about the change.
In the end, it is the intention that brings about the change.
There is by now a vast body of scientific studies, carried out under the most exacting scrutiny and often carried out by scientists in order to de-bunk the idea that intention alone can heal, that simply prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that it really, really works.
A medical doctor and practising internist, Larry Dossey M.D., says, that if instead of intention there had been a new drug on trial, the results would have been splashed all over the medical journals and it would have been heralded as a new wonder drug.
The method used for focusing attention so successfully was the age old human ritual called "prayer".
Here's just one example of such a study.
In a Californian university hospital, there was a prayer group that would meet and pray in one of the wards. The doctor in charge, an agnostic and a trained scientist, was at first irritated; when the people in this ward began to get better faster, a couple of patients made near miraculous recoveries and the staff began talking amongst themselves that this worked, he became positively irate.
"It's only the placebo affect," he said, "it's just those patients believe in this superstitious mumbo jumbo nonsense and they make themselves better." (!!)
And so he set out and designed an experiment, using yeast as the "patient". Some colonies of yeast in sealed containers got prayed over, and some in another part of the hospital did not.
Imagine how the doctor must have felt when the results showed clearly and irrevocably that in every case the yeast that had been prayed over had grown significantly more strongly.
This experiment was repeated dozens of times with different religious persuasions and even with agnostics. The results were always the same. The yeast *always* did better when someone sat there and focused their attention on helping it to grow.
Then the experiment was turned around and penicillin was put into bacterial cultures. When the healing intention lend strength to the bacteria, they did not die off completely and some cultures continued to grow strongly in spite of living in a toxic environment.
From these and literally hundreds of other experiments along the same lines, the following key elements emerged:
1. It doesn't matter if the one that's receiving the prayer understands the process or is even aware of what' going on (well obviously yeast, bacteria and wheat cannot!. This knocks the idea on the head that this is simply a variation on the so-called Placebo effect.
2. It doesn't matter what, if any, religious persuasions the person/s who send the intention hold dear (some of these experiments were conducted by religiously linked research institutes, and try as they might, they could not find any advantages in using Muslims, Christians, Buddhists or agnostics, respectively!).
3. It doesn't matter how the prayer is created. This is particularly interesting, because tests were conducted that had people singing, praying, sitting silently or just talking about how much they wanted the yeast to grow. (This is old news to those who are familiar with prayers; of course they can be spoken, sung, thought about or visualised; artists offer up prayer in the form of pictures, sculptures, music, buildings and poetry, just to mention a few).
4. It doesn't matter how far away the sender is from the receiver (this truly freaked the scientists more than anything else!) - trials where the yeast and the intention senders were in two different hospitals on opposite sides of the world, still came out positive. Nowadays, this is not quite so astonishing to the scientific community anymore, since their understanding of Quantum Spaces in which time and space are entirely meaningless, seems to be catching up with what religions have been talking about since the dawn of mankind.
5. Although there is always some improvement, it is impossible to predict which individual patient, plant or yeast culture will show the most dramatic improvements. So, out of 12 pots of identical strains of bacteria trying to survive in a penicillin solution, 3 may thrive more than the others. To this day, how this happens has defied explanation.
6. The one thing that decides more than any other factor on the effectiveness of prayer is how much sincere intent there was in the sender/s. In the tests, when people just sat around reading magazines or watching TV, the yeast behaved as though there was no-one there at all and showed no significant changes in resistance to disease or growth rates.
It is curious to speculate as to why the tremendous amounts of scientific data on this simple process have not led to using this cost effective and potentially very useful form of healing and therapy in every hospital in the world.
I have a notion that modern medicine tends to have the attitude that it should be "healing my way, or it's the high way".
To me, the truth of the matter is that an understanding of the "all there is" is not complimentary at all. It is the missing half of healing.
Learning To Heal With Intention
Really, there isn't much to it. It is very simple indeed, can be done at any time, anywhere, and absolutely cannot hurt either the sender nor the receiver; plus, statistically, there's a far, far better chance to achieve results this way than to win a lottery. Yet people do buy their tickets, week in, week out; so consider what we can do if we give this matter of intention for healing and change back the place it so rightfully deserves in our lives.
As so many practical aspects to do with living consciously in a world that consists of the invisible as well as the visible realm have become folklore from a distant past to many in the so called civilised Western World, let's have a quick reminder of how to bring back the act of focussed intention, or prayer if you like, into our daily routines.
A Place For Prayer
Theoretically, it doesn't matter where or when you pray. Practically, every single human culture that ever was on this Earth found that a special place from which prayers would be offered on a regular basis seemed to made the process more effective.As I am not a regular churchgoer, I have a household altar (much like a few billion Hindus, orthodox Christians, Muslims and others too numerous to mention all around the world - just in case you think I'm the one who's a bit strange here!).
In my case, it's a small bookshelf in my passage way. It's got some fresh flowers on it and a candle. On my father's birthday (he died some years ago), I put his photograph there for a week; when my dear GSD Rio died, a photo of her was on it. On mothering Sunday, my children put their home made cards for me there; and if I have a particular problem, I might place a token object there (such as a £1 coin when there's money troubles) to physically represent a particular concept of thought.
People I know who aren't very religious in the formal sense either and have found the benefit of such an arrangement, have all kinds of things on their special little cupboard or shelf: little ornaments, crystals, pictures, what have you. It doesn't matter really, but what does matter is that after a while, as soon as you step up to your place of prayer you will automatically go into a "prayerful" state of mind, centre more easily and right away, and be able to offer prayers congruently and naturally as a part of your daily life.
Especially when there's upheaval and trauma, this is of great practical help to keep things in perspective and your mind in focus.
Now I'll have you know that I do not spend hours meditating there (I've got a business, two kids, three dogs and five cats plus I like to live a little as well), but it's there, reminding me there's more to life than dirty dishes and unpaid bills; and I always offer at least a quick "Thank You For The Day" before I go to bed (if only through gritted teeth on occasion!).
You do not need a household altar, however. A special place in your garden, in nature or in your house that you keep for contemplative prayer will serve equally well if it is used routinely and often. A friend of mine has a part of her garden as a "garden of remembrance", with a rose bush for each one of her animals planted when they died. It is certainly a most peaceful, tranquil and loving spot to be.
How To Pray
A feeling of tranquillity and calm is generally held to be a good state for prayer. In practise, this means that you are either alone or with someone who is completely with you in what you are doing. Stillness is also appropriate, though not necessarily silence - some people find new age or some classical music very calming and beneficial, as can be sounds of nature, such as birds and running water.
Although you can pray anywhere, at any time, and it would be nice if you did, it is not ideal to try and pray when there is chaos all around you, phones ringing, dogs barking, children screaming, and someone making fun of your activity. I think an important part of prayer is to find a time, a place, and a state of mind that suits you and fits in with your needs. Sometimes you have to create this for yourself first - literally carving a moment of stillness from all the other demands of life around you. Incidentally, in the olden days that was the true idea behind not going to work or play on Sundays. Whoever came up with that idea must have known that it is in people's nature to get so involved with their daily affairs that they need to be made to stop once in a while and contemplate Life, the Universe and Everything.
Mary VS Martha
There a number of different types of prayer. Many people tend to think of prayer as just a petition to a higher force, for example, but there are a number of others.
The main difference is the Mary prayer vs. the Martha prayer.
The Mary prayer is non-directional; this is best expressed in the Christian prayer "Thy will be done". It expresses trust in the processes of life and beyond, and when you pray in this way, you are aligning yourself to the higher forces around you. In any situation where you are not quite sure what you should pray for, I would highly recommend that the safest course of action is a Mary prayer. "The Universe is unfolding as it should", "Divine right action is always taking place in my life", and "I trust that all events are for my highest good" are examples of this kind of non-directional prayer.
In the Martha prayer, you are being more specific and are using your powers more directly to achieve a desired outcome.
Types of Prayer
1. Prayers Of Petition
These are prayers that ask for something for yourself - "I want something (to happen)"
2. Prayers Of Intercession
These are prayers that ask for something for someone else - "I want something (to happen) for ..."
These are the common types, and now on to a very important group that is not so often thought about in our society.
3. Prayers Of Adoration
Sometimes it's difficult to put into words concepts such as adoration. It's like paying homage on a grand scale to someone, something or the universe at large. If you've ever stood on a mountaintop or have seen a spectacular sunset and you were flooded by the most amazing feelings of wow! (sorry, words fail me here!), that is probably the closest to describe a prayer of adoration. Moments of intense love for a partner, child or animal also have an aspect of this indescribable feeling of humility in the face of so much wonder.
4. Prayers Of Thanksgiving
As a society, we're very ungrateful. There's so much good in each and every one's life - you know, lack of starvation, having a roof over your head, being able to buy and then read a book on healing your animal with your own still functioning eyes, that sort of thing! - never mind the miracle of the world in which we live with its wondrous places and shapes and colours within the amazing ocean of the universe as a whole, I reckon we should be in a continuous state of giving thanks and offering prayers of thanksgiving every day we're allowed to be here. But sadly, we're more often like the spoilt children at Christmas time - we open one gift, then discard it and look for the next pretty wrapper to tear apart, never stopping to explore the possibilities of the gift or indeed, to stop and to offer a prayer of thanksgiving.
5. Prayers Of Joy
I don't know, but seeing we've become too cynical to adore anything, and too spoilt to give thanks to anything, could this be linked to the fact that "joy" is hard to find in our lives? And indeed, being who we are, can we even spot it when we meet it? Joy, bliss, ecstasy (not the synthetic form, the real thing) are concepts that are as alien to the grey "real" world we have constructed around us as are God and Love.
Prayers Of Joy are simply a celebration of being alive. I make you a deal - you aim to have a reason to give such a prayer more often from today, and so will I. With more joy there must surely be more light and less darkness in this world.
When you are using prayer to help to heal your animal, I want you now to go back through the list and not just look at how prayers of petition and intercession can be of use, but take a note that the others can sometimes be even more powerful in beginning to move the healing energies towards you and your animal.
So, bearing all this in mind, let's move on to using Martha prayers for the best of all concerned and especially when you wish to heal.
A most crucial question to ask before you start, is:
What Should You Ask For?
As I stated at the beginning of this section, healing is not only about the abatement of symptom or about staying alive. I really believe that there are often occasions when the creature or person in question has concluded his or her path in this world and has, in a metaphysical sense, decided that "enough is enough" and is ready to leave.
I also believe that before you enter into what is an extremely powerful process, you should give some thought of what you're going to ask for.
This has two purposes - firstly, it will help you make a much more positive representation of your outcome, and secondly, it will clarify greatly a number of other issues that might not otherwise arise - such as, in truth, are you doing this for your animal, or is it really for yourself?
So your first prayer might be for yourself, to clear the path, as it were, and you might literally ask,
What Should I Pray For? or What Is The Right Outcome In This Particular Situation?
Ask again and again if you're not sure, and I would advise you not to proceed until you are congruent. Alternatively, if you're not getting an answer, this might be an indication that you are advised to use a "Mary Prayer" from the section before and align yourself in trust to the processes of life in action.
In all the experiments on focused attention we mentioned before, the ones who prayed were instructed to concentrate on well being, on growth, or simply on love.
When someone prays for a loved one that's sick, it can often happen that negative thoughts overwhelm this person - the prayer starts off with "Get well" but then goes on to negative thoughts like, "I need you, I wouldn't know what to do without you, Oh my god, please, please don't die!"
Although there is a great deal of psychic energy behind such a cry for help, and although such prayers seem to be answered on occasion, I would advise you very strongly to be as positive as you possibly can be.
1. Focus on your love for your animal because your animal, in every sense of the phrase, transcends the physical malady that is now part of their body. This might make you feel very emotional but also clearer.
2. Phrase all your verbal requests (whether you write them down, speak them aloud or just think them in your mind) in the positive, because your mind, which is the connection to the mysterious processes no-one understands, cannot deal with negatives. Don't think of a blue tree - and what do you see? Don't die on me, don't get worse, don't suffer horribly, don't lie in a hospital bed - what do you see in your mind's eye? Point taken?
I appreciate this is much easier said and understood than done - catch your negative thoughts when they occur through old habit and make a point of mentally re-phrasing them into something that you would want in your life instead.
3. Speak to your animal in a focused and very loving fashion. Do not do this unless you are calm and centred within yourself - the animal really needs you to be strong and confident when he or she is sick or suffering. Wailing and whining and tearing out of hair in the animal's presence is bound to make him or her feel much worse - they just don't know what they've done to make you this upset and there's nothing they can do to make you feel better - and this is not going to help the animal mobilise his or her own healing resources to the best of their ability.
Modern Prayers: Affirmations
Affirmations are positive statements of both outcome and intent that will help your mind concentrate on what you want to be true in your life. At the same time, repeating affirmations can bring these things into your life if you do not already have them.
As we are trying to help your animal, affirmations are great when spoken to the animal with meaning and with love. I have known many very excellent results from using positive affirmations with a wide variety of animals.
Speak your affirmations slowly, with real meaning and with love.
The actual words used are only a small part of the process.
You might like to use phrases like:
Visualisation, or imagining, is a very powerful method to bring about physical change through intention using your heart and your mind. It is used extensively in personal development, religious practises, healing, and magic.
"Seeing with your mind's eye" is something anyone can do, but often people think they can't because the end result of a visualisation doesn't "look" like what you receive through your eyes - you might just have a feeling or a thought instead. Some people cannot consciously visualise at all due to having shut down this particular representational system as a result of traumatic scenes they "did not want to see"; if you cannot visualise, don't worry. You can do all the other things in this book and that will be more than enough.
Going back to the process of using visualisation for focusing healing intent, let us say, your animal has a wound that is not healing well. Using visualisation, you would look at the wound and "see"(imagine)it closing, mending, healing, until there's only normal skin and fur.
A different but also effective way of using visualisation is to "see" (imagine) the affected area being bathed in a gentle, healing light of a colour that pleases you personally.
Or you might imagine the whole animal being enclosed in a cocoon of healing light; this is a good strategy to use in between other healing treatments, at the vet's, or just anytime you're thinking of the animal. The animal does not have to be within sight for this to be effective.
Another strategy is to imagine the animal in good health, glowing with health, recovery completed, and both of you out on a favourite walk.
These visualisations are also a very practical way to keep your mind focused and positive, and stop you from descending into "oh no" type of thoughts and emotions which are not very helpful to you or your animal - remember, your states of mind transfer to the animal and if you can keep your end up, your animal stands a much better chance to do his or her bit in the healing process.
Keeping Your Act Together
If you are seeking to heal an animal that lives with you or to whom you are mentally, emotionally and energetically very close, your own states of being become extremely important.
I know from personal experience how important it is for you, the one the animal trusts and loves and the one through whom he or she experiences the world around them, to be as calm and centred as possible. With my children too I have experienced many, many times that just being there, and being calm and positive, has allowed them to relax and view the necessary medical interventions without fear and in good faith.
Having a animal is very much an exercise in "being there for someone else" and when a loved one is sick, the one that isn't has to provide the strength, the hope, the anchor to hold on to when there's pain and fear, literally become the light at the end of the tunnel.
I do appreciate that sometimes it gets all too much and one can become emotional or distraught. As we've said many times before, this doesn't help the healing at all, and might be very detrimental to your own health and well being, so I would suggest the following.
1. If you are caring very in depth for your animal (and this might require much physical effort as well as mental effort), you can become tired and despondent if you don't take good care of yourself.
YOU are a vital medicine for your animal, so you should make sure that this medicine is pure and in good condition - you know what it's like, medicine can soon turn to poison if it's past it's sell by date or stored in the wrong conditions.
So DO make sure that YOU take good care of YOURSELF as a part of the treatment - this means rest and relaxation, switching off completely with a walk, bath or a movie if necessary, and, very importantly, allowing your friends and relatives to give YOU some extra strength or practical help if necessary.
2. If you find you're getting worn out and despondent, STOP and review what you are doing. Something's got to give - but let it be the housework, the paperwork, other people's expectations, rather than you.
3. If you get over-emotional on occasion, try crying in the garden rather than around your sick animal, and go back when you're more centred. I'm not being hard hearted here, I just know that over-burdening any animal with human emotions isn't good for their long term health anyway, and especially not when they're already ill.
4. If your animal is very seriously ill or dying, offer a prayer of gratitude for whatever time you've had together at least once a day.
To conclude, let me back up on the basic principles we've talked about.
The Seven Principles Of Intention Healing
1. Focusing attention for healing is a very deeply personal activity. You should use the form you are most comfortable with, be it praying, imagining something, visualising something, using spoken words, singing, just thinking about something or a mixture of all of these. What comes naturally to you is what is going to work best so trust your intuition for what is right.
2. You can do this in your mind anytime, anywhere. Your intentions transcend both time and space, and distance is of no importance.
3. Healing by intention work best when offered heart and soul - therefore, make sure you know what you are trying to achieve and that you are absolutely clear that this is the right thing. If you are unclear or unsure, focus on "Thy will be done" or a variation of this in keeping with your own faith.
4. Healing by intention works best when it is offered with love, and in faith and trust.
5. If you are using prayer, remember it is not just about petition and intercession. Remember the prayers of thanksgiving, adoration and joy - they carry enormous and profound healing power.
6. Arrange the physical world so it works together with your spiritual activities. This is called "acting in accord".
7. YOU are ANY living creature's most important complimentary medical treatment.
Copyright S. Hartmann July 1996-
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