I remember as if it was yesterday, sitting in a room listening to Frans Steine talk about the city of Paris. This may seem strange to you but what he said was so profound and life changing. He said there is a huge difference between going to Paris and describing Paris. What he meant is that there are lots of information in books on the internet about Paris, which of course you could share but unless you actually went to Paris and experienced it, you would be describing something second hand. Now you may be thinking what can this have to do with Reiki? It is the same for Reiki as there are many books out there but unless you experience Reiki, your description will only be judged on someone else’s experience. This is so important when you teach Reiki, as you need to use your own experiences to explain. Last September, when Kathleen came to the UK and spoke about Animal Reiki. It was by using her own experience’s that made her teaching come alive. She was able to draw on all of the amazing understandings she had learnt from the animals and to share it with us.
Recently I taught Reiki at two SARA Sanctuary’s, the first at Remus Horse Sanctuary. For over 7 years I have been offering Reiki to the animals there. I learnt from Kathleen last September, the importance of being in the Reiki space for longer, to allow the animals who were nervous to come into the Reiki space. This had a huge shift in my own Reiki practice. It really made me reflect on the discipline of Reiki and how by being in that space for longer. Of course my ‘ego’ had said that there is nothing happening, so I should move on. In fact when nothing is happening everything is happening. By allowing the animals to come into the space in their own time, it allowed animals who had never had Reiki to come forward. We offered Reiki to the horses, goats and sheep. What happened in the workshop was that we were able to work with the cows at Remus,
Remus Level 1 Students
Hector’s Gate Level 1 Students
Blossom and Amber. This is the first time ever that I had been able to work with them. Due to the cold weather, they had been brought into the barn in the evening. I spoke to Vicky and asked her, if there was anything that I should know about working with the cows. She said it was important that we did not get in between them, as they do not like to be separated. I took the students into the barn and we stood in the middle. What happened next was totally amazing, as Amber left Blossom and came around the back of us. We were sandwiched in the middle of them. It was almost as if they had heard the conversation that I had with Vicky. Standing in the middle and being in the space was very powerful. It was such an honour that they could teach my students. As we had our photograph taken by Vicky, Amber came to have her photo taken too.
Just a few days later, I was teaching at Hector’s Gate, this is a new SARA Sanctuary. I arrived on the Friday morning and just had a ‘knowing’ feeling that the animals would come forward to teach these new students. As I taught, Lottie who was a Hector’s Gate Rescue dog had been circling in the field outside the barn where I was teaching. She jumped over the gate and sat on my feet pushed her whole body into me and showed the Hector’s Gate students what animal Reiki was all about. I offered her Reiki and everyone was totally amazed, as she had never before gone to someone that she had never met before. It was an insightful moment for both me as a teacher and for the students. We worked with the horses, dogs and then worked with the chickens. As we entered the chicken pen, it was very noisy. We stood in our own Reiki space and I taught them about not judging but ‘being’. In that space, there was total quietness, the chickens just became silent, as they, for the first time experienced Reiki. Afterwards they all gathered together and slept. Again the students watched on astounded.
What I learnt is that it is the animals that are the teachers and by letting it unfold and not worrying the animals were able to come forward and to show what Animal Reiki truly is. It is also important to teach from experience as you can let go of any worry and ‘just know’.
8 years have passed since I rescued my beloved dog, named Deeds, from the Tulsa Animal Shelter. Inspired by him, and the benefits of offering Reiki to shelter animals, this time I returned to teach my very first SARA Level I Reiki & Animal Reiki class.
It was the end of the second day of our class. Here I stood outside with my 7 students circled around me. This group of open and compassionate people included the Shelter Director, Veterinarian, a Vet Tech, the Adoption Coordinator, a Shelter Volunteer and 2 of my dear friends who have supported through my own Reiki journey.
The sun was setting; my student’s eyes were closed in meditation, as I was performing my 4th initiation with them. One by one, I peered into their faces. Something had changed, shifted. There was a visible peace and calm about them, about me, in the midst of the sounds of barking dogs playing outside beyond the chain link. Along with the muffled sounds of dogs barking in the shelter building, I was reminded of where I was and of so many homeless animals in need. I depended on all the Reiki breathing techniques, symbols and mantras I had learned and practiced to keep me focused and grounded. Calm and balanced, we all had created a space to allow healing to occur in this moment and we were holding it for one another. I experienced a beautiful connection with my students, despite the distractions.
Our faithful class dog, named Nolan, was resting on his bed in the center of the circle. A recent pit bull stray, brought in with a broken leg, his ribs were visible and his face was scratched. Yet, in this Reiki healing circle, I only felt his balanced state of being as he rested there among us. His blue cast was decorated by a green heart, which had lovingly been taped on by the staff. His grateful presence and loving spirit humbled me. He had soaked up all the Reiki love and healing created by our group during both days of our class. In return he was opening up our hearts for healing and supporting me as a “newbie” teacher!
Nolan was truly my co-teacher this weekend, showing the students on day 1 the peaceful effects that Reiki had on him. He took in Reiki like a sponge and showed them what a “Reiki nap” truly looks like. My teacher, Kathleen Prasad has continued to tell me, “ The animals will come to you, Karren. “ Nolan was another validation for this truth…
Now that the Reiki seeds of hope have been planted, I trust that these seeds will bloom and grow in me, the staff, volunteers at the Tulsa Animal Shelter and people of our community. As one of my students wrote to me after our class, “It only takes a spark to get a fire going!” Reiki to the Rescue!
Shelter Animal Reiki Association Teacher
Reiki has taken centre stage at Remus this month, as Kathleen teaches her first ever UK Animal Reiki Class. She has taught over 30 students, over 5 days, with people travelling from literally all over the world; Portugal, USA and a vet from Japan. Kathleen has transformed people’s lives and left us all with a true feeling of optimism and hope.
Kathleen’s visit to Remus had firstly been a dream, a thought, a vision and then finally it became a reality. I had spent the last two years, talking to Sue and my students about how brilliant Kathleen was. At each of my Reiki SARA group meetings at Remus, I would day dream about actually meeting her and drift off into my dreamy world. Now that the day had truly arrived, I could hardly contain my excitement and was so nervous. Meeting Kathleen, I was also blessed to meet Leah too and yes! they looked exactly like their photo and how I expected them to be. ‘Just lovely’. We shared some precious girlie moments and had a good giggle. Below, I have shared some of my highlights from Kathleen’s visit although there were, many, many more.
Arriving at Remus, they too could see what I have always seen. This beautiful Animal Sanctuary, at that very moment I was so proud of Remus and felt a deep wave of emotion pass over me. Sue showed us around Remus, where we were able to meet all of the animals. The sun was shining and the animals opened up their hearts to Kathleen. It was almost as if they too had been waiting for her to come, so they could help her to teach.
Kathleen taught Level 1 Animal Reiki on the first day, she took the lesson in the big Remus field. I have worked with the horses there often offering Reiki to them and I watched intently as Kathleen taught her students. One of the Remus horses Sally made straight for one of the students and started to push her around in circles. This is something she has never done before and it was not aggressive, it was just a definite push. Kathleen, spoke to the student and said “It is OK to have boundaries and to say no” with that Sally trotted off, as her message had been understood and the effect on the student was life changing as this was an issue she had been dealing with all her life.
The next day on the Equine class, again we were standing in the field and there were 18 students standing in a line. It was so funny to watch, as Stanley, one of the horses came to stand with the students to listen to what Kathleen was going to say. Then Thomas another horse walked up to Kathleen, placed himself next to her and allowed her to show us Reiki Hand positions, if an animal so chooses. I have to say, watching Kathleen with the animals, was so special. She lived up to everything I thought she would be and much more. She was able to put up with my ‘ditsyness’ as on one day I actually managed to lose all of the Shinpiden students, yes! that is true.
Kathleen finished with her 3 day Animal Reiki Teacher workshop and it was here that Apollo the head of the herd came to teach the students. As they meditated in the middle of the field, she came over to be part of the Reiki energy and to show that she was definitely the Matriarch . She taught many of the students about what Animal Reiki truly is, it is not about placing hands on the animals but it is about the animal having the choice. For me this class was by far, the most life changing for me, as a student and a SARA teacher. I have still, so much to practice on a daily basis and cannot wait for her return next year. The Remus animals will be ready and waiting to help Kathleen to teach, they so enjoyed teaching us so many lessons, if we would just listen.
For anyone wishing to do Animal Shinpiden Level 3 Reiki, my advice would be to start saving now, as Kathleen is light years ahead of truly understanding how to offer Reiki to animals. I myself, have been so inspired to take my SARA group to the next level and have lots of wonderful ideas for for supporting SARA/Kathleen’s students here in the UK.
I recently had the pleasure of spending a weekend doing Reiki with rescued horses at BrightHaven Animal Rescue. Located in the Northern California town of Santa Rosa, BrightHaven is an amazing place, and I find myself wanting to tell everyone about it. First and foremost, it is a home for senior, disabled and terminally ill animals. All the animals there are at least 16 years old; the horses are all over the age of 26. Founded by Gail and Richard Pope in 1990, BrightHaven is their home also. Indoors you will see many senior cats and dogs – some partially paralyzed. Some of the dogs can be seen tearing around the back yard on their “wheels,” almost as fast as any dog you’ve ever seen.
There are over 25 horses at BrightHaven. Some are direct BrightHaven rescues. Others were rescued by Sadie’s Haven, a nonprofit horse rescue and sanctuary. All would have ended up sold for slaughter if it weren’t for Sadie’s Haven and BrightHaven. Instead, they will live out their natural lives in this wonderful haven, surrounded with peace and love.
A goat also makes her home at BrightHaven, as well as some ducks, geese, and I just don’t even know who else. It is truly a safe haven for all.
All animals at BrightHaven are provided with a natural diet and holistic health care…including Reiki! As a result, animals tend to have unusually long life spans – up to 30 years for cats and 23 years for dogs.
In addition to a home for the animals, BrightHaven is also a healing arts center and is an amazing resource for those of us interested in holistic and natural animal care. They offer seminars, consulting services and educational events on the subject of holistic and natural care for animals. Their website includes an extensive library of articles on an amazing variety of subjects around holistic healthcare, alternative healing therapies, and hospice care for animals. They even have holistic healthcare products for sale.
As someone who has been struggling with health issues of my aging cats for the last several years, I am amazed and humbled by the efforts of Gail and Richard. I know first hand how difficult it is when your animals get older and have special needs. I’m sure many of you do, too. How they care for so many “special needs” animals through the end of life transition is beyond my capacity to imagine. And the care and love that the animals at BrightHaven receive is beyond description.
I encourage you all to visit the BrightHaven website for more information on their sanctuary, their educational programs, and the vast array of information available there. (Website information given below.) If you are interested in visiting, they are having an Open House on Sunday, September 23 from 1-4 p.m. I also encourage you, if you are so inclined, to make a donation to BrightHaven and/or Sadie’s Haven. They are doing amazing work that is only possible through the generosity of people like you and me.
By the way, if you are interested in learning Reiki for Animals, my teacher, Kathleen Prasad, teaches classes at BrightHaven. I guarantee you this will be an experience you will not forget.
For more information:
Sadie’s Haven: www.sadieshaven.com
SARA Reiki Practitioner
A lovely, beautiful tanned coloured American Pit Bull had just been delivered to the shelter where I volunteered. She had been found wandering the streets, and the person who found her, delivered her to us. She was named Chloe and it was obvious “Chloe” had recently had pups but she was in excellent condition.
Unfortunately that week I was too busy to have a Reiki session with her but I worked with her the following week and during this Reiki session I discovered she hated the name Chloe and was, in fact, refusing all attempts at interacting with the shelter staff due to this. I picked up that her name started with the letter “R” and said this to a lovely New Zealand vet who worked at the shelter then. She renamed Chloe “Riri”, which was a New Zealand name. Riri loved her new name and began to interact with the shelter staff.
I had also picked up that Riri had been used as a breeding dog and had continually had her pups taken from her. The last litter was taken away at birth and disposed of due to the bad publicity American Pit Bulls were receiving in Australia (the breed was being illegally imported into Australia for dog fighting and also a number of children had been badly savaged by them). Riri was devastated by the loss of her puppies and had been looking for them when found and delivered to the shelter.
I continued to work with Riri and found her to be a beautiful, intelligent dog but she could not stop looking for her puppies. There was also another, horrible problem. Riri did not get on with any of the other shelter dogs, in fact, whenever Riri was walked passed the dogs, the other dogs would lunge and bark profusely at her and of course Riri would retaliate. This was not a good sign and it continued to get worse. Riri began to lose weight and would sometimes be aggressive to some shelter staff but Riri was always the perfect lady with me as well as the New Zealand vet.
After a couple of months of working with Riri, unfortunately due to her aggressiveness with other dogs/shelter staff and because of her breed, it was decided Riri had to be PTS (Put To Sleep). This decision is not taken lightly as we try very hard to rehabilitate all animals that come to us.
I was asked to assist in putting Riri to sleep and this I did readily. Riri was brought from her pen into the clinic and she behaved in such a lady-like manner. As the injection was prepared, I held Riri and told her what a beautiful girl she was and what a privilege it was to know her as I gave her Reiki one last time. Very gently she fell asleep while receiving her Reiki, which she loved, and then I “saw” a small, darkish, male puppy come to her. He was the same colour as her ears and I knew it was one of the puppies she had so longingly looked for. At last Riri was reunited with at least one of her pups, which is all she ever wanted. I knew she was finally at peace. Although Reiki was unable to rehabilitate Riri into a new home, it gave Riri the most important thing to her, her beloved puppy.
Dresssed in my pyjamas and ready for a lazy day, I received a text from Sue, to say that Jimmy was going to be put to sleep and that she was waiting for the vet to come. I immediately threw on some clothes and raced over to Remus Horse Sanctuary. As I entered the Sanctuary, hair un-brushed and very bedraggled, I tried to compose and ground myself.
Lying in the stable was Jimmy; a small Shetland pony who I had offered reiki to many times before and had followed his chequered love life. He was a small pony with a big heart and fell in love very quickly and un-conditionally. Unfortunately, many of his loves were not so impressed with him, yet he had such tenacity and would never give up in trying to find his true love. He was tiny, yet loved the big horses. Even though to see, rejection could be hard, as the girls often made it very clear to him, they just were not interested. He was 40 years of age and in the last few months his liver had started to break down. This was managed daily on palliative care, so he had a full life with his friends and loves. Only the week before, I had been offering reiki to him and he had seemed very down. There are over 70 horses at Remus and I work with the horses on the’ red’ list, those, who need the most intensive care. It can be hard at times, as I have to say so many goodbyes, after relationships have been built on respect and trust over long periods of time. I decided to lay on the wood shavings next to him, speaking very gently and lovingly. Horses are prey animals, wired with the ‘flight and fight’ response. A horse lying down would be very vulnerable in the wild to carnivores, so a natural response would be to get up and to run. If we understand animals at an evolutionary level, it makes it easier for us to understand how they ‘tick’. His eyes reflected this panic but he was unable to stand, so as I lay there and closed my eyes and offered reiki to him. I did not stand over him, we both just lay flat in the stable in a very quiet reiki space. I still felt a resistance to the reiki, so spoke gently to him about how handsome he was and how he would be able to meet friends who had passed and played him some classical music to help him relax. The vet was running late due to so many cases of colic, Sue and Vicky came into the stable and wrapped him in a pale green blanket. Vicky showed me how to support his head, as it would offer him more comfort. This was the turning point, as I knelt into him and let his head rest on my stomach, we stayed like this for about half an hour. I felt a deep breath of acceptance. Wrapped in the green blanket, he took in lots of reiki and I know prepared to cross over to the rainbow bridge. I kept myself grounded and did not show my sadness, as I did not want him to sense any sorrow. The vet arrived and more Remus staff, who had cared for him for most of his life, entered the stable. There was a real feeling of serenity and love. When Jimmy passed with dignity to the other side, I felt his soul leave his body and was shaken to the core by a massive wave of emotion.
I cried my many tears and have since reflected on that day. For me, reiki, is most powerful when offered to an animal who is being put to sleep. It offers a space of dignity and peacefulness and most of all LOVE. I feel it is important; to put aside your grief until the animal has passed, as they are so sensitive to our energy, especially our sadness.
If you want to be the best reiki animal practitioner you can be then come along to Remus Horse Sanctuary. They are a ‘Shelter Animal Reiki Association’ Sanctuary and will be hosting Kathleen Prasad’s first visit to the UK this September 19th -23rd. For more information, please contact http://www.animalreikisource.com/reiki-classes/international-courses
Shayne is a horse at Remus Horse Sanctuary and he happens to be the oldest horse in the world. He is 52 years of age and still looks amazing for his many years here on this earth. Shayne became a bit of a celebrity a few months ago, as all of the tabloid papers in the UK wanted to write about him, they descended on Remus in droves and happily photographed him as he trotted proudly around the field. This did put Remus on the map and was a huge sensation but unfortunately it did not mean more donations for the Sanctuary, instead more people phoning up to re-home their elderly horses.
Remus through diet, dental care, blacksmiths, veterinary and holistic care are able to care for many of their horses expertly, who are in their 30′s, 40′s and of course Shayne who is in his 50′s. They strive to give their animals the best possible environment to thrive in. Age is just a number and not a death sentence, each animal is looked after on their own merits and not tossed aside because they have become too expensive to keep.
I would like to say that Shayne was on my weekly reiki healing list and that I had been working with him for the last 4 years, unfortunately for me this was not the case as he has had such good health. For all of the time I have been at Remus he has not needed any Reiki. The first time, I offered reiki to Shayne he was in his stable, he was very dismissive and made it clear that he was not going to be part of this connection. At 52 this was his first experience of reiki and I can only suspect that he needed to check it out, have a think about it and to process it. The next time I offered him Reik, he was in a small field on his own. As I entered the field I could see that he was was very suspicious of me, seeing his uncertainty I stood at the edge and offered the Reiki into the field. I stood quietly and watched him move slowly towards me, he was still unsure but with more confidence he entered into the reiki space. I kept my head low and did not make eye contact with him as he found this threatening. He edged his way up to me and slowly moved his head into my hands. Gently and with much stillness I held his head as he drifted into the reiki zone. After a while he realised his vulnerability and quickly moved away to the end of the field. With each reiki session I have had with him he has become more trusting of me. He now watches me with much interest and picks up on the reiki connection straight away.
Shayne has seen many things during his long life and as far as we are aware has always had good owners. He is a lovely old boy, who still has his good looks. Reiki I feel has given him the space and time to totally relax and and let go. He definitely seems more chilled and I am sure he looks forward to our weekly reiki sessions. I always respect his wishes and give him his space, we acknowledge each other from a distance which I know he wants. I say “hi” and “bye” and in between this, is a shared love of reiki.
If you’ve been to a farm recently chances are you have encountered a fly. In my work with Joy, a young Morgan horse, I certainly did! I observed Joy in the pasture swishing her tail and stomping her hooves to shake them off. I saw myself: impatient with the fly, irritated by the never ending buzz in my ear, swatting at it, just trying to get a little peace. I could insert many different words for “fly”, of course.
Actually, I began thinking about the fly factor one day while sitting outside with Abe, a little terrier, new to Rutland County Humane Society. As I was holding the Reiki space for Abe I was being dive bombed by a fly. Abe didn’t seem to notice, but I was getting more and more irritated as the fly buzzed around my head. I found it difficult to concentrate and to refrain from swatting at the intruder.
Something I stress when teaching a class is the importance of focus. When we are focused, the energy flows freely and we are completely present for our client, be it person or animal. We become the energy and move with it. Irritation and constant movement (i.e. swatting) disturbs the session and creates a less than ideal situation. We are not honoring the animal when we are distracted.
When I was with Abe I began using the precepts to bring myself back into the space…
- Do not anger-the fly is simply being a fly.
- Do not worry-the fly won’t hurt you.
- Be humble-honoring all creatures includes the fly.
- Be compassionate to yourself and others-use this opportunity to deepen your focus, include the fly in the session and remember: the fly is just being a fly.
Approaching the situation with the precepts freed me to allow the fly into the space. Following that with Joshin Kokyu Ho breathing calmed me and removed my irritation. Abe was provided with a much better treatment.
Coming next: At One With The Mosquito.
Just kidding. That’s impossible.
I had been asked to reduce my work hours by one day each week and the following week I received a letter in the mail from my local RSPCA advising I had been accepted for volunteer work and could I start next week. The Universe was telling me something. My “real” work was just beginning, volunteering one day a week at the RSPCA.
My first day volunteering at the RSPCA was very busy cleaning cat and rabbit cages, offering Reiki as I went. And then Kim, the dog trainer/behaviourist person asked could I go and see the dog quarantine area to offer Reiki as there were some problem dogs. As I entered the dog quarantine, I wondered where should I start as there were so many needy animals, it was difficult to choose. So I stood in the middle, grounded myself and offered Reiki to all the dogs at the same time to see who would accept it. Within minutes, all dogs had stopped barking. The messages of “What have I done to be put here?” just flooded towards me. These poor animals were all carrying so much guilt thinking they had done something wrong to be put in prison. This is so common amongst shelter animals, even those that have been formerly mistreated.
Then there was Rusty, a four year old red healer cross who was just quivering from fright with his tail between his legs. He was extremely underweight and had a “Caution, Dangerous Dog – Do Not Enter” sign on his cage. Rusty, together with his house mate, Chloe, a three year old German Shepherd cross, had been rescued from an extremely abusive home where affection, respect and enough food were unknown. Rusty tried to look at me with his orange eyes but was too frightened. However, he did tell me he was misunderstood.
After finishing the Reiki treatment I went and saw Kim, who mentioned that Rusty was on the Put To Sleep list due to his behaviour problems. I told Kim that I received the message he was misunderstood, and as so often happens when you think a Reiki session has finished, Rusty was continuing to send me more information: he was a truly gentle dog but was very misunderstood and carried so much guilt as to why he was in prison. I conveyed this to Kim, stressing he was really gentle if given the chance and that I was not frightened of him at all. Rusty would not look at you directly, but put his head down and looked at you indirectly with his orange eyes. This was Rusty’s way of protecting himself from physical abuse.
Kim was amazed that I could “pick up” such information and agreed to give Rusty one more chance.
The next week I gave Rusty more Reiki and this time, he no longer had his Dangerous Dog sign on his cage. The RSPCA staff were amazed at the difference in Rusty as Reiki had never before been given to the shelter animals.
By my third week of volunteering, Rusty had graduated from Dog Quarantine to the normal, healthy dog section! Rusty was definitely NOT on the Put To Sleep list now! The difference in Rusty was a joy to behold. Rusty was running, barking and playing with the other dogs and had put on some weight. Rusty was up for adoption!
Unfortunately the weeks passed without anyone showing Rusty any interest in adopting him. He had grown into a beautiful, strong boy with very wide shoulders but he could look somewhat threatening to people who were not familiar with his breed. When I visited the shelter, Rusty would look at me with such a happy face and his happiness was payment enough for me, but he needed a permanent home.
Then one week Rusty was not there. I was devastated! What had happened to him? As I can only volunteer one day a week, I tried to find Kim, hoping she would know. When I asked where was Rusty, Kim had the biggest smile on her face. Rusty had been adopted! A lady who owned a mango farm in far away New South Wales, approximately 2,500km including two States and Bass Straight away (one of the roughest stretches of water in the world!) from Tasmania, Australia, had seen Rusty’s profile on the RSPCA adoption website and fallen in love with his eyes – those little, squinty, orange eyes!
She had travelled all that distance, but needed to know that Rusty was indeed the dog for her. This was a woman who needed to receive a sign that Rusty was her dog, that Rusty would choose HER, not that she chose Rusty. Apparently Rusty did choose her, he walked slowly up to this lovely woman, sniffed her, walked away again and came up to her three times before he placed himself against her legs for a cuddle. The woman was thrilled, Rusty was indeed HER dog. But, because she lived in another State of Australia and we could not physically do a property inspection, it was doubtful the adoption would go ahead. Thankfully Kim pleaded Rusty’s case and explained no other person had shown any interest in adopting Rusty and Rusty had obviously chosen this woman as his forever person, the adoption went ahead. Rusty is now running free on a mango farm in New South Wales, over 2,500km away from Hobart, Tasmania, being the true gentle dog I always knew he was.
There is also a happy ending for Rusty’s housemate, Chloe. My daughter, Tracey, and her paraplegic partner, Darren, adopted Chloe after a name change to Charli-Chloe, as my daughter has a cat called Chloe. The three of them took to one another straight away, and now Charli-Chloe, Tracey, Darren and Chloe the cat, are one very happy family. Even though Darren is in a wheelchair, not once has Charli-Chloe tried to escape from the car, as it can take Darren some time to arrange his wheelchair and get out of the car. Charli-Chloe even helps to open up the gate to let Darren in the yard. After an abusive life, Charli-Chloe knows she has a loving home and is no hurry to leave.
The RSPCA in Australia has a policy of only putting to sleep those animals that show extremely bad behavioural problems with no prospects of rehabilitation or if it is kinder to put the animal to sleep due to severe illness. Because Rusty was declared a dangerous dog and could not be rehabilitated, he was going to be placed on the Put To Sleep list. Reiki prevented this.
and RSPCA Volunteer
My favorite places at Rutland County Humane Society (RCHS) are the cat rooms. I truly enjoy watching the comings and goings, the different personalities, and the fights and love fests as boundaries are tested and friends are made. Offering Reiki in a room with many cats can be challenging with these distractions and it is important to maintain focus during a session.
Before cats get to the cat room at RCHS they are held in kennels in the intake room. Here they are kept from the general population as their health is checked out or they await spay/neuter appointments. The cats in this room are both surrenders and strays. Usually, there is a mix with a maximum of about 15 cats. Cats are in varying degrees of stress in this room; many times they are hiding in a box or behind a towel draped over the front of the cage.
As much as I enjoy the cat rooms with their freedom to move around, I love offering Reiki in the intake room! Often, these cats are very frightened and Reiki is very soothing for them. It is also soothing for me. I find that I can go to a deeper place in this room as I don’t have cats jumping on and off my lap or worse–a cat fight!
Recently, I sat in the intake room. All the kennels were full. One had a towel over the door and I couldn’t see inside. One kennel had a box which appeared to hold a cat. Several cats were meowing and moving around in agitation. One was pushing against the cage front creating a loud rattling noise.
I like to visit each cat individually to say hello if they aren’t shy. After doing that, I sat on the other side of the room and began breathing deeply. When I felt centered, I spoke quietly without looking directly at any of the cats. After letting them know what I was up to and telling them they didn’t have to participate, I began.
Almost immediately, the room began to settle down. I waited a bit and then checked in discreetly. Some cats had gone to the back of their kennel; some came up front and were staring at me; others were dozing. The sound of many cats purring has a sedative effect on me and I found myself going deeper into my meditation. After about twenty minutes I looked up. I could see two cats were behind the towel. They were peeking around the edge. I could see one eye and one ear on each! Next door, the cat from the box had come out and was eating!
Most likely, I will meet these cats again in the general population. Often, cats who received Reiki in intake come right over and jump in my lap in the cat room.