I had an amazing experience with a cat client recently, their person called me as the Vet had said that there was nothing else they could do for Tiggy other than to put him to sleep. The person did not feel he was ready for this and when she was sitting quietly with him she heard Tiggy say the word Reiki to her, she knew nothing about Reiki at this point but decided to look into it and found me through the internet.
When I first met Tiggy he did not move from his bed, his back and front legs kept going from under him and he was very quiet and his pupils were large the whole time. He was on pain relief but no one knew if this was helping or not. He allowed me feel how he was feeling during the Reiki and loved the Reiki space so much, purring and sleeping peaceful for the first time in ages.
His person told me that she felt Tiggy had Lymes Disease but that the Vets had ruled it out as it is very rare in cats and almost impossible to diagnose, I said to her to follow her intuition and trust herself. A week or so later she had heard the words Lymes Disease in the same way she heard Reiki. This was a process for her and part of her own personal journey and later as her confidence built she spoke up to the Vet and said she would like him to be treated for Lymes Disease.
Each time Tiggy was in the Reiki space he looked brighter and his person and I worked together on visualising him in perfect health and walking, playing and enjoying life. Tiggy had only been with the family a few months and the other cats had never really accepted him, he did not seem to conform to the normal kitty etiquette, after the second or third session I had a call from the person to say that Tiggy and Ozzy were cuddled up together and they spent an entire night like this, this was a huge change.
The next time I saw Tiggy he had received his medication for Lymes Disease and he was up and running about, his eyes were normal and he was the majestic Bengal cross I had always seen him as being.
One thing that I haven’t mentioned about Tiggy is that each time I visited I felt the most amazing warmth as if sunshine was beaming at me and the most wonderful feeling of love, I soon realised this was coming from Tiggy, who was showing us, his person and I, such love and compassion.
All the family’s rescue cats enjoyed the Reiki sessions and Mac one of the other kitties adored the Reiki so much he would nuzzle my hands and sit on my knee during the sessions, he had always pulled his fur out in the past but after the first Reiki session this stopped. I am now working with Mac as he is fearful of some of the other cats but I know that I am also there to bring Reiki to the whole family. Their person would also like to learn Reiki so I am looking forward to that in the New Year. I am truly thankful that I have been part of Tiggy’s Reiki journey an know that he has guided the process.
- Tina Read, SARA Teacher
As a Reiki practitioner I just never stop learning, as an Animal Reiki practitioner the animals never stop teaching me and as a Reiki Teacher this can only be a good thing!
I was reminded of this during my recent visit to The Tree of Life for Animals (TOLFA) in Rajasthan India. TOLFA is a shelter on the front line of animal welfare and some of the animals coming in are in a very poor physical condition and it is fair to say staff see a lot of extreme cases that we just don’t have experience of in the west. So for me it would be a test of my belief in Reiki, to work with the animals and teach Reiki to members of the shelter staff – while trying not to feel overwhelmed – so some gentle reminders about the fundamentals of Reiki from the animals, were most welcome.
The Tree of Life for Animals was founded by Rachel Wright in 2005. Rachel is a British vet nurse who is dedicated to animal welfare, she was awarded the CEVA Welfare Vet Nurse of the year in 2012 is highly regarded for her work in the community where she now lives in India. Rachel and I met in 2002 while studying Essential Oil Therapy for animals and both living in London. Rachel gave me my first experience of offering Reiki to animals by inviting me to the veterinary surgery where she worked and had recently set up a programme of complementary therapies for animals, with a lovely room dedicated to this purpose within the surgery.
TOLFA – The hospital sits in a beautiful valley in the Aravalli Mountain range, between Pushkar and Ajmer in rural Rajasthan. The hospital is surrounded by beautiful countryside, still green after the monsoon, perfect for dog walking. Pushkar is one of the oldest towns in India known for the famous Bahma Temple built in the 14th century, According to legend, the origin of Pushkar dates back to the time when lord Brahma was on his way in search of a tranquil land, lotus fell from the hands of the lord into this valley and a lake sprang up on this spot which was dedicated to him. The Brahma temple located here is a popular place of pilgrimage the area has a wonderful energy attracting many tourists and travellers visiting the holy lake and taking part yoga, meditation and ayurvedic health retreats. Pushkar is also famous for its Camel Fair which TOLFA attends every year to educate the public on animal welfare.
The majority of animals coming through Tolfa’s gates are street or community dogs. Life on the street is hard and when they become ill or injured their local caregiver will contact Tolfa or ambulance staff will pick up sick and injured animals on their rounds. After treatment the animal is always returned to it’s own neighbourhood, if possible.
Tolfa runs a volunteer programme welcoming anyone with animal experience and time, willing to give a bit TLC to the animals in their care. In fact, Rachel sees what she calls Nurturing Volunteers as an essential part of care and rehabilitation that animals receive not only veterinary treatment but also love and attention, so welcomes volunteers especially those with therapies such as Reiki.
So it was as a ‘Nurturing Volunteer’ that I spent 6 weeks there in 2010 putting into practice my skills as a holistic therapist including aromatherapy, massage zoopharmacognosy and Reiki. This year 2013 sees TOLFA become a SARA shelter and I was honoured to attune some wonderful practitioners to Animal Reiki.
My First Day
Accompanying Rachel on her morning tour I soon had a list of animals that she wanted me to do some work with: some had wounds that were taking a long time to heal – perfect candidates for essential oils and nutritional supplements. Many were undergoing treatment that would mean long-term care and, as well as the stress of being confined in a kennel, the veterinary treatment although essential can be a frightening encounter and painful for dogs. Some, suffering from Mange, had already been subjected to emotional trauma while other animals were ready to pass over – TOLFA never turns an away an animal in need and many spend their last days being cared for and loved in safety.
Rachel already had in mind that Reiki could be an important part of end of life care at the shelter and that was certainly to be the theme of this visit, something I needed to work through also, having had a very difficult experience with one of my own precious dogs a number of years ago. Funny how Reiki works, isn’t it!
Remember To Listen
A little black and white dog who had been in a road traffic accident and left with paralysis of her hind legs.
Many of the permanent residents are dogs with paralysis or amputees and I would ask anyone questioning the quality of life for these dogs to just spend some time watching them play and interact with the people and other dogs at the shelter. Of course there are some health issues connected with their conditions but veterinary care is on hand 24/7 and their health is carefully monitored. I watched one little dog speed across the compound on balancing her weight on her front legs to meet her friend, who also only had two good legs, the pure joy as they played was a pleasure to watch.
Back to the little black and white dog. She was very unhappy and although receiving the medical care she needed, didn’t seem to be improving and would warn people off when approached and avoided human contact at all costs. Rachel explained she had the same type of injury as some of the other shelter dogs who coped well and felt there was no physical reason for her to be so depressed. She lived in the puppy yard a secure walled space with sheltering tree where the puppies and younger dogs can move around freely.
As soon as I went into meditation and offered her Reiki she began to move towards me, over to where I sat on a concrete platform passing by my feet then settled directly in front of me a little way off where she made direct eye contact and accepted Reiki for a while (I took the photo when I felt she had enough) but then she came towards me again and tried to climb up on to the concrete platform – at this point one of the staff members reminded me not to touch this dog as she was ‘dangerous’, kind of breaking our connection!
I felt we had made progress so that evening back at the hotel I offered Reiki again distantly and felt an instant connection. I picked up a strong feeling of ‘regret’ and she showed me how her life had changed in an instant, and she just didn’t see the point without her legs. This was really hard to hear and I was determined to help her see that she was now in a safe place where she would be taken care of and loved. We continued with a very strong connection for some time.
Next morning I started my day in the office making up remedies and essential oil blends while Rachel and the veterinary staff made their rounds, then I thought I could go and spend some extra time with the little black and white dog. But it was not to be, she had passed away while I had been in the office, my first thought was why didn’t I go straight to her?, why couldn’t I help her?
Had I really listened to what she was saying I would have realised this was her choice, we have no influence on the outcome and by holding the Reiki space help them to pass in peace and move on if that is their choice. So we sat together in a Reiki space for a while.
Remember – No Expectations, Detach From The Outcome
H9 or Harry is a beautiful soul. He has mange and infected wounds when he was brought in to TOLFA. The mange dogs have suffered twofold, the condition itself is debilitating and leaves them open to secondary disease and complications and emotionally they can be very depressed. As a result of their appearance they are unwanted by the community and often chased away from their homes. It is a common sight to see people throwing stones at such unfortunates, they become pariahs.
Harry is a severe case possessing only a few tufts of hair on his head, the colour reminding me of Prince Harry’s hence his name, I’m sure he’ll be very handsome when it all grows back!
Harry was on my Reiki list and we soon became friends, he is a lovely gentle boy always ready with a wag of his tail. Towards the end of October the weather turned unexpectedly cold at night, earlier than usual, catching everyone off guard (normally shutters are drawn and blankets dispensed to help the more vulnerable dogs cope with the cold. Rajasthan is a desert state and temperatures can drop to minus 0 in the winter months. On checking Harry one morning found him cold to the touch, we moved him out in to the sun and he was given emergency fluids and treatment. He didn’t seem to be responding and other signs meant that things weren’t looking so good for him, my heart sank as I prepared myself for the worst. As I sat with him I felt drawn to chant the mantra for the master symbol, the power of the vibration merging with the sounds of the dogs around us, I would be with him holding the Reiki space while he passed – Harry had other ideas, imagine my delight when he sat up looked up into my face and wagged his tail! Reiki can provide that spark that a soul needs to heal when they are just not ready to go – it is their choice we just consciously bring the energy within their reach.
He continues to improve and before I left found a lovely thick fleecy blanket in the market for his bed. He is still receiving Reiki and his Spirulina milk shakes, which from the photo you can tell he loves.
UPDATE FROM RACHEL AT TOLFA: “Today was funny…I was doing Reiki with another little mange guy in H7 but kneeling in the gallery and your man, promptly got out of his bed (which he hardly ever wants to leave) and pressed himself against the kennel gate trying to get in on the action…he was lapping it up!!”
Remember To See With Your Heart
Mouse my Little Reiki Helper!
I would feel a constant presence at my side while working – even when I was sure I had closed gates – I would turn and this little dog would be standing at my leg. I gave up trying to contain him, he could squeeze through any hole, gap, drain and he was just there – while I walked the other dogs, gave treatments, and offered Reiki. Mouse was a new addition the group of Shelter dogs who live permanently at Tolfa and Rachel explained he had come in as a suspected rabies case and had been rescued from a not so nice area of a nearby town, with an unusual canine tooth/jaw arrangement going on, he looks as though he is about to bite and this had led to him being neglected and abused.
I started to look forward to his quiet calm deep thinking presence during my day, I’m sure he was joining in with my Reiki sessions. So with a little patience and the kindness shown to him by people who could see beyond his appearance, he is settling in well at Tolfa.
UPDATE FROM JEMMA AT TOLFA: “I came in the other morning and was trying to work out who he lively, happy little dog was instigating play with Ginger and Honey… really, it took me a while to realise it was Mouse! He was jumping and leaping about without a care in the world!”
Our class was held in a lovely room in the education centre overlooking part of the shelter compound on one side and fields on the other, a beautiful healing space. We were joined in the morning by seven orphans – five newborn puppies whose mother had just been brought in to Tolfa, but had passed away while giving birth during the night, another poorly 2 week old puppy and a feisty newborn kitten.
By the end of our day all of the puppies had passed away to join their mum, a big lesson for any practitioner is that healing doesn’t always mean the restoration of physical health and can be purely spiritual, and I am so proud of my students, although sad, we all recognised what had taken place, we had helped them on their journey in peace and with love. The kitten continues to thrive.
This reminds me of another essential part of our practice, self healing, the work we do is so emotional and can be draining, we really need to include ourselves in the healing process so that we can continue to give our best. Please read Kathleen’s brilliant workshop/article on Self-Healing for Animal Caregivers.
I thank all of the wonderful people doing this difficult but rewarding job at TOLFA and all of the animals I met they made my visit very special.
Now that TOLFA is a SARA Shelter all animals passing through its gates will be offered Reiki and will be available to support the staff and caregivers.
Left to Right: Jemma Sadler, Cristal, Maria Jose Sanchez, Rachel Wright.
Written by: SARA Teacher Alison McKinnon
I have always been a huge animal lover. I had many unusual pets such as skunks and a pot belly pig. For over 20 years I had Great Danes and Maltese and showed them in confirmation dog shows. I also owned a pet grooming salon. My eyes for beautiful animals fell in the wrong direction. I was focusing my attention on the outside. One day I was jolted to awaken when a vet tech told me that a particular Maltese I was showing, who was staying with my professional dog handler, was “not happy” and she warned me to get her home as soon as possible. At that time, I was so wrapped up in all the reasons why I loved dog shows and failed to see that this little dog did not. Fortunately, she finished her Championship that very same weekend. I took her home, cut off all of her beautiful, long luxurious coat and made an appointment to have her spade. I wanted no chances to have a change of heart and breed her for more puppies. I never sold a puppy. I kept each and every one of them and showed only the best. My friends in the business thought that I had lost my mind. I did not lose anything. I found at that moment in time so much more…my true love of animals. It is not about me at all. It came to me at that moment that the animals are so giving of themselves that they would do anything for us. Go to shows that are loud and scary, have strangers place their hands on them while they stood perfectly still, be dressed in silly clothes like dolls and yes, they are so loyal they would die for us.
So, in my search I started to find something to do for them. To give back the love to these devoted beings. In January of 2010, I began my journey into Reiki. Reiki is a Japanese technique that results in deep relaxation so the body can heal on a cellular level. A technique designed for people. After completing my studies, I started practicing on myself, friends, family and eventually clients. It came to me: This was how I could give back to my precious animals, through Reiki. I started giving Reiki to my beautiful cat, Veronica when she became ill and I was giving Reiki to her as she made her transcendence. I experienced this wonderful connection to her and it was extremely peaceful. It assisted her along with me with her transcendence. I started offering Reiki to my other pets as well. They sat on my lap and seemed to enjoy the process. I wanted to find out more about offering Reiki to animals. After all, they were not willing to lay on the massage table for one hour. After many books and videos, I came across an organization called SARA (Shelter Animal Reiki Association). Wow! Offering this wonderful Reiki to shelter animals, what great way to give back. I started taking courses with two very accomplished ladies Kathleen Prasad and Leah D’Ambrosio from SARA. I can say no less than working with the animals has been a profound experience. I have now studied the traditional Japanese method of Reiki and have been certified in these techniques.
I am also a member and teacher with this organization. My highest honor was to work with two very special clients a Siberian Tiger named Balh-Shoy and a Bengal Tiger named Tigger. I went to the CARE Foundation to give them something but truly it was I who received the gifts. To have a connection with these beautiful beings in such a deep manner is something I will never forget. I will always hold these “teachers” in high regard as true Masters. People call themselves “masters” without doing the work. They take a few classes and certify themselves as a master. It takes a tremendous amount of work, love and dedication to be a master. I myself am a work in progress.
This connection is available to all of us if we take the time to be still and listen with our hearts. You, also, can give this gift of love to your animals. Schedule a session for your animal friend or better yet learn these wonderful, life changing techniques so you can share this special connection with your beloved pet.
By Michele Santom
Michele Santom is a SARA Animal Reiki Teacher and owner of her own yoga studio based in Delray Beach, Florida.
Note: If you would like to learn more about Animal Reiki, please visit our website www.shelteranimalreikiassociation.org. Kathleen Prasad will be teaching the Animal Reiki Teacher Training Course at the CARE Foundation in February 2014. You can learn more about this class at http://animalreikisource.com/reiki-classes/reiki-iii-care. To find out more about the CARE Foundation, please visit www.thecarefoundation.org.
Can or should animals receive reiju, the spiritual blessing ritual? Let me recount what happened recently and then you decide.
Charlie, a handsome white cat with bright jade eyes, came into my family’s life last summer. His owner, an aged German lady named Millicent, refused to be taken to the hospital by the town ambulance service unless she was given assurance that her cat would be taken care of. The managers of the service, Lisa and Jerry, both animal lovers, agreed to take care of the kitty and went to the house to feed him daily. But neither of them could take another animal into their homes. Looking for a solution, Lisa turned to my partner Carol, a part-time medic, for ideas. The upshot was that Carol and I agreed to foster the cat and adopt him if Millicent didn’t return home.. We dubbed him Charlie, got him a collar and tag, and welcomed him into our home. He immediately took over and proved to be a people lover, if not a lover of our other cats. Several weeks later, Charlie had a forever home with us.
The little guy wanted to be a part of our daily routine, inquisitively following us about and climbing up on everything. Part of my routine as a Reiki and Animal Reiki teacher is to practice Reiju regularly, usually to an empty dining room chair. Usually I imagine someone sitting there. That is, a human sitting there. While I regularly offer Reiki to my critters, I hadn’t given any thought to whether animals could or should receive Reiju. One morning as I faced an empty chair and began the ritual, Charlie jumped up and sat there attentively. It seemed to me that he wanted whatever I was offering. So I went ahead and completed the ritual.
While I think the ritual itself is for us and that animals don’t regard that aspect quite the way we do, I believe they can benefit from receiving such a blessing, just as they can benefit from a Reiki treatment. Charlie seemed to enjoy it. Possibly he passed the word to the other cats, because soon afterwards Becky my supersized tiger jumped up on the chair as I prepared to offer Reiju.
Have any of your readers offered Reiju to a pet or thought of doing so? I’d like to hear the experiences and opinions of others.
Shelter Animal Reiki Association Teacher
For several days Cinnamon, a semi-feral cat, had a high-shrieking hacking cough like he had a stubborn hairball wanting to come out; yet at the same time he was rapidly losing weight, becoming lethargic, and drinking lots of water. After several days, I finally asked his persons if I may offer Animal Reiki to him. They replied, “Please do!”
With Cinnamon’s permission, I offered him Reiki from a short distance while he lay on the grass. He continued to cough throughout the entire fifteen minute session. The following day his person commented that he seemed to be doing better. Cinnamon asked for hands-on Reiki this time. His coughing was only intermittent throughout the fifteen minute session. He shared with me that his stomach was feeling poisoned as well as he was being poisoned. I silently acknowledged his statement. While offering Reiki for him, I noticed a strong pull of energy from my back to the Diamond T truck behind me.
When Cinnamon was finished, I went to investigate to see why. Cinnamon’s feral sister, Sassy, was sitting upright behind the front left tire with a stream of fresh blood coming out of her left nostril. YIKES! She shared that she was being poisoned too!
It was also apparent that she had lost her unborn kittens. I thanked her and ran inside to Google my findings: cats and bloody nose and poison. Every link came up with “rat poison” and “take to a vet immediately” as well as a listing all of the symptoms that I have observed from the two. With this information, I told the persons that it is highly recommended to take them to the vet right away.
As I was speaking, I noticed that both cats were lying together in the grass. I sat down a few feet from them to offer Reiki again. I could get a sense that their bodies were literally merging with Mother Earth’s energy to become one. I also felt a tremendous sense of grounding energy for myself as I sat in the Reiki space with them. It was a very humbling and powerful sensation.
The following day, Sassy was walking around, clearly feeling better. Her eyes were bright as well as her walking gait was stronger. What was even more amazing, she wanted me to sit less than a foot away to offer more Reiki while she merged with Mother Earth’s energy within minutes of us starting. Cinnamon came over with his eyes shining and head held up high and sat down to join us. He only coughed twice during this fifteen minute session.
A couple days later, Cinnamon wanted to sit on my lap for direct hands-on Reiki around his throat. Again, the session only lasted fifteen minutes. Each time I offered them Reiki, I let them lead in how long they want the session.
I’m happy to report that both cats are doing well. They have gained their weight back and Cinnamon’s cough has completely disappeared. Sassy has returned to her happy feral self. No one can get nearer than two feet from her. Cinnamon can be picked up and be held for a few minutes; yet his new favorite thing is to lay by your feet. They continue to pass time lying on the grass together which brings a smile to me knowing how close to death they were; yet here they are…loving their time together.
Animal Reiki Teacher
Animal Reiki Divine, LLC
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
My relationship to Bootsie has also been especially close ever since we first made eye contact while I was mall walking almost fourteen years ago. There she was in the pet shop window, an adorable 8-week-old tuxedo kitten, playing with half a dozen or so other kittens. When I stopped to look at the kittens, she stopped playing to gaze at me and I gazed back. We bonded in that moment, like Super Glue.
Bootsie enjoys snuggling up next to my head at night and curling up on my lap during the day. When I need to be away home for several days, she develops separation anxiety. She is very much a one-person cat, although she been developing more trust in my Partner.
So when Bootsie suddenly became quite ill a week ago and had to be admitted to the animal hospital with a fever of unknown origin, I was upset and realized how frightening this experience must be for her. I regularly offer Reiki to my cats, dogs, and chicken flock. Now I turned to Reiki to complement her medical treatment. I didn’t know how it would help, only trusted that it would. At first.
When the fever broke the second day, her recovery looked promising. But Bootsie continued to refuse to eat or drink, even when I tried bringing her home for the weekend. She became dehydrated and lethargic, leading to emergency readmission Monday morning. Now my trust in Reiki was put to the test. I was becoming the proverbial basket case, worried sick about Bootsie.
Just as the team of veterinarians was doing a “differential diagnosis” to rule out some conditions and consider others, I realized I needed to take a look at my Reiki practice, how I was making myself sick and what I could do about it.
First, I realized that I had my own agenda: Reiki SHOULD cure her illness and according to my time table. I wasn’t trusting the intelligence of Reiki to work where it was most needed. Second, my worry was incapacitating me and wasn’t helping Bootsie. How wise Usui Mikao was to make “Do not worry” one of the Reiki precepts, and I saw and felt the fear that was at the root of my worry. Fear that I would lose Bootsie. In fact, I was acting as if I had already lost her, a superb example of how fear is an illusion.
With these insights, I was able to let go of my baggage and offer more effective Reiki. The veterinarians and staff at the animal hospital have been receptive to letting me visit Bootsie in a treatment room during the office lunch hour, offer her Reiki, feed her by hand, and reassure her with my presence.
Gradually Bootsie is showing progress. Today they are going to try her on a small insulin because of elevated blood sugar. This morning I did a distance treatment. This afternoon I’ll visit, offer Reiki, feed and love her.
My lovely little tuxedo cat may be home in a couple days. Meanwhile, I trust she is getting excellent medical care. And I trust Reiki as a beneficial complementary treatment that works in often mysterious ways. Thank you, Bootsie, for being such an excellent Reiki teacher. I have learned some valuable lessons in becoming a better Reiki practitioner.
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.
There are two cat rooms at Rutland County Humane Society where I volunteer every week. Each room has ten or more cats in it. They have all kinds of climbing places and hiding spots and a window to a nice little screened in porch. When I go into the cat room, I take a seat and announce to all the little lovelies that it is Reiki time and that they are welcome to receive as much or as little as they want. I then set the intention that the session is for the highest good of all of us and that whoever needs Reiki gets what they need. I breathe deeply into my hara and imagine the energy expanding out into every corner of the room.
Daisy was a funny little tortoiseshell kitty. When she arrived at RCHS she was missing fur from her lower body due to a severe flea infestation. It was unclear whether Daisy’s fur would grow back.
Every time I sat in the one of the cat rooms offering Reiki, Daisy would come over. She would just hover around my feet, looking up at me. After three sessions like this she got in my lap. While I gave her Reiki she rolled over so her bare back was in my hands. When she was done with her session she would give me a little nip on my hand. The next two times I came to the room Daisy was waiting for me. She got in my lap immediately and settled in for Reiki. I noticed her fur was coming back.
On subsequent visits she would come by, but she stopped getting in my lap. I continued to see a change in her fur. It was interesting that she seemed to be done with her hands-on treatments, although she continued to get better. Daisy took complete charge of her treatment! Not long after, she found her forever home.
I have seen the effects of Reiki on my own cat, Murphy, and his excessive grooming. When we met him, stress had caused him to lick and chew the fur off his lower belly and the inside of his back legs. We hoped he would stop now that he was in his forever home. He did stop licking his legs, but his lower belly stayed bare and sometimes had red spots on it.
About four years after we adopted Murphy I learned Reiki. He took an interest in it right away, always coming in the room when I was practicing. When I started working with him directly his fur eventually started to fill back in a little at a time. After some time, he was down to a little patch on his lower belly. Now, his belly and legs are completely covered with fur and have been for a couple of years. I believe Reiki relieved Murphy of the stress that was causing his excessive grooming behavior.