Rowena and the Beauty-Full Ex Battery Hens by Tina Read

Chooks In April 2011 we went to Little Hen Rescue to collect our first beautiful ex battery hens. The girls were a joy from the moment they arrived and so trusting, they relished their new life and freedom, including scratching around in the grass, sunning themselves, dust bathing and doing aeroplanes up the paddock at great speed. During the first few group Reiki sessions the girls let go of old grief and emotion, I always felt very humbled as they allowed me to experience them letting go of the past and the tears of release flowed freely. This is something I later realised many ex battery hens do when they first step into the Reiki space and then they move forward.

As our time together progressed the girls and I shared so much joy, being outside in the fresh air, connecting in the Reiki space and enjoying many cuddles. They would greet each day with such enthusiasm, relishing each experience and would make us laugh each day.

The girls were the prompt for me to become vegetarian, something I feel so much gratitude for, they truly opened my eyes. Hubby and I also volunteered at Little Hen Rescue, helping to unload the girls when they first arrive and taste freedom and on the rehoming days when they meet their new families.

After only three months Gilly crossed the Rainbow Bridge, during the night I had woken to see a vision of Gilly, it was so clear but I fell straight back to sleep. I am sure this was her way of saying goodbye and of lessening the shock for me, an expression of love and compassion. I had not expected her time to be so short and I felt so many emotions. A few months after this Hope followed her sister but this time I was blessed to be in the Reiki space with her when she made her journey and it was very peaceful. We said our goodbyes to the girls at different times and Reiki was always such a blessing.

When our last two hens, Rowena and Vanessa, who had enjoyed over two years of freedom started to become weaker with sniffles and Vanessa with a swollen abdomen, I took them to the Vet who diagnosed Vanessa with a tumour in her reproductive system and didn’t give her much longer. Vanessa had always enjoyed coming into the kitchen for treats, sang loudly and chased the cats for amusement, she and Rowena had always been strong and joyful girls and best buddies. I started to visualise Vanessa in perfect health and imagined the tumour shrinking to the size of a pea and being easily passed from her body. I expanded this vision with Reiki and after a few weeks that’s exactly what happened. Vanessa and Rowena enjoyed life in the house and garden with plenty of extra tlc, they always seemed to know when the Reiki chants were playing or when I was opening the Reiki space for our whole animal family as they would appear chirping away and settle down to enjoy the energy, the first few times it would make laugh when I heard them scuttling along the corridor chatting away. They were slowly gaining strength and one Sunday they decided to follow hubby on his lawnmower tractor doing aeroplanes much to our amusement, what a joy to see them enjoying themselves so much.

009A day later Vanessa was very quiet but she still went into the garden and she and Row pottered around pecking at the grass. I spent a few hours that evening sharing the Reiki space with her as it just felt right, afterwards I felt so much peace and love from her. The next morning this beautiful and special girl had made her journey across the bridge. I felt sadness for myself and Row but somehow I knew that everything had worked out as it was meant to. She had healed herself from the tumour with Reiki, completed exactly what she needed to in this lifetime and it was time for her to move on.

Rowena had many more happy weeks and then started spending more time in the house by her own choice, the weather was getting colder and being a house chicken suited her better, she liked to sit with the cats and dogs and enjoyed lying by the radiator. She enjoyed meditation time and listening to the Reiki chants as she always had. One of my little adopted Polish chickens was going through a moult and was showing signs of the sniffles and I brought her inside and she and Row became great friends.

BestiesWhen I returned home after a couple of days away and only a day after she had been out in the garden enjoying the winter sun, Row was unable to stand up, I had seen this happen before with the girls and I thought I knew where this was leading. I made her as comfortable as I could and whenever I had a free moment we would share Reiki. I tried to stay positive but sometimes the tears would come. When this happened Row would peer at me through half closed eyes and remind me that it was time for some self healing.

Row’s legs were becoming painful so I spoke to the Vet and gave her some pain relief, she would send me the feeling and so I clearly knew what she wanted. I would hand feed her including late night and make her as comfortable as possible. There were times of such peace when we were in the Reiki space and I began to truly know that everything was working out as it was meant to. I knew had one chance to fill Row’s days with peace and share this precious time with my friend. One night she was so weak, her breathe so shallow I felt sure she was ready to cross over but she had other plans and day by day she gradually seemed to be getting stronger.

At this time I started to visualise her standing up. Every few days I would carry her outside so she could breathe the fresh air, see her other chicken friends. She was happy to be cradled in my arms enjoying the peace and time together. It was the morning after one of these outside visits and when I had truly accepted this was Row’s journey and I was privileged to be part of it that she surprised me yet again, she stood up for the first time in three weeks and I have to say was looking rather pleased with herself. That day she started eating her normal food and a couple of days later came off the pain relief. She is now walking a few steps and regularly spends time in the garden with Ginger, she has me well trained and still likes to be hand fed and spoilt with the finest blueberries.

The truth of the matter is that Rowena chose to stay, this quiet and gentle hen summoned all her strength and focused on getting better, she opened herself up fully to healing in the Reiki space and we are now sharing more happy days together. Finally, I understand what it is to live in the moment and I truly feel in every cell in my body that each day a precious gift and I am so blessed to have this amazing hen in my life. I trust we will be together for as long as we need to be and then we will continue to be together, it will just be different and that is perfect too.

This precious experience that I shared with Rowena and continue to share encompasses all the Reiki Precepts for me; do not anger, do not worry, be humble, be honest in your work and be compassionate to yourself and others.

- Tina Read, SARA Teacher

Reiki Helps Tropical Fish Adapt to Their New Environment by Ann Noyce

Squigglys with BuddhaWe recently added a fish tank and tropical fish to our household. If you think about it, changing the environment for fish is really no different than introducing a new dog or a cat into the household. Just like dogs and cats, it can take fish some time to adapt to their new environment.  Their world is disrupted; the water is different, the lighting may be different, their food may be different, and there are different fish that they are now living with.  They will go through a period of adjustment as they settle in to their new home, and each fish will respond differently.

Our fish seemed to adapt fairly quickly; but one, a bottom-feeding albino corydora, was very stressed and did not adapt as easily as the others.  “Squiggly”, as we affectionately call her, would swim (the cory swim looks like a wiggle) erratically around the edge of the tank; around and around and around, day after day.  We also noticed that she didn’t seem to be eating like the others.  After about a week, the erratic swimming stopped; she just rested on the bottom (corys also rest on the bottom) and didn’t swim much at all.  Something just didn’t seem right with little Squiggly.

One evening, I decided to offer Reiki to Squiggly, actually to all of the fish in the tank.  Two of the fish came forward right away and stayed right in front of me for the entire treatment.  Others continued swimming around the tank, taking turns coming forward to connect with me.  They would stop right in front of me and look intently at me for a couple of minutes.  Similar to other animals, the fish were truly open to the energy.

Squiggly with Pagoda

Squiggly was resting quietly on the bottom toward the back of the tank for most of the treatment.  As I was about to finish the treatment, Squigglybegan swimming around the tank; she was now swimming steadily and interacting with the other fish; this continued for the rest of the evening.  And, the next morning Squiggly ate along with the other fish; she was right in there with the other bottom feeding fish making sure she got her share of the food!  After a scare the next day when we could not find her in the tank, Squiggly continues to swim normally and eat regularly; she has adapted to her new home.

Tropical fish are really no different than other animals in their openness to receiving Reiki.  Reiki helped Squiggly overcome the stress of being in a new environment.  Just as Reiki can help reduce stress in the fish tank, Reiki also can help dogs, cats and other animals cope with any type of stress they may experience, including adapting to a new home or situation.

-Ann Noyce, SARA Teacher

Tiggy and Lymes Disease by Tina Read

Tiggy catI 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.

Tiggy and Ozzy CuddlingEach 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

Monk: R.I.P.: Love, Reiki, and Letting Go

Last Friday, I said goodbye to my dear Reiki kitty friend, Monk.

I shared many Reiki sessions with Monk since early July, as he had Chronic Renal Failure.  I had worked with him prior to this diagnosis as well.  He always enjoyed Reiki, and anticipated it more and more as he got to know me.  When he saw me, he would go jump on the bed to get ready to settle in for his session, often sitting on his person Suzanne’s lap for the session.

Late May, Suzanne had called me to cat sit for Monk and his cat girlfriend Jade, and when I saw Monk, I felt so strongly that I wanted to help.  I could see that due to the kidney disease, Monk’s appetite and life force were rapidly diminishing.  I had such a strong sense that Reiki would be of help to him, not to mention that I already had a very strong bond with Monk.  So I began to do Reiki sessions with him very often – every day at times, but at least three to four times a week.

I felt the sessions needed to be often, to continually reinforce the balance, peacefulness and sense of well-being that Reiki can bring.

We quickly saw his appetite improve from nearly zero to nearly normal, he began clearly enjoying his food again, and his energy level and general vitality improved a lot as well.  I always offer Reiki energy for the highest good, but one can never know exactly how that will play itself out.

I was so happy to see him feeling better for what seemed to be extra time, time which we had not anticipated him having, time which I know that we all cherished him having, especially his beloved owner Suzanne.  It was such a delight to see the light back in his eyes, to see him prance along with a spring in his step, to see him comfortable and to see him with an appetite.

Monk adored his owner Suzanne, and I felt him wanting to hang on to life as long as he could. And I am glad that until last week sometime, he really was hanging in there strongly, as strongly as he could, Even though his body was frail, I felt such a strength of spirit, of love, of determination.
I treasured the sessions I spent with him.  I will never forget them.  The lovely summer days with him on my lap as I sat on the terrace with the breeze blowing, and later with him curled up on my lapas we sat on the couch.  I knew that I was walking with him on the last part of his road in this life, and it was an honor to be able to spend this time with this very special creature, to feel the very deep connection that happens with Reiki energy with him, to share the light with him.  He had such a pure heart, such pure sweetness about him.  Most often, it felt like my heart was merging with his heart, that our breathing became as one creature, that we were together in the emanating light.  And this emanating light felt like emanating, healing love, like the most pure, beautiful feeling of love that one could have for another creature.

After we began doing more of the sessions inside, sometimes Jade would curl up right next to Monk, and they would take in the energy together.

Last Wednesday, when I arrived, I felt from Monk such a strong feeling.  It was a lovely day with the sun streaming in through the window, a fall day that gives you that rather melancholy feeling of the summer ending and fall beginning.

It was as if he were laying outside in the sun, temperature just warm and so perfect that he didn’t want to move.  That he knew he would have to go soon, but he wanted to stay a little longer, a little longer.  A little longer to feel this beautiful time on earth.  That he knew his time to go was soon, but he wasn’t just quite ready, that he so wanted to enjoy it a while longer.  To feel the connection with the earth, with me in the moment as my hands emanated warmth and energy, with his kitty friend Jade nearby, and most of all with his person Suzanne, who, though she was not present in body during the session, she was and is always with him.

I felt so sad knowing that his time was near, that our time together on the earthly plane would not be much longer.

When I left, I made sure he was comfortable, curled up on this lovely shaggy pillow, as though it were a soft form of grass that was all around him.

Thursday he settled into my lap, and it took him a while to get comfortable but then he got so comfortable there, connected with the flow of the energy.  After the session ended, I very gently placed him in one of his cozy places.

Friday I arrived at Suzanne’s place a couple of hours before the vet and his assistant were to come.  As sad as this was, this was a special and powerful time of connection with both Monk and Suzanne.  She held him gently on her lap for most of the time, while I kept the Reiki energy flowing.  I felt him become more at ease as we sat there.  So much love and light surrounded him.

I kept imagining him resting in a field of grass, and then running in a field of grass, with sunlight around him.

A very unexpected thing happened then.  The first four or five lines of the 23rd psalm came to me, in bits and pieces.  I think it was because I was see the green pastures, then the still waters, then “he restoreth my soul”.  I grew up Episcopalian, but do not really follow any particular organized religion – I am a spiritual person and keep myself open to whatever rings true to me.  But at this moment, the bits and pieces of these lines and the images especially, the feeling of being out in the grass with Monk, the feeling of the soul being restored, it all felt very healing.  I let the images and lines flow through my mind, which eventually led to the image of light all around the three of us, a calm, healing, heavenly light.  We had very quiet music playing, and the door was open to the terrace, with fresh air coming in.

At the end, he was surrounded by such loving energy, it felt like the most gentle, peaceful exit that he could have.  Much gratitude to the kind and respectful vet and his assistant who were present and helped make this transition so gentle.  And the utmost gratitude to Suzanne, for taking Monk in as a kitten and for giving him such love and care for his whole life.  Much, much love to Monk, to Suzanne, and to Jade.  And all my sympathy.  It is such an honor to know you all and to have been a part of your lives.

There is something that I often say to an animal when I am working with him or her, and I usually say it silently.  This is something I said often to Monk (and still say in my mind), “I love you so much, and I always will.”  With those words I feel that the feeling travels over time and space, a love that exists eternally.  Animals help remind us of the feeling of that love with no boundaries, that we can be connected forever no matter whether on the earthly plane or not.

xoxoxo with love and gratitude to Monk, Suzanne, and Jade

By:  Sarah Hauser, SARA Practitioner

Worry, Reiki and Animal’s Perspectives

“Just for today, I will not worry.” The second Reiki Precept. Like the first Precept about anger, this one encourages us to be fully present as a clear conduit for the flow of healing Reiki energy.

What is worry but another name for fear? Do we ever worry that things will turn out the way we want them to? No, just that they won’t.

We worry when we feel we’ve lost control, when we fear the unknown, and in situations when we face a decision or difficulty and don’t know how it’s going to turn out. We’re anticipating that something unfortunate will happen in the future. Worry creates anxiety, that eating-away at your insides sick feeling.

Paradoxically, when we worry, we’re actually pulling energy away from our desired outcome and feeding it toward what we’re afraid will happen. Working against ourselves.

The Buddhist proverb on worry is, “If the problem can be solved, why worry? If the problem cannot be solved, worrying will do you no good.” [Śāntideva]

It’s easy and frustrating to tell ourselves or someone else, “Don’t worry.” Or in musician Bobby McFerrin’s words, “Don’t worry, be happy.” Yeah, right. Telling ourselves to not worry only adds to the stress of worry—now we worry about worrying.

I asked the animals for more specific guidance, and sensed splash, bubbles, sparkles of sunlight through water, movement. Otter popped up and said, “Why worry? It’s all a game. Be flexible. Find joy in each moment, even when the unexpected happens. When you worry, you get stiff and solid. That blocks the flow. Worry can make you sick inside, and that’s no fun.


“Be in gratitude for the abundance that surrounds us. I trust that there will be enough fish for me and my family. If I worry, it drives the fish away and we are hungry. That’s no fun, either. Life is a gift, and everything in it. Just relax and enjoy it.


“Have courage, be strong, set and follow your intentions. Watch as I turn and swim through the water. I waste no energy. When I am hunting, I am focused, and I eat. Be sleek like me. Point all your energy in the direction you want to go. It’s more fun that way.”

Splash! Ripples of water spread out where a moment ago Otter had been.

Next, Rabbit hopped into my meditation: “Ah, fear,” Rabbit said. “We tremble. We’re gentle and are prey. Our whiskers twitch, sensing, always alert. Walk towards what you fear. Face it. What you fear will not go away. It will linger outside your burrow while you tremble, waiting for you to emerge so it can pounce on you. Ask yourself, what is it you fear? The great unknowing? It is so human, to want to know everything. You can only prepare as best you can, stay alert, watchful, and be ready to run if you need to—lest you become Fear’s dinner.”


Confronting fear and worry brought Boar to mind. I heard him snort, “What!”

“Would you share your thoughts about worry with me?”

Worry? Confront it head on, do your groundwork, focus, and then go forward.” Boar continued, “To worry is to scatter your energy. Prepare, commit, put your head down and move toward your goal. You can’t control what is beyond your reach, but you can prepare for it. Prepare for the unexpected. Focus. Set intention. When you worry, you send mixed signals. You feed energy to what you fear. I didn’t get to be this big by scattering my energy all over the field. I know what I want and I go for it. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. So be it.” Snort. A hoof stomps. Boar’s head wags from side to side.

Rabbit, Otter, and Boar give good guidance: Otter reminds us that when we’re worrying, it’s time to take a break, have some fun, and then focus. Rabbit reminds us to confront our fear, for it won’t go away. Boar reminds us to set our intention and direct all our energy toward it. All say that when we worry, we divert our energy away from our goal and toward what we fear. Worry is a distraction.

We invite worry when our head/mind speaks more strongly than our heart, when we have doubt about the outcome. Prepare as best you can, and then move forward. When we make a mistake, worrying (fretting, stewing) will not fix it. We can only acknowledge and own it, apologize or make amends, and move forward. When worry creeps in anyway, breathe. Let yourself ground deep into the earth. Invite the earth’s energy to flow through with each breath you take, and open your heart. The worry will dissipate. Call on the animals. They are always willing to help.

Just for today, I will not worry.

By:  Rev. Nancy Schluntz

Rev. Nancy Schluntz is a SARA practitioner member and animal communicator. As an Animal Chaplain, she offers pet loss bereavement counseling and facilitates a support group. She offers for Reiki for animals (and their people) who are approaching the end of life and as part of her intuitive communication readings. Nancy also offers Reiki to animals at the wildlife rehabilitation center where she volunteers.

A lesson in seeing from the heart!

DaveyKathleen has just been to Remus teaching Animal Reiki, whilst there she gave an amazing talk to the public.  She asked the truly powerful question ‘What is Reiki’? As I listened intently to the answer  she said that Reiki was ‘Compassion and Wisdom!’ The response was contemplated as to what it meant to us collectively and individually.  What could be more powerful than compassion? How easy is it to be compassionate? What does compassion mean to me? It sounded very simple but on a deeper level there are many layers to finding true compassion, which I was later going to find out.

I attended Kathleen’s Animal Reiki teaching workshop, where I found Kathleen’s teaching profoundly moving. We were able to offer many animal treatments to the Remus animals intermingled with many Reiki lessons. On the second day we were urgently called to work with Davey; a donkey that had recently had major surgery and was now showing signs of being ill. The vet was on the way, so we all stood and offered Reiki, he was off his food and paced the stable as we all stood outside. After a while he calmed and had a wee and a poo, which was very positive. As we carried on offering Reiki Davey started to back up to us with his bottom, then he moved forward and lifted his left hind hoof to show us where the pain was. It was so amazing that he was able to show us his discomfort and we were able to share in this experience.

As we finished offering Reiki, I began to talk about Davey and the operation he had just had. Almost instantly Davey became agitated and unsettled. At this point Kathleen said that we were there to hold the Reiki space for him with ‘no judgement and that we needed to see Davey with our hearts and not with our eyes. It was a huge light bulb moment for me and I immediately felt sadness and embarrassment that I had been looking at Davey with sympathy and talking about him without any consideration that he could be listening.  I could not see the sunny soul that was still shining brightly beneath. Davey was not defined by his illness or condition but by his ‘spirit’. As we returned to class it immediately dawned on me what the meaning of ‘Compassion’ truly meant. I returned to Davey a few more times to offer Reiki, firstly to apologise and secondly to offer a Reiki space where he had the opportunity to just ‘be’ Davey on any level.

Looking with your heart can be a difficult thing to do, as humans we are conditioned to only see what is on the surface. This experience shifted something inside of me and really made me think about the Reiki precepts in depth and my whole Reiki Practice. I have a lot to work on and am very grateful that Davey was able to teach me the meaning of Compassion.

The lessons that I learnt from Davey helped me in my own personal life, as not long after the workshop with Kathleen. My father took a turn for the worse and I had to rush back to Ireland. He was dying, his kidneys were failing and as he lay there hooked up to a drip, his life force energy was slowly dripping away. His skin was grey and his eyes were lifeless, I just knew I had to be calm. In that moment I chanted the 4th symbol in my head and just held the Reiki space for him. I saw his soul sparkle even though his body was weak. For the next few days I held the Reiki space for him, letting go of any expectation or outcome. What happened was that a different Dr came and offered him a different kind of treatment,  which allowed his life force energy to strengthen. Seeing with your heart and not with your eyes and holding the Reiki space was a huge lesson from Davey. My father is so much better now, although it is still a day at a time. I am so grateful to Davey for teaching me to ‘see with my heart’ <3

Kathleen’s reiki Class’s are always thought provoking, always mindful and always about the animal. She is able to teach  in a way, that you are able to find your own Reiki journey but also to learn your own Reiki lessons in your own time. The class’s are always life changing and sometimes  the mat from under your feet will be shaken so  hard that you have to reflect on your own life. The biggest lesson is to let the animals teach, be humble and to just ‘be’. Easier said than done, so that is why I have a daily Reiki Practice and literally Practice, Practice, Practice.

True Love of Animals

Michele Santom

Michele Santom

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 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 To find out more about the CARE Foundation, please visit

A shift in my reiki practice – let the animals teach the students

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

Remus Level 1 Students


Hector's Gate 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’.

Esther asks for Reiki!

This is a blog that has been waiting for me to write  but life and all that it had thrown in  my path. Has meant that finding the time and the space, to recall this event with the dignity it deserved. Has taken almost 5 months. The experience I had with Esther, was so special.

It was a normal Saturday afternoon at Remus Horse Sanctuary. Myself and one of my reiki students Tracey had been busy offering Reiki to the animals that had needed reiki that day. As usual I was armed with my healing list from Sue and the afternoon was bright. We had already experienced some beautiful reiki lessons from Sophie the horse, the Shetland ponies in the barn, the herd in the field and now we were on our way to the sheep in the shed.

We stood outside and offered reiki to the sheep, there is nothing more amazing, than to watch sheep receive reiki. The first thing you will notice is, the ‘sheep effect’ ooh, ohh, I am scared, not sure!  What is going on? I kind of like it but ohh, ohh, I don’t now what to do… That is until one brave sheep, steps forward and says ‘ OK guys this is great’. Then you will see them line up one by one for their reiki session, then  they merrily trot off  chilled and spaced out.

On that Saturday though, something very special happened. As we stood outside and offered reiki, the sheep parted in the middle leaving a pathway. Right at the back of the shed were these little eyes, just starring back at us. As we stood mesmerized by this little, sheep who gradually moved slowly, slowly up to where we were standing. Both of us knew, that something very special was happening. Bit by bit she edged towards us until Esther stood in front of us. She stood there receiving reiki for about 10-15 minutes,  then the sheep closed the pathway,  Esther again blended back into the flock and everything seemed to go back to normal.  Myself and Tracey were amazed by the experience. We nodded quietly to each other, both thinking ‘what just happened’?

I had put this to the back of  my mind until the next time I was at Remus, which was the next Saturday. This happened to be when I had a reiki share and there were about 8 other reiki practitioners there. Half way through the share, Sue called me to one side and said that a vet was on his way and would be at Remus any second. Could I go and offer reiki to one of the sheep, who was very poorly and was being put to sleep. Of course, I could I said, as I had done on many occasions before,  offering reiki  to other animals at Remus in their last moments.

As I entered the stable, I recognized the sheep immediately as being Esther, I was shocked,  it knocked me off my feet. I quickly composed myself  and stayed with her for an hour and while the vet put her to sleep, it was very, very peaceful. Afterwards, I shared my story from last week, with two of the Remus staff, who were with me. They looked at me and said, No way! that could not be possible, as Esther was absolutely petrified of people and would NEVER EVER make her way forward to stand in front of two strangers!!

Offering Reiki to Jimmy



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