“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.
Kathleen 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.
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.
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’.
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!!
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
Me with my SARA students
I am very proud to be a SARA teacher in the UK and work very closely with Remus Horse Sanctuary in Essex. I have a wonderful relationship with Sue Burton who is the founder of Remus, together we are aiming for Remus to be a SARA Reiki Centre of excellence. It has been journey of two people having a mutual respect of one another and also a love of animals.
Teaching the SARA Reiki manual to students is truly wonderful, the manual is amazing and the teachings follow traditional Japanese Reiki techniques as sourced by Frans and Bronwen Steine of the International House of Reiki. The manual is beautifully written and is the first Japanese Animal Reiki manual of it’s kind here in the UK. My students love the manual and there are lots of Animal Reiki articles too to help them in their Reiki practice. Being a SARA student means working on yourself with daily Japanese meditations, the precepts, hands on healing and a Reiju ( a spiritual blessing) which is what makes the whole SARA experience so special.
I meet with my students every two months at Remus Horse Sanctuary, where we talk about the precepts, we are working on at the moment ‘For today only I will not anger’ and Earth KI. We practice the Japanese Meditations for about half an hour and then I offer the students a Reiju if they would like one. It is a time for us all to discuss how we are getting on in our Reiki Practice and to air any worries or concerns. Reiki is not a race and it is important for us all to support each other and for me to be available to support my students in anyway I can. Kathleen and Leah are my teachers, if I can not answer a question from a student, I speak to my teachers, so I am often Skyping Leah, she is very patient with me.
Spending the afternoon with my students fills me with such pride, each one of them has grown in to a wonderful Animal Reiki Healer who has a love of animals and a lack of ego. Later in the afternoon is spent offering Reiki to the Remus animals, we go out into the fields and offer Reiki out to the animals instead of sending it to an animal. All of the animals at Remus have a choice. It is so wonderful to watch them come upto a SARA student and to place their body in the exact place that they want their hands on healing.
Twice monthly I meet with six of my students at Remus and we get to work with the animals in a more indepth manor. We practice our Japanese Meditations and Reiki precepts. I meet with Sue and we discuss which animals that we will be working with and what has happened to them during the past couple of weeks. Sue gives me a treatment card with the Species, name of the animal and age. This includes any problems they have had. As SARA teacher and students we then record the Reiki treatment onto the treatment card. Keeping records is important for a SARA Sanctuary as it means we can see any changes in the animal’s behaviour. The treatment card is also returned to Sue, so she can keep it updated with information on a regular basis.
I teach SARA classes at Remus too and donate 50% of my workshop fee back to them. This means that I am generating an income for Remus and that I am also establishing a functional SARA educational programme.
Being a SARA teacher in the UK has meant a commitment to both my Students and to Remus but I love it. I get to watch people blossom and to grow in confidence and I also get to see animals move forward with their health. My aim is for my SARA students to be the best Animal Reiki Practitioners they can be and to spread the word about SARA and Remus. Please check out my classes, as a SARA Reiki experience at Remus is a lot of fun.
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.
From my first visit to Horse Rescue Australia I really got to understand what it means to just ‘be’ Reiki rather than ‘do’ or ‘send’ Reiki, thanks to some expert guidance from my four legged teachers.
A lot of the horses at HRA have been rescued from years of abandonment, others from abusive situations, while others are young and perfectly healthy but there because of unfortunate circumstances and waiting on a new forever home.
But no matter what their reason is for being there, all the horses provide instant feedback when it comes to Reiki and each has their own way of letting me know what they want – or don’t want, as well as where, when, how and if, and for how long! With so many variables it’s been a very effective way of learning to ‘just be’ and ‘to allow’ and ‘not to expect’.
Its been several weeks since my first visit and I have come to know that each visit will be completely different from the last with no guarantee that whoever was open to receiving Reiki last week will want it this week. Except Sandy…
Sandy is a pretty little buckskin mare approximately 24 years old who came to Horse Rescue in 2000 when she was rescued with some of her friends from a herd of 22 ponies running wild in a 10-acre paddock. At the time Sandy had a very young foal at foot and another still suckling from her. She had probably spent her life before HRA having babies. Sandy was so scared of people HRA carers couldn’t go near her without her trembling like a mouse. She is very smart, and very good at not being caught!
Sandy is still very scared of people, so much so that her first encounter with Reiki was experienced from behind the safety of the herd while I sat on a tree stump at a respectable distance, during which time the rest of the herd relaxed and went through the usual range of peaceful activities horses go through when they’re enjoying Reiki. Every now and then I’d open my eyes and take a peek at the resting horses, a yawn here, a stretch there, the occasional position change somewhere else – and there would be Honey and Sandy; on full alert positioned safely behind the others, their necks stretched tall like a pair of giraffes and keeping a close eye on me, just waiting for me to move an eyelid, which of course would have been their cue to high tail it to the other end of the property!
But I didn’t, and they didn’t, and when the rest of the herd gently broke off and started to graze some 40 minutes later, Honey and Sandy simply moved off with the herd without the calamity I’m sure they expected.
Over the weeks I’ve been visiting the horses I‘m getting to know all their little quirks and personality traits, and how they like or don’t like to receive Reiki, how sometimes they’ll stand for 30 minutes, other times not at all, sometimes they like hands on and sometimes they prefer Reiki from a distance. But the one who has been the biggest surprise has been Sandy. Of all the horses, she will always accept some Reiki during my visits, preferring to receive her treatments from a distance when we are out in the main paddock.
There is a large flat rock under a shady gumtree, which is perfect for me to sit on while I offer Reiki so that has become my regular spot in the main paddock. Usually when I begin, the Shetlands immediately make their way over for some hands on treatments, or to rest their noses on me while I offer Reiki, sometimes they lay down close by and move off when they are done. Mostly the horses will take turns to receive the energy, some from a distance, some hands on, and other times I’ll have a flock of pigeons resting in the grass all around me, but no matter who else may or may not come for treatments, Sandy never misses. She has her favourite spot where she stands a little way off in her own space to enjoy anywhere from 30 – 60 minutes of energy at a time and when she is finished, she will give me a little look of thanks and break off to graze.
Last week I went into the main paddock and found the herd a little distance away from my rock, but before I could make my way over the Shetlands had spotted me and mobbed me for some hands on treatments, which appeared to annoy Sandy. I could tell she was really keen for some energy but the close proximity of the other horses really seemed to have her rattled that day. However, after the ponies had received their treatments and moseyed off and the others had also received varying amounts of Reiki, I caught Sandy’s attention and moved away from the herd so she could follow me if she chose. She did so I sat cross-legged in the grass about 10 feet away from her with my eyes closed, hands resting on my knees with palms upturned, and began to offer some Reiki. I knew that she really wanted to connect, and that if I gave her a chance she just might.
After several minutes I opened my eyes just a tiny bit and could see her creeping over to me as quiet as a church mouse. A few minutes later I opened my eyes again just a tiny bit and could see that she’d crept a little bit closer, her neck was stretched as far as she could possibly stretch it in my direction, and her eyes were as wide as saucers. I could see she was terrified so I closed my eyes again and just allowed the Reiki to flow. Then ever so lightly I felt her soft warm muzzle gently touch my right palm, then a few moments later the same warm sensation on my left palm as she investigated my other hand. It was an emotional moment. I remained still and allowed her to retreat at her own pace, as I knew she would. After a few moments I peeked again to see her standing several feet away, just enjoying the energy. We stayed like this for perhaps 30 minutes without the interference from the rest of the herd, and when she was finished, Sandy gave me that little look of gratitude, and moved off to graze and I left the herd in peace.