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.

Anger, Reiki and Animals’ Perspectives

“Just for today, I will not anger.” The first Reiki Precept. On first hearing, I transmuted the words to “… I will not anger others,” but then realized that no one can make anyone else angry. We (or someone else) can be the spark that ignites anger, but the emotion comes from within. The Precept is about maintaining the self as a clear conduit for the flow of healing Reiki energy.

Anger has cropped up a lot lately – in news reports, Facebook posts, other venues. Are people more open now about expressing anger, or is it one of the impacts of these times of change?

Do I have anger? I had to think about that. The anger that often calls our attention is the burning, violent kind. The punch-in-the-nose road rage anger. There are many varieties. Have you ever felt irritated, annoyed, resentful, mistreated, disrespected, even outraged or filled with righteous indignation? Those are all forms of anger.

In his lecture series, Nonviolent Communication,* Dr. Marshall Rosenberg says that anger is an emotional response triggered by an outside stimulus when a core need of ours is not being met. Core needs such as security, safety, love, nurturance, and yes, respect. When I feel resentment, what need or hurt within me has been disregarded, to trigger that feeling?

The animals always have answers and opinions about such questions. The first to speak was Coyote. I sensed yellow-gold eyes and tawny fur dancing and feinting around me while Coyote spoke:SageJazz2

“Anger is one of my tricks. It distracts your energy and attention. That rush of emotion feels good, feels powerful. When you’re caught up in it, you don’t recognize that you’re being spun away from your purpose, whatever that is. I am the Trickster. I am a great teacher, who teaches you through your mistakes. When you learn to recognize the pull and eddies of my magic and see through them, you can stay on your true path. It is all a game, don’t you see? You can follow Coyote and get lost. Or you can say, ‘Hello Coyote, I recognize you,’ and not follow. That strengthens you. When you feel the anger, know it is my trickster magic at work. Enjoy the thrill of explosion if you wish. Or, this time, ask yourself why you are drawn to my magic. Remember, I teach backward lessons. When you’re turned around, I will bite you!”

Skunk came next, its parallel white stripes moving in rhythm as Skunk gently shuffled forward on delicate paws:

Shadow“My medicine is more about boundaries and respect. Skunk is respected, and respects others. We carry a formidable weapon, but are gentle. We give a warning when we are being encroached upon. We do not release our scent indiscriminately, for then we would be vulnerable for defense. Priorities are important – safety, respect, courage, being gentle. Get your point across without aggression toward self or others. Those we spray recover and learn from the experience to respect us. When you feel anger, learn from us to seek the boundary that is being encroached upon, and address it. Perhaps you will not need to spray at all.”

Condor (Turkey Vulture) flew into our conversation to add its message:

“Anger? Rise above it. We soar in the air, the home of spirit and intellect. Rise above the smelly turmoil of emotion. Air helps bring discernment, an ability to sort out cause and effect. Call on me. I will help pick away that which does not serve the highest good – that which doesn’t smell right.”

Instinctively, I knew that Whale also had a message, and asked. Whale said:

“Call on me to guide you through the deep waters of emotion. We withstand great pressure in the deep, and rise to the surface to expel old air and breathe in fresh air. Sing our song with us, move with grace and strength. Swim with us, and come up for air.”

Their messages remind me that the key is not to deny, bury or push away anger, but to reach into myself, locate what has been ignited within, and address that.

These wise teachers offer workable suggestions. Coyote reminds us that when our energy spins off in anger, we diminish our power and lose our focus. Skunk reminds us to respect, be respected, and hold our boundaries. Condor reminds us to rise above the smelly stuff and use discernment. Whale reminds us to come up out of the deep emotion and take a breath of fresh air. Thank you all.

Just for today [this hour, this moment], I will not anger. I will be a clear vessel for Reiki energy. It takes practice.

 

By:  Rev. Nancy Schluntz

*Rosenberg, Marshall. Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life. PuddleDancer Press, 2003; recording available from Sounds True, P.O. Box 8010, Boulder, CO 80306, www.Soundstrue.com.

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.

 

Note: Subsequent articles will address the remaining four Precepts of Reiki: Worry, Humility/Gratitude, Honesty, and Compassion.

A Lesson in the Reiki Precepts

Remus has an open day on the first Sunday of each month from May to September. Last year every single one was cancelled due to the heavy rain in the UK. The Open Days offer vital funding, as people pay to visit and can also sponsor anyone of the beautiful animals there. In years gone by I have offered Reiki treatments to people on these days, as a way to raise money for Remus. I attended an Open Day a couple of weeks ago and decided that instead of selling my Reiki Therapy, I would spend my money and see what other people experienced.

As Kathleen will be teaching Equine Reiki and Shinpiden this September at Remus, it was nice to see it from a public perception. I took my 20 year old son, who was a bit reluctant as he was not sure what to expect. The sun was shining very brightly as we drove up through the Remus fields. We parked the car and paid at the entrance. It was absolutely packed with people, children and dogs. My spirits were raised immediately by the upbeat atmosphere, a band was playing, stalls were scattered around selling bric a brac, Remus memorabilia and so much more. I steered my son over to where the food area was, we purchased homemade vegetarian sandwiches and a mugs of hot tea. Being impressed with my will power, I refrained from eating the yummy homemade cake. Dogs on leads with their owners passed us by, as we sat chatting about where we were going to go next. My son had been at University for the last six months, so getting time together on our own was better than any tonic a Dr could prescribe.

I have offered Reiki to the animals many times at Remus and I have always been humbled by each animal and the experience. It has been a privilege, as they have been my teachers, allowing me to grow into the Animal Reiki Practitioner I am today. They have been patient with me and at times have given me lots to think about. Remus has built a path way around the whole of the Sanctuary, so that every animal can be seen. Walking with Michael my son, I watched with amazement as the horses came right up to the fences. They allowed strangers to stroke them, they encouraged children, who I could see, were intimidated by their size, to move closer. There was such a gentleness and openness towards strangers who they had never met before. Watching the horses, I was so proud of them, as I knew that many of them had been treated so badly by the human race in the past; opening up their hearts to people they had never met before, showing forgiveness, brought tears to my eyes. If they can forgive and move forward, then so could I. The Reiki precepts show us how we should live our lives on a daily basis, we are taught not to anger, to worry, to be compassionate, to be humble and to be honest in our work. Being able to stand and watch and just ‘be’ allowed me to understand that animals are living these precepts every single day, yet I had never been able to see it before. Michael loved being so close to the horses and it was a joy to watch him stroking Dolly and the mutual enjoyment they got from sharing each other’s company.

The Remus animals are amazing teachers and I am continually learning, they are always very gentle and nudge me in the right direction with enormous patience (I have needed a lot of lessons lol) Kathleen will be teaching at Remus from the 5 – 8 of September 2013. The Remus Animals are always looking for new students to teach and LOVE meeting new people. They cannot wait to meet Kathleen again, so they can show her all of the new improvements at Remus; new training room, paddocks, laminitic field, new fencing and again SO MUCH MORE.

Dolly teaches Michael the lesson 'forgiveness'

Dolly teaches Michael the lesson ‘forgiveness’

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!!

At One With The Fly

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.

AbeActually, 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.

Kelly McDermott-Burns
SARA Teacher

Being Reiki

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…

SandySandy 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.

Julie Abrahams

A Reiki Mama

The nesting box sits in a rather unremarkable location in the backyard. I have walked past it on numerous occasions but it has always been empty. This morning as I strolled past on my way to feed the chickens, I became away of the chirping coming from inside the box. As I stopped to take a peek I could only catch a quick glimpse of mama, who ducked quickly back inside to the safe dark confines of the box. I could hear the chirping of the babies inside. It didn’t take long for papa to become aware of my presence and as I passed by again to deliver fresh water to the chicken coop nearby, I was soon being “dive bombed.” I knew immediately that papa was in protective mode and stopped only momentarily because having this bird swoop to within an inch of my face and head was a bit scary to say the least.

My delivery finished to the chicken coop, I quickly retreated to the safety of the house but realized shortly thereafter that this was a perfect opportunity to offer Reiki. I so wanted to become acquainted with mama and since I would be caring for the family chickens for another four days did not want to be “dive bombed” every time I ventured out into the back yard and wanted papa to know I meant him no harm. I watched from the kitchen window as papa dutifully brought food to mama and the babies.

A short time later, I ventured back outside and stood about five feet from the nesting box. I caught a quick glimpse of papa sitting on the roof of the house. After setting my intention and telepathically communicating with the birds that I meant them no harm and was offering Reiki to them, I began. The results were quite astonishing. Papa continued to get food for his family, but his flying patterns changed. He flew gentle circles above me and never once “dive bombed” me. Mama came to the front of the box and just looked at me. Papa arrived shortly thereafter with another mouthful of food and after giving it to the mother simply flew away as if I wasn’t there. As I continued to offer Reiki, I could see a palpable change in the demeanor of the mother bird. Instead of loudly chirping for papa to bring more food, she just seemed to wait patiently her eyes closed. Papa continued to fly overhead but never showed any aggression towards me. Soon the mother bird took on the appearance of pure Reiki bliss. Papa delivered food several times. I decided to move closer and eventually found myself within inches of the opening of the box talking softly to the mother bird and she never moved but just sat there breathing gently eyes closed for the most part accepting my offering of Reiki. It was truly a magical experience. The chirping of the babies completely stopped and all was silent.

Each day as I passed by the box to deliver food and fresh water to the chickens, I always stopped to offer my hellos to mama bird. She always stayed near the opening and never ducked back inside. In the four days that followed, I was never attacked or “dive bombed” by papa. What an honor to have these marvelous little creatures allow me into their world. I only had one additional opportunity to offer Reiki to this family and as with the first time, they all accepted my offering with pure bliss. I sensed telepathically that they were all quite grateful. To be able to bond with these wild little creatures through the magic of Reiki is such an honor and with every new interaction, I become more and more grateful for another new friend. In this case an entire family! Thank you Reiki.

Lauren Urbais, M.Ed.

Rusty The Red Healer Cross

I had been asked to reduce my work hours by one day each week and the following week I received a letter in the mail from my local RSPCA advising I had been accepted for volunteer work and could I start next week. The Universe was telling me something. My “real” work was just beginning, volunteering one day a week at the RSPCA.

My first day volunteering at the RSPCA was very busy cleaning cat and rabbit cages, offering Reiki as I went. And then Kim, the dog trainer/behaviourist person asked could I go and see the dog quarantine area to offer Reiki as there were some problem dogs. As I entered the dog quarantine, I wondered where should I start as there were so many needy animals, it was difficult to choose. So I stood in the middle, grounded myself and offered Reiki to all the dogs at the same time to see who would accept it. Within minutes, all dogs had stopped barking. The messages of “What have I done to be put here?” just flooded towards me. These poor animals were all carrying so much guilt thinking they had done something wrong to be put in prison. This is so common amongst shelter animals, even those that have been formerly mistreated.

Then there was Rusty, a four year old red healer cross who was just quivering from fright with his tail between his legs. He was extremely underweight and had a “Caution, Dangerous Dog – Do Not Enter” sign on his cage. Rusty, together with his house mate, Chloe, a three year old German Shepherd cross, had been rescued from an extremely abusive home where affection, respect and enough food were unknown. Rusty tried to look at me with his orange eyes but was too frightened. However, he did tell me he was misunderstood.

After finishing the Reiki treatment I went and saw Kim, who mentioned that Rusty was on the Put To Sleep list due to his behaviour problems. I told Kim that I received the message he was misunderstood, and as so often happens when you think a Reiki session has finished, Rusty was continuing to send me more information: he was a truly gentle dog but was very misunderstood and carried so much guilt as to why he was in prison. I conveyed this to Kim, stressing he was really gentle if given the chance and that I was not frightened of him at all. Rusty would not look at you directly, but put his head down and looked at you indirectly with his orange eyes. This was Rusty’s way of protecting himself from physical abuse.

Kim was amazed that I could “pick up” such information and agreed to give Rusty one more chance.

The next week I gave Rusty more Reiki and this time, he no longer had his Dangerous Dog sign on his cage. The RSPCA staff were amazed at the difference in Rusty as Reiki had never before been given to the shelter animals.

By my third week of volunteering, Rusty had graduated from Dog Quarantine to the normal, healthy dog section! Rusty was definitely NOT on the Put To Sleep list now! The difference in Rusty was a joy to behold. Rusty was running, barking and playing with the other dogs and had put on some weight. Rusty was up for adoption!

Unfortunately the weeks passed without anyone showing Rusty any interest in adopting him. He had grown into a beautiful, strong boy with very wide shoulders but he could look somewhat threatening to people who were not familiar with his breed. When I visited the shelter, Rusty would look at me with such a happy face and his happiness was payment enough for me, but he needed a permanent home.

Then one week Rusty was not there. I was devastated! What had happened to him? As I can only volunteer one day a week, I tried to find Kim, hoping she would know. When I asked where was Rusty, Kim had the biggest smile on her face. Rusty had been adopted! A lady who owned a mango farm in far away New South Wales, approximately 2,500km including two States and Bass Straight away (one of the roughest stretches of water in the world!) from Tasmania, Australia, had seen Rusty’s profile on the RSPCA adoption website and fallen in love with his eyes – those little, squinty, orange eyes!

She had travelled all that distance, but needed to know that Rusty was indeed the dog for her. This was a woman who needed to receive a sign that Rusty was her dog, that Rusty would choose HER, not that she chose Rusty. Apparently Rusty did choose her, he walked slowly up to this lovely woman, sniffed her, walked away again and came up to her three times before he placed himself against her legs for a cuddle. The woman was thrilled, Rusty was indeed HER dog. But, because she lived in another State of Australia and we could not physically do a property inspection, it was doubtful the adoption would go ahead. Thankfully Kim pleaded Rusty’s case and explained no other person had shown any interest in adopting Rusty and Rusty had obviously chosen this woman as his forever person, the adoption went ahead. Rusty is now running free on a mango farm in New South Wales, over 2,500km away from Hobart, Tasmania, being the true gentle dog I always knew he was.

There is also a happy ending for Rusty’s housemate, Chloe. My daughter, Tracey, and her paraplegic partner, Darren, adopted Chloe after a name change to Charli-Chloe, as my daughter has a cat called Chloe. The three of them took to one another straight away, and now Charli-Chloe, Tracey, Darren and Chloe the cat, are one very happy family. Even though Darren is in a wheelchair, not once has Charli-Chloe tried to escape from the car, as it can take Darren some time to arrange his wheelchair and get out of the car. Charli-Chloe even helps to open up the gate to let Darren in the yard. After an abusive life, Charli-Chloe knows she has a loving home and is no hurry to leave.

The RSPCA in Australia has a policy of only putting to sleep those animals that show extremely bad behavioural problems with no prospects of rehabilitation or if it is kinder to put the animal to sleep due to severe illness. Because Rusty was declared a dangerous dog and could not be rehabilitated, he was going to be placed on the Put To Sleep list. Reiki prevented this.

Wendy Williams
Reiki Master/Teacher
and RSPCA Volunteer