Apollo receiving Reiki
Last week I taught Animal Reiki Level 1 and used the techniques and meditations I had learnt from Kathleen’s Reiki Workshops here in the UK. I cannot emphasize highly enough how Kathleen’s teaching helped me grow as both a teacher and in my reiki practice. The biggest thing and most profound thing I learnt, from Kathleen was ‘patience’ this may sound easy but actually, it is hard and takes much practice and discipline. Why do I say profound? Kathleen made me think about all of the animals, that I had missed over the years by not giving them the extra reiki time to come forward into the reiki space. When I thought nothing was happening, it was exactly when everything is happening. By letting go of my ‘ego’ and not judging the animals that I knew better and just ‘being in the reik space’ allowed for amazing things to happen.
Teaching my students last Saturday, we walked out into the big open field at Remus. The field had around 15 horses, grazing quietly. My students found an area in the middle of the field and meditated in their own reiki space. What happened next was truly amazing. Apollo, who is the head of the herd, the matriarch, approached each of us for reiki and stood for about 20 minutes. She then walked off into the field, Dolly, her pair bond then came up to me for reiki and placed her head in my hands. Two by two, Stanley and Casper, Sally and Casey, Thomas and Daisy, formed a que and waited patiently to receive reiki and to wait their turn. They formed their que in order of their herd status, they were tolerant of each other, the energy was serene and beautiful. This in it’self was truly magical but what happened next was amazing, Trojan who is a white pony and has always stayed away during reiki sessions came over to one of my students and stood in front of her to take his reiki. By meditating in our own reiki space we allowed Trojan the confidence to come forward. Being patient and having a basic understanding of horse behaviour and how a herd works makes for a truly miraculous reiki afternoon.
Being able to share Kathleen’s teaching’s with my students and being able to improve my own reiki practice showed me that you have to be able to teach from your own experiences and not to teach from what you think the experience will be like.
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.
While he waited for me as I worked on another horse with Animal Reiki, Dealer became very restless, by repeatedly pacing in his stall, snickering, and kicking his door. As an animal communicator, I let him know that he could accept Reiki as well, even though I was focusing on another horse; but he just wanted out! I suggested for his person to walk him around the property while I worked on her first horse.
When I was ready to focus on Dealer, I asked his person how he was doing. She replied “antsy”. So we went to the indoor arena so he could have more room to walk around if he chose to do so. I felt Reiki flowing very slightly as I stood a short distance from him. Shortly after I began, I was drawn to walk up to him and lightly touch his right flank near his hipbone. He flinched as he shared that that particular touch triggered a memory that he was angry about. I acknowledged his sharing, and continued to offer Reiki from a short distance.
Instead of him calming down with the Reiki, he was becoming boisterous, which was an unusual behavior from Dealer. Because he was still interested in Reiki, I suggested to his person that we needed to change his environment; so the three of us went outside, and only then did he instantly calm down. During this time of him grazing the grass, he became fully opened and relaxed as he accepted Reiki. By his own choice, he released the physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual component of this memory of young boys throwing sharp pointy triangular-shaped rocks at him. He also shared that he wanted to be called “Buddha” by everyone, not just his person.
Several days later, his person reported he seemed much more content with himself, as well as enjoying his new name, Buddha!
One of the sweetest horses on the face of this earth is Momma, a fourteen year old Registered Thoroughbred. She was rescued from California in Oct 2009 by Kansas City, Missouri’s Changing Leads Equine Rescue which in turn rehabilitates horses for adoption.
She will often be very specific where she wants my hands on her to accept Animal Reiki. This particular day she backed into me to have my hands placed on her left hind end. Because I have worked with her multiple times, I’ve come to know that when she places her left hind end at a diagonal toward my hands, she wants me to rub my hands from her tailbone down to her knees following her muscle line. I always make sure this is exactly what she wants before I proceed.
Within a couple of minutes of rubbing her back leg while offering Animal Reiki, I “heard” Momma say “Now, chant HSZSN” (Reiki Symbol #3). This totally startled me because the more I work with Momma; the more our telepathic communication opens up between the two of us which delights both of us!
C: What? (She has never requested this before.)
M: Chant HSZSN while doing that.
C: Okay. (I started chanting silently.)
M: Out loud, please.
C: Oh, Momma….seriously? Out loud? What if someone walks in?
She turned and looked at me as she said “No worries. Just do it.” I swear she winked which made me think “Okay, she wants me to chant out loud but she’s winking too?”
After I softly chuckled at my thoughts, I began chanting HSZSN out loud while rubbing her backend. Within seconds, her head dropped inches to the ground and she fell into a deep Reiki nap. During this thirty minute session, in five minute intervals, she would wake up, take three steps forward, take a couple of deep breaths and back into me to start the process all over again.
Eventually a person did walk in, but I focused on Momma, knowing to trust the process of what she wanted. After thirty minutes, Momma turned around to face me, nuzzled my hands with her nose as she looked into my eyes to show me her appreciation. The lady that walked in smiled at me as she said, “I thought the radio was on, but it was you!”
I replied “It’s what Momma wanted me to do.”
“Cool”, said the lady.
Momma was right… “No worries…just do it!”
Animal Reiki Divine, LLC
Buster is one of the many beautiful, amazing and hard working horses at Forward Stride, a center that offers therapeutic horseback riding for people with special needs. I volunteer there on Sundays doing turnout (aka: putting them out in their pastures), stall cleaning, and Reiki.
I started volunteering at Forward Stride because I didn’t really know anything about horses and wanted to learn more about them. I had offered Reiki to a few horses before coming to Forward Stride, but I really wanted the opportunity to spend more time with them to interact and connect on a deeper level.
One Sunday as I was checking the message board for any special notes about the horses, I learned that Buster was on stall rest because another horse had kicked his left, rear leg. After turnout of the other horses and a bit of stall cleaning with my awesome, volunteer buddies, we all decided I should go and offer Buster some Reiki!
I started the session standing about 5 feet in front of Buster’s stall. After about 5 minutes he pushed up against the stall ropes and was sniffing in my direction. I decided to get a little closer. I walked up to the stall and stood just outside and to the right of Buster’s head. He stood there for a few minutes and then walked in a clockwise circle in his stall. He came back and stood by me and licked my hand. Then he flipped my hand up with his nose and moved his head up and down, having me to scratch his nose and forehead. I was amazed at how he guided me to help him scratch his itch!
Buster then continued to walk in clockwise circles and stand next to me for about 5 minutes in-between each circle. After about a ½ hour of this routine he walked right up to me head on and pushed himself against my hands. One hand was on his chest and the other on his upper, front, right leg. He stood like this for about 5 minutes and then did another circle. He came back and pushed himself into my hands again and stayed for another 5 minutes. Once more he did this followed by his clockwise circle, but then he changed his routine and also did a counter clockwise circle. After that he came over and touched his nose to my hand to say thank you. Then walked to the rear of his stall and faced away from me ending the session.
I thanked Buster for being so open to connecting with me and for his guidance for the horse newbie!
The day started out as any other with me grooming my paint horse Kodiak. I grabbed his right hind hoof to clean it out and suddenly noticed a really big pointed rock stuck between his shoe and his hoof. “Uh oh,” I thought to myself. This didn’t look good.
Sure enough, by the next day Kodiak was head-bobbing lame. Really, really sore. My trainer palpated his hoof with her hoof tester, and sure enough, he was extremely painful in the area where the rock had been stuck as well as the whole bulb and back part of his hoof. He officially had a stone bruise. Having worked with many horses over the years I knew what that meant—weeks or perhaps months of soreness—in other words, a long road to healing.
As I soaked his hoof in warm water and epsom salts I stood several feet away and offered him Reiki. After a few minutes he relaxed his hind leg, turned to look at me, and cocked his foot so that I could see the bottom of the hoof where he was so sore. Clearly he was asking for hands-on Reiki directly on the sole of his foot. So I pulled up a stool and sat down, with the fingertips of my left hand on the bottom of his hoof and my other hand resting on his fetlock.
Over the space of about ten minutes, I could slowly feel the Reiki energy and the connection between us deepen. I could feel his pain radiating up my fingers and forearm and into my elbow. Then all the sudden, my hand felt as if it “became” part of his hoof, “merging” so to speak with it so that there seemed to be no separation between us. Over the course of another ten minutes or so I could feel our connection to each other’s whole being, not just my hand and his foot. Suddenly, I felt it heal. I can’t describe it other to say that I just knew it happened at that instant.
I stood up, said, “Good job Kodi,” and as I led him back to his pasture I hoped for the best. I knew that these kinds of injuries are long to heal, and although I had thought I felt the healing happen, I wondered if perhaps it was wishful thinking on my part.
The next morning my trainer came out first thing in the morning to check on Kodiak. Amazingly, he was not lame at all! She even used her hoof tester to check for any remnant of soreness, but there was no sensitivity, no pain at all. In fact, he was clearly ready to go and do something fun, so she rode him. He was 110% perfect, spirited and sound! As my trainer was relating this to me, she was in total amazement. She said she has NEVER seen a stone bruise heal that quickly: never!
Thank you Reiki! For me, this is a lesson in hope, in letting go of our expectations and in allowing our animals to show us the way. With Reiki, truly anything is possible!
Momma, a 14 year old Thoroughbred, is usually my first stop to offer Animal Reiki on my weekly visit to Changing Leads Equine Rescue. She’s usually waiting for me, but for today she declined. I was surprised and slightly disappointed, but I honored her wishes.
I walked to the other side of the barn to a different pasture to see if Joe, a 21 year old Paint/Pinto, and/or Visa, an Arabian, would like some Animal Reiki. As I was walking towards the pasture, I noticed Joe was waiting for me close to the gate. As I approached, he lifted up his right forelock to show me that the flies were bothering him. I went to apply fly spray on him, and proceeded to offer him Animal Reiki with his permission.
Within minutes, he sighed deeply and went into a Reiki nap as I stood five feet from him. Visa decided to join us ten minutes later by placing herself shoulder to shoulder with Joe, standing in the opposite direction. Throughout the next 30 minutes, Joe was completely oblivious to Visa’s constant motion of getting the flies off of her, even though she was just inches from him. I found myself becoming worried and frustrated that she may wake him up from his Reiki nap from her constant stomping, shaking, and swishing of her tail to get the flies off. I knew that she was accepting Reiki, too, because her eyes were closed and she licked her lips from time to time.
As the minutes went by, I found myself wanting to be like Joe, a calm presence to other’s irritations. I began to silently chant the Reiki symbols to myself to help stay in the Reiki space. My worries and frustration shifted into amazement and calmness. Tears streamed down my face as I realized that I can be like Joe.
His lesson to me was to take care of my own irritations, ground myself with Reiki, then the realization of others’ irritations will be around you but to zero affect to you. When we stand in our truth of who we are, we accept others as who they are. THANK YOU JOE!
Animal Reiki Divine, LLC
Animal Reiki Teacher/Practitioner
Remus Healing Group
Over the last year and a half, I have been lucky enough to meet other Reiki practitioners. It was through these various meetings that I decided to set up a healing group following the SARA principles. My group meets once every two months; due to some of the practitioners having to travel from a far. We are all of differing experience and backgrounds, but we all have a deep love of animals and we all want to give something back to these wonderful creatures.
As was usual we met at Remus last Saturday afternoon, armed with coats jumpers and scarves, it was very cold! We like to, meet at this time as it is just after the animals have been fed and watered. Normally they are all settled in their fields or shelters by this point. We like to have a chat before we start offering Reiki, as it is a good time to catch up on what each of us has been up to. If we are lucky and have time, we have a cup of tea and sit with Timmy the cat who likes to be stroked and loves affection. I feel this is a time for us to become grounded and to release any stresses that we may have, at this point we set off to help the animals. As Sue was on holiday this week, she had already texted me a list of the animals she would like us to work on, so I knew which animals to offer Reiki to without interrupting the staff, these are usually the animals who are most in need.
There were five of us altogether, however the total number in the group was eight. We decided that we would start with Billy a horse who was almost starved to death by his previous owners. He has food issues and is usually outside during the day, but due to stomach problems he had to rest in the stable. We decided to offer reiki as a group as we all felt he was in need of a lot of energy, and so we asked for his permission. At the start Billy 3 was very calm and watched us intently as we stood outside his stable offering Reiki. After a while he started to breath heavilly, it was almost as if he was releasing built up emotions and feelings. I felt that he did not like spending so much time in the stable, and would rather be outside eating the grass. He eventually settled and became calm, I have found that the healing time in a group is a lot less than if reiki is being offered by an individual. It is important to ask the animal for permission as group healing can be quite intense, in some cases the animal will move far away as the energy is too strong. It is so important for the animal to be in charge of their healing.
We then offered reiki to Apollo who is a beautiful grey mare. She had been kicked by a horse and had a lot of stitches to her bottom. Again we stayed as a group and offered her healing. She immediately turned her bottom to us and stood there for a while, taking in the wonderful reiki energy. She then turned to face us and started to ‘weave’ above the fence post. This surprised me as two other horses had shown stereotypical behaviours during a healing earlier. It was a little distressing to watch but we all felt that because she was having a group healing her deep rooted issues were coming to the surface quicker. To our surprise when we all turned around to leave, a group of goats in the opposite field had glazed eyes and were resting their heads against the fence, all completely chilled, obviously taking in the reiki too. It was a very funny sight to see and made us all laugh.
Our third Reiki session was with Bugs, a horse who has chronic arthritis and is in a lot of pain. I have offered her reiki many times before and was not surprised to see that as soon as we offered reiki she came over from the middle of a group of horses and moved up right against the fence to where we were standing. She soaked the reiki up like a sponge and became dreamy and chilled. During her Reiki session she drank quite a lot of water, Nicky who is a qualified crystal therapist decided to ‘charge’ the drinking water with the crystal fluorite which is good for bones. Bugs drank even more water and at one point almost put her hoof in the water tank.
During the afternoon we split into smaller groups and offered reiki to as many animals as possible which included Cocoa the cat and Bimbo, Star, Casey and Marley the horses. It was a good time to walk around in the energy of Remus to see where the horses were being put to bed and how immaculate, warm and cosy each stable was. The tireless work which never ends at Remus is amazing to see, the love and attention given to each animal is a blessing.
The thing about offering reiki in a group is that inevitably each person takes on some of the wonderful healing energy. We finished offering reiki and said our goodbyes. We were all chilled, calm and a little tired. We agreed to meet again on the 12th of December, before the Remus’s Carol Service starts, it will be a time to meet, offer reiki and to eat mince pies!
by Caroline Thomas © 2010
I met Missy during my first month as a volunteer at Horse Haven of Tennessee. Following my volunteer shifts, I am able to do Reiki work with the horses that our barn manager feels would benefit. I had been primarily working with a Hackney pony, Napoleon, who had a severe mistrust of most people with the exception of our barn manager. He had been coming along nicely, so when a new group of rescue horses arrived, I began to work with them as well. The first horse I chose to work with was Missy. As I entered her stall, I realized that this was the type of moment I had most feared experiencing since starting my work at Horse Haven: she was severely emaciated, weak and blind in one eye. She openly welcomed me into her space. She had been munching on a large pile of hay, deeply contented. You could see some relief in her face to have clean water and probably what seemed to be a never ending supply of hay.
I began to let the Reiki flow from the corner of her stall. She stopped her munching to shift her stance in my direction, and as the minutes rolled by she began to lower her head into a relaxed position. After some time, she approached me and put her head right into my hands. This was a new experience for me, because Napoleon had exclusively preferred to experience Reiki without contact. Missy directed my hands to her blind side, clearly wanting to feel the Reiki near her blind eye and on this side of her head. After a while, she stepped forward and leaned into me so I could place my hands on her chest and shoulder. She gradually repositioned herself, even actually turning around, so I could place my hands on the sharp prominent bones of her spine and hind quarters. It was in this very moment, while working with such a trusting and beautiful though severely neglected soul, that I realized that the Reiki was lifting me up and far away from my fear and sorrow. The Reiki was allowing me to hold the light for Missy, creating the healing space that she desperately needed. It was even more amazing in that I felt almost a forgiveness pouring out of her heart toward human kind and to those that had abused her. She could see so far beyond this, even in her weakened condition, to allow another human to share her space, remaining fully open to the experience that unfolded between us.
I thanked Missy for giving me the privilege to create a healing space for her with Reiki and for the healing that I received as well. As I said good bye to her, I was already looking forward to our next session the following week. I did distant Reiki work with her on the following two days and felt a connection with her and acceptance of the Reiki treatments. The following Sunday when I arrived for my weekly shift, my heart dropped when I saw that her stall was empty. I frantically sought out my shift leader, who sadly informed me that Missy had colicked on Thursday night and despite all efforts to save her, she died around midnight that night. She was surrounded by the volunteers on duty that night that stayed on to assist the veterinary team. She died peacefully, surrounded with the love and caring that had been absent from her life for far too long. I still think of Missy to this day and feel so blessed to have known this beautiful spirit, even for such a short time. Her memory will remain with me always.