MY ANIMAL REIKI EXPERIENCE
I would like to end by sharing one more story. It is about an animal Reiki experience. About five years ago I heard about an animal Reiki teacher, Kathleen Prasad, who lives near San Francisco. She is internationally recognized as one of the pioneers and leading educators in animal Reiki.
She not only teaches animal Reiki but also created the Shelter Animal Reiki Association whose mission is to promote the use of Reiki in animal shelters, sanctuaries and rescue facilities worldwide through education and training. I encourage you to look at her website which gives you information on all the SARA teachers who are volunteering to make this a reality with the location of the shelters around the world where they are volunteering.
During a six month internship with Kathleen, which I did from my home in New Jersey , I was able to engage in 50 Reiki sessions with animals in different settings – in a person’s home or a distant session from my own home, as well as at shelters or foster homes.
Things I learned were:
- When you offer Reiki to animals you absolutely do not need physical contact. That is why it is so effective for sick, traumatized or abused animals. Reiki can address all these issues from a gentle and non-invasive space.
- I learned that Reiki is more a meditation that we do with our animals rather than an active treatment like we might do with humans.
I would like to give you an example of this:
The Story of Benz
One day when I went into a shelter, I met a volunteer who was fostering a recently rescue dog, named Benz, who came from one of the southern states and was quite a challenge.
He had a lot of aggressive behavior towards the male gender which made it difficult for him to be adopted. I worked together for several months with the volunteer both in the shelter and at her home where she brought him for brief periods of time.
When I first went outside his cage at the shelter he was very aggressive and as I sat quietly in my meditation and offered Reiki, he would slowly back off and stretch out on his mat and go into a restful place.
When I first went to her home and sat in meditation to offer him Reiki, he would pace around the room. The first two times he would go up to the second floor and lay down. After a few sessions he would just go to a nearby couch and go into these deep Reiki slumbers during the session.
We were optimistic but he continued to be quite aggressive towards her husband and after some scary incidents he was brought back to the shelter and it was determined he was not adoptable and needed to be put down.
I asked if I could give him some private Reiki sessions before this happened. The person in charge found a supply closet which would give us some privacy and said she wanted to be with me and would bring some work with her to do while I was offering Reiki.
I offered Reiki to him the last two days before he was euthanized. They were two of the most powerful experiences I had with him. He was just so receptive. At one point in the session, he came over to me as I sat on my cushion and stretched out in front of me and stayed there for a long period of time in a deep Reiki slumber. I placed my hands on him for the first time in our Reiki sessions. It was the first time he had ever allowed that. The person in charge never did any work. She was just totally mesmerized by what was happening.
Bill Stevens is a Christian Brother who taught in their schools for 25 years before working for 10 years in three different hospitals as a Chaplain. This led him to work with the HIV/AIDS community for the next 12 years during which time he created a non-profit organization called Chrysalis Ministry to reach out to those affected by this epidemic. He learned Reiki at this time which started him on his 20 year journey with Reiki. He presently is a Reiki Master and has taught Reiki for the past ten years and studied with seven Reiki Masters. He presently works with the VNA Hospice in Central Jersey as a Reiki practitioner and was recognized by the NJHPCO in 2010 as Hospice Reiki Practitioner of the Year.
Bill is a Shinpiden Reiki III graduate of the International House of Reiki and is a Reiki teacher and practitioner for the Shelter Animal Reiki Association which was founded to bring Reiki to animal shelters across the country.