Tanka on Animal Reiki Workshop

Meditation: on higher ground

hold on to the roots

rock steady—easy does it!

ground (zero) control

toss and turn and let it burn

let’s return to center stage

This is my second week of learning to let it be, let go, and let God.

Funnily, the exercise started with a string of minor annoyances, big enough to rattle my usual excitable, anxiety-prone, hyperactive mind. Enter the earth and sky meditation, based on the common grounding technique of visualizing light and energy from above, flooding our entire being from head to toe, crown to root—roots from the base of our spine reaching deep into the earth, locking us in a stable, firm, unshakable position—and filling our heart center, radiating everywhere to animals in need of peace and healing. Without any pressure or expectation, we invite them to take as much or as little energy—or none at all—as they wish. Trust between us and the animals is established, resulting in an effective Reiki treatment, even if we don’t immediately sense anything at first. It’s the moment for us to let them take the lead in this energetic two-step.

Groundedness, facilitated by daily discipline of meditation, is key in successful and even powerful treatments. Animals are extremely sensitive beings that can easily detect our emotional state. Any upset or imbalance in us disturbs them. For that same reason, we are not to discuss the animal’s condition or situation within earshot of the animal, and sometimes we should keep the information that we’ve gathered intuitively in case the animal’s person isn’t ready to accept it. When we are calm and centered, we create an expansive space within ourselves, attracting others, including animals around us, and the connection we have with our inner knowing and animals becomes stronger. The above tanka (with musical references sprinkled here and there) that I wrote reflects the anchoring effect of just a brief moment of meditation. The deceptively simple act of setting an intention sets things in motion energetically, even if I lose focus at times as I can always redirect myself.

Living on the edge of now

Giving treatments doesn’t involve fretting about the past or the future and making grand claims of cure or intuitive prowess. Regardless of what has happened and/or what is happening, let Reiki take its course for the highest good of all concerned. In other words, let God’s good will be done, the goodness and wisdom of Source, the universe, the field of potentiality—however you call the higher power according to your belief (or nonbelief, for that matter). Reiki practitioners are simply conduits of healing. Healing may occur on an expected and/or unexpected level(s). There are times where instant physical or situational healing manifests. At other times, gradual emotional or spiritual healing occurs first before moving on to the next layers. Sometimes death is inevitable, but Reiki brings serenity into the picture. When all seems to be lost, we still have the gift—the present moment.

Animals are perfect models and masters of relishing the present moment, captured beautifully by the poet, memoirist, and canine fancier Mark Doty:


Fetch? Balls and sticks capture my attention
seconds at a time. Catch? I don’t think so.
Bunny, tumbling leaf, a squirrel who’s—oh
joy—actually scared. Sniff the wind, then

I’m off again: muck, pond, ditch, residue
of any thrillingly dead thing. And you?
Either you’re sunk in the past, half our walk,
thinking of what you never can bring back,

or else you’re off in some fog concerning
—tomorrow, is that what you call it? My work:
to unsnare time’s warp (and woof!), retrieving,
my haze-headed friend, you. This shining bark,

a Zen master’s bronzy gong, calls you here,
entirely, now: bow-wow, bow-wow, bow-wow.

Reiki: healing and transformation beyond the physical

The versatility, simplicity, ease, and far-reaching healing effects of Reiki attracted me to the practice. My initiation was not at the completion of my first-degree Reiki course. Rather, it was the mix of an auto accident case and chronic environmental allergies most likely caused by emotional and mental upset over the years. A combination of Reiki and other energy modalities contributes to gradual but significant improvement of my condition, while others experience near-instant results. I’ve witnessed the tranquilizing yet energizing effects of Reiki on both humans and animals—body, mind, and spirit—via in-person and distant treatments. I love how Reiki can also be used to treat situations—past, present, and future. Time and location are immaterial. Reiki transcends all things. It’s prayer on speed (dial).

The benefits of Reiki in the management of health conditions have been well-documented scientifically. Reiki is also the go-to coping tool for the harsh realities workers and volunteers face in animal shelters and sanctuaries in these heartwarming recollections.

It’s a wild life—roll with it!

Given the occupational hazards of the pet industry, particularly pet sitting, Reiki would be a wonderful one-stop solution, ranging from the practical—for aches, pains, and stress of the long work days and hours, preexisting conditions including pet allergies, the occasional injuries, warding off common bugs that can cut work hours, and providing comfort to the animals in our care—to even perhaps the esoteric: protecting contracts, properties, and day-to-day operations and interactions.

Contrary to popular belief, pet care can be and is physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing at times—the nothing-to-sneeze-at care, custody, and control of our clients’ property and their beloved critter family members 24/7/365 (or 366 at the time of this post). Murphy’s Law reigns supreme: things break. Things get lost or stolen. Animals attack. Bites, scratches, and heaven forbid, maulings. Heartbreaks in witnessing gravely ill, injured, or dying pets. Fender benders and slips, trips, and falls on the job. Tech snafus. Jazzed-up computers and phones. Business is slow. Money is tight. Problem clients. Rude prospects. Real and imagined threats from competitors and powers that (don’t) be imposing more rules, regulations, and restrictions. Malicious or opportunistic individuals may try to fleece or harm us. Reiki and its extension, meditation, attach us to a steady anchor in the midst of chaos. With ease and grace, we navigate the sometimes-calm, sometimes-choppy sea of life. We learn to ride the tidal wave. Hang loose. Surf’s always up.

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