Have you heard of The Devoted Barn? This very special animal sanctuary may be less than five years old, but it’s already made a huge impact—saving animals’ lives, helping the community and even winning a prestigious national award (read more about it below). I’m excited because this week (May 5-7) I’ll be teaching Reiki III and Animal Reiki Teacher Training at The Devoted Barn (hope to see you there!). If you’re local but can’t make the class, please join me for a special book talk, signing, meditation and Reiki healing circle this Saturday, May 6, at Crazy Wisdom bookstore in Ann Arbor.
Following are some fun facts about The Devoted Barn, which founder and director Melissa Borden started in 2013 (though she spent more than 20 years prior to that rescuing abused and neglected animals):
I recently came back from a very fun trip with my family to “The Happiest Place on Earth,” Disneyland in Southern California. One of my goals on this trip was to find a way to eat delicious, healthy food and stay true to my diet of vegan/gluten-free (V/GF). I have to admit, eating V/GF while at Disneyland wasn’t a walk in the park (no pun intended). There were a few times where I realized the true meaning of the slang term “hangry.” (Definition: irritable or bad-tempered as a result of being hungry.) I even thought about calling this blog, “Woman cannot live on fruit cups alone” or “Starving with Snow White and Sleeping Beauty,” but settled on a more positive choice. 🙂
These days, with our busy, multitasking lives and so many distractions in the media pulling our attention toward worry, there’s no better time than right now to harness the healing power of Reiki presence in your life.
You’ve probably heard a lot about the calming and balancing power of presence, or “mindfulness,” in the news, but did you know that Reiki meditation can bring us those same benefits? And even better, sharing our meditations with nature and animals can even enhance them!
One of my favorite things about sanctuary animals is their incredible ability to live in the moment. No matter their past, no matter their physical ailments—these special creatures understand innately how to embrace love, mindfulness and spirituality.
I see it time and again when I sit with animals at a sanctuary or shelter and share Reiki. And when I listen close, they have much to teach. In fact, it’s almost as if they want us to learn the ancient wisdom of finding happiness.
Chapter 1: A Brief Introduction to the System of Reiki
“From a traditional Japanese perspective we can say that Reiki means our True Self, and the system of Reiki (Usui Reiki Ryoho) is a system that helps us to remember our True Self/Reiki again.” -Frans Stiene
Ariel is a shy gray mare at BrightHaven Sanctuary in northern California. She was rescued from the Mexican rodeo circuit, and has many scars that bear testament to her difficult past. She is now living a peaceful life where humans require nothing from her, and she can just be a horse and live in her herd. Yet due to her history, she is extremely untrusting of humans. When she first arrived at the sanctuary, she would stand very far from my Reiki students when we would come out to the pasture to share meditation. Even though she wouldn’t physically approach, she would watch us very carefully, her ears pricked at attention, showing lots of interest in what we were “doing” while we were meditating.