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.
If you are looking for a gentle and noninvasive technique for supporting feline wellness, look no further than Reiki. Reiki can create relaxation and peace in even the most stressed-out cases-thus it is ideal for cats living in loving homes, as well as shelter and rescued cats. Reiki can help to speed healing after surgery or illness, reduce side-effects of medicine and other treatments, relieve pain, improve behavior problems, heal anxiety-related problems and, when physical healing isn’t possible, ease the transition to death.
For we did not weave the web of life. We are merely a strand in it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. Let us give thanks for the web and the circle that connects us.
Sometimes when I fly, I get very philosophical. Just the other day, I was sitting in a plane, and suddenly became aware of how much of my life depends on others. I was thinking about the pilot flying the plane, the flight attendants looking after all of us passengers, the cooperation of all of the passengers to make it a safe and pleasant experience. I looked at my seatbelt, the chair in front of me, my cup of water, and all the other parts of the plane around me and reflected on the many, many people it took to make this plane trip happen.
Goodbye, frosty mornings and puffy parkas. Hello, baby animals and blooms! To most of us, spring represents a time of new beginnings and optimism—a time for celebrating fresh, new starts. It’s also a powerful opportunity to recommit to those areas of our life that may have chilled over the bleak days of winter. Here are five ways to do just that:
1. Volunteer Reiki for the baby animals at your local shelter. Baby animals: Need I say more? Who wouldn’t want to spend an afternoon helping (and cuddling) these cuties? The spring season often leaves shelters coping with an overflow of kittens and puppies needing adoption. I have seen Reiki boost adoption rates time and again. Helping these kittens calm and find loving homes then opens much-needed space for older dogs and cats that take a bit longer to adopt out. This actually leads right into my next point …
Friday is St. Patrick’s Day—a fun day that always reminds me of my Irish ancestry. Though I haven’t seen the Emerald Isle yet, I hope one day to visit its famed castles, museums and—of course—its shelters and sanctuaries! Here are four inspiring organizations dedicated to helping make animals’ lives better. This St. Patrick’s Day, consider supporting one of the following (even a small donation helps!):
Eden Farmed Animal Sanctuary
Eden promotes “liberty, equality, veganism.” About 100 rescued farm animals now live in peace at this sanctuary, which started in 2008. In addition to rescuing animals from farms, Eden is committed to spreading the word about veganism; its inspiring Go Vegan World advertising campaign uses billboards and TV ads to challenge people to reconsider their use and acceptance of animal products. See Eden’s beautiful farm and animals here: