Compassion and Reiki: Where does one end and the other begin? A recent trip to Apopka, Florida, to teach Reiki at the CARE Foundation, a sanctuary for exotic wildlife such as alligators, bears, tigers and panthers, helped me to understand more fully compassion as a concept within the system of Reiki.
Forty percent of Americans have tried holistic therapies, and 60 percent of U.S. households have at least one pet. It’s no surprise, then, that those same people are increasingly turning to energy healing and other holistic therapies to help their furry friends.
In my work with Reiki and animals, I have always had a special relationship with the horses I have connected with. Well, in reality this connection began long before I knew Reiki, at age 5 when I met my first horse. From that day forward I was absolutely captivated, and my life would never be the same! I am most fortunate now to have two beautiful horses, both of whom I also consider important Reiki teachers to me: one retired quarter horse, Shawnee, and an 8-year-old Paint named Kodiak. Kodiak and I also work together learning the riding discipline called dressage.
“There is a cycle of love and death that shapes the lives of those who choose to travel in the company of animals. It is a cycle unlike any other. To those who have never lived through its turnings and walked its rocky path, our willingness to give our hearts with full knowledge that they will be broken seems incomprehensible. Only we know how small a price we pay for what we receive; our grief, no matter how powerful it may be, is an insufficient measure of the joy we have been given.” -Suzanne Clothier
The shelter dog had clearly been neglected in his past. His coat was dull, and his eyes stared blankly into space as he barked continuously. The staff asked me to please try to help calm him, since he had been hysterically barking since he had arrived. I sat quietly outside his kennel, put in my earplugs and took a deep breath. I imagined the energy of the earth flowing up through my body, grounding and centering me, and mentally offered the dog some healing energy, if he chose to connect with me. I closed my eyes and inside my mind imagined myself in a quiet, beautiful place.