Sanctuary spotlight: The Devoted Barn

Cute American pit bull terrier pup

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):

5 calming rituals for a happier spring

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 …

5 special sanctuary animals who have mastered the Reiki precepts

Last month, as I do every February, I had the honor of teaching Reiki 3 at The C.A.R.E. Foundation in Apopka, Florida. This beautiful sanctuary is home to more than 200 exotic animals, including bears, monkeys, big cats and even a friendly skunk!

The interesting thing about working with animals (not just the ones at C.A.R.E.) is that even though I am teaching animal Reiki to humans, the animals are truly the ones teaching us. In fact, I’ve come to realize that the special animals at C.A.R.E. perfectly model the five Reiki precepts, as illustrated in the following photo essay:

The Most Amazing Reiki Pig in the World

Wednesday, March 1, was National Pig Day—and whenever I think of pigs, I cannot help but remember Harley, an amazing pig who touched my heart and the hearts of many lucky enough to know him.

Harley was a beautiful, 800-pound black-and-white pig who lived many happy years at BrightHaven sanctuary in Northern California. Five years ago, on July 11, he passed away—and is still sorely missed by me, so many of my students, and everyone who knew him. He was such an amazing soul that I feel the need to write about his life for those of you who didn’t get the opportunity to meet him in person.

Join us for World Animal Reiki Day 2017

Have animals healed your life? Have animals inspired you to be a better person? If you love animals and want to make the world a more compassionate place for them, then please join us in celebrating World Animal Reiki Day tomorrow, February 5, 2017!

Last year, during our inaugural celebration, we had hundreds of animal lovers around the world take time out of their day to honor animals as spiritual teachers and healers. Whether you participate by simply lighting a candle and remembering a beloved animal, volunteering in your local shelter, or leading a Reiki event at your local animal organization, we hope even more of you join us this year!