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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Northbrook, Illinois Reiki room

Day and night shots of Annette Kohn-Lau's Reiki room

Reiki Master Teacher and Certified Traditional Naturopath Annette Kohn-Lau of Northbrook, Illinois, submitted these photos of her Reiki room after friend and fellow Reiki Master Teacher Phillip Racette encouraged her, noting that it's one of his favorite places. We can see why!

To submit a photo of your Reiki room, the place where you practice Reiki or Reiki meditations, whether professional , personal, full or part time, or shared, attach it to an email and send it to

Monday, August 30, 2010

Personal practice Monday: Virtual retreat and troubleshooting

Mari Hall's Virtual Usui Retreat is in its third week, but practitioners who'd like to participate can join at any time.

Last week we asked for your answers to a poll about self practice, however, the poll is experiencing technical difficulties and did not capture your responses. We'll let you know when it's up and running - in the meantime, whether or not you cast your vote, you can comment on the poll topic in the comments section of this post.

If you'd like to submit an article on personal Reiki practice, send it to and include the words "personal practice Monday" in the subject line.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Animal Reiki Friday: A practitioner's questions and an article

I get a lot of calls from people who want to practice Reiki with animals. Some are interested in classes, and some have questions about starting a business. This week I spoke to Maritsa, who is experienced in massage for animals but now wants Reiki to be the focus of her work.

Maritsa has received certificates for Reiki I and II. She’s learned about using Reiki with animals in her massage course, and she has completed a course in a natural energy healing method for animals.

Wanting to be both in state compliance and present a professional presence to her clients, Maritsa needed to be sure she was prepared to open her business. Her first question was whether the state (of New Jersey) required animal Reiki practitioners to be certified in animal CPR. (I’m not quite sure but I surmised from our conversation that CPR training had been a required part of her massage course.) Further, she wanted to know about Animal Reiki I and II certifications. Were those necessary?

Maritsa’s questions broach both legal and professional issues. While government does not recognize Reiki certification, it may impose other regulations regarding Reiki practice. I gave Maritsa my answer, and now I’m asking if you’ll share yours.

Because The Reiki Digest’s readers are from all over the world, rules may differ. I don’t expect that a reader from Portugal will be up to date on state specific legislation in the USA. But I’m wondering if animal Reiki practitioners will answer these questions:

What level of Reiki training have you completed?

How long have you been practicing Reiki with people? With animals?

Does your locality have any requirements or place restrictions on your practice? (For instance, from what I understand, In the United States, Texas law requires practitioners who touch animals to be licensed in animal massage. That means, in Texas, hands-on Reiki requires a certification. Hands-off does not. If you are from Texas and have a different understanding of this requirement, please share it here.)

Do you have a certificate for your work using Reiki with animals? Do you need one?

Do you think your clients place an importance on the level of study you’ve completed?

The question of certification requirements is broad and impacts not only animal Reiki, but also, of course, Reiki for humans. Certification requirements is a broad topic and one that warrants further discussion, but this set of questions is specifically for those who practice Reiki with animals, either professionally or otherwise. I told Maritsa I’d be posting her questions here. Will you answer?

The Family that Heals Together...

by Pamela Sourelis

In the past few weeks I have met two former healers who are now doing other jobs. They carry the lessons of the healer into their work, but they no longer specifically do healing work. Both of them gave the same reason, as does a third former healer, a good friend: People don’t want to get well.

This may sound absurd, but I have to admit that this is my experience as well, which is one of the reasons I primarily work with four-legged creatures. They accept Reiki healing, no questions asked. They know what they need, and when they’ve had enough, they walk away. The results are often dramatic.

On many occasions, an animal that I am working with has indicated that his or her human is in need of healing. I have been told intimate details of some of these human’s lives. When I have shared these concerns with the human, asked if I can be of assistance, the human invariably says, “Oh, no. I’m fine.” Even when clearly she or he is not. I have witnessed humans accept ownership of illnesses and conditions (“my insomnia,” “my depression,” “my lupus,” “my fibromyalgia”) and seem fearful at the prospect of letting these conditions go.

And so it was a pleasant surprise when a former client (I’ll call her Anne) asked me to assist her with an ongoing health issue. I worked with several of Anne’s animals about five years ago. Anne has recommended my services to others over the years, and she has asked about Reiki for humans, but she had never before requested sessions for herself.

Anne suffers from extremely painful fibromyalgia and is following a nutritional and detoxification protocol. While she is clearly benefiting from the protocol, she felt that she had reached a plateau in her healing journey and wondered if Reiki could help. I shared stories with her—including my own story of pushing past a healing plateau with Reiki after my terrible injury this summer—and she decided to give it a try.

All of the sessions were conducted across distance. The immediate result of the first session was a change in her personal energy. A brilliant woman, whose mind is most often in overdrive, and whose manner can appear rushed and impatient at times, she became calm, almost serene.

This sense of calm not only remained fairly constant; it seemed to deepen with each session. I saw this as hugely significant, but she kindly informed me that calm was not what she was looking for.

And so I explained that for healing to occur on the deep level that she was pursuing, the body had to first be balanced, that it cannot heal in a state of anxiety or stress. This made sense to her, and so she continued with the sessions and experienced steady improvement in her health over several weeks’ time.

Another benefit—this one to her animals—was an unexpected surprise. Five years ago, I had worked with one of her birds, Lovie. Anne had been unhappy because Lovie was unhappy—to the point of biting her. Anne wanted Lovie to be “a better pet.” I explained that I cannot change an animal’s temperament, but that I would speak to Lovie in the hopes that she would tell me what was going on.

Well, did she ever! Lovie was enraged. Stressed and anxious, she angrily said she had no interest in being a “pet,” that she wanted to be free. Anne had explained that her birds were free to leave their cages at all times and had free run of the house, but Lovie impatiently informed me that was not enough; she wanted to live in the wild.

Obviously, it is not possible to release a domestic bird into the wild, and so the issue remained unresolved.

Before Anne’s first session several weeks ago, I told her that if there were any cats in the house, they would probably pile on the bed with her. Cats love Reiki. And so she brought the cat home that lives in her place of business. Sure enough, he jumped up on the bed when the session began. Anne had also placed the birdcage on the bed during the session, so she was lying in the middle with the cat on one side and the birds on the other.

She reported that after the session, the cat—who could be aggressive and hyper—was calm to the point of being cross-eyed. (She said this jokingly, of course.) But an even bigger change was in Lovie. Her hostility stopped. She now sits calmly on Anne’s shoulder without biting Anne’s ear. She is no longer fearful and hyper.

This is not the first time I have seen Reiki calm a human or animal in the room when someone else was receiving treatment. One human reported that after lying next to her dog while her dog received a treatment, she (the human) slept better than she had in months. But the change in Lovie was extraordinary. The change in her behavior was immediate and lasting. I explained to Anne that my sense was that while the Reiki itself surely had an effect on this angry critter, the change in Anne had a powerful effect as well. Her internal calm was calming to Lovie.

Horse people know this. Our horses reflect images of ourselves—our confidence, our doubts and fears, our patience or lack of it, our energy. But we may forget that everyone we come in contact with—four-legged or two-legged—reflects images of ourselves. The energy we project is the energy we get back.

And so the family that heals together . . . well, heals together.

Pam Sourelis of Winged Horse Healing is a professional Reiki practitioner (for both animals and humans), an Animal Communicator, and a practitioner of Neuromuscular Retraining (movement re-education for animals).

editor's note: While many animal Reiki practitioners are also animal communicators, animal communication is not an aspect of the system of Reiki.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The weekly waka

waning gibbous
cutting back the dead growth
flowers dry
and the tides grow still
thoughts wander

by Beth Lowell

To submit your waka, send it an an email to

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Layers of Health teleseminar series to feature segment on energy healing

On September 16th and 17th, Nina Wallinder of Layers of Health, an online community dedicated to investigating holistic health options, will be interviewing Frans and Bronwen Stiene, founders of the International House of Reiki as part of their Good Vibrations series.

In their segment, the Stienes will be talking about energy work, it's benefits,the system of Reiki itself, and take listeners through a connective meditation. Frans and Bronwen say, "This might be a really good interview to direct your friends to - so they understand a little more about what YOU do!"

You can subscribe to listen to the series live, or for 48 hours after its broadcast, and it's available for purchase, as well if you'd like to own a copy.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Personal practice Monday: a new poll -which aspect of personal Reiki practice do you believe is most important?

Weigh in here!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Animal Reiki Friday: Sydney, the foster dog who found her will to live

By Ming Chee-Brown

Sydney, neglected, overweight and ill, barely moved and had lost her will to live.

Sydney rolling in the grass the day after her first Reiki treatment

Sydney flourishing with the help of Reiki treatments

My Reiki partner Candy and I were asked to send Reiki to a Golden Retriever foster dog. Her foster mom, Jeanette said that Sydney had been dropped off at the shelter with some existing problems that only grew worse. She was overweight, had two infected front legs with elbows oozing pus (the vet suspected this was from a lifetime of lying on cement.), a torn ACL in one rear leg, kennel cough and a coat so matted that it hindered her ability to move. Worse yet, Sydney had lost her will to live. She never wagged her tail, let alone raise her head.

During our first session with Sydney, she sighed heavily with exaughstion. Who knows where her journey had taken her? We sent healing to her hips, and reassured her with love and healing energy.

That night after the session, Jeanette heard the clicking of nails, and was shocked to see Sydney come into the room. The next day, Jeanette found Sydney in the yard, rolling on the grass with her legs in the air, usually a sign of great happiness in dogs.

After our second Reiki session, Sydney started to go up and down the stairs like she owned the place! Jeanette wrote, " She followed me up 13 stairs! In the beginning I couldn’t even get that girl to stand let alone do the stairs!"

The next morning, after Jeanette let Sydney out in the morning, she went back to bed where Sydney joined her. Jeanette reported wakingup feeling a sense of peace that she'd never felt before. She wondered if perhaps she was feeling the energy Sydney had received from me and Candy. She wrote, "Whatever it was, I can’t wait to do it again. She sleeps with me from now on!"

So far we've done three sessions with Sydney, who has come down to 108 pounds and is thriving. During each session, we sent mental and physical healings. We were so thrilled to recieve not only these before and after photos from Jeanette, but also an hour long video of how Sydney is flourishing. We are so filled with gratitude for having the opportunity to work with this sweet girl!

Ming Chee-Brown is an animal Reiki practitioner who along with business partner Candy Boroditsky founded Los Angeles based Reiki Fur Babies in 2008.

To submit your animal Reiki articles to The Reiki Digest, please email them to

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Miami Reiki room

Adela Alvarez sent two views of her peaceful Miami Florida Reiki room.

Adela Alvarez from Miami, Florida writes: "My room is quiet, peaceful and full of the essence that keeps me focused on healing. Whether it be music, aromatherapy, veils of chiffon (coordinated with the chakra therapy of the day) that cover my window or reading material, it all makes me feel safe and connected when I enter my sacred space."

Thank you, Adela!

Share your Reiki room - the space where you practice Reiki on yourself or others, with readers from around the world. It can be a personal space, full time, part time, or shared. Attach your photo to an email and send it to

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The weekly waka

after the heat broke
I found the summer garden
withered and brown -
what are dreams but sand and clouds
impermanent and changing?

August -
an over ripe melon
and wind
carrying change,
the first yellow leaf twirling

By Beth Lowell

The Reiki Digest welcomes waka from both former waka contributors and new. To submit yours, send it in an email to

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Reiki rooms at Chicago Healing Studio

The front room

Treatment room

Anna Schibrowsky writes about Erik La Belle's rooms at Chicago Healing Studio: "Escaping the noise of Chicago streets, clients and students enter a large room made cozy by the colors of the heart chakra, ­green and pink. By day, natural light brightens nature-inspired artwork; at night, glowing orbs are reflected in the dark, grounding hardwood.

When they are ready for the treatment or attunement, guests are ushered into a sky-blue room filled with soothing music and the soft light of a rice-paper lamp. Woodblock prints by Utagawa Hiroshige depict the ebb and flow of the four seasons.

Transforming these rooms into the sanctuary seen here took several weeks. We did the work ourselves, always with the intention of creating a space forReiki. Now, clients and students report much more profound experiences than when we only took a few minutes to set (up) the rooms."

Thanks, Anna!

Send us a photo of the room where you practice Reiki or do Reiki meditation! It can be a personal or professional space, part time, full time or shared. Attach it to an email and send it to and be sure to include the words "Reiki room" in the subject line.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Introducing personal practice Mondays

Personal practice/self treatment is an invaluable tool for Reiki practitioners. Here at The Reiki Digest we're instituting a new feature called personal practice Monday, during which we'll be featuring articles on this subject. To kick off our first week, we invite you to take part in Pamela Miles' self treatment poll. Pamela is looking to receive 1000 responses and at last count was nearing her goal. We'll check in with Pamela to find out about the results of her poll and publish them here. We invite your articles on any aspect of personal Reiki practice as well.

If you'd like to submit an article on this or any other Reiki topic, please email it to For a copy of our writers guidelines, click here.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Seriously speaking

The Reiki Digest has covered a wide range of Reiki topics in its four year history including spiritual elements of Reiki, personal practice, celebrities and sports figures who use Reiki, controversies about Reiki and just about everything else in between. There's one thing we haven't covered though, because it's rarely mentioned. Ever.

Our own Editor at large, Pamela Miles discovered this link, which dares to ask ....can Reiki be funny?

Have a great weekend from the staff of The Reiki Digest!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Animal Reiki Friday: one year old pup and Reiki support the dying process

Often, the needs and emotions of animals are overlooked during the dying process of a family member.

Walking across the lawn towards the 92 year old woman's home I heard the sounds of barking coming from inside. Tapping mindfully on the door and considering the family within who had gathered together to support their mom’s end-of-life, I entered the home and introduced myself. I assured the family that the one year old puppy jumping at the kitchen gate could join us and he was allowed to join us.

Animals like people are very much a part of living and of family life. Many times their emotions and needs are overlooked including during the dying process of a family member. The small pup's prescence reminded me of all of this and I was glad that he was there supporting us.

I continued to lay my hands upon the mom's head and shoulder areas, knowing that no matter where I placed them the Reiki would go exactly to where it was needed. She slept peacefully, breathing in and out while the pup sat close by affirming that those that really matter need no proof of this healing practice, or ask what level of Reiki, hand positions or lineage we are connected to. They just feel it working.

I thanked the pup for his contributions, knowing that the mom was in good hands and at the best possible place. Although, I was using Reiki with a senior it is important to know that Reiki is not just for those that are sick, it’s for those that aren’t sick to stay healthy.

Getting a Reiki treatment has many benefits but learning Reiki for yourself will allow you to give yourself "self-treatments, will bring balance on many levels and it's something you can share confidently with the entire family including the family pet.

Kelly Tammaro and Ann Brum are founders of Heart of Reiki. They are animal Reiki practitioners and teach Reiki globally.

Cindy's Reiki room

Cindy's Reiki room

Reader Cindy says: "My husband and I use this room for self-treatment, the treatment of others and as a meditation room. Thank you for inviting us to share. We are always pleased to show off this room to company and appreciative of the opportunity to explain Reiki to those that have never heard. I am anxious to see the rooms of others. Again thank you!"

Thank you Cindy!

If you'd like to share your Reiki room with Reiki practioners around the world (and get a chance to have your room voted the best Reiki room in our September poll) please attach your photo(s) to an email and send it to Your room can be where you meditate or practice Reiki - personally or professionally, full or part time, and it can be a shared space as well.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Seattle Reiki room and a book review!

Marianne Streich's Seattle Reiki room

Author and Reiki Master Marianne Streich, who is also editor of Reiki News Magazine, writes: "Clients pass through a lattice gate and cross a courtyard where, depending on the time of year, they may find lavender, lilac, wild roses, iris, azalea, wisteria, ligustrum, or bluebells blooming. (This photo was taken in winter.)

After being welcomed in a small reception area, the client is shown into the treatment room, which is painted a peaceful, pale green. A fountain provides the soothing sound of gently moving water, and if a breeze is stirring outside, the melodic notes of a wind chime can be heard through the window.

The Heart Chakra wall poster (created by Reiki Master Tom Tessereau) also has a calming effect. My intention was to create a space that would evoke a feeling of peace and sanctuary as soon as the client crossed the threshold."

Thanks, Marianne!

To submit a photo of the space where you practice Reiki or meditate, whether it's personal, professional, full-time, part time or shared, attach it to an email with the words "reiki room" in the subject line and send it to

Book Review: advance praise for Touching the World Through Reiki

By Beth Lowell, Senior Editor

Touching the World Through Reiki is an inspirational book written by Seattle based Reiki Master Eileen Dey, founder of the Reiki Training Program (RTP), a healing arts vocational school licensed by the state of Washington, and its outreach program, The Reiki Fellowship. Eileen’s work with healing the Duwamish River, a superfund site, was featured here in The Reiki Digest just a few weeks ago.

In her book, Dey shares the story of her own transformative journey with Reiki and the five tools she has developed based on years of both Reiki and counseling experience to help Reiki practitioners on their own individual paths.

Exercises and case stories are interspersed throughout, and the five tools address different aspects of the Reiki experience from navigating the spiritual path to helping practitioners find their career niche in the Reiki world.

Along with her tools, Dey includes practical information about how practitioners can touch the world through Reiki in a wide and sometimes unexpected variety of ways like taking Reiki on the road, using it with war veterans, in the creative arts and the environment, as well as through Reiki circles. A section containing guided meditations finishes off the book.

Intended for both Reiki practitioners and those who may be interested in practicing Reiki, Dey’s book is a testimonial to the personal and professional breakthroughs that can manifest in our lives through dedicated practice.

You can find this book, which will be released later this month, on this page of Eileen's website.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Reiki rooms in Greater Manchester, UK ...and beyond

Colin Powell's Reiki room

Colin Powell sent this picture of his Reiki room in the Winton Village, Greater Manchester, UK. Notice the Reiki principles in Japanese, on the right.

Marci's Reiki room

A reader
who simply calls herself Marci submitted this photo, noting that she and Rob built this room from the ground up, with love.

Thank you, Colin and Marci for sharing your lovely Reiki rooms with our readers.

To submit a picture of your Reiki room, send it in an email to, and be sure to include "Reiki room" in the subject line!

The weekly waka

Behind the curtain
a different scene plays out -
the audience keeps clapping
though the house is burning down

Beth Lowell

The Reiki Digest is always looking for new waka writers. To submit yours, please email it to, and be sure to include the word "waka" in the subject line.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

An Amsterdam Reiki room

Anne Boerrigter's Reiki room

Anne Boerrigter of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, sent us this photo of the room she uses for her work as a Reiki practitioner at her business, 'Reikipraktijk Zoveel Zonlicht'. That's Dutch and roughly translates as 'Reiki practice So Much Sunlight' (because Reiki is also sometimes called the power of the sun)... Ahhhh, makes us here at The Reiki Digest want to book a flight (and an appointment) right now! Thanks, Anne!

To send a photo of the room where you practice Reiki or Reiki meditation, whether it be personal, professional, full time, part time or shared, please attach it to an email addressed to Please include the words "Reiki room" in the subject line.

Monday, August 09, 2010

The Reiki Digest August edition

Senior Editor Beth Lowell did double duty for us this month, serving not only in her regular capacity but also as our Guest Editor for August. For those who missed the monthly email edition, or anyone who'd like to find all our featured posts for August, here's a quick roundup. Of course, we'll be publishing frequently throughout the month and more recent posts will be included in our September edition, so visit our web site often and feel free to add your comments anytime.

A lesson in compassion -- by Senior Editor Beth Lowell

Reiki moves into emergency planning -- by Contributing Editor Heather Alexander

Introducing Animal Reiki Fridays! Our first submission is For matters of the heart: Reiki with Sebastian -- by Ming Chee-Brown

Show us your Reiki room -- Please send photos!

Please share about your Reiki shares Please send comments!

15th Annual Usui Virtual Reiki Retreat starts August 15

The Reiki Roundup

The Celeb-Reiki Report: Reiki Master and cancer survivor Gordon Brown is ready to set sail around the world

Music we love to practice Reiki by
: Celeste

The weekly waka

Specials from our advertisers: Dog day deals

And stay tuned for our new print/printoutable edition, coming later this year!

15th annual Usui Virtual Reiki Retreat starts August 15

Reiki authors Frank Arjava Petter and Tadao Yamaguchi will be co-writing the focus meditations for this year's Usui Virtual Reiki Retreat, which begins on August 15, the anniversary of Reiki founder Mikao Usui's birth, and continues for 21 days.

The retreat, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary, is open to all practitioners, and each person can participate from their own location at whatever time is convenient, even if it's just a few minutes each day. This year's host is also the founder of the retreat, Reiki author Mari Hall.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Animal Reiki Friday: For matters of the heart - Reiki with Sebastian

My business parter, Candy Boroditsky, and I have been treating Sebastian, a Brussels Griffon, with regular Reiki treatments since late last fall. Sebastian is a rescued dog whose age was hard to determine. He’s been with his family since early 2009 and we were surprised to find that his age has been guessed at anywhere between 8 and 12 by different veterinarians, including his cardiologist, since he seems so youthful to us. Sebastian was diagnosed with congestive heart failure last year.

As many rescue dogs do, Sebastian had some behavioral issues to begin with when he got to a new home, and on top of that, his owner struggled after his diagnosis since she could not get his medications into him, no matter what food she used to entice him. When we got involved, there was a lot of fear around his situation, and it was difficult for both his family and us. Despite this, his mama was a real champion for him and was determined to do the best she could to see that he got a good quality of life.

We started treatment with his heart and lung problems in mind. With Reiki, Sebastian settled down, and he began breathing better and coughing less. We felt intuitively that despite the fact that Sebastian was a small dog, he didn’t want to be babied. We treated him with the respect he deserved and our relationship deepened. As his physical symptoms improved, we were delighted to find that he was getting along better with everyone in the family.

It has been an honor and privilege working with Sebastian. Some days we laugh with him, and on others we cry. Like everyone, he has his ups and downs. We have been able to see Reiki work not only with the physical areas we originally came to him for, but also mentally as well. We have learned a lot from him and hope to continue to do so for as long as we can!

Ming Chee-Brown is an animal Reiki practitioner who along with business partner Candy Boroditsky founded Los Angeles based Reiki Fur Babies in 2008.

If you have questions about Reiki for animals, please post them in the comments box of any Animal Reiki Friday article. Likewise, if you're an animal Reiki practitioner, and would like to answer a reader's question, please share your knowledge with the Reiki world. To submit your animal Reiki article, send it in an email to:

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Coming soon - animal Reiki Fridays!

Well, coming just as soon as we hear from you. We've reserved Fridays (though not exclusively) for animal Reiki articles. Our readership includes many animal Reiki practitioners from around the world and we invite your articles, photographs, or videos about your experiences.

Already busy with your own blog or website? We accept articles previously published elsewhere.

For more information, read our writers guidelines or send your article to

The weekly waka

When I finally woke
I realized nothing mattered -
the stars had fallen
and I took comfort knowing
there really is no answer

By Beth Lowell

To submit your waka, send it in an email to, and include the word "waka" in the subject line.

Monday, August 02, 2010

A lesson in compassion


I remember very clearly the Friday morning in June several years ago that I got the call from my pet sitting client, Kristen. Her puppy, Lita, had died that morning. I had taken care of Lita, and Kristen’s older boxer, Ozzy, only the day before, and both seemed fine. A voice in my head kept repeating, “Are you sure? Are you sure she’s dead?” But by the time Kristen called, it had been several hours, and I was forced to believe that it was true.

The following days were dreadful. I could barely speak as I ordered a small bouquet of flowers for Kristen, and then another young dog, Rosie, a Labrador retriever, fell deathly ill. I worried that some kind of canine epidemic had broken out, or that I had unwittingly passed some disease from one dog to another. Would the rest of my clientele be safe? What about my own dogs?

Rosie made it in to the vet’s office by the skin of her teeth and they managed to keep her alive over the next week until her test results came back. Throughout this period of time, I grieved for Lita and worried about Rosie. I couldn’t imagine Rosie dying. In the end, what the vet had thought was pneumonia was a case of strep, and once he’d determined that, he could administer the right medication, and Rosie survived. Lita, it had been concluded, had died of a heart condition called cardiomyopathy.

A couple of years later, I began practicing Reiki. I continued caring for pets and offered Reiki to as many as I could. Some were well and some suffered from minor maladies, either physical or emotional, some were aging, and in decline. I quickly learned who would soak it up, who preferred play or treats (which they often associated me with) and who wanted Reiki under absolutely no circumstances. As I continued to offer Reiki to animals over time, our relationships deepened. And as time passed, disasters happened and animals passed away.

By this time I was a member of an online forum of practitioners who offered Reiki to animals. I sent requests regularly.

Please send Reiki to my dog Bella. She swallowed the plastic wrapper that her food came in.

Please send Reiki to Polly, a calico cat. Her leg hurts and the vet can’t figure out what’s wrong.

Please send Reiki to Rosie. (The same Yellow Labrador who had almost died of Strep). She’s had a bloody lip for a week and only now has the vet determined that she was bitten by a poisonous snake.


Each time I got the email notifying me of updates in the forum, I anxiously opened it. The group members always answered my requests. I felt so relieved. But over time, I participated in the group less and less. There were several reasons. One was that I felt guilty that I was not reciprocating by offering Reiki to all of the requests that came in from others. How could I possibly find the time to do self care and Reiki for my own dogs, meditate and respond to the dozens of requests that poured in each week?

Another was that despite the good that Reiki does, I was starting to feel overwhelmed by the enormity of suffering that seemed to be going on in the animal kingdom. But there was something else that I couldn’t put my finger on, and as often happens with Reiki practice, it became clear only much later.

I realized that despite requesting Reiki for probably dozens of animals, my request was actually the same one over and over again.

Please send Reiki for (fill in the name of the animal here.) He or She (fill in the problem here). The only thing missing was the “because”. And the big “because” was always the same: Because I don’t want this animal to die.

Of course, no one wants an animal to die, but the anxiety I felt surrounding the possible loss of these animals caused me to make a serious mistake. My requests for help were not truly made out of the compassion I thought they were. Compassion is defined as having concern about a situation and wanting to do something about it. Of course I was concerned and wanted to do something about the situations the animals were in. But I was also very worried about them dying. My requests had been borne of fear.

Another thought occurred to me as well. While I was then and always will be grateful for the Reiki that others offered, it was not the Reiki per se that made me feel better each time I opened the email messages from the forum. What helped me was the mere fact that my requests had been acknowledged.

This acknowledgement, or acceptance of the facts as they stand, is really what’s at the crux of compassion.

I started practicing Reiki with animals professionally at the same time I had started practicing Reiki with my own dogs and my pet sitting clients on a more personal level. When I started practicing professionally, I assumed I’d get calls about dogs with separation anxiety, or cats who refused to use the litter box. Instead what I found was that the overwhelming majority of jobs I got were for terminally ill pets.

You might be starting to wonder how effective I could be working with dying animals considering my apparent fear of death. But working with animals with whom I had no previous connection was easy. I had not formed a close bond with them. I had not seen them in happier, healthier times. It was precisely for this reason that I could accept the facts as they were at the moment I met them, and why it was easier for me to accept whatever the outcome would be. It was also the reason why I could go on to form a deep bond with them that was not negatively affected by fear or worry.

Working with the dying gave me great comfort when I could see in the eyes of the animals that they understood why I was there and as they immediately moved into position each time I saw them. It gave me great comfort when I could see in the eyes of the humans that they were reassured by the serenity of their animals during Reiki treatment. Working with the dying made clearer for me the role of humanity as witness and the importance of acknowledging the plight of others without judgment. Understanding this and being able to accomplish it on a daily basis are two different things.

So now, a few more years have passed. Ozzy’s had a new sister, Ford, for four years. He has developed degenerative myelopathy, a progressive autoimmune disease that affects the spinal cord. His front legs are still strong but as he attempts to run, his hind legs scuttle along the ground like crabs’ legs, throwing his body sideways behind him.

Ozzy and Ford

Rosie, the dog who survived strep and a poisonous snake bite is living on borrowed time, according to her vet. I wish he hadn’t used quite that phrase. She’s been diagnosed with a syndrome called Evans Disease, an autoimmune disorder that occurs when two autoimmune diseases, IMHA and AIHA are present. These affect the body’s ability to produce blood cells and platelets. It’s often likened to Hemophilia.

These are the facts as they stand. Please send Reiki.

The Reiki Roundup

Sayville, NY, USA: Reiki masters led a Full Moon labrynth walk at The Common Ground, a park created in memory of those lost during the 9/11 attacks. Read more about the calming effects of labrynth walking and when the next one will be later this month.

Pembroke, MA, USA: Reiki and a new home bring much needed relief to an injured and traumatized former showhorse named Mardi Gras.

Salem, Oregon, USA: Closet exorcisms and animal Reiki? It's all good! Debbie Mercy Jean's business caters to both people and pets, and her Reiki business that includes pets joins the growing numbers of similar businesses popping up all over the United States.

Milwaukee, WI, USA: Although the original interview with Sister Madeline Gianforte took place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, (See The Reiki Digest's coverage of this story here), PBS will be airing the piece again starting August 6th, during their pledge drive, so the location can be right on your own TV if you are in viewing distance. In case you missed it the first time around, you can read the interview and comments that followed here.

Dublin, Ireland: Reporter Amanda Phelan tries a Reiki treatment and shares her results with readers. (I hadn't heard about the 'energy bubble' technique before but I'd be interested to learn more...)

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada: Poet, artist, writer and filmmaker Sister Eileen Curteis talks about her experiences with Reiki, Christ Consciousness and her life for the past seventeen years at the healing ministry at Queenswood in Victoria.

Celeb-Reiki Gordon Brown ready to set sail with flotilla of survivors to raise cancer awareness

Reiki Master Reverend Gordon Brown has graced our publication before. His long awaited journey around the world by sailboat to raise cancer awareness starts August 3, 2010 from Onset, Massachusetts. He is accepting reservations by email for attunements aboard The Amnesty as well as inviting others to join for any leg of the trip. Find out more information about the trip, including his email address on his blog, The Victory Lap.

More from Celeste - Celestial Sounds Meditation and Therapy Music

In May, 2009, The Reiki Digest featured a review of Celeste's CD, The Healing Power of Music - Reiki Meditations - Energy Purification, Self-Healing and Distant Healing, in which its creator, Celeste, leads the listener through a series of meditations and exercises. In the background, music created from overlays of Celeste's voice and birdsong create a healing experience all of their own. I liked Celeste's CD so much that I bought Celestial Sounds - Meditation and Therapy Music, which is the musical part alone, to add to my collection. As I told Celeste, the dogs love it too!

The weekly waka

My dog
unearthing old treasures -
shards, a rusty nail,
marbles and the round brass tag
of another, long ago dog

by Beth Lowell

The Reiki Digest welcomes your waka submissions. Please send them in an email to

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Great deals for the dog days!

It's so easy to get The Reiki Digest delivered to your inbox each month, and it doesn't cost you a penny. However, it does cost us more than a few pennies to produce and distribute the Digest, and we thank our advertisers for helping make that possible. Please keep the energy flowing by shopping via the ads in The Reiki Digest. Not only does it help us pay the bills, but our carefully selected sponsors have generously agreed to some great deals for our readers, proving once again that what goes around, comes around.

Here are our specials for the dog days of August:

10% off all orders at DHC July 1 - Aug 31

FIJI Water Company

Shambhala Publications Inc.

The Healing Trauma Online Course w/ Peter A. Levine, PhD Jenny Craig Hay House, Inc. 160x600