I was recently asked by the Australian Reiki Connection to share a talk on Animal Reiki. One of the questions was, had l offered reiki to animals prior to my training with Kathleen Prasad, Founder of Animal Reiki Source. And how different it is to offering Reiki for people. This encouraged me to share my story :
My spiritual journey began long before I studied in a classroom. It all began in the family home where the many experiences of life began to shape me and wake me up. For me Reiki now means my ‘true essence’ and so it is from here that I am able to reflect on my journey, which started almost 40 years ago through three of my most enlightening and profound experiences.
Reiki as I knew it at as a child was simple but somehow grew into attachments and illusions but now I am happy to share that I practise remembering the precepts where there is less anger, less worry and more awareness of gratitude, honesty and compassion…
Today I know it that a spiritual practise helps me to remember my true essence and also, how energy follows the mind. On a deeper level though we know, sometimes things happen that we don’t have answers for.
Such as, how did I survive when my mother took prescribed medication to abort her unborn ? Why is it that she spent her entire life feeling guilt, blame and sorrow ? Why didn’t my parents choose to be happy when told I could see from one eye with no other side effects ? Why is it that my 18-year-old brother died at such a young age during his first camp ? And why is it that my sister who still lives today with a rare disease in her many near death experiences?
How shortly after my brothers’ passing at age 10 did the vet give me permission to take my beautiful pup home where I was blessed to witness a peaceful passing in my arms ?
These are the many mysteries we so often try to seek answers for outside of ourselves. If only we give ourselves permission to simply sit quietly enough, listen and set the intent to surrender and trust. Maybe one day we can all live effortlessly in our true essence of peacefulness.
My memory takes me back to when I was a little girl aged 10 in the family home and in the tiny backyard where I spent most of my time. I would spend countless hours climbing our huge lemon tree, endless jumps from the top of our bungalow and shed, and sitting with my countless birds, ducks, chickens, cats, dogs and in particular my beloved white goat Poppy, and my first animal Reiki teacher, my pit bull named Zoro. These were my daily mindfulness practises.
It was in 1977 that we had been given the tragic news that my brother aged 18 was missing in NSW. Being aged 10 I took the word literally that he was lost in the forest and they were searching for him. I guess they were the words I understood until I watched in horror my mothers’ screams as she was tearing her dress into shreds knowing what had happened. I was trying to work out what was happening in that moment but couldn’t comprehend it until the night l saw my brothers’ lifeless body a few days later. l reached out to hold his hand and discovered how cold it was. In this very sad moment l remember l began to ask him where are you, come back , l need you, and from his cold lifeless face , a drop of water trickled from his eye and ran down his cheek. It was like he was crying with us too. Standing around my brother I saw my family crumbling away with such great despair and in that moment I knew he wasn’t coming back home.
That very same night he came to me in a very clear and vivid dream that always and still lives in my heart today during almost 40 years. Even on the days when I’m challenged and in moments of forgetfulness, the memory comes back quick enough to remind me of this first teaching.
He came to me and looked as beautiful as always, with his gentle caring, loving nature and beautiful long wavy hair that he would let me brush and put into a ponytail, and the way I always felt so protected in his presence. In my crying l told him how much l missed him over the last few days, and how I wanted him to come back. He responded with a softness yet an assertiveness that who I saw that evening in the casket was not real. He told me what I saw was like a doll. A doll has no life inside it and that the life that once lived inside his body now lives everywhere. He told anytime I needed him I could simply think of him and he would be right there with me. He also told me to not be afraid and that he asked me to follow my heart in what we always spoke about… which was to become a teacher.
Shortly after my brothers’ experience my pup Zoro with whom I had a kind and loving relationship suddenly became sick. His body quickly became very weak and wasn’t interested in eating. We took him to the hospital nearby where the Vet ran some tests and told us he tested positive for parvovirus. He said it was a new disease and that his body wasn’t strong enough and wasn’t sure if he would make it . He sadly looked at me and asked me if I would like to take him home to care for him or he could euthanize him now. I looked at him and looked at Zoro and I promised to look after him. I spent the rest of the day with him in my arms and giving him tiny amounts of sweet water that the Vet had advised. I held and watched him at my heart and spoke to him in my mind attentively all night. l would imagine us going on walks, running in the park and playing together. l also sang silent night to him over and over and over again. Zoro would wag his little tail with knowingness and shared so much gratitude.
In the early hours of the following morning I felt my brothers’ presence like he was holding me so I could hold Zoro as he was taking his last breaths. I remember a sense of strength lovingly holding us both like a big warm hug enveloped us that I can’t really find the words to describe, other than it was the most beautiful experience I had ever encountered. Interestingly even in my sadness of loosing my present pup I had this understanding of not fearing death. However I still find it very hard in the sense I want to hold them here in the physical.
Early this year l listened to my heart and set off to go to Florida to be with Kathleen Prasad to learn Reiki 3 and Animal Reiki Teacher Training at The Care Foundation.
On the last day of the three day training at Care Foundation Kathleen shared a beautiful heart felt meditation in the morning. In the meditation I had the experience that I could for my first time see light shining in my blind eye. It was an incredible feeling that took me by surprise and l let go of the meditation for a few moments as I wept and brushed away my tears.
In that moment I had a vision of Roxy the gorgeous raccoon who is almost totally blind. I sat in meditation with her I remembered the previous day and had an experience of her exhaustions. l watched her pace back and forth the entire time we spent together. I felt sadness, my memory in that moment was my fast pace life that I once lived and how exhausted I became during major health issues, and how grateful I now was and that I could live and be in a space of calm and peace now. I felt I was offering Roxy healing but it turned out she was the one offering me the healing that I needed in that moment.
So after our morning class together we went back to the Care Foudation to share Reiki with the animals. Kathleen asked us all to choose an animal to meditate with and so my heart led me back to be with Roxy. I felt strongly drawn to her after my morning experience. I greeted Roxy, who was once again pacing back and forth. This time I chose not to look at her but to go deeper within and to trust that she be open to take all that she required in this moment. As I connected deeper in my meditation I began to feel a sigh of relief, a feeling of no more running, a feeling that I could just be in this moment and that I was free. I had a vision that I was on top of a mountain and that life had only just begun. I felt I was the mountain, strong happy, peaceful and filled with so much love. When I finished I opened my eyes and saw Beautiful Roxy sharing this restful state of just Being. She too had shifted from her fast paced energy into a content and peaceful loving space and had climbed up her mountain top onto her condo where she was laying down resting and sleeping. The Sun and moon shone brightly through our eyes and guided us to see with our hearts.
We both shared that true seeing is beyond the eyes- we felt the Reiki Rain wash over our eyes to see with our big open hearts.
It was in my mid 40’s when I completed my apprenticeship Reiki teaching training with my teacher and now dearest friend Liesl Meuris that I remembered my brothers’ words as she presented my certificate.
My desire was never to teach Reiki, my journey was always about finding peace and helping others do the same. I believe my brother knew this all along but it was l who had to discover it for myself. It was in this time I was also following, reading and becoming a student of Frans Steine, Founder of International House of Reiki and the many videos from Kathleen Prasad. They both spoke my heart language, that took me to a new level from my own personal meditations, where l began practising all 5 elements of the system of Reiki. These practises helped me connect to the animals more deeply than ever. Recently l held the first Okuden and Animal Reiki Training with my supportive animal family and Teachers Honey, Lucky and Angel and the beautiful Horses at Genevra Park, where we hold hands together into the journey of remembering and rediscovering inner peace, compassion & wisdom.
As I go deeper again, and reconnect back to childhood memories, I remember my animal family,where I was being held, supported and loved unconditionally. The truth is that my journey in reconnecting was not an easy one but one that certainly led me into a space of peace, compassion and contentment. l am truly grateful in knowing how loved I always was and that it was l who had to dig deep where love is and has always been. l had to just remember to sit quietly enough in this magnificent energetic expansive space where Love truly exists, just as I did as a child with the animals in my backyard.
I feel honored that Heart of Reiki teaches Animal Reiki Training. It is a healing space that it is delivered differently for people.It is a connection where we hold space of peace and calm. It is where we open up to honor and respect the animals as our teachers for their caring natures that they so effortlessly gift to us.
Reiki is my life and my life is Reiki. A journey into holding hands, paws and hearts where all healing possibilities exist.
“Love you Liesl”