Animals and Reiki Attunements
Sammy (1994-2007) was my heart and encouraged me in just about everything that I did. He loved working with Reiki and actually taught students in my very first Reiki level one class that was held in our home. It all began the night before the class when I was practicing Reiki attunements. Little did I know what was about to unfold over the weekend.
Reiju, a Japanese word that translates to mean ‘spiritual blessing’. In level one Reiki, students receive 4 reiju (attunements) throughout the course. The purpose is to strengthen the students’ connection with spiritual energy and to raise their personal energy levels, giving a sense of reconnection with one’s true self. Reiju also helps clear the body’s meridians allowing students to conduct more energy through the body. (*1)
I had “heard” that you are never to “perform” a Reiki attunement on an animal. NEVER! That didn’t make sense to me. What harm would it do, if Reiki does no harm? What would it matter if an animal chooses to receive a spiritual blessing? What was going to happen if I did that? Why would someone be afraid that an animal would be “attuned” to spiritual energy?
Isn’t that who we all are if we are alive? Spiritual energy.
My first Reiki teacher taught me to practice giving an attunement using an empty chair if there was no human to practice with. So there I was, walking around an empty chair when my amazing kitty Sammy came in the room, hopped up on it and sat perfectly still, announcing to me, “Go ahead now. Please continue. I am here to help you. I am here to help you get this right!” I continued practicing as I worked my way around the chair and he sat almost motionless. “Again!” he suggested. So, I offered Reiju to him again, practicing until I felt confident. The moment that I felt complete, he thanked me and then hopped off the chair to go out to his screened porch for a bit of chilly February air. I thanked him for being my teacher and allowing me to practice with him.
The following day, he greeted the students when they arrived and then disappeared somewhere else in the house. The time came for the first reiju / attunement. The students were sitting in their chairs. Soothing music was playing in the background and everyone had their eyes closed, relaxing. Just after I began the process, Sammy quietly arrived in the room. He surveyed the situation and then silently walked from person to person, lightly brushing their leg and offered each student a blessing and healing. I could not believe that he actually took part in the event. He told us that it was very important to him and he liked helping. He wanted to make sure that everyone was receiving exactly what they needed at that point in time. So, he worked his magic, opening their hearts.
After lunch we regrouped in the room that had a Reiki table set up. In Beginning Reiki, students learn how to do a self-healing Reiki treatment as well as how to offer and receive a hands-on Reiki healing session on a Reiki table. I was sitting in a chair just a bit away from the head of the Reiki table and the students were sitting to my left facing the Reiki table and me. I was telling them about the next steps when suddenly Sam ran into the room and jumped up on the Reiki table, faced the students and began talking. “Meow, meow, meow, meow. Mah, mah, mah, mah, mah, MAAHH! ……. MA! …… MAH! Meow, meow, meow.” He looked each student in the eye. I stopped talking and asked him out loud, “What are you doing Sam?”
I then realized that HE was teaching the class!
Sam had such a presence. His essence would always fill the whole room or space that he was in. As the students sat captivated by him, he continued his ‘talk’. He said to each student, “Pay attention. This is important work. Open yourself. Take this in. Learn how to heal yourself so you can bring this home to your animal friends and others. Remember that your animal friends are your greatest teachers. We will help you to remember to always stay grounded as you do your healing work. We are here to work with you side by side. Be open to the possibilities. Embrace ‘this’ and embrace life. Find joy and bliss in everything that you do. All is well.” I can still see him sitting on the table holding ‘court’.
Then as fast as he arrived, he turned, jumped down off the table and disappeared upstairs and did not return again.
I often would have Reiki shares at the house and Sammy would get up on the table with me as I was receiving my Reiki session and “help” with the session. It always amazes and humbles me just how much the animals know about healing.
I taught many workshops at Traveller’s Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary since the beginning of April 2007. The first class that I taught there was a Reiki I course. The group was sitting in a circle and I was offering them their first Reiju/spiritual blessing when we all heard… baaaaaarrrrrrrrow! Baaaaaaarrrrow!!!! It was Hannah, a longhaired orange kitty announcing herself. I telepathically said to her that I wanted to acknowledge her, but that I was in the middle of the Reiju and needed her to be quiet as the students were easily distracted. She didn’t understand what the heck was going on in her house! With great curiosity, she went around to each person and looked up at them saying, baaaarrrow? (Keep in mind that the students all had their eyes closed and were supposed to be in their “quiet place”). Hannah next walked around the outside of the circle and then again walked around the inside of the circle.
When her human mom was receiving Reiju, Hannah rubbed her mom’s leg and then she went around behind a table that had food on it and proceeded to sit on top of a paper bag under the table, which made lots of noise just as we were finishing up the Reiju process. Everyone laughed! We did another meditation and Hannah stayed right in the room with us. I said to the class, let’s just stay in the energy that we are in and offer Hannah Reiki. Hannah laid down. She took a nap. She got up. She then walked around the circle going to each person as if to thank them individually and then went back to the bag and went completely out.
Hanna was present at almost every Reiki class that was held at TREES. She especially loved Reiki II where students learn the three level 2 Reiki symbols and mantras. Hannah had her favorite symbol and will sit in it and look at each of the students, telling them to pay very close attention and really work with the energy, as it will help them in many ways.
Does it matter if we practice an attunement with an animal?
No. Reiki or spiritual energy/the life force does no harm ever! We can practice any part of the system of Reiki (meditations, reiju, symbols & mantras, the precepts & healing) and invite our animal friends to join us. The animals know so much more than we do. They are the ones teaching and healing us. We need to open and allow the healing that we offer them to return to us in the same way that they send unconditional love to us. Everything changes when we open our minds and hearts to the possibilities and partner with the animals. As Sammy, Hannah and many other animals have shown me over the years, allow your animal friends to teach you and show you the way with energy and healing. All you need is an open mind and an open heart.
I never know what the animals are going to do, say or teach me. I am grateful that they are in my life and that they are willing to teach you and me. I thank them all for their help, support and guidance. Have fun with all animals as you deepen your connection with them and all that is.
*1 – (p. 164 A-Z Reiki Pocketbook by Bronwen & Frans Stiene)