Shelter Animal Reiki Association

Shelter Animal Reiki Association

My First Animal Reiki Teacher Training Class

“Basking in the Radiant Light of Two Hearts Connected.” ~ Rachel Gene

The practice of reiki has been my spiritual foundation since the year 2001 when I met a Japanese teacher who literally changed my life path when he placed his hands around my hands and I felt an energetic shift happen throughout my body. This was not part of a reiki class, nor was he a reiki teacher, but a Japanese college teacher who chaperoned Japanese students during summer English classes at the university where I used to teach English as a Second Language. We became good friends and every summer I learned more from him about energy, meditation, and healing.

I began taking reiki classes with American teachers and in 2006 completed the teacher training class and started teaching all levels of people reiki classes.

Fast forward to 2011 when my sweet Shiba Inu dog, Ginger, passed away. Another huge awareness shift occurred and I felt her guiding me to start offering reiki to animals so I started training with Kathleen Prasad. My reiki practice deepened and expanded. I began to experience a more profound connection to animals that opened up a new world, opened my heart, and taught me the deeper meaning of compassion. This has been one of the biggest blessings in my life.

I taught my first animal reiki level 1 class in January 2013 at Zeb’s Wish Equine Sanctuary in Sandy, Oregon where I live and teach classes.

In June of this year I taught my first animal reiki teacher training class. Two students, Ann and Rachel, who had previously taken animal reiki classes with me, let me know that they were ready for the teacher training and so we scheduled the three-day training for three consecutive Sundays.

During our first class we agreed to immerse ourselves in reiki during the following weeks. As we worked through the class material and homework assignments, we took the time for rich discussions about reiki, our reiki experiences, our personal spiritual path, and the deeper meaning of being a reiki practitioner and teacher. We explored and experienced what it means to Be Reiki and in Being Reiki, how we allow ourselves to open more deeply and fully to the Great Bright Light.

Those three weeks of teacher training were magical for me. Being completely  immersed, and held in Reiki energy gave me the grounding and insight I needed to hold sacred space for Rachel and Ann, to be truly present energetically and heart to heart with them and with the animals during our practice sessions. Of course, the animals were our teachers too. Their purity, honesty, openness, hope, and compassion are sacred beacons of light that show us who we are. They are ready and willing to connect with us, to help us experience the wondrous beauty, mystery, and magic of life, of being alive. Being in presence with them heals us and makes my heart smile with joy.

“Reiki Changes Everything” ~ Ann Allen

Ann and Benny
Ann and Benny

Basking in the Radiant Light of Two Hearts Connected.

Rachel with Noodles and Bambi
Rachel with Noodles and Bambi

“At the time I started the level 3 training, my understanding of my purpose in life was probably best summarized by the phrase, “help to heal them all!” I was also quite rapidly becoming overwhelmed by this understanding of my calling. With an eye to looking for animals in need of healing, I was only able to see suffering and pain. My heart was breaking daily and I was struggling with anger and fear.

In the days following the first class, I noticed a shift beginning. I began to be very uncomfortable. Uncomfortable with how I was practicing Reiki. Uncomfortable with how I articulated and understood my life’s purpose. Uncomfortable with how I was approaching the animals I loved so deeply. I realized, however well-meaning, that by identifying an animal as “in need of healing” I made lots of assumptions and judgements. “Needs healing” began to sound like “broken, in need of fixing.” That realization was particularly uncomfortable. The time for a big change had come.

Wholeness beckoned me. Acceptance and non-judgment was the path. It felt like peace. It felt like unconditional love. It felt like home. At the conclusion of the three-week training, my understanding of my calling is very different – “may I be a blessing to the animals I am blessed to know.” Within this prayer, all are recognized as whole and perfect, just as they are. With this transformed perspective, I am able to see their Bright Light and come to better know and love my own. When I sit with an animal now in Reiki space, I am free to simply be, and to bask in the radiant light of two hearts connected.”

Rachel Gene, July 2017

By Victoria Kress
SARA Teacher

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