Animal Paradise - Communication & Healing
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    Animals & Reiki

Animal Paradise Newsletter
Summer 2010

 Animals and Reiki "Attunements" 
by Janet Dobbs
Reiki Teacher/Practitioner

Sammy was my heart and soul and encouraged me in most everything that I did. He loved working with Reiki and actually taught the first Reiki level one class that I held at our home. It all began the night before the class when I was practicing Reiki attunements. 

Reiju, translates to mean ‘spiritual blessing’. In level one Reiki, students receive 4 reiju (also called 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 not to perform Reiju on an animal. That didn’t make sense to me. What harm would it do, if Reiki does no harm? What would it matter? What was going to happen if I was to do that? Why would someone be afraid that an animal would be “attuned” to spiritual energy? 

I was taught by my first Reiki teacher, 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 and 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 working my way around the chair as 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 and were 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 that he liked helping. He wanted to make sure that everyone was receiving exactly what they needed at that point in time as he worked his magic, opening their hearts. 

After lunch we regrouped in the room that had a Reiki table set up. In level one Reiki, students learn how to do a self-healing Reiki treatment as well as how to give 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 on the left side of the table facing the students. 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 at each student in the eye. I stopped talking and asked, “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 to your animal friends and others. Remember that your animal friends are you 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 have been teaching my workshops at Traveller’s Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary since April 2007. The first class that I taught was a Reiki I course. The group was in a circle as I was offering them their first attunement when we all heard, baaaaaarrrrrrrrow! Baaaaaaarrrrow!!!! It was Hannah the 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 so 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 space)”. Hannah then walked around the outside of the circle and then she walked around the inside of the circle. When her human mom, Chris, was receiving her Reiju, Hannah rubbed her leg and then she went around behind the table that we had food on 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 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 has been present at almost every Reiki class that we have had at TREES. She especially likes Reiki II where students learn the 3 level two Reiki symbols and mantras. Hannah has 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. 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. 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 me as well as others. I thank them all for their help, support and guidance. 

*1 - (p. 164 A-Z Reiki Pocketbook by Bronwen & Frans Stiene)

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