The Reiki Precepts

IMG_0520I was first attuned to Reiki in 1996. Reiki has always been an essential part of my self-care, as well as my healing practice.

A few years ago I discovered Animal Reiki by Kathleen Prasad from a video on Facebook. I soon started studying with Kathleen, and then also with her teacher, Frans Stiene. They share a more traditional Japanese form of Reiki called Usui Reiki Ryoho. This system of Reiki is composed of five elements, with hands-on-healing being only one of the elements. The emphasis of Usui Reiki Ryoho is on personal and spiritual development.

Usui Reiki Ryoho is about the realization of our True Self. Click here for an article by Frans Stiene on the Reiki Symbol “Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen.”

The Reiki Precepts are another element in this system of Reiki. A precept is a code of practice or a guideline for thought and behavior. The founder of all Reiki practices, Mikao Usui, gave his students these precepts to support them on their spiritual path of self-healing. These precepts are the foundation of his teachings.

For Today Only:
Do not Anger
Do not worry
Be Humble
Be Honest in your Work
Be Compassionate to Yourself and Others

In contemplating these precepts at this moment in my life, I have found a new beauty in their simplicity.

Currently, I am focusing on the precept Do Not Worry. I set my intention in the morning just to notice when I have an anxious thought. I don’t try to stop worrying; I just notice when a worried thought comes through. I found that just by being aware of worried thoughts I don’t get caught up in them as much. This shifts my day in a big way. Actually, in a really, really big way.

So simple. So beautiful.

Jeri Lawson is available for Healing Touch, Reiki, and Clarity Breathwork sessions Monday through Friday, 10 am to 8 pm, in the Temescal Area of Oakland, California

Healing: A Personal Story

Berkeley On His Way To Surgery

Reiki makes a difference.

My dog Berkeley was born with a few dental issues. Four of his upper teeth were cutting into his lower jaw, causing inflammation that would eventually lead to an infection in his lower jaw. After careful research, I scheduled his surgery on a Friday of last February.

The surgery went well, but after three days Berkeley started bleeding. I will spare you the details, but I have never seen such a small animal lose so much blood, and lose it so fast. It was horrible. Was it from the surgery? Did he eat a chicken bone?

After a trip to the vet, I found out it was a reaction to his pain medication. I was very relieved to find it wasn’t something worse, but Berkeley was still far from well. He was given medication for his colon and had to eat boiled chicken and rice until his digestion returned to normal. That meant he had to poop, which might take as long as three days.

Berkeley was feeling pretty bad. When we got home from the animal hospital, he got out of the car and just rolled over on the garage floor because he was so tired. It was scary and heart-breaking.

Berkeley Healing

As soon as I carried Berkeley inside, I started giving him Reiki with both hands. It was cold and rainy outside, and my hands were warm with energy. Berkeley turned over on his back and snuggled in for all he could get.

I have never seen any person or animal take in so much Reiki as my nineteen-pound dog did over those three days. For about a year before the surgery, Berkeley and I had been meditating and sharing Reiki every morning. We were doing a beautiful Reiki meditation I learned in Kathleen Prasad’s Animal Reiki courses, that does not require touch. Now, though, he wanted Reiki with my hands on him.

My boyfriend Geoffrey is also a Reiki Practitioner, and we both gave Berkeley Reiki throughout the evenings, often all three of us sharing Reiki at the same time. Berkeley comes to work with me, so he also had Reiki between clients during the day.

When giving Reiki to animals, the animals let you how much they want, and I watched carefully for any signs of Reiki over-saturation. Berkeley always turned over asked for more. There were even times when he was so uncomfortable he did not want to be petted, but he always wanted my hands on him for Reiki.
Doing continual healing work with Berkeley was a profound experience. Many times during those three days there was no “me” giving Reiki, there was no “Berkeley” receiving Reiki, there was just this beautiful, peaceful, loving connection. There was just this space where we were all connected, and everything was ok, really ok. It’s impossible to describe fully.

What could have been an emotionally stressful time became a great gift with Reiki. If you are the least bit interested in learning to share Reiki with your animal, you can start by checking out Kathleen Prasad’s book “Reiki For Dogs.” Even if you have never done energy work before, do one of her “Try This” exercises and see what happens. You may be amazed.2016031695105327

I would like to thank The Berkeley Dog and Cat Hospital, Dr. Isaacson, Reiki Teacher Kathleen Prasad, Sharon, Maurine, Neal, Terese, Bruce, Mojo, my Mom and Geoffrey Matsumoto for all your support during Berkeley’s recovery.

Jeri Lawson is available for Healing Touch, Reiki, and Clarity Breathwork sessions Monday through Friday, 10 am to 8 pm, in the Temescal Area of Oakland, California

Animal Reiki And The Constantly Evolving Journey Of Healing

Level III Animal Reiki Teacher Training Class November 2015
Level III Animal Reiki Teacher Training Class November 2015

Being an energetic practitioner is a constantly evolving journey. The energy is always guiding me.  Often I find many techniques that have worked so well in the past just fall away as new awareness arises.

In my practice now, I feel a deepening of the work, of the sacred space, how connected everything really is. “I” feel I am doing less, and my clients are receiving more.


This shift has led me to the teachings of Kathleen Prasad. After watching her YouTube videos and reading her books, I decided to attend her three-day Animal Reiki Teacher Training last weekend.

What is Animal Reiki?

Here is a quote from her website answering that very question:

“Animal Reiki is a spiritual practice of compassion for all beings. In a nutshell, “doing” Reiki for animals simply means learning to meditate with your animals. The practices of Reiki help us navigate our life’s challenges with grace and surrender while we learn to listen to and be present for others in a compassionate space. Compassion is the ultimate healer.”

IMG_2170Kathleen’s classes are unique in her emphasis on traditional Japanese Reiki techniques integrated into Animal Reiki practice. Kathleen is passionate about Reiki, connecting with animals, and she is a gifted teacher. I found her constantly evolving journey with her Reiki practice very validating and life-affirming.

There is so much I took away from this class (but not the kitten in the photo, thank god). Let me just say for now that if you are interested in animals, Reiki, or meditation, I recommend that you put a Reiki class from Kathleen on your bucket list. Make it your number one item.

IMG_2183The Reiki Workshop was held at BrightHaven Holistic Animal Retreat in Santa Rosa, California. There is so much love at BrightHaven; I feel so good just being there. During the class I was able to share Reiki with the cows – Buttercup and her baby, as well as chickens, pigs and Odie the goose!

This workshop has opened the door to a new level of healing within myself. What this means for my energy work will unfold in the next few months. For now, I will sum up this post with a quote by Kathleen:

“In the energetic space of healing all possibilities exist.”  – Kathleen Prasad Co-Founder SARA – Shelter Animal Reiki Association

Jeri Lawson is available for Healing Touch, Reiki and Clarity Breathwork sessions Monday through Friday, 10 am to 8 pm, in the Temescal Area of Oakland, California.


Equine Reiki Training

Equine Reiki Training July 25th, 2015

Last July, I attended Kathleen Prasad’s Equine Reiki Training.

I first learned about Kathleen’s work via YouTube. I found a video of Kathleen doing Reiki in a shelter full of dogs. Her simple approach to Reiki is a welcome bridge between my studies in non-duality, my healing practice, and my life in general. There are moments on my spiritual path where I can’t tell if my meditation practice is deepening or dissolving. Reiki with animals puts me in a space where all that doesn’t seem to matter.

Since discovering Animal Reiki, I have watched Kathleen’s videos and read most of her books and online articles. I have given her book “Reiki For Dogs” (which is brilliant) to many of my friends and clients. I took her email correspondence course, The Animal Reiki Workshop: Core Curriculum, and during that course, I found and adopted my dog, Berkeley.

Berkeley loves Reiki

So you can imagine how excited I was to attend her Equine Reiki Training.

The class was held at BrightHaven, which is a Sanctuary and Hospice for senior and special needs animals. It is a typical ranch style house in Santa Rosa filed with cats, dogs, chickens, horses, two goldfish, a pig and a goat. There was so much love in that house I felt like I was sitting in a temple. I consider it one of the most sacred spaces that I have ever entered.

Richard Pope is a Director and one of the Founders of BrightHaven, and he was at the workshop sharing his wealth of stories about the animal residents as well as taking groups of us to the horse pastures. 

Kathleen donates half of her workshop fees to BrightHaven.

I work with Reiki every day, but sharing Reiki with a 1000 pound animal was an experience that took me completely out of my element. It was more profound than I had anticipated. The first horse’s attraction to the energy was so strong he backed me into a tree; he really liked the Reiki. I was surprised by how emotionally (and physically!) moved I was by interacting with the animals.

The stories Kathleen told throughout the day were educational as well as totally fascinating. She shared the pivotal experiences that taught her how to be Reiki with the animals. Her understanding of animals, healing and life is priceless.

Below is a quote from Kathleen’s blog post: 5 Things You Need To Know about Animal Reiki Today

“Reiki teaches us to be compassionate to ourselves and to others. Ultimately, there is no difference, since all is One. It is this Oneness space that Reiki helps us to tap into with its many tools. When we are with our animals, we can often touch this space, feeling our hearts merge with our animals’ hearts. These moments are so profoundly moving. We can often see a wonderful healing response arising naturally from these compassionate moments.”

I felt this “wonderful healing response” arise in me. The horses appeared to like it too.

Jeri Lawson is available for Healing Touch and Clarity Breathwork sessions Monday through Friday, 10 am through 8 pm, in the Temescal Area of Oakland, California


Reiki for Dogs: Using Spiritual Energy to Heal and Vitalize Man’s Best Friend, By Kathleen Prasad


This book has greatly inspired my healing practice, and I don’t even have a dog.

Reading Reiki For Dogs brought me back to the basics of doing energy work: connection, balance, trust, and an open heart. I highly recommend this book to anyone who practices any modality of energy work, whether you have been a Reiki Master for 20 years or are now just considering your first healing class.

I loaned out my first copy of Reiki For Dogs to a client right after I read it, and had to buy the kindle version to finish this post. I have another book on order for a gift. It’s one of those books that I find myself underlining something on every page.

Kathleen Prasad describes Animal Reiki as “learning how to meditate with your animals”. She explains how Reiki can be an animal therapy practice, as well as being a meditative practice for the practitioner. She states:

“The practice of Reiki is not just about connecting with the language of nature and using compassionate intention to support your dog; it’s about discovering your true nature, your true essence. Reiki involves more than hoping for good without bad, light without dark, happiness without sadness; it’s about understanding that both sides need to be in balance. Without one side, the other could not exist. Only when we remain in balance can we discover true healing and follow nature’s way most closely. Learning to embrace both halves of the whole of existence, both sides of the yin and yang, earth as well as heaven, our highest potential as well as our shadow side– this is the way of Reiki.”

Kathleen Prasad really gets it. Isn’t this one of the most beautiful descriptions of healing you have ever read?

She also writes how Reiki has healed her at different points in her life and shares the stories of how Reiki has greatly benefited the animals she has worked with. Kathleen reminds us how fully present animals are, without judgement or expectations. Their unconditional acceptance opens our hearts, and it’s when our hearts are open that healing can truly begin.

Kathleen has a list of exercises called “Try This” in the book. Some are traditional Reiki exercises and some are meditative techniques that Kathleen has created to work specifically with animals. These exercises are so simple, and yet so profound. These exercises alone are worth the price of the book.

Here is another of the many passages I underlined in Reiki for Dogs:

“Reiki cannot be forced upon another individual or animal; it will only flow according to the openness of the individual. In other words, each individual is responsible for his or her own healing process. What a practitioner does is simply, through practice, to learn how to create and hold a healing space to support another being.”

As I read this book, I could feel my heart opening with every page. Kathleen Prasad has reminded me once again, on a deeper level, what energetic healing is all about.

Jeri Lawson is available for Healing Touch, Reiki and Clarity Breathwork sessions Monday through Friday, 10am to 6pm, in the Temescal Area of Oakland, California. 510-601-9632


Healing Touch For Animals

Healing Touch is as powerful and beneficial for animals as it is for humans. HT has been used for years to heal dogs, cats and horses who are recovering from illnesses or are coping with behavior issues. Healing Touch treatments are also very calming for animals who have been traumatized and need emotional centering.

There is a complete training program called Healing Touch for Animals®  that was developed by Healing Touch Practitioner and Instructor Carol Komitor. The first class was given in 1996 and has since taught hundreds of people how to balance, heal and support our animal friends.

This video also shows the use of tuning forks, essential oils and how to do distant healings. If you are new to my blog and love animals also check out an older post called “Healing Sessions For A Wolf.”