Reiki: Volunteering At The Berkeley Humane Animal Shelter

Before Playing With The Puppies, Volunteers Have To Wear Scrubs, Gloves And Booties To Protect The Young Dogs From Contagious Diseases

I was worried that volunteering at an animal shelter was going to be emotionally overwhelming, and maybe even a little depressing.

I was wrong.

I’ve been volunteering at Berkeley Humane for three months now, and the whole experience has been nothing but life-affirming. I am inspired by the staff, the heart-centered volunteers and, of course, the animals.

Right now I am mostly working with the dogs. Many of the dogs are only there for less than a week, so when I say good-bye to them at the end of my shift, I know they will most likely be in their new homes by the tIme I return. There are a few dogs that have been there longer, and each one seems to have a group of volunteers who champion for them and their individual needs. One of these champions is a woman on my Thursday shift. She comes in on Saturday mornings, just to walk one of the bigger dogs before the shelter opens for adoptions.

When I greet the new dogs every week, I am happy they have arrived. No matter what their issues, I know that now they have made it to this shelter, things will only get better for them.


At Berkeley Humane the kennels are heated through the floor, and the space is designed to help the animals feel safe. Every animal gets the medication they need, and there are veterinarians on staff constantly monitoring everything. It’s pretty amazing.

Being around animals has changed me. They have taught me so much in the last few months. I could list a million of these changes, but I don’t want this to be an epic blog post. I will say an interesting shift for me is my sense of time. When I am with the dogs it is SO obvious when I am not fully present with them. When I am feeding a hungry dog or playing with a puppy, I have to let go of the next item on my agenda, even if it is another dog who needs walking.

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I became a volunteer at Berkeley Humane, despite my initial apprehension, because of SARA, the Shelter Animal Reiki Association founded by Kathleen Prasad and Leah D’Ambrosio. SARA is a non-profit organization that promotes Animal Reiki and meditation practices for shelter and sanctuary animals.

I have to confess that so far I am not doing much actual “sit down and meditate” Reiki at Berkeley Humane. When I am volunteering, I am cleaning the kennels, feeding, playing ball and walking the dogs. Then – before I know it – it’s time to go. Yet, when I meet an animal that is anxious, sick, or just overwhelmed, I connect with them during the following week in my daily meditations. I have found Distance Reiki to be a very powerful part of my morning meditation practice.

All this has brought me back to the Reiki Precept: Just for today – DO NOT WORRY!

 

Jeri Lawson has a full-time healing practice in the Temescal Area of Oakland, California. She is available for Healing Touch, Reiki, and Clarity Breathwork sessions Monday through Friday, 10 am to 6 pm.

510-601-9632

The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe by Lynne McTaggart

Lynne McTaggart is a genius. If her phone number were listed in my iPhone I would file it under “G”- for Genius. “The Field” is an abridged two CD set from the book of the same name, published in 2007. These CDs contain 2 hours and 20 minutes of McTaggart’s journey in finding a scientific paradigm of how healing works. I highly recommend these CDs for healers and anyone interesting in energetic healing, spirituality, and exploring consciousness. “The Field” has expanded the possibilities in my healing practice and in my life. I hesitate to use the word empowering because that word has been beaten to death with a stick, yet that is exactly what these ideas have been for me.

Lynne McTaggart is an investigative journalist. With her husband, journalist Bryan Hubbard, Lynne McTaggart founded the health journal, “What Doctor’s Don’t Tell You.” As a journalist, she studied the medical literature to determine what worked and what didn’t in the healing arts. She realized that modalities like acupuncture, homeopathy, and spiritual healing worked. She then decided the current scientific paradigm of how the universe worked was wrong or incomplete. So she traveled around the world and spoke to prominent scientists from a wide range of disciplines to understand how the universe did work. In this way, she created her theory of “The Field.”

McTaggart’s field is an energy that connects all living things across space and time and provides a practical working model for how healing works. In these two CD’s McTaggart clearly explains how everyone individually has the power to create with intention and how we can collectively heal and transform our world.

The book has basically the same information, but I found McTaggart’s story wonderful to listen to and incredibly accessible in her own voice.

I highly recommend these CDs to everyone. I’ve listened to them many times and have bought more sets than I care to remember for my clients.

Check out Lynne McTaggart’s work and let me know what you think. She has just released a new book called The Bond and I‘m going run out and buy it right after I publish this post!