A couple of days ago, one of our ranch dogs had her puppies. I was with her and watched in awe as every little puppy was born. Looking at these little beings breathing in new life, I started thinking about the Circle of Life and how amazing it is that when one soul leaves, another is born. Life at the ranch over the last couple years has certainly expanded my understanding and experience of life and death. One experience in particular, stands out. It was during my Karuna Reiki® training.
“What gift did you receive from Karuna during our training?” Sitting in quiet reflection as our teacher asked the question, I opened myself to the answer. My emotions were fresh and I could feel tears coming. My gift was beautiful and very, very sad…
It was a couple days after our first level attunement. As I walked by the pasture, I saw one of the mares laying on the ground. This mare had been having some health issues and was not responding to the veterinary care and medications she had been given. I stopped for a moment, sensing that she was not just resting this time. I entered the pasture and walked quietly toward her. “Is she still breathing?” I heard someone whisper. The mare was slipping away, preparing to pass. I had never been around a dying horse and I felt the need to offer healing. Moving closer, I connected with her and asked permission to send Reiki. The answer was clear: as she looked at me, the flow of energy was immediate. Sitting next to her on the ground, I could feel newly-learned Karuna symbols start to vibrate out of my hands as I started drawing them on her body and chanting their names. Her body quickly responded and she became sleepy as she relaxed into the flow of healing energy. After about fifteen minutes, she stood and released unnecessary energy before coming close to say thank you and then moving away.
Over the next couple of weeks, the little mare fully embraced her healing and even participated in a Reiki for Horses class I taught – everyone smiled in delight as the mare walked up immediately and lay in front of us for her “treatment”!
A couple of days before my final Karuna class, I stopped to visit with the mare. As I stroked her neck, she felt different somehow – warm, yet cold at the same time. I knew on some level that it was finally her time, so I stayed to tell her how wonderful she was, to reassure her she was safe, and to let her know that whenever she chose to go – it would be okay. I asked for Reiki guides to come and surround her beautiful soul. The mare looked around as if she could see and feel the guides and I could see light surrounding her. I kissed her good night and said, “you’re in good hands now”.
I woke early the next morning with a sinking feeling in my gut telling me something I didn’t want to listen to. I ran outside and, when I reached the covered arena, I saw her body peacefully laying on the ground in the shade. “NOOOO!!!” I ran to her. I knew the truth but I didn’t want to know it. I screamed, “I’m sorry!”, blaming myself for not doing more. I blamed Reiki – how could she not be cured? I hated Reiki in that moment. “It didn’t work, it didn’t work,” I kept repeating, as I sobbed angrily.
And then it hit me: this mare’s time had finally come – she was not in pain anymore; she was at peace. I was the one who was not, and it was because I couldn’t accept that the highest good might be something different from what I wanted. I took a deep breath and let it out, then another one. Finally, I came to a place of acceptance. She was at peace, and Reiki had helped her make a peaceful transition. I hugged her neck and quietly whispered, “I’m sorry for… I thank you for… I thank you for staying four extra weeks, for teaching me and for supporting me in my Karuna journey. Thank you for this beautiful and sacred experience.” As the words flowed, peace entered my heart, healing the pain of her passing and leaving only gratitude – my gift from Karuna.
A couple of days later, we were blessed with new life on the farm, in the form of a strong and healthy foal – truly, “when one soul leaves, another is born.” Now, watching again as life bursts forth, I send Reiki to the puddle of puppy balls in front of me – for their health, and for each of them to find the perfect family, where they can add joy and teach precious lessons about heart connection and unconditional loyalty.
*Karuna Reiki® is a system of Reiki, a form of energy healing.