Reiki for Wildlife

Wildlife benefits from Reiki Treatment

Reiki is not just for humans, animals, and including wildlife also benefits from receiving Reiki. Following is a story submitted by one of our students who shares her experience of giving emergency Reiki to an injured woodpecker. Enjoy!

Story by Nancy J. Buron
Illustration by Lourdes Gray

I heard the sickening thud of a bird’s body hitting the window and I walked over to look out.  There it was, wings splayed in beautiful black and white patterns in the snow:   a woodpecker. 

Completely still, flat to the ground, its head at an angle, I was sure it was dead, and wondered for a split second if I could use the feathers for anything.  I wanted a closer look, so I went into the parlor and looked down out of the offending window.  There it was, its long, tapered beak rhythmically opening and closing like scissors, eyes open, “Oh my god, she’s alive!”  And I wondered what, if anything, there was to do.  It was snowing, windy and cold, I didn’t know if the bird would last for very long.  Immediately I thought of my neighbor Susan, an avian biologist, surely she would know what to do, but I had seen her driving out in her Jeep a short time before.  I could call her husband Dermott, who knows how to take care of everything, but wait, since I am the one present, what can I do?  Emergency Reiki, of course!  I had no idea how to give Reiki to a wild bird, but this was the only tool at my disposal.  Besides, it might bring the bird some comfort to have another being near if it was dying, and the warmth from my hands would help it to be more comfortable.

When I reached the bird and squatted down its mandibles were shut, but its eyes were wide and blinking so I knew it was still with me.  Her eyelid was thick and grey and it closed and opened, closed and opened, her eye just looking at me, unafraid.  The snow was falling, and some flakes were already collecting on her fan of delicate tail feathers.  Positioning myself behind her, I ran one hand above her and felt her heat and energy, very much alive!  I put my hands together and held them still, about six inches above her body.  After a few moments, I heard and felt a slight rustling, her wings had shifted and closed a bit.  It was such a good sign, she could move her wings!  After that, no movement, but long, quiet moments of energy flowing from my hands, warmth radiating out to the bird, melting the snowflakes on her feathers.  Now and then I would take my hands away to have a look, and the bird would shiver.  I put them back.  While in this meditative place, I wondered what the truck-driving folks who stream down my road thought I might be doing squatting in the snow with my eyes closed, bare hands hovering over the ground in the middle of a storm?  Then my mind returned to the snow-quiet and the sensation, the give and take of energy in my hands.  A piercing call sounded twice, scaring me.  I looked over my shoulder and there was another woodpecker at the suet feeder, calling to the stranded bird.  She remained silent with her blinking eyes.  Undeterred, I went back to work.

When I became cold and too stiff to continue squatting, I decided it was time to take some additional action, to make a little shelter for the bird, whose belly was burrowed into the snow.  I went into the woodshed and found an empty plastic bin – one that I use to store kindling, and an old door mat.  I brought them up to the back door and went in the house for some newspaper.  Emerging with the makings of a shelter, I set the bin on its side, thinking it might provide a bit of a windbreak at least, with its open end facing the garden where the suet feeder hangs, and the forsythia where all the visiting birds sit before flying to my feeders.  I put the mat and paper down, a crude nest by any bird’s standards, but one that might keep her from freezing.  I pulled my gloves out of my pockets, put them on, walked over, and scooped the bird into my hands.

She lifted her head and breast, and gave me a look, “What on earth are you doing?”  I could feel her claws in my palms through the gloves.  She moved her head quickly side to side, and flew four feet to the drain-pipe on the side of the house, clutching it as though it were the trunk of a tree.  The drain-pipe had a curve at the bottom, and the bird half sat, half clutched, her head moving around, with an open, startled expression, as though she were seeing the world for the first time.  At that point, I figured my work was done.  I gathered the unneeded nest box and its contents, and headed back in to the house.  Looking out the same window from which I first saw the bird, I could see her hanging on to the pipe, still taking in her surroundings.  A few moments later I looked again:  the bird had disappeared.  Back to the air and the trees.  Back to her friend or mate who had earlier sounded the alarm, and to the suet hanging in its cage over my winter-encrusted garden.

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