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Reiki And The Harbor Seal

Reiki and the Harbor Seal

My dog, Puma, and I were out for a Sunday stroll along Alki Beach in West Seattle when I noticed that the area around the steps leading down to the beach and Puget Sound had been cordoned off by yellow tape. Getting closer I saw why—a seal was taking a nap. Nearby, a member of Seal Sitters kept watch, keeping curious people and dogs from frightening him and answering questions from passersby.

I conversed with Janette, the volunteer sitter, and learned two more facts about harbor seals. One was that they mature slowly; the seal I had first thought to be a pup, because of his small size, was probably a teenager born last June. The other fact is that a few diseases can be passed to dogs simply by sniffing the seal, another good reason to keep your distance.

I also learned from Janette that their organization uses photos to identify seals by the markings around their eyes. I had already been debating whether to return to my house to retrieve my camera, so I volunteered my services as a photographer.

Walking back with camera in hand and faithful Puma reveling in a longer walk, I felt an inner prompt to send Reiki to the situation. I was unsure what it might be needed for, but complied. The beauty of Reiki is that you don’t have to know how it will be used; you can simply let the energy flow for the highest good. Perhaps the seal needed energetic support for physical or emotional challenges, maybe the Reiki was required to help raise public awareness about marine wildlife, or possibly it was something else entirely. I let go of attachment to the outcome, trusting that the Reiki would be allocated and received as needed.

Still sending Reiki, I conferred with Janette on how to get the best shot without disturbing the seal. Leaving Puma on stay, and with her permission, I slipped inside the buffer zone. She’d said that the sound of the camera shutter would cause the seal to raise his head and look at me, which should offer me the perfect opportunity to get a nice photo of his face markings. Two clicks, and the seal simply slumbered on. Somehow I had to get him to raise his head, for at this point, all I could see were his whiskers poking up above the steps.

Moving a little closer, and trying for a better angle, I clicked off a few more shots, and still nothing. I reached out mentally, trying to make contact with my animal communication skills. Still no movement. I could sense great relaxation…a sense of well-being…a kind of mental snore…and then, “Mmmm, that feels good.” I mentally laughed at myself—in my eagerness to take photos, I had forgotten that I was still sending Reiki! Of course, the seal was not going to stir. Not only did he find the Reiki relaxing, but previous encounters had demonstrated that Reiki helps build bridges of trust between people and wild or domestic animals.

I terminated the flow of Reiki, let a few seconds go by, and then took another shot with my camera. This time, the sound had the anticipated effect; slowly, the seal raised his head, blinking blearily, looking very much like someone who had been woken from a deep sleep. Taking his time, the seal turned his face in my direction. I continued taking photos and talked quietly to him at the same time, telling him how handsome he was. When he finally located me, he looked directly into my lens, and I clearly heard him say, “Oh, it’s you.” And with that acknowledgment, as though we were old friends, he laid his head back down and resumed his nap.

Postscript: Harbor seal Eli did need the Reiki. See Update for Reiki and the Harbor Seal.


Curious about Reiki and its benefits for people and animals? Reiki Master Teacher Rose De Dan answers your questions in audio What is Reiki?.

Learn how to connect more deeply with animals, restore balance to your life, increase intuitive skills, and help heal the Earth with live Reiki and shamanic teleclasses, available worldwide.


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©2010 Rose De Dan. All Rights Reserved.

Rose De Dan, Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing LLC, is an animal communicator, Reiki Master Teacher, shamanic energy healer, and author. Her classes, sessions and ceremonial work are inspired by wild and domestic animals who have issued a call to action for personal and global healing.

Her book Tails of a Healer: Animals, Reiki and Shamanism features heartwarming stories about animals and their role in her evolution as an energy worker and shamanic healer.


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  1. Rose, how wonderful! I absolutely adore the privilege of meeting wildlife. Kudos for mentioning that we need to give them their space and the fact that the space is also for our benefit because they can carry zoonotic diseases (diseases transmissible from animals to humans.)
    How I miss marine life living here in Colorado!
    Beautiful photo and words as always!

    1. Thank you for that positive feedback! I try to craft my articles so that they can be of benefit to all, not just energy people (-: Can’t imagine being away from the ocean myself, but your vet studies should make it all worthwhile in the end. The animals are waiting for you (-:

  2. So beautifully written, Rose. Thank you! I want to share this story with my Reiki friends here in the New York City area.

    Once again, I needed a reminder that we must try to let go out the “outcome.”

    Also, thanks for the notice about Dr. Oz. As I write this, it’s 4:00 05 p.m. EST, (the show was aired at 3:00 p.m.) and I did not get the chance to see the show. There was quite a bit of publicity here in the NYC Reiki community about it. :>)

    1. Hi Janice, glad you enjoyed it! I’ll bet there was a lot of stir in the Reiki community about Reiki on The Dr. Oz Show, as I believe Pamela Miles is in NYC area. I think that the show airs again later today, perhaps you can catch it then.

      1. Hi,

        I’m sure I will get to view it when the time is right!

        Yes, Pamela is in NYC, although I haven’t met her yet. And when I do, it will certainly be an honor.

  3. What a cute little seal! Looks like Reiki energized him right into the sleepy zone. So glad you were there for him. I too get the feeling he needed it. Thanks for the great writing and the info about seals; both are a blessing, as are you!

  4. Such a great story. And what an amazing experience to be able to send Reiki and form a connection which such a beautiful seal!

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