I have a confession to make. I hate writing newsletters.
I love telling stories about my animal encounters—the gifts, lessons, and messages from the animals bring me so much joy. When I publish them it is my hope that they inspire others to open and connect and have experiences of their own. And when I hear THOSE stories they bring me joy, too.
However, newsletters are supposed to be about marketing, a form of writing I don’t enjoy. But since I will begin teaching two classes next week—Reiki 1 and shamanic Bones, Stones, Feathers and Fur—I definitely needed to let people understand the personal and global benefits of each.
As I contemplated what to write, the universe dropped two very different pieces of inspiration on me: a new book release from Thich Nhat Hahn, and a lion tragedy in Africa.
For those who might not know, Thich Nhat Hahn, is a highly respected Vietnamese Zen Master (who will be 95 very soon). He just published what looks to be an amazing book, Zen and the Art of Saving the Earth. I would have ordered it solely on the basis of the title, but when I saw the following quote, I experienced a moment of joy in hearing the message from the animals delivered from an entirely different source.
“When you wake up and you see that the Earth is not just the environment, the Earth is us, you touch the nature of interbeing. And at that moment you can have real communication with the Earth… We have to wake up together. And if we wake up together, then we have a chance. Our way of living our life and planning our future has led us into this situation. And now we need to look deeply to find a way out, not only as individuals, but as a collective, a species.”—Thich Nhat Than
I am not as eloquent as Zen Master Thich Nhat Hahn, but I try my best to do my personal work and share messages from the animals that support our awakening.
Teleclass Bones, Stones, Feathers and Fur (BSFF) was launched in August of 2014 as a way for the animals and All Our Relations to partner with the people in co-creating personal and global change, particularly positive shift and healing related to what was then called global warming and now climate change. The teachers of BSFF are my guides, which include Animal Ambassador and Master Teacher mountain lion Windwalker who offered specific steps on what people needed to do when he took me on a shamanic journey in 2011.
It is such an important message that I offer it in its entirety here:
Windwalker: Message for the World
The journey began in a great meadow where all the animals were gathered. Windwalker sat in front, grooming.
I greeted him.
Windwalker turned and showed me a vast plain and only a few buffalo, encircled by a fence. On the other side of the fence, a man was crying. Windwalker told me that because of the separation that we had created between man and wildlife both suffered. The bison had no freedom without and man had no freedom within.
I heard, “What has been sundered must be made whole again or all will die.”
I asked Windwalker what we must do to become whole again and he put a paw across my shoulders and together we looked out across the land. He said, “We must work together.” I looked at him and asked, “You and I?” He laughed, and with a rough lick to my face rumbled, “I meant people and animals, but yes, we still have work to do together you and I.”
“What must the people do?” I asked.
And he showed me a view inside a person, from heart to belly. Inside that person I saw a landscape where birds sang and plants grew. And as I watched, the tendrils grew, until they were outside the person and reached toward other people each with their own gardens.
“Each person must cultivate a garden within themselves,” he said, “and when they do we—the animals, birds, plants, fish—will reach back to them. Together we are strong. Together we can heal ourselves and this world.”
And he showed me each person tending their inner garden, healing themselves by removing weeds of anger, pain, loss; planting seeds of empathy and compassion in fertile soil nurtured with love and organic nutrients.
The scene changed, and all was dark around me. Windwalker was to my right and I realized that we were swimming deep in an ocean. He was searching for someone or something, leaving me alone and then returning. Out of the darkness, a large eye appeared and as we surfaced I saw Windwalker riding the back of a great Whale.
Whale showed me the vast oceans and instead of seeing living animals, I saw marine fossils from long ago. Then I saw great bleached bones on the shores of the land—Whale was showing me how long he had existed and the rise and fall of species he had seen, the mass extinctions. And he made it clear that we were facing another such time right now.
And then a great wind reached down and picked Windwalker and me up, spiraling into the clouds, and as I watched Windwalker riding the winds I realized how he got his name. He told me we were going to speak to the winds. I was not sure about this, what would I say?
Around us gathered storm clouds, gentle breezes, and all the weather patterns in between.
Windwalker and I were in the center of this amazing gathering, and with speech that I felt rather than heard, the Wayras, Wind People, communicated that weather patterns were changing. I was shown buffeting winds, and smoke rising everywhere which I took to be carbon dioxide and pollution. Then they showed me each person planting a tree, their suggestion to help bring things back into balance. They also showed me an image of many feet walking, and more closely knit and smaller communities within cities.
The Wayras told me that they did not want to treat the earth and the people roughly but that balance had been upset and without our help, it could not be restored. They also mentioned ceremony, showing me offerings being made. It was suggested that we had forgotten gratitude for the natural elements, and that had made a difference also.
And then the Wayras showed me all of them holding hands, and those hands extended to the people and the animals, and they showed me the heavens and the hands extending from the stars toward us. “All is connected,” they said, “what affects one affects all, but it also means that you have our support. It is time to recall what has been forgotten.”
Tears were streaming down my face, and I hugged Windwalker, overcome with awe and gratitude for what I was being shown. I thanked him, the Wayras, the Stars, and Whale. And with my journey ended, I returned.
Master Teacher Windwalker with our group at A Walk on the Wild Side at Earthfire Institute in 2011. Click here for more about Windwalker.
And now for the second part of my inspiration for this newsletter…
One of the most challenging things that folks who love animals are faced with is reading stories about animal abuse. No matter how much practice I have at being compassionate and holding space in a healing capacity, I can still be knocked off balance by an instance of cruelty just like everyone else.
And that happened with the recent, tragic story from Johannesburg, Africa. Thirty captive-bred lions had to be euthanized after they were found starving and untreated for serious injuries sustained when a wildfire swept through their compound in South Africa.
The story was heartbreaking and infuriating for so many reasons. I have no control over what happened, but with my Reiki and shamanic background, there were steps I could take to calm myself while also offering support for the lions.
First, I did personal clearing work around my anger and grief. Being out of balance is detrimental to healing work for others. That step came from Bones, Stones, Feathers and Fur, but I could have used some Reiki energy healing (Level 1) instead.
Next, I asked if it was appropriate to offer a Reiki Bridge of Light for the lions who had crossed over, or who might be preparing to do so. I received a yes. That step is from Reiki Level 2.
Finally, I sent Reiki to the situation for the highest and best good. NOT directly to the surviving lions, but to the situation they are now in. That step is also from Reiki Level 2.
When I was done, instead of feeling upset and helpless (which is where I started), I felt that I had done something positive to honor the Lions who had passed and those who had survived. And I now trusted that a contribution had been made toward a better future for all.
So, hopefully, you are all still with me (long newsletter, I know). Telling stories is the only way I know for sharing insights into how taking one of these two classes can bring benefit into your life while helping create a brighter future.
Bones, Stones, Feathers and Fur is a shamanic approach to a deeper connection with the Earth and All Our Relations. Healing self by growing your inner garden, becoming an individual Buddha that Thich Nhat Hahn speaks about.
Reiki Level 1 empowers self-healing as well as enabling the practitioner to offer energy healing to animals, plants, and other people.
If you have questions or are unsure which class might be the right one for you at this time, please reach out to me. I’m here to help.
Hope to “see” you in class!
Enjoy the beauty of the season,
Rose De Dan, Manitou and Night Sky
Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing
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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A WILD WAY TO HEAL
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.