By Khrysta Imperial Rara
Episode 55, November 3, 2011
Guest: Leng Velasco
Last week’s discussion on the spiritual lives of animals was very interesting and daring, if I may say so, because it delved into a topic that is taboo in the academe, except perhaps in the field of anthropology.
The topic was made even more unusual due to the experiences of our guest, Reiki master and healer Leng Velasco.
ANIMALS AND REIKI
Reiki is a Japanese method of healing that allows the practitioner to channel universal life-force energy for the purpose of healing a patient. Anyone can practice reiki but you must first be attuned by a reiki master. Attunement simply means that the reiki master opens and unblocks your chakras or energy centers so you can easily access the divine energy.
Leng was first attuned as a reiki practitioner in 2006 but she was healing animals even before then. “In fact, animals are the reason that I went into reiki,” she quipped.
Leng avers that reiki is a very effective method of healing specially when coupled with psychic abilities. As an example, she recounted how she healed her first animal patient, a friend’s rabbit.
"I first asked the rabbit for permission to heal him and then he approached me. As I stroked him, I sensed that he had an unseen wound that was already infested with maggots. True enough, I found such a wound hidden beneath his thick fur on one paw. My friend didn’t know about the wound,” she recalled.
Leng then advised the rabbit’s human to bring the animal immediately to a veterinarian because the paw needed to be amputated. Leng’s friend later told her that she was right – the vet had to amputate one paw because it couldn’t be saved anymore.
I asked Leng, who also heals people, if she feels anything different when she heals people and when she works on animals. “Healing animals feels very natural and the energy is free-flowing,” she explained.
She said she always asks the animal’s permission first because some just want to be left alone. “You have to be patient with them and explain first the concept of reiki. Then once they understand, they agree to it,” she said.
“When healing people, on the other hand, you first have to compose yourself and you need a lot of positive energy,” she added.
I can relate to that. As a reiki practitioner, I always feel ready to heal animals because their energy is so pure. People, on the other hand, can be more difficult to heal because they carry a lot of emotional baggage. So a reiki practitioner will have to work on healing not only the physical body but the person’s emotions as well. And not all people are willing to open up and release their negative emotions.
So let’s put two and two together. If reiki is divine energy and animals can feel and benefit from this divine or spiritual energy, it’s only logical then that animals are spiritual beings too. And if they are spiritual beings, then they must have a soul.
I have to say this because I have met many people who insist that animals don’t have souls. My mom, who has loved dogs and cats since she was a little girl, still subscribes to the idea that animals have no souls because that was what they were taught in a private Catholic school.
I guess many members of the Catholic faith resort to this spin so they will not have any guilt or remorse when they eat animals. For how can you savor veal in white cream sauce or kare kare or chicken and pork adobo when you are told that the animals on your dinner plate have souls?
When I asked Leng if she thinks that animals are spiritual beings trapped in physical body, she disagreed with the word “trapped”.
“I would rather not say trapped because it was their choice to incarnate in their chosen bodies,” she replied.
Leng subscribes to the Hindu and Buddhist beliefs that like us, animals have a purpose in life. I agree. Many of my cats and dogs have come into my life to be my friends and companions, while others have come to teach me certain lessons. One particularly special feline named D'Artagnan pushed me into the animal protection advocacy and another came to me with a message – that reincarnation does exist.
In Leng’s case, her brown dachshund Duke had a single goal . “He came to be my own baby because I was told by doctors when I was 17 that I would never have children. This is difficult for a woman to accept because family is important,” she said.
Duke the dachshund was a sickly dog since birth. Born January 2001, he was given to Leng when he was but three months old, in April. After staying for a week with her, he had to undergo major surgery for pancreatitis and was diagnosed as calcium deficient. “He survived that operation but his sight was already affected,” Leng recalled.
Then in 2003, he suffered from coumarin poisoning. “His gums bled and he developed hematoma or blood clots all over his body,” Leng continued. “Doctors gave him a 50/50 chance of recovery but he made it once again.”
Unknown to Leng, more was still to come. “Duke was diagnosed with the most critical illness last February 28, 2009. He had bone cancer and a tumor measuring 45mm on his left cheek. I was advised to have him euthanized but I refused because I had a strong feeling that he would make it once more,” she said.
Leng asked for another more sympathetic vet to attend to her dog at the UP Veterinary Hospital. The second doctor recommended chemotherapy but warned her that Duke still had a 50% chance of recovery after the procedure.
Leng, who has the ability to communicate with animals, then took Duke home and asked him what she should do. “I agreed to chemotherapy because when I talked to Duke, he told me to take that chance rather than put him to sleep,” she explained.
The result? Thanks to chemotherapy and massive doses of reiki treatment everyday, Duke is now an active, pesky 11-year old dog who never leaves her side.
Although part of his jaw was eaten away by cancer, he leads a completely normal life as Leng’s “baby”.
“In healing Duke, you healed yourself,” Malotz Quodala, my co-host, stated so aptly.
Euthanasia is a no-no in reiki, says Leng, and this is a significant lesson that she learned from Duke. If she had listened to the vets when they told her Duke had to be euthanized, then she would be filled with guilt and anger now because she would have ended the life of an animal she loved very much and whose time to leave this earth had not yet come.
As another example, Leng also cited the case of her mongrel dog, Brigitte. The dog was having frequent seizures and was always in pain. In March 2011, doctors said she had “lamat” in her brain which was causing nasty epileptic spells.
Leng was forced to consider euthanasia once more to end her dog’s suffering.
One day, when the dog was having an attack and was obviously in pain, Leng called three vets to ask them to euthanize the dog and end her suffering. But strangely, the vets she contacted in early April did not have the medicines needed for euthanasia. So she gave Brigitte reiki energy to ease her pain. The dog fell asleep and never woke. “She died peacefully in her sleep,” Leng said.
In response to a listener’s query about whether dogs go to heaven when they die,
Leng recalled that once, she decided to check and see where all her animals who had departed from this life had gone. She meditated and saw them all together in a wonderful place that she later learned was called “Rainbow Bridge”.
Malotz then asked an important question – must one always have to meditate to see these things?
“Meditation is a must to access your inner self,” Leng replied.
To this, I would like to add that meditation is a must for healers so they can relax, replenish their energies, raise their energy level and protect themselves before a healing session.
It was certainly an enjoyable exchange because Leng shared a lot of her unique and interesting personal experiences. She sees the spirits or “souls” of animals often with peripheral vision. “They have a form. Sometimes I see them still in their physical bodies, sometimes they are just all white,” she explained.
Author Ptolemy Tompkins, in his book The Divine Life of Animals describes several sightings of a non-physical essence leaving an animal’s body at the time of death. In one case, fellow author Eileen Garrett recounted how, after the suicide of her parents when she was still a young girl, she was put in the care of a strict aunt who punished her when she said she could see spirits. To get back at her aunt, Garrett killed her favorite ducklings. This is Garrett’s story in her own words:
“Bending over the edge of the pond, I caught each small duckling
as it came floating by and held each one under the water, one
after another, till I had drowned the entire brood. I laid them in a row
on the grass beside me, and as I contemplated them I became filled
with a terrible dread of the wrath to come. I felt now that God
himself might come to punish me for this, and I remained rooted to
the spot, frozen with fear, awaiting the force of his anger. The
very intensity of my fear created a state of suspended quietness in
which I seemed scarcely to breathe, yet I was alert and waiting,
anticipating the final overwhelming disaster.
In this condition I gazed at the little bodies lying on the grass,
half hoping that somehow they might still be alive. The little dead
bodies were quiet, but a strange movement was occurring all
about them. A gray smoke-like substance rose up from each form.
This nebulous, fluid stuff wove and curled as it rose in winding spiral
curves, and I saw it take new shape as it moved out and away
from the quiet forms. As I watched the spectacle, fear gave
way to amazement. I became almost joyful, for I thought the
ducklings were coming alive again, and I waited in tense expectancy.”
There are numerous accounts of “soul sightings” in several books. My favorite book by far is Bill D. Schul’s Animal Immortality which documents the experiences of many people whose pets had died. In all documented cases, the animals stayed on with their human guardians even after they had left their physical bodies.
When my mom’s 10-year old Persian cat Good Chi died last September 25, she was devastated but she wouldn’t show it. She cried and called me when she found his lifeless body under her bed at about 6am, then wouldn’t talk about the cat or her grief to anyone anymore. That’s really her personality so I was worried that she was not able to grieve properly. But she had him buried in a special place in her garden and visits him there everyday.
Days later, I asked her if she still felt his presence in her room. “I still feel him at my feet when I walk to the toilet in the early morning. And sometimes I suddenly wake up because I feel a weight on the top left corner of my pillow, where he usually sleeps,” she said.
My mom had a stroke in 2005 and limps until now. We all took a leave from work to stay with her for the first two weeks that she was bed-ridden. But after we all had to resume our normal schedules, it was the cat who kept her company 24 hours a day.
Good Chi understood that he could no longer play rough with her. So he gently, patiently and faithfully escorted her every morning to the toilet and stayed there with her. They spent the days together, she, seated on her rocking chair with her loyal cat lying on her lap. At night, he would sleep either on her pillow or on her right arm. Even my dad marveled at the way Good Chi watched over her.
I still talk to Good Chi when I go to my mom’s house. I can’t see him but I know he’s still there. Once, about a week after he passed away, I looked back at her bed as we were leaving the room. I noticed that on the top left corner of her big pillow, a round portion had sunk in, as if some weight had been placed on it.
“Thank you, Good Chi, for sticking around and watching over Mom. You are welcome to stay as long as you want,” I said aloud, not caring whether anyone heard me.
But when I recounted this story to Leng Velasco, she said we must now release Good Chi so he can cross over and then find a way to come back to my mom.
OUR ANIMALS IN OUR DREAMS
As another proof of a non-material intelligence that animates animals, several authors have also documented cases where animals who have passed on enter their guardians’ dream world.
Last October 31, Leng witnessed the brutal killing of a dog who was to be sold as dogmeat. She heard the dog cry out but didn’t get to him in time because her feet felt like lead and seemed to stick to the ground. Perhaps it was fear or shock at the scene unfolding several meters away from her at a nearby house.
For my part, I asked her to interpret a dream I had in the early morning of October 30, a Sunday.
My dream went like this:
I was in Rome looking all over the city for my very first Persian cat, D’Artagnan. I spoke to 2-3 people who had given him food and shelter
as he moved from place to place. Then I found him at a veterinary
Clinic at the end of the day. We were reunited and happy. I felt that both he and I had found Home.
D’Artagnan was a grey and white healthy and intelligent male cat. He was five years old at the time that he died. He was put to sleep by a misguided veterinarian who believed that cats who bite people must be euthanized because they become dangerous once they have tasted human blood.
I wasn’t there when the vet killed my cat and it really turned my world upside-down. It was very traumatic for me and I’m sure those last seconds of his life when the vet threw a stone at him to draw him out of his cage were traumatic for him too.
But Leng said the dream means closure to this distressing event in my life.
She said that the issues have now been resolved and D’Artagnan and I are now at peace on this. She also thinks that D’Art is now ready to come back.
What a wonderful way to end the 55th episode of Kwentuhang Pets Atbp. I am really looking forward to meeting D’Artagnan again.