About Cat

My life changed in 1968 when I moved  to a small town in Malaysia with my family.  Two years in the developing world opened my eyes and heart to issues that friends back in the Canadian suburbs weren’t even aware of. A lifelong interest in social justice, food security, alternative healing, animal welfare and the environment stem from those early years. And although I traveled widely after that and lived in England, Australia and Kenya, Southeast Asia was in my blood.

I returned to live in Southeast Asia in 1990, probably for good.  In Ubud I began to write regularly about my life, the environment and the inspiring people I met.  My Reiki practice deepened and grew.

My life in Ubud is sweet and simple: a small house, a garden, rescued dogs, interesting work, wonderful friends and good health.

I am drenched in grace.


I first visited Bali at the age of 18 in 1969.  The memories never left me in subsequent decades but I never thought I’d return in 2000 to spend the rest of my life here.

Living in Ubud is much more multi-dimensional than visiting as a traveller. After ten years in sterile Singapore, I was unprepared for rodents in the roof and reptiles on the bedroom walls.  I had to learn to navigate the ever-changing rules of Indonesia’s Byzantine immigration bureaucracy.  The new language held many entertaining pitfalls. The Balinese people, especially the family that would become my own, were a window to the rich, deep, baffling culture that surrounds me.

Shortly after moving here I offered to write a regular column for the only English language newspaper at the time, the Bali Advertiser. This opened many doors; it gave me an excuse to contact all the most interesting people on the island and ask impertinent questions about what they were doing in Bali. From over 18 years of bimonthly articles I’ve published two books.

Bali Daze

Freefall off the Tourist Trail was my first collection of stories about my early years here before Ubud became a major tourist destination.  Now in its fifth printing, Bali Daze is available at Ganesha Bookshop and Threads of Life Gallery in Ubud and on Kindle and Amazon.

Testimonials from Amazon

I write guidebooks to Bali but Bali Daze tells the real story of what it’s like to live on this island.  Cat Wheeler is one of the best writers I know and her tales of living in the fabled town of Ubud are witty, insightful and always a fabulous read.  Five out of five stars, a brilliant book.

I love this book.  It’s engaging and enchanting and warm-hearted and clever and well-written, and I’ve learned a lot … in short, an all-round winner!

This great book hits an excellent balance between hilarious, often heart-warming anecdotes, and factual information about Bali and Balinese culture. The trials and the triumphs of the author’s life in paradise makes for a rollicking good read. The pages are alive with great characters, both human and animal (with particular mention of her wonderful dogs!) and situations that elicit many a belly-laugh. As a regular visitor to Ubud over the last decade or so, I found much that was familiar, but discovered much more about Ubud, Bali and Balinese culture from the pages of Bali Daze. Can’t wait for the sequel!

I am so enjoying reading this book that I’ve rationed myself to one story per day, desperate to make it last as long as possible!

If you’ve ever been to Bali or just fancy a delve into a different culture, you will love this wonderful book. I roared with laughter at roasted spiders, animal antics and Balinese ceremony stories interwoven with local social and environmental issues. Life on this magical little island couldn’t be more utterly different from life in the western world as you’ll see when you read Cat Wheeler’s fabulous book. Loved it!

We’ve been to Bali 12 times and on the last trip I picked up the local expat newspaper and read a short story from author which impelled me to get her book. I thought I knew heaps about Bali but this has given me much more insight into local customs etc. The book is brilliant and a fun read as well.

I could not put this book down. As a regular visitor to Bali and our favourite place Ubud, it felt like being there. The well travelled author has a good sense of humour which is what you would need to build a house there and share it with pets and some strangers from the jungle next door. I love the style of writing with all its humour plus the information of the Balinese people and their unique way of life .The worst part was the end –, it could of gone for much longer for me.

I picked up this book as we headed to Bali, in hopes of gaining some insight about this island. Ms. Wheeler offers witty and insightful stories that kept me researching topics and wanting to read more. From rare textiles to lizards in the trees to sustainable collecting of tropical fish, there’s so much illuminated here. This is a fine addition to my favorite genre, travel nonfiction. I’ve just purchased her second book and I can’t wait to start it.

I started this book yesterday and finished it today, what a warm, engaging, insightful, entertaining and educative book. This is a definitely a book that has many layers, something for everyone.  Cat captures the intoxication, confusion, spirituality and most of all the hilarity of life that she’s experienced in Bali. Thank you for sharing your wondrous life adventures. I have enjoyed this book immensely, when is the next one coming?

As an ex-pat living in Bali I can’t speak highly enough of this witty, erudite and well written anthology of short essays about some of the everyday experiences that befall the foreigner living on this island of the gods. Wheeler captures the mysticism of the place as well as its general craziness in readable prose that informs one of the some of the finer points of the local culture and indigenous traditions, as well as entertaining us with the sometime absurdity of life in this magical place.

Retired, Rewired

Living Without Adult Supervision in Bali is my second collection.  Older and perhaps a modicum wiser, I found myself in the classic mid-life expat quandary of trying to maintain my modest home and many animals in Bali while managing my aging and ill family in my home country.

Testimonials from Amazon

I’ve been writing about Bali since 2004 and can say nobody writes about this wild, wonderful and idiosyncratic island better than Cat Wheeler. She captures all the personalities of Bali, whether they have four legs, two legs, wings or just a reptilian stare. Bali has a culture and a people like no other place in the world and they come to life in the pages of this great book.

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this after enjoying Wheeler’s ‘Bali Daze’ a couple of years back.  Witty, insightful and well written, both books capture some of the wonder and weirdness of living as an ‘ex-pat’ in a country as exotic and ever-changing as Indonesia. I lend my copy regularly to friends and guests and it never fails to hit the mark. whether you’ve visited Bali before, intend to sometime soon, or just enjoy an intelligent read with humor, insight and pathos.

This book is keeping me awake at night! Tucked into bed I tell myself I’ll just read three chapters and then lights out. But when I finish those three I think, just one more. And so it goes until I wake up some time later with the open book on my chest and the lights still on. I can’t put this entertaining, funny, insightful, honest book down. Cat Wheeler’s words flow onto the page with ease. She can take the trickiest of situations and find humor and wisdom in the experience. Life is her picnic basket – what delicacy will she pull out for the next chapter? This is a must read whether Bali is in your blood or not.

For anyone who Lives in Bali, Loves Bali or is Looking to visit or move to Bali Cat Wheeler’s two books are a must read. Witty, wise and wonderful Cat has a way of making situations that  may make you want to pull out your hair not only amusing but understandable in the context of magical Bali. Be prepared to laugh and cry at the same time on a journey that is utterly unique. Considering the number of adults living in Bali without supervision this should be a best seller!

At the end of the book I was sad to see it go! The stories resonated for me, as a family member, traveler, and a person facing the changes that life brings. But more than that, Cat’s way with words made me laugh out loud, and shake my head along with the people (and animals) in the tales. A page turner all the way.

I read Cat Wheeler’s book ‘Bali Daze’ before moving to Bali and liked it so much I read it again. Her new book, ‘Retired, Rewired’ is just as excellent. I just finished it and am sure I will read it again. It doesn’t matter if you have never been to Bali and never plan to visit. Both books are a fun read. Vivid writing, humorous depictions of daily life, more than you thought you needed to know about duck sex, and really lovely depictions of family and friends – and losing some of them. Read it and I suspect you will read it again.

Cat’s second book about life as an expat in Bali, Indonesia is as amusing, touching and heart-warming as her first book, Bali Daze, which played a large part in me falling in love with Bali. Retired, Rewired, as well as including many hilarious stories about life on this crazy island which can’t help but touch the soul, also touches on the most important topics of life and death, such as aging, bereavement and coping with loss, both at a distance from family and in a foreign culture. Such an easy and entertaining read but at the same time, thoughtful and moving.

What happens when we eschew the trappings of traditional western living to take the road less travelled? A wonderful and energising romp through the free-style life of an intrepid soul making her way through mid-life from a base in Bali, Indonesia. With something for everyone, and a true voice, the vignettes she covers from tending piglets to her return to the motherland are both poignant and hilarious. What a beautiful and authentic portrayal of a simple life, well lived. I couldn’t put it down.


Cat Wheeler, Reiki Master

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

About Reiki

Reiki is a subtle but powerful healing and stress management technique using energy channeled through the hands of the practitioner. Brought from Japan to the west in the 1940s, Reiki is now widely practiced around the world.

Reiki is is now known to be extremely low frequency (ELF) electro-magnetic energy. The signals recorded by scientific instruments from the hands of practitioners are of frequencies known to stimulate healing effects on nerves, bones and other areas of the body. Although science can only measure effects on the physical plane, the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects may also brought back to balance with Reiki.

Reiki is an intentional practice.  The technique is simple and can be learned in a one-day workshop.

My Practice

Born and raised in Canada, I’ve lived in Southeast Asia since 1989. I was drawn to learn energy healing while living in Singapore in 1994 and a year later took the advanced level.  In 1997 I apprenticed with Reiki Master Juliette Munro for 18 months before taking the Master/Teacher level with her in 1998.

In 25 years of teaching I’ve trained over 1300 people from all over the world including doctors, engineers, Buddhist nuns, alternative healers, business executives, yoga teachers, animal welfare workers and children.  I also work with and teach Reiki to caregivers and people with chronic illness, cancer and other challenges.  I’m certified as a Reiki Teacher by the Canadian Reiki Association Member #RT 07-137.

My Teaching Philosophy

My own Reiki education was poor. We were 65 people in a hotel ballroom for Rl, had no hands-on practice, and received neither a manual nor follow-up support.  The next year in the advanced class we were 25 people, again without a manual or follow-up support. I left both classes without a mentor and deepened my practice by working on as many people as I could over the next few years.

When I became a teacher myself I was determined that my students would receive the best education I could give them.  I trained no more than two students at a time (I now only teach on-on-one) in order to be able to fully meet their personal needs. I provide a comprehensive manual and offer open-ended follow-up support by email. Even many years after training, students are welcome to contact me with questions.  Once I accept  a student, it is for  my lifetime.

My Courses

I teach the traditional Usui system of Reiki which is in three levels.

I teach Basic Reiki (Rl) and Advanced Reiki (Rll) as full day one-on-one certificate courses.  I offer Master/Teacher training  (Rlll) to practitioners who have had at least 100 hours of hands-on practice and ideally some teaching experience.

I am now semi-retired and  teach only one person  a week, so please book your class at least 3 weeks in advance.

I also offer Reiki sessions.

My Lineage

  1. Dr. Mikao Usui
  2. Dr. Chujiro Hayashi
  3. Hawaya K. Takata
  4. Phyllis Lei Furumoto
  5. Ma Deva Subuddhi. (Carell Ann Farmer)
  6. Ma Deva Pyaso (Eileen Dezouche)
  7. Juliette Munro
  8. Catherine Wheeler


My Reiki experience with Cat was nothing short of magical. Her gentle manner and knowledge were an inspiration and I will always remember the time with her. She explained Reiki with depth, insight, patience and encouragement and I left feeling blessed. Needless to say I can’t recommend learning Reiki from Cat enough.  LH, England

I undertook Reiki Level 2 with Cat as my Master. Immediately I felt comfortable and secure with Cat. Her knowledge and passion for Reiki is immense and she is an incredible and very supportive teacher.  I knew instantly that I could not have found anyone better to be my Reiki Master and the beautiful energetic environment that she works in makes it all the more special. Thank you Cat, I will forever be grateful for meeting you and I will definitely be seeing you again to continue on my Reiki journey.  AO, Australia

Cat is an exceptionally gifted channel for healing and I highly recommend a session with her. I traveled to Ubud from California to lead a spiritual retreat and I was drained and exhausted.  After the session I felt physically and emotionally recharged, and the energetic high continued for days after the session. JE, USA

My entire day from the beginning to end was magical.  Warm and inviting, Cat captured the essence of Reiki and empowered me to feel confident in helping myself and others. I have used Reiki on friends, family members in hospital, and my children.  It was the highlight of my trip to Ubud with sweet and fond memories, and a lifetime friend. MG, Australia

Cat provides a gentle magical space to learn Reiki, not only physically but also energetically. I felt so aligned learning this practice from her. She teaches Reiki using a solid and simple methodology, keeping it away from the many complications that the field of energy healing sometimes imposes. Cat makes this practice instinctive, fun, and very much in synch with nature, with yourself and the flow of the universe. I’m deeply grateful to have been her student.  MT, Saudi Arabia

I have done Reiki attunements I and II with Cat Wheeler, and I could not ask for a better teacher.   Cat is genuine and her way of teaching is clear and simple.
Taking my attunements with her was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life.  I have now incorporated Reiki into my daily life as a mother, a yoga teacher, a scuba instructor and a Reiki practitioner.   It’s incredible the way Reiki practice has changed my life for the better.  Thank you, Cat, for teaching me this amazing practice and for being who you are!   RS, Indonesia

Thank you Cat. You do great work. I wanted to express my appreciation for the service that you provide.  I’ll never forget the experience I had with you and the other students on the days I did the Reiki with you.  I appreciated your practicality and the way you explained things in such a simple but effective way. I understand more clearly now about the different brainwave states and their significance with respect to health and healing.  I liked very much the personalised kind of experience you offered and feel very fortunate to have found you as my Reiki teacher.  BC, Australia