I have a rather unusual background in that I started out as a Dental Surgeon, but that was far too stressful… so I became a Tax Inspector, working in the Inland Revenue, but that didn’t suit me either and I ended up with Chronic Fatigue and depression at the same time. The depression and M.E. fizzled out when I was no longer a Tax Inspector, fortunately, and then I stumbled onto Reiki, completely by chance, through a whole series of strange ‘coincidences’, and it has changed my life in many wonderful ways.
I had always been interested in complementary medicine, and had read a lot of books on the subject, not that I had ever been on the receiving end of any therapy, and I certainly had not heard of Reiki. For a reason that I cannot remember, I was on the mailing list of a healing centre 20 miles away, and a couple of times a year they would send out a magazine. Usually I would flick through the magazine, find it vaguely interesting, and then get rid of it. This time I noticed the Reiki adverts, didn’t have the faintest idea what it was – I did not even know anyone who had received a Reiki treatment – but I put the magazine to one side, came back to it a few days later, read the adverts again.
Then I was walking along our local high street and I saw a display of books about complementary medicine in the window of a bookshop. In the middle of their display was their one copy of a book about Reiki, which I bought, I read the book and suddenly I was on the telephone booking up my Reiki1 attunement, wondering what on earth I was doing, thinking that I was just being gullible (again!) and that I was forking out money on a load of new age nonsense.
On the day of the course I was sitting there like a lemon with my eyes closed, being attuned, wondering what on earth this strange woman was doing behind me, and then I was amazed to find that my hands started to tingle whenever they got near other people, and the other people on the course said that my hands were boiling hot – which was ridiculous because I had always been a cold-handed person! Over the next few weeks I had emotional ups and downs, a three-week cold, and was seeing everything around me in ‘technicolor’.
Because I was quite sceptical I practiced on as many people as I could get my hands on, and was amazed by what Reiki was doing to these people: getting rid of the pain of sports injuries and long-term back pain, for example. I thought ‘good grief, what is going on here?’ I knew that Reiki was definitely what I wanted to do, so I went through the levels quite quickly, trained with a few different people, and started giving treatments from rooms in/above some Health Food shops. After a while I started running courses. I think Reiki is wonderful and I feel so lucky, so privileged, to have come across it, because it makes such a wonderful difference to so many people, and it is so humbling to be part of that.
Another point of relevance is that I was heavily involved in the Animal Rights movement in the 1980s. I was responsible for setting up and running workshops and training courses in public speaking and media skills for a national organisation, I wrote training manuals and magazine articles, dealt with the media, and spoke at public meetings.
Reiki Training with Taggart King
As far as Reiki and Reiki training is concerned, I am committed to high standards. I have a down-to-earth and I like to think a common-sense approach to Reiki and Reiki training, and I work hard to make my courses as informative, practical and effective as I can. I most certainly do not have a narrow and dogmatic view of Reiki and energy techniques, and I am open to different ways of working. On my courses you will be presented with a range of different techniques, and you will not be told that you ‘must do this’, ‘must never do this’, ‘should always do this’ etc. Reiki is simple and effective and does not need cumbersome and rigid restrictions and rules applied to it. It is safe.
The more I learn about Reiki – and I continue to learn all the time – the more it strikes me that there is wondrous variety in the way that people work with the energy in the West, though of course some techniques work better than others and part of my job as a teacher is to find the most effective ways of working that I can.
My aim is to produce confident, thoughtful and capable Reiki practitioners, though of course many, many people learn Reiki so that they can work on themselves and enhance their spiritual development and self-healing, and perhaps treat their families and friends, rather than dealing with the general public as a Reiki ‘practitioner’. I have taken great time and care in deciding upon the course content, and in the preparation of the course manuals, to ensure that they are up to date, clear and comprehensive, and they have been commented on favourably many times by former students and other Masters. There is no need to take notes when you attend my courses, at whatever level.
One thing that I feel is very important is that the teacher should be able to give individual attention to their students, so I have decided that Reiki Evolution courses will have no more than six students on our First Degree, Second Degree and Master Teacher courses, and in fact at many of our venues the maximum is four. This means that our teachers are able to deal with people’s individual questions, queries and concerns in an unhurried and comprehensive way. This also means that you may have to wait a little while before you can train with us, but I do not want to compromise on this point. There are Reiki Masters in this country who teach 20, 30, even 60-80 students at a time, and may not even supply you with a manual of any kind. In my view this is unacceptable, and seems like factory processing. I am not interested in going in that direction.
I also believe that it is important to support my students long term, so Lorraine and I are on hand to deal with any queries you might have, or give advice about Reiki, via e-mail or over the phone. Our students have access to regular evening get-togethers hosted by Reiki Evolution students, where you can meet other Reiki people, swap treatments and receive Reiju empowerments, and we also publish quarterly newsletters. We host an Internet support group for our online students so they can keep in touch with each other if they wish.
As far as my approach to Reiki is concerned, I am not what I would call a ‘Reiki fossil’: someone who learns Reiki from one teacher and then just passes on that single view of Reiki to his or her students. I don’t think that any one person has all the answers or all the effective techniques, so I have tried to draw on the experiences of a wide range of Reiki teachers from various traditions or ‘lineages’ in the UK and Europe, and in Japan, and I have tested out various approaches to find the ones that seem to be most effective. I am learning all the time and I will continue to do so.
I am very lucky to have been taught by Fiona McCallion, Frank Arjava Petter and Chetna Kobayashi the techniques and practices originating from the Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai in Japan (Mikao Usui’s Reiki Association) and I am priviledged to have been taught by Chris Marsh the techniques of Original Usui Reiki, sometimes called ‘Usui Teate’. These techniques are presented as a separate course for the benefit of all Reiki practitioners, and they take Reiki to new levels of effectiveness and intuitive use of energy. I now include these traditional Japanese techniques within my basic courses at no extra cost.
Most Reiki Masters in this country will not yet be able to teach these important fundamental practices of Hatsurei Ho, Usui Sensei’s self-treatment meditation, Reiji Ho, Reiju empowerments, and the Reiki kotodama. I feel very lucky to have found myself in the position of being one of a small number of people in Europe who are able to give traditional ‘Reiju’ empowerments, which I also send out by way of a ‘distant empowerment’ that any Reiki person can ‘tune in’ to. I am prepared to teach these techniques to anyone who wants to learn them and I am happy to pass on all my knowledge to others.
I would like to thank Diane Whittle, a lovely lady, for taking the time, trouble and care to introduce me to Reiki at all levels.
I would like to thank Simon Treselyan for expanding my horizons, and Jay Arjan Falk and Gertrud Haid for giving me a different perspective on Reiki.
Thank you to Carly and Peter Horbowiec, Sally Ormond, Kath Jones, Gabriella Campioni, Sol Karina Hammare and Peter Tillman for giving me the benefit of their wisdom and wide experience.
Thank you to Frank Arjava Petter, Chetna Kobayashi, and Fiona McCallion for starting me on my journey into Japanese Reiki. I would like to thank Chris Marsh in particular for trusting me enough to share special information coming from Mikao Usui’s surviving students, for supporting me and guiding me towards original Usui Reiki for several years.
Finally, thank you to all the other Reiki Masters with whom I have shared information, techniques and insights, and bounced around ideas, particularly Chris Burns, Chris Deefholts, Claire Winchester, Zena Hayward and Lynne Hayes, and to the many students on my basic and specialist courses who have taught me so much too!