Reiki Evolution was set up by Taggart King, who trained in Reiki and started running Reiki courses in the late 1990s from bases in Saffron Walden and Witham, Essex. These courses would now be referred to as ‘Western-style” since no information had come to us from Japan as yet about Reiki’s original Japanese form, and thus Taggart was passing on a variant of what Mrs Takata had taught (see our ‘About Reiki’ section for more info about the history of Reiki).
Taggart found that he absolutely loved running Reiki courses and found it so rewarding to see the many positive changes that Reiki was bringing into people’s lives. He worked hard to make sure that his courses were good quality, so for example he put together comprehensive and detailed course manuals, at a time when many Reiki courses were not accompanied by any written materials. Taggart went against the grain of most courses by deciding to send these manuals to his students in advance of their course, so they could learn about Reiki at their leisure; most courses at that time involved people turning up knowing very little about Reiki, and their teacher spending a lot of time on a course talking about Reiki. Taggart thought that was a bit of a waste of time: if you are going to be together on a Reiki course, he thought you should be spending your time doing things with energy, not sitting down listening to a teacher talking about things that could have been better assimilated beforehand.
Over time, Taggart added audio CDs with commentary, guided meditations on CD, and even a DVD to his courses so that he was dealing with different people’s learning styles. By providing students with a range of materials – text, images, summary sheets, question and answer sheets, audio tracks, video to watch – you actually enhance learning and make it easier for the student to get to grips with the materials, and enhance learning. Taggart has read extensively about ‘accelerated learning’ techniques and has incorporated these methods into his courses to make learning more interesting, enjoyable and effective.
Small class sizes
Right from the very beginning, Taggart decided to keep his class sizes very small. He always taught four students at a time because of space constraints at the venues he used, though he believed that up to six students would be an acceptable number. Taggart believed that it was very important to give his students his individual attention, and this is simply not possible on larger courses. Some teachers have classes of 15, 30 or even 60-80 students, you see. By keeping the numbers small you have a more relaxed, informal, friendly environment where people are not afraid to ask questions and share their experiences. Too many students and people become self-conscious. Obviously having bigger groups of students means that you generate a higher income, but Taggart decided to go down the route of better quality rather than better profits.
Japanese Reiki comes to the West
Within a couple of years, Taggart had learned the Japanese Reiki techniques that were beginning to be taught in the West, information which was being passed on by teachers like Frank Arjava Petter and Hiroshi Doi. He was also lucky enough to end up carrying out several years of training with an individual who was in contact with a group of elderly students of Reiki’s founder, Mikao Usui. Taggart ended up being perhaps the most prominent teacher of Japanese Reiki methods in the UK, and toured the country (and Europe) passing on original Japanese Reiki methods from the surviving students. Taggart has taught these methods to hundreds of Reiki practitioners and Masters and incorporated the original methods into his First Degree, Second Degree and Reiki Master Teacher courses.
Taggart is one of a small number of teachers who are passing on Mikao Usui’s original methods, since most Reiki courses are ‘Western-style’, being based on the teachings of Hawayo Takata, one of Dr Hayashi’s students.
Setting up a team of teachers
Over time, Taggart’s courses became more and more popular and he was finding it difficult to keep up with demand, so he decided to enlist the help of a small number of Reiki teachers that he had taught and who were already running good quality Reiki courses. Taggart offered their courses through their web site and they ran courses according to Taggart’s “Reiki Evolution” format. So now Taggart’s courses are available throughout the country, with all of his team of teachers running essentially the same course, though they bring their personal experiences and expertise to their teaching, and each course will have a slightly different ‘flavour’ because of that.
And since Taggart has put his heart and soul into his training manuals and audio CDs, when people train with Reiki Evolution they in effect get to train with two people! They train with Taggart – they read his words and they listen to him talking just like they would have heard him speaking on a live course – and they also get to train “live” with a trusted, experienced and talented Reiki Master Teacher who will do their very best for their students.
Why “Reiki Evolution” ?
Taggart did not want to advertise courses in his own name because he felt that this was a bit egotistical, so he chose the name “Reiki Evolution”. Taggart believed that Reiki did indeed need to evolve and change and move on from what he saw as quite dogmatic and cluttered approaches used in Western-style Reiki courses. Taggart believed that Reiki should move on and develop by embracing its original Japanese form, which is simplicity itself and wonderfully free from dogma and restrictions and clutter.
So Reiki Evolution means moving on from Western Reiki by embracing Reiki’s Japanese roots.
But Western Reiki has been taught in a certain way for decades now (on day-courses or weekend courses) so Taggart kept to that established pattern but within that framework has developed the content of his courses so they reflect strongly the original methods that were taught by Reiki’s founder, Mikao Usui.