I have come to realize that far too many of those interested in Cheng Hsin are unable to attend the workshops necessary for a meaningful and prolonged study of the body-being work. The mind work translates well to an e-course format, but obviously a serious martial student would want to train body-being with me in person. Still, after years of meeting my readers and also answering questions through e-mail and the newsletter, it’s clear that progress can be made through written communications. Perhaps this is because all Cheng Hsin work deals with a student’s perception and experience, even when those are grounded in one’s body and actions. Whether you study it in written form or in workshops, an open investigation of body-being will create useful new distinctions in your experience — physical, mental, and energetic.
So who is this course for? If you’ve read the books and want more, this course is for you. It’ll help you move from intellectualizing the work to making it your own experience. If you’re a workshop regular, you can use this course as a review and to provide a daily format for training and development. If you’ve never heard of this work and want to jump in, this is a good place. If you plan to come to a martial workshop, this course is the perfect complement.
We will begin by working from the book “Zen Body-Being,” and each week will look into some new body or mind consideration. Like the book, the course isn’t just for martial artists. It is for anyone who wants to improve their relationship with their body and develop a more effortless and effective level of physical skill in whatever they do.
There will be exercises and study as we move through all of the material relevant to an effortlessly effective body-being. We will address and work with the basic principles and structural design of an effective body. We will also tackle the important role of mind and perception in any physical activity or body development, and train feeling-image exercises or “energy” exercises along with our mechanical trainings. As the course develops, we will also work on effortless power, studying the application of “intrinsic strength” to achieve a more effortless result in any physical endeavor.
All of these considerations and exercises are immensely valuable for anyone with a body, but another very useful aspect of this course will be your commitment to study, learn, and train. You’re the one who will learn to apply this material, and to do so as much as you can every time you use your body. You will also be encouraged to contemplate our considerations, and to develop a deeper understanding of what is being said, the universal principles involved, and how they apply in your experience. In theory, you could simply study the books and apply what you can, but a step-by-step program of daily training is far more likely to produce success. I will be available to answer questions or help in your understanding, but most of the work is up to you.
Reading should include, but isn’t limited to:
Zen Body-Being – An Enlighted Approach to Physical Skill, Grace and Power
Cheng Hsin: The Principles of Effortless Power
Cheng Hsin Tui Shou: The Art of Effortless Power (section one)
Those of you who have already studied body-being with me personally (such as at the month-long Retreat at the Center, or the Body-Being workshops in Europe) may use this course as an extension of their studies. Review always yields greater understanding, and a daily commitment will give structure to your training.
Duration: 1 Year