Spirit and Essence of Cheng Hsin

The Spirit of Cheng Hsin

The spirit of the Cheng Hsin work is to continually move toward a more “real,” direct and present experience of self and life. To “take on” Cheng Hsin is to move in the direction of experiencing the truth of what is occurring — in this moment or in any matter.

I don’t want to present Cheng Hsin as a “right” way of being, but simply as a commitment to uncovering the truth of being.

~Peter Ralston

Using open investigation, personal experimentation, contemplation, and questioning we pursue transformation, effectiveness, and a direct experience of the nature of Being.

We ground our pursuit in being real and effective, in mastering an art, and interacting with life more consciously. Discovering the principles that govern or design any event, as well as making the distinctions that enable us to relate more effectively to that event, are fundamental to the Cheng Hsin work.

The objective is not to believe or disbelieve something (not even our own beliefs); rather it is to directly and authentically experience for ourselves the truth.

This work is not about proselytizing a belief system, adhering to dogma, or following a set of rituals. It is not about defending itself against differing ideas, or engaging in idle speculations. It is not intended to be an exclusive club. The intent is to challenge ourselves, our actions, and our abilities openly and honestly — this often means challenging our existing beliefs.

The veils that shroud a direct experience of the truth can be stripped away by committed questioning.

~Doug Chambers, Cheng Hsin Apprentice

Cheng Hsin supports direct and honest investigation, experimentation, communication, clarity of purpose, empowerment, and a commitment to authenticity and integrity in all endeavors and interactions.

It could be said that the purpose of Cheng Hsin is to provide or create for people a doorway into the nature of Being, as well as being effective. This endeavor is open to everyone no matter what their pursuits, as long as their commitment is to directly experience for themselves what is actually so in what they are doing.



The Essence of Cheng Hsin

The scope of the consideration of Cheng Hsin is so wide and multi-dimensional that one kind of class or workshop cannot cover it, nor would it be useful to restrict its study to one method or area of interest.


“The essence of Cheng Hsin is found in questioning our own event. We’re striving to honestly investigate our actions, emotions, beliefs, relationships, and experience. It seems that in grasping the truth of any matter, the possibility arises of becoming more powerful, effective, and balanced in relation to that matter.”

~Peter Ralston

Yet in every method or area where it arises, the aim of Cheng Hsin is to explore and examine the nature and event of Being, and to create a more open, authentic and grounded encounter of ourselves and reality.

In every case, the core matter under consideration is the event of “being,” but not Being as an abstract or exclusive concept. It is the wonderment of the event that we are, the nature of our very existence. The core consideration is: What am I? What is Reality? What is Being in all and every form in which Being appears?

We seem to “be” this person, yet somehow also seem abstracted or removed from a consciousness of our own authentic nature.

What we observe about ourselves are various forms manifesting as “being.”

Being appears as:

  • some “thing” — a body, which appears as functionally and purposefully directed, as alive.
  • consciousness — the foundation and origin of self and awareness.
  • “mind” — appearing as thoughts and emotions.
  • relational and interactive.
  • creative.
  • capable and ignorant, limited and open possibility

The objective is not to believe or disbelieve something (not even our own beliefs); rather it is to directly and authentically experience for ourselves the truth.