The Cheng Hsin Spring Retreat

New **Zoom Possibility for participating in the Spring Retreat. For details see below or CLICK HERE.

We’ve changed the format of the Spring Retreat. In the New Spring Retreat we now start with the famous ENB and two other consciousness workshops, ending in a week of the Art of Effortless Power and Body-Being, followed by the option to continue with more weeks in the Art. 

Consciousness Workshops

We moved the most central and indispensable consciousness workshop of Cheng Hsin, Experiencing the Nature of Being (ENB) to both the spring and fall. It is the foundational, must-do workshop that can be repeated several times. It is the workshop that most closely relates to the material expressed in The Book of Not Knowing. Following the ENB is Transforming Your Experience of Life (TEL) and The Insight and Enlightenment Workshop.

Too often, the work of understanding ourselves amounts to little more than exchanging one set of beliefs and opinions for another. Many give up, thinking that they have exhausted all possibilities of encountering a truly powerful, transformative event. These workshops represent such a possibility.

As always, the month-long format provides a comprehensive study of interrelated facets of the Cheng Hsin work. If you’re unfamiliar with Cheng Hsin, you may well wonder what martial work and mind work have to do with each other. The significance of this connection is implied in this axiom of effective interaction:

Effective response requires an accurate perception of the circumstances.

The beauty of the consciousness work is that it offers a means to investigate the very process by which we perceive. The beauty of the martial work is that it is unmatched for providing crucial feedback about our patterns and limitations in thinking and learning.

In such a concentrated environment of continuous learning, students not only have the chance to investigate at much greater depths, but the effects of their study will accumulate exponentially.

The Art of Effortless Power

The practice and study of this Art goes beyond learning about skillful interaction and effortless power, it deepens one’s consciousness and awareness of their own body and improves how the body functions. We will spend a week laying a strong foundation in the Art of Effortless Power, studying Cheng Hsin Body-Being principles, and doing a little Cheng Hsin T’ai Chi. 

In a new approach to teaching Ralston also intends to use the Art as a means to reveal limits in the students’ experience and to create new openings for experience outside these limits. 

After this study you can go on to train in advanced studies for another week or more, if there is interest. 

Experiencing the Nature of Being

(Week One)

This workshop was designed by Peter as a concentrated experiential inquiry into the nature of Being. This is the central and most essential consciousness workshop we do.

If you look in the dictionary, you’ll read that ontology is the study of being, of existence. It is a deep and complex field, with various aspects frequently under debate by philosophers, scientists, and theologians. This is a central aspect of our consciousness work. Move beyond the habits of perception that limit us in our abilities, our relationships, and our lives.

Consciousness work is not about acquiring knowledge. Instead, within the framework of this unique, hands-on experiential workshop increased consciousness starts to become real, not just heard about. 

This workshop is a unique opportunity to confront beliefs and concepts, and transform the very mechanisms that determine your experience, your actions, your relationships, and your abilities.  

As a participant you will:

  • Learn to make a distinction between conceptualization and actual experience. 
  • Discover that you can remove concepts and beliefs from anything—from yourself, another person, an object, or a situation—resulting in a much more genuine and authentic experience of what’s there.  
  • Be guided in opening up to experience your most authentic self—beyond your history, self-image, ego, intellect, emotion, or any other aberrating factor. 
  • Realize how changing from a dynamic of reactivity to one of free responsiveness can create alternatives to manipulating or being manipulated by others. 
  • Investigate the very foundations of mind, being, and reality. 
  • You will experience with increasing depth and clarity the real make-up of your existence, and move toward an understanding that surpasses the limits of thought. Here, you will discover a possibility of freedom and creativity that was, literally, inconceivable before now. 

To enroll yourself in this workshop is to take action that speaks louder than words about your personal commitment to awakening.

Cheng Hsin Consciousness work is INTENSE and DEMANDS your attention, energy, and commitment. The only other requirement is to be there. If you’re up for a mind-blowing adventure, consider yourself invited to this powerful event. 

We question not for an answer, but to experience the truth.

Transforming Your Experience of Life

(Week Two)

This workshop is about undertaking a shift in perspective that will change your fundamental experience of self and life. Our most common self-experience is based on a sense of separation that fails to produce the happiness that we seek, and always will. Since our experience of life is so closely related to our experience of each other, creating a new context for relating to others will transform our experience of self and life. Some of what we will work on: Transcend “Self Introversion” Become free of the closed loop of self-referencing perception Let go of existential assumptions of brokenness Immerse yourself in the truth about self and other Create a new Context for relating to others and life Increase your ability for real communication Reduce your sense of isolation and separation

Insight and Enlightenment Workshop

(Week Three)

Contemplation Intensive meets Ontological Workshop. In this workshop, roughly half the time will be devoted to pure contemplation, primarily in the form of dyads with a partner (Contemplation and Communication Exercises). The other half will be exercises, guided meditations, talks, and dialogues given by Peter about subjects aligned with this contemplative effort. Such a two-fold approach both opens and grounds our work. Some of what will be addressed: Let go of unnecessary attachments Open up beyond mind Wonder: What is a body? Get to the source of your perceptions Look into your very “soul” Discover the illusions of self and life Undertake the koan of Now Transcend the separation conundrum Approach the Absolute

Art of Effortless Power

(Week Four)

In this part of the month-long Retreat we devote time to study the Art of Effortless Power. The practice and study of this Art goes beyond learning about skillful interaction and effortless power, it deepens one’s consciousness and awareness of their own body and improves how the body functions. In a new approach to teaching, Ralston also intends to use the Art as a means to reveal limits in the students’ experience and to create new openings for experience outside these limits assisting participants in their personal growth while they develop greater skills and learning about an effortless body-being and effective interaction.

We are offering additional advanced training in the art after the retreat. If you would like to sign up please contact us.

The Retreat Space

This retreat will be held on a private 14 acre property. Breaks should be refreshing and relaxing. The schedule leaves some room for swimming and introspection as you reflect on the work and soak in the experiences of the day.

What’s Included:

The cost of the martial sections includes instruction, room and board, a huge space with good mats. For those with the courage to participate in the consciousness work, the cost includes room and board plus a guided tour of your own consciousness by one of the most riveting and focused teachers you will ever encounter.

The Center

Our center includes a 40×80 foot hall with kitchen, showers, sinks, and toilets. Participants will be housed in the building, or in large tent-cabins, and provided with a huge cot, foam, sleeping bag, pillow and lights. There is also a large swimming pool and hot tub.

Signing Up:

To secure the most inexpensive fee available, a non-refundable deposit is due far in advance. For exact dates and amounts go to registration, and for dates see the Schedule of Events.

Spring Retreat On Zoom

We have been working to create a way for people to participate in the workshops online. So far it works. If you want to participate in these workshops online you will need a computer and the newest Zoom application. If you have never used Zoom it would be good to try it out and get to know how it works beforehand.

The times for the workshops will generally start at 8am and end around 9 or 10pm, Central Standard Time in the USA. So depending on where you live you will have to adjust your sleeping schedule and perhaps be up much of the night and sleep during the day. Best to start that shift a few days before the workshop.

Making this alteration to your sleep schedule and having to sit in front of a computer for about 8 hours a day (with many breaks) is the down side. The upside is you don’t have to travel and during the pandemic can remain at home. If you are willing to make these adjustments then join us in the Spring Retreat.

More details will be sent if you sign up and click the Zoom option.

*ZOOM Spring Retreat Registration

*Zoom is not available for martial arts