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Monday, August 29, 2011

Getting "Inner Balance" with T'ai Chi, Chi Kung, and "Push Hands"

Peter Ralston - Martial Arts Master - and an "Unveiling" Master Teacher

Yesterday morning, when the power came back on after Hurrican Irene passed through, I went down to my dance studio for my morning yoga practice. And after my body "woke up" a bit, the yoga became a bit of free-form T'ai Chi, then a bit of Chi Kung, with some of the Silk Weaving exercises mixed in. And within short order, I was back to basic - very elementary - dance movements. Really more the essentials - Anchoring and Grounding, and weight shifting. I began attending to Principles that Peter Ralston had elucidated very clearly when I was studying with him.

Peter Ralston, a martial arts Master Teacher, taught T'ai Chi and other "internal" martial arts. He was - and still is - a very effective fighter. He also based his teachings on certain core body-alignment and energetic Principles. He is one of the Master Teachers whom I reference frequently in Unveiling: The Inner Journey.

Peter has several books published, but one that got a very good review is Re-Thinking Cheng Hsin.

Peter's teachings have had a profound impact on my dance. I particularly credit him with helping me define my first Principles, beginning with Anchoring. I spent a fair bit of time yesterday, not only in physical practice, but re-thinking how to connect the Principles with how to teach, both for beginner and advanced students. Another element underlying all of Peter's teachings is that our practice, whether martial arts or any other area, should be "effortless." (Now I'll confess that my practice yesterday, during which I focused on releasing tension and having proper alignment, was pretty hard work!)

In Unveiling, I write:

This principle - that of being "effortless" - holds true for us as well. If we are seeking to cultivate our Hathor essence, then we need to create it in a way that is effortless, natural, and easy. Similarly, if we wish to access the deep wisdom of our inner High Priestess, this must especially come about in a soft and gentle manner! In part, because this is the characteristic of real power. And in part, also, this is the only way that things will work most effectively in our lives. (Unveiling: The Inner Journey, p. 165)

You can read more Unveiling excerpts at: Unveiling: The Inner Journey.

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