The Principles of Effortless Power by Peter Ralston
Published by North Atlantic Books
Recommended Read 'The Principles of Effortless Power' by Peter Ralston is an excellent introduction to anyone considering and practicing martial arts, including Tai Chi. It really describes the moving and use of internal energy to effect your actions, effortlessly. As such it applies to every day life as well.
Originally published in 1989 it is still going strong, an indication of what a great book this is. Highly recommended if you do any type of energy work, including healing. It needs to be read thoroughly and may take several reads to digest all the information. Then actually practice and experience the techniques.
Peter Ralston has done over forty years of intense contemplation and personal experiential investigation into the nature of self and reality. He teaches people to authentically expand and deepen their consciousness, and to become more real, honest, and effective human beings. He has written several books on the nature of consciousness, which can be found on his Chen Hsin website. He draws on T'ai Chi Ch'uan, Aikido, and Pa Kua Chang, and is the first Westerner ever to win the world championship in a full-contact martial arts tournament. Peter Ralston "works with people to authentically expand and deepen their consciousness, and to become more real, honest, and effective human beings." He also does this through teaching people about their bodies and how to be most effective in its use, as well as teaching them the Art of Effortless Power.
I wanted to create an art based on fundamental observations of physics, perception, intent, impulse, and energy — an art that gears itself to meet any situation because it is founded on understanding the principles in which interaction takes place.
Peter Ralston - You Tube Channel
Archetypal symbolism using a variety of geometric shapes is ancient, stretching back to the dawn of man's earliest artworks as seen in petroglyphs around the world. Our ancestors’ simple drawings on rocks and artefacts gave tangible form to the harmonious patterns of life and the intangible order uniting the Universe. They give 'form to the formless' and are abstract expressions of the science manifesting reality.
Ueshiba Morihei (founder of aikido):
Down the generations all cultures have used simple shapes such as these and they, like Zen artists, had the same profound understanding that the simple patterns shaping the Universe were themselves sacred and empowered. Other examples, used extensively in my books, are yantras and mandalas. Tantra Yoga is the path of union with the Absolute through geometric visualization in Tantric Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Central to Tantrism are elaborate and precise geometric patterns, known as mandalas or yantras, some of which are thousands of years old. In this tradition the triangle, circle and square were significant Vedic forms which symbolised spirituality, evolution and the Earth respectively. Additionally in both Indian and Japanese esoteric teachings, such as Mikkyo, these shapes represent earth (square), water (circle) and fire (triangle).
Simple shapes embodying intricate complexity, the circle, square and triangle structure and bind the 3 profound concepts of time (evolution: Mind, serenity and perfection:water), space (Earth:Body:earth) and being (spirituality:solidity and applied control:fire). The empty circle, the vessel for all geometry shapes, when totally empty is the essence of enlightenment.
Here is my version of these timeless concepts: