Conscious and Preconscious

Here are some more thoughts on Consciousness and Awareness, continued from last post. In the last post I distinguished between consciousness and awareness. It’s not an absolute distinction but a pragmatic one. It is useful to think of these words this way…for gongfu, for healing, for living. Awareness: Responsiveness to one’s environment.\ Consciousness: Awareness of awareness. We humans start our journey in a preconscious state: body awareness. It is a fusion state, and the nascent nervous system is unable to differentiate anything. Pure sensorimotor functioning. This holds to about four months, when we start to distinguish the physical body from… Read More

Awareness VS. Consciousness

This is a video of a talk I gave recently at the Society for Consciousness Studies Conference at Yale/TGI. I posted my notes prior to the Conference in a recent blog. It was a real honor to be asked to speak and I am particularly grateful to organizer Allan Combs for his interest and support. Thanks also to Steve Mitchell for the video, as well as for all the organizing he did for the Conference. “Consciousness is a word worn smooth by a million tongues. Depending on the figure of speech chosen it is a state of being, m a… Read More

Taijiquan Immersion with Rick at Eastover, July 21-23

Eastover Estate and Retreat is a stunningly beautiful holistic retreat center and 600 acre natural sanctuary, located in the heart of the Berkshire mountains. Eastover is the vision of founder Yingxing Wang who orchestrated an incredible ten-year renovation of the entire estate, making eco-friendly choices wherever possible. It opened a couple years ago and focuses primarily on Chinese medicine, qigong, and internal martial arts. The housing is priced very reasonably (by Berkshire standards) and the options range from luxurious to tents pitched in the yard. Check out this online brochure.   July 21-23. Yang Cheng Fu’s 13 Original Postures. This… Read More

Society for Consciousness Studies Conference 2017

I will be appearing at The Society for Consciousness Studies Conference 4pm on June 3 at The Graduate Institute in New Haven. Here is Part One of my address at the Conference in 2015. And here is preview of my notes for next Saturday’s presentation. (It could change, but probably not much.)   Presentation: “Finding You in a World of It”   Rick Barrett Notes: Society for Consciousness Studies Conference, June 3, 2017 Yale University/The Graduate Institute, New Haven, CT     “The nameless was there before the sky and the earth were born. The named is the mother of… Read More

Fighter or Martial Artist? Which Are You?

This article appeared in Inside Kung Fu magazine, Spring 07. Ten years ago!   Fighter or Martial Artist? Which are You? by Rick Barrett “He’s a martial artist, sure…but can he fight?” How often have you heard (or said) some variation of that refrain? It is actually an important question, but it does beg other questions: Is there a difference between martial arts and fighting? Is there value in martial arts independent of preparation for fighting? Does such a distinction matter? There are some who would answer the last question with a resounding “No”. To them such a distinction is… Read More