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

Instant Meditation? What Does That Even Mean?

I’ve gotten  some pushback lately about my use of the term “Instant Meditation.” It was felt that calling it “instant” trivializes the long hours that experienced meditators spend in their own practice, as if all the same results could be gotten in an instant. This surprised me. I hadn’t considered that it could be read that way. Did I need to call it something else, or just do a better job of clarifying what I meant? What I was trying to say with “Instant Meditation” was that substantially increasing energetic coherence has the effect of clearing the mind and calming… Read More

Tai Chi Alchemy at Kripalu Part 2

This was the first trip to Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health for Maria and I. It is one of those legendary institutions, like Esalen and Omega, and we didn’t know what to expect. We weren’t disappointed. The 350-acre campus overlooks Lake Mahkeenac and is just down the road from Tanglewood in the Berkshire hills of western Massachusetts. The grounds are immaculate and beautifully landscaped. The lodging is functional/no frills, but comfortable enough. (We didn’t spend much time there, save to sleep.) The seminar we presented was “Tai Chi Alchemy: Get Out of Your Head and Into the Game.” We… Read More

Tensegrity Revisited

Check out this video by Thomas Myers, author of Anatomy Trains. It is a lively explanation of how the connective tissue system uses the principle of tensegrity to greatly enhance its effective power as well as its reliance. Myers is an authority on the myofascial network and his explanations are clear and colorful. In Chapter 14 “Tensegrity” of Taijiquan: Through the Western Gate, I discuss the importance of this principle: Chinese martial arts and Chinese healing arts have long emphasized the importance of the connective tissue system in the conduction of internal energy. The Western model has primarily focused on… Read More

Interview with Creative Consciousness Radio and Overtone Singing in CT

Two things happened last week that I’d like to share: Interview on Creative Consciousness Radio with Sam and Cabrini Greco, and overtone chanting at a poetry reading at the “Gaia’s Lament: Art Cry!” in New London, CT. First the interview. I was contacted by Sam and Cabrini to go on their web-based program and we did it live last Tuesday (Bastille Day! “Liberte. Eagalite. Fraternite.”) It was an honor as well as a real joy. Sam and Cabrini are on a mission to give voice to those on a spiritual path who are working to make a difference in people’s… Read More