SOURCE: Zen Body-Being

January 22, 2007 08:00 ET

New Book, "Zen Body-Being," Offers Effortless Power & Joy in Being a Body

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 22, 2007 -- World champion martial artist and Zen master Peter Ralston brings the art of effortless power and the joy of increased consciousness to every day life in his latest book, "Zen Body-Being: An Enlightened Approach to Physical Skill, Grace, and Power" (North Atlantic Books, ISBN: 1583-94159-2, $16.95 paperback.). "Zen Body-Being" offers an easy-to-read approach that will empower anyone's physical effectiveness. The book works for anyone, an executive lifting a cup of coffee, a golfer, tennis player, weekend warrior or construction worker. It's for any dancer, singer, actor or lover -- everyone can use something from this short simple volume of Ralston's Body-Being work.

The principles laid out in "Zen Body-Being" come from Ralston's personal experience with martial arts and mind work and have proven effective by his students for over 30 years. His uniquely effective approach to effortless power won him the distinction of becoming the first non-Asian ever to win the World Championship Full-Contact Martial Arts Tournament in China. His basic points and principles and his streamlined way of relating to space, others and skill itself have greatly improved the power and ability of martial artists, athletes, yogis, chefs, doctors, dancers and musicians. All report immense benefits in their respective fields -- even the University of California water polo team who went on to win the NCAA Championship.

Early in his martial arts training, Ralston discovered that his greatest leaps in ability arose from personal insight, which he shares in "Zen Body-Being." "People tend to focus more on doing than on being," Ralston says. By teaching people how to transform "being" instead of adding to their "doing," he helps people become effortlessly effective and masterful in every endeavor of their lives -- physical and interpersonal. "When people seem to make magical leaps in ability it is simply from the discovery that conscious insight makes an enormous difference in physical performance," Ralston adds. "We don't realize that the 'secret' lies in plain view and always has."

Ralston began studying martial arts as a child living in Singapore and Japan. Continually curious about how the mind and body worked, he earned black belts in judo, jujitsu and karate by the age of 19 and studied anatomy and physiology at UC Berkeley, where he became a judo and fencing champion. He continued his martial arts training with kung fu and muay thai, but his interest in "internal" arts compelled him to study t'ai chi, hsing I and aikido. It was through his Zen meditation studies he had an epiphany that led him to implement consciousness into his teaching methods and to found his "Cheng Hsin" approach of using direct experience in training both mind and body.

"Zen Body-Being" is a product of Ralston's discoveries over the years. "I never learned anything that I already knew," Ralston writes. "Once you clear your mind of what you 'know,' true learning becomes possible...The most profound experiences arise from questioning the obvious. It's a paradox that the greatest learning occurs when we're in a state of not knowing. Mystical sources of power are overrated; mastering one's disposition is underrated." The book is replete with plain-spoken principles and guidelines to experience the magical insights we ordinarily attribute to martial masters and Zen sages. Among them:

--  three aspects of body awareness;
--  five steps to a Zen mindset;
--  five principles of being effortlessly effective;
--  14 points on structural alignment for standing, moving, and
"Zen Body-Being" moves us to levels of awareness that offer invaluable tools not only for effortless power and skill, but for those who want to deepen intimacy and heighten the bliss we all seek in our most intimate relationships, as well as in life itself. It also helps us eliminate distracting inner chatter. "Eliminate unnecessary beliefs, social and emotional concerns and you will become more conscious of what's really going on," Ralston says. "Do this and your entire life will change."

"Zen Body-Being: An Enlightened Approach to Physical Skill, Grace, and Power," is available at major booksellers and

Contact Information

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