Sunday’s “Effortless Power” seminar David Shaver’s Peaceful Wolf T’ai Chi in East Haddam, CT was a real pleasure. It is always an honor to be invited to David’s wonderful school to share. He has a beautiful studio way off the beaten track in an idyllic setting. Autumn was in full throttle and the colors were spectacular.

Most of the participants had not worked with me before so it was a rare opportunity to start from zero and present a large chunk of information in a day. Ideally, one learns a small piece and has time to integrate it through practice. That’s what happens in my regular classes in Staten Island.

But there is an advantage to getting the full adult dose too. Higher level internal arts can only be fully appreciated in a transrational state of consciousness, and it takes some practice to be able to get there easily by yourself. In an intensive learning experience like this one, you climb aboard TransLove Airlines early in the day and stay there as we explore some of the remote outposts of the internal arts. Fortunately, we had Maria there too to keep things real and grounded and to explain from another perspective. A demonstration of effortless power takes on additional weight when performed by a 5’4″ grandmother.

Here’s a synopsis of what we covered:

*”Three thumps”. Got this one from a Donna Eden Energy Medicine workshop. You use your fingertips or knuckles to vibrate energy points to unstick and enhance energy flow.

K-27: Located in the corner of the chest on both sides of the sternum just under the clavicle. Meridians run backward and get clogged when we get stressed out. Thumping K-27 unsticks them.

Thymus point: On the sternum at the level of the second rib. Energizes the immune system.

Spleen: Metabolizes stuff. Not just food, but also life experience. Stress collapses our spleen energy and makes it tougher to deal with the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.”

*Energetic coherence: Consciously reaching with the index fingers to restore a sense of wholeness to the body/mind. When energy is more coherent there is less entropy in the system. (This is explained in detail in Taijiquan: Through the Western Gate.) I demonstrate the power of energetic coherence in this YouTube vid.


Most of the stuff to follow was discovered/developed after the release of TTWG. I was taken aback when I noticed that.

*Central Equilibrium: This concept is a central pillar of taijiquan and I assumed I knew what it was for 20 years of so. I wrote about central equilibrium in a couple of blog posts already, so I won’t cover it here.

These two, energetic coherence and central equilbrium, are essential for establishing effortless power. Energetic coherence unifies your body/mind and central equilibrium opens the valves to connect with the Big Qi, the energies of earth and sky.

*Ball/Knee/Kua: This is a sequence for establishing a firm foundation and maintaining central equilibrium regardless of the body’s position.

*”The Edge”: This is a five part exercise that develops the ability to handle energy without freaking out. Most of us have a hard time receiving energy without contracting, resisting, or avoiding. This exercise helps to overcome our fear-based responses and receive energy and information consciously, with an open heart.

*Martin Buber: Empowerment through relation. Shifting consciousness by entering a state of reciprocal respect with another…and so much more. I consider Buber’s I and Thou to be the most important book of the 20th century. Who knew it had application to martial arts, peak performance, and creativity?

*Center line: Using intention to interrupt or enhance the energy in the central meridian. Disrupting an opponent’s energy field can create an advantage in push hands or sparring. Energizing the field is a powerful tool for healing yourself and others.

Of course, this only skims the surface of what we covered Sunday. Effortless power is a by-product of doing things that are virtuous in their own regard. It takes gongfu. The stuff we covered is a map. You still have to walk that road.

Many thanks to David Shaver and the whole gang at Peaceful Wolf for a wonderful day.