State of Ri

In Japanese martial arts, there is the concept of Shu Ha Ri.

These are three stages of proficiency. In the _shu_ stage, one is just learning the mechanics of the form. In the _ha_ stage, the form becomes natural and intuitive. In the _ri_ stage, the practitioner goes beyond the form as their own creative expression.

Underpinning this progression is the increased flow of life energy through the practitioner, known by some as _qi_ or _prana_. The source of this life energy is a mystery. But as this energy enters the world, it manifests through our actions. It becomes real. It becomes matter.

As I sat and listened to Jenni that afternoon, I realized that she was not only a master teacher but had become a master agilist. She was developing new practices in her classroom that I had not seen elsewhere, practices that were unleashing both her creative genius and her students’. But not only in this classroom – throughout the school.

Practices that are likely to have an impact well beyond Dayton.

She had reached a state of _ri_. It was now my turn to learn from her. She, with a team of her colleagues, had developed, what became known as The Dayton Practice.

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