R C Friedericksrichard2011

I’ve lived in Asia most of my life though I was born in Reading, Pennsylvania. By the time I was a year old I was already in pre-communist China where my parents began a career as medical missionaries. My father, a doctor, took charge of a hospital on the southern coast west of Macau in a place now called Yangjiang. Within a couple years Mao’s China made staying there difficult so we were reassigned to India. By 1954 my father started a hospital in Tansen, Palpa, Nepal.

My schooling was at Woodstock School, Mussoorie, in the Himalayan Mountains north of Delhi very close to Rishikesh and Haridwar where the Ganges emerges from the mountains onto the plains. When I was 12, the Dalai Lama visited the school. He had just left Tibet and was living in Mussoorie before Dharamsala was ready for his government of Tibet-in-exile.

I graduated in 1966 from Woodstock School and went to Whitworth College, Spokane, WA but stayed only a year. As a third-culture kid I had a rough time sorting myself out in the USA. The next year I attended three different schools in the San Francisco Bay Area, the last being UC Berkeley at the center of anti-Vietnam protests and the Black Panther movement. During this time I was accepted at the London School of Film Technique and left the USA for England in the fall of 1968.

Besides studying film I educated myself in spirituality. Making a documentary on Buddhism got me interested in meditation. I began to read and practicing meditation. I met Alan Watts, Sangharakshita, Guru Maharaji, and many other thinkers and practitioners of the day. The more I learned about Eastern spirituality, the more curious I became about early Christian spirituality. I read Eastern Orthodox literature, beautiful poetry by St. John of the Cross, the writings of Meister Eckhardt, George Fox and many other mystics. I was on a path to an Integral Spirituality that would later be articulated by Ken Wilber. And I’ve found my home now in the practice of Centering Prayer, a revival of an early Christian meditation rediscovered by Basil Pennington, Thomas Keating and others including my current inspiration Cynthia Bourgeault.

My career path has likewise been different from most. Back in the USA after film school I found worked in staff development and training at a state facility for the care and training of the developmentally delayed. Later I spent half a year as a freelance artist in Ann Arbor, MI and a year as a lumberjack/sawyer in the Florida Everglades. During this time I got married, had two sons and moved to Nepal where I trained Nepali artists and media producers to create health education and community development teaching materials, radio and TV public service announcements, training and teaching videos, and a wide variety of printed materials. While in Nepal our daughter was born. We stayed in Nepal for ten years.

Returning to the USA our children went through high school and college. We lived in Port Townsend, WA where we struggled to make a living. At some points I was doing three jobs which included Web design and site management, teaching at Peninsula Community College and free lance video production. I also had the opportunity to do some short term training of health workers in Ethiopia as a result of my experience in Nepal.

When my daughter started college in 2000, my wife and I got teaching jobs at Hong Kong International School where we were until 2014. I was hired to start a media program at the high school and my wife, Suzanne, as a pre-school teacher. I started a broadcast journalism course, a film studies course, introductory courses to video production, Web design and online media, and taught meditation to teachers and students.

My wife, Suzanne, and I live in Port Townsend, WA.  I enjoy painting, photography, video production and writing. My first novel,  Windhorse Warriors, is historical fiction based in Kham, Eastern Tibet during the Chinese Communist occupation in the 1950’s.  It tells the story of an idealistic Chinese communist from Shanghai who volunteers to take ‘the revolution’ to Tibet. He soon differs with the Party’s policies as they impose reforms unsuited to the cultural and economic situation on the Tibetan plateau. He proposes an alternative based on Tibetan spiritual ideals which the local people fully support. It is an inspiring read if you are interested in Tibet.


Inspiration for this blog comes from “Dweller on the Threshold”, a song by Van Morrison. Here is a link to the song on YouTube and you can read the lyrics here.

A threshold rests between one place and another, one state or stage and another. While crossing a threshold you are nowhere but if you pay attention you can be now here.

Be here in the present moment. Be mindful. Enter each moment with an open mind and an open heart.



This rock is embedded in a square of concrete – the rock represents the male principle and the foundation on which it rests represents the female. Shiva and Shakti. Sun and Moon. Yang and Yin. Energy and Matter. Duality. The now of the moment and the here of physical presence.

It represents Balance. It is the balance of yang and yin in TAO; the balance of Duality in Non-duality.

-in Memory’s Vault, Fort Worden State Park, Port Townsend, WA
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