About

THE EDGE OF NOWHERE

A threshold rests between one place and another, one state or stage and another.

While crossing a threshold you are nowhere. As you crossover be now here.

Pay attention. Be here. Be in the present. Be mindful.

Enter each moment with an open mind and an open heart.

Imagine a courtyard piled high with grain; a high threshold will keep the grain from being scattered outside the entryway. The threshold is the entry and exit point to the store, the treasure within.

A threshold is often associated with tolerance; for pain, for suffering. A high threshold implies a greater ability to deal with suffering.

This blog is about all of these. It will explore what it means to cross over from one state of being into another.  It will point toward being here and now.  It will pay attention with intention to opening the heart and mind to greater awareness.

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Threshold

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.

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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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.

Some background on the author.

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 with the Presbyterian Church. My father, a doctor, took charge of a hospital on the southern coast west of Macau and Hong Kong in a place now called Yangjiang. Within a couple years Mao’s China made staying there impossible so we were transferred 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 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. During this time I was accepted at the London School of Film Technique and left the USA for England. It was a better fit.

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 on the Jesus Prayer, St. John of the Cross’s beautiful poetry, Meister Eckhardt’s sermons, George Fox and many others. 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 mentor Cynthia Bourgeault.

My career path has likewise been different from most. Back in the USA after film school I found a job doing staff development and training at a state facility for the care and training of the developmentally delayed. Later spent a year as a lumberjack/sawyer in the Florida Everglades and half a year as a freelance artist in Ann Arbor, MI. During this time I got married, had two sons and moved to Nepal where I worked with mission organizations as a media producer. I trained Nepali staff to produce 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 have been ever since. I was hired to start a media program at the high school and my wife as a pre-school teacher. I started a broadcast journalism course, a film studies course, introductory course to video production, a Web design and online media course, and most recently a spiritual practices course.

My wife, Suzanne, and I retired in 2014 and returned to Port Townsend, WA.  After adding a garage creating a studio out of the old attached garage, I have enjoyed painting, photography, video production and writing.  Windhorse Warriors, is an historical novel 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.  Watch for this novel.  It will be available soon under the pen name Rishi Wei.

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