Crossing the Threshold

Doorways provide not simply passage between rooms, but an awareness of the thresholds within ourselves.

Gary Thorp

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In ancient times, men and women protected their homes by festooning their doorways with flower garlands, affixing mistletoe or pine boughs to the lintels overhead, or rubbing the doorposts with garlic or other potent herbal mixtures. The custom of a groom carrying his bride across the threshold of their home also has its roots in ancient agriculture. It is believed to have had some connection to “threshing,” or using the feet to separate usable seeds and grains from husks and stems, dried straw, and chaff. The origins of the word thresh are identical to those of turn, contour, return, and thread. And today, threshold not only refers to a doorway or gate, but also means both a new beginning and a limitation. Throughout the history of Zen, there have been commentaries on gates and doors.

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