Home Country: Remembering Gia-Fu Feng

The South Hardscrabble Creek area. Click image to see it full size with labels.

There really is a Hardscrabble Creek, and this is part of its watershed. (View is to the southeast.)

The label “Stillpoint” marks the site of a therapeutic community started in 1977 by Gia-Fu Feng, who taught a sort of Taoist (Daoist) philosophy mixed with Gestalt-style encounter groups in North America and Europe through the 1970s and early 1980s. (He died in June 1985.)

His translations of the Tao Te Ching and of Chuang Tsu remain popular, in both sense of the term.

Earlier incarnations of Stillpoint had been in Los Gatos, California, and Manitou Springs, Colorado, where M. and I first knew Gia-Fu and his followers as one of several large, communal living experiments. We had no desire to live in a therapeutic commune and do encounter groups, however!

This last incarnation of Stillpoint never became the “new Taoist village” that Gia-Fu envisioned, although the remodeled barn/community building and various cabins and hermitages are still there.  Ownership has passed through a chain of people connected to Gia-Fu.

One of them, Carol Ann Wilson, wrote a good biography, Still Point of the Turning World, but as so often happens with “crazy wisdom” teachers, I think that you had to have been there to really “get” Gia-Fu.

My last sight of him came in the spring of 1985 when I drove past Stillpoint, bound for Boulder after turkey-hunting up South Hardscrabble Creek. He was strolling up the side of the gravel road in billowing, bright-yellow trousers and his padded jacket—probably the one in the Wikipedia photo. When I came back permanently, only his memory remained.