Re: Where's the hara?
I think you summed it up extremely well - perhaps better than even I could. Moreover, I would agree with your take on it - that it would have to be included in any real sense of center.
The "Exchanges," which includes that writing on "center," are all based upon actual dojo interactions I've had with one or more deshi at our dojo. I take some fictional license here and there in order to make the conversations more universal - so they are not so much of an "inside" deal, more open to the other members who were not present at said time and/or to the general public at large. Nevertheless, the base of each exchange is a real conversation that took place between myself and one or more of my deshi. Hence, with a bit of embarrassment, I have to say the "sensei" is me.
Thanks for the encouragement. It always helps.