Thursday, April 12, 2012

Balmorhea Hail Storm; West Texas April 11, 2012

In the video collage above, that white stuff on the ground is hail, not snow. In some places it was 4 inches deep. I parked under the covered area of Blanca's drive-thru convenience store (see photo below) and began taking shots. The couple and their smiling daughter in the video were under the covered area in the car ahead of me. Everyone was excited to the point of giddiness.  I'm sure it was the violence of the storm, it's thundering hail, combined with the ozone in the air, that produced such intense excitement in everyone.

Photo taken under the drive-thru, Balmorhea Grocery
When the storm let up I drove out to my friend's house to check on her.  On the way I passed the Catholic church, their extended lawn covered in hail stones so thick it looked like snow. Then I drove past Carrasco's and on to I-10.  The freeway  was covered in what was reported to have been 4 inches of hail.  

Later, at Carrasco's, an employee showed me the video she took standing in the parking lot.  Her video had captured what appeared to be a rotating wall cloud, the initial stages of a tornado.

In the collage of photos I presented in the video above, the elderly lady in the pink nursing scrubs is my friend, Rosalie Dominguez, 80.  The pink farm house is her's. Wind-driven hail broke out 3 windows on the north side of her home.  The men working on her windows after the storm are her son, George, and his father-in-law. 

Rosalie had remembered the tornado in Saragosa several years ago and it heightened her terror during the storm.  I'm sure other townsfolk had the same traumatic flashbacks during yesterday's hailstorm, a storm that pounded metal roofs with such violence that it drove some people to the inner rooms of their homes seeking safety, and others to their storm shelters.

The last two shots in the video collage are of Rosalie's house at a distance with the Davis Mountains in the background.

The video below was captured by storm chasers north of Amarillo where four-feet of hail accumulated in some places, closing down highways and stranding travelers.

The Texas Panhandle had it much worse. In the photo to the right, a Porter, Texas fireman stands next to 4-ft drifts of hail north of Amarillo.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Heart Sutra

Sit, find the rhythm and breath with this. Let all thinking go and just be aware.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Hsing Hsing Ming -- Verses on the Faith Mind


Verses on the Faith Mind

Hsing Hsing Ming

by Chien-chih Seng-ts'an (Kanchi Sosan) Third Zen Patriarch

The Great Way is not difficult
for those who have no preferences.
When love and hate are both absent
everything becomes clear and undisguised.
Make the smallest distinction, however
and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.
If you wish to see the truth
then hold no opinions for or against anything.
To set up what you like against what you dislike
is the disease of the mind.
When the deep meaning of things is not understood
the mind's essential peace is disturbed to no avail.

The Way is perfect like vast space
where nothing is lacking and nothing is in excess.
Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject
that we do not see the true nature of things.
Live neither in the entanglements of outer things,
nor in inner feelings of emptiness.
Be serene in the oneness of things
and such erroneous views will disappear by themselves.
When you try to stop activity to achieve passivity
your very effort fills you with activity.
As long as you remain in one extreme or the other
you will never know Oneness.

Those who do not live in the single Way
fail in both activity and passivity,
assertion and denial.
To deny the reality of things
is to miss their reality;
to assert the emptiness of things
is to miss their reality.
The more you talk and think about it,
the further astray you wander from the truth.
Stop talking and thinking,
and there is nothing you will not be able to know.
To return to the root is to find the meaning,
but to pursue appearances is to miss the source.
At the moment of inner enlightenment
there is a going beyond appearance and emptiness.
The changes that appear to occur in the empty world
we call real only because of our ignorance.
Do not search for the truth;
only cease to cherish opinions.

Do not remain in the dualistic state
avoid such pursuits carefully.
If there is even a trace
of this and that, of right and wrong,
the Mind-essence will be lost in confusion.
Although all dualities come from the One,
do not be attached even to this One.
When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way,
nothing in the world can offend,
and when a thing can no longer offend,
it ceases to exist in the old way.

When no discriminating thoughts arise,
the old mind ceases to exist.
When thought objects vanish,
the thinking-subject vanishes,
as when the mind vanishes, objects vanish.
Things are objects because of the subject (mind);
the mind (subject) is such because of things (object).
Understand the relativity of these two
and the basic reality: the unity of emptiness.
In this Emptiness the two are indistinguishable
and each contains in itself the whole world.
If you do not discriminate between coarse and fine
you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion.

To live in the Great Way
is neither easy nor difficult,
but those with limited views
and fearful and irresolute:
the faster they hurry, the slower they go,
and clinging (attachment) cannot be limited;
even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment
is to go astray.
Just let things be in their own way
and there will be neither coming nor going.
Obey the nature of things (your own nature),
and you will walk freely and undisturbed.
When thought is in bondage the truth is hidden,
for everything is murky and unclear,
and the burdensome practice of judging
brings annoyance and weariness.
What benefit can be derived
from distinctions and separations?

If you wish to move in the One Way
do not dislike even the world of senses and ideas.
Indeed, to accept them fully
is identical with true Enlightenment.
The wise man strives to no goals
but the foolish man fetters himself.
This is one Dharma, not many:
distinctions arise
from the clinging needs of the ignorant.
To seek Mind with the (discriminating) mind
is the greatest of all mistakes.

Rest and unrest derive from illusion;
with enlightenment there is no liking and disliking.
All dualities come from ignorant inference.
The are like dreams of flowers in the air:
foolish to try to grasp them.
Gain and loss, right and wrong:
such thoughts must finally be abolished at once.

If the eye never sleeps,
all dreams will naturally cease.
If the mind makes no discriminations,
the ten thousand things
are as they are, of single essence.
To understand the mystery of this One-essence
is to be release from all entanglements.
When all things are seen equally
the timeless Self-essence is reached.
No comparisons or analogies are possible
in this causeless, relationless state.
Consider movement stationary
and the stationary in motion,
both movement and rest disappear.
When such dualities cease to exist
Oneness itself cannot exist.
To this ultimate finality
no law or description applies.

For the unified mind in accord with the Way
all self-centered straining ceases.
Doubles and irresolution's vanish
and life in true faith is possible.
With a single stroke we are freed from bondage;
nothing clings to us and we hold to nothing.
All is empty , clear, self-illuminating,
with no exertion of the mind's power.
Here thought, feeling, knowledge, and imagination
are of no value.
In this world of Suchness
there is neither self nor other-than-self.

To come directly into harmony with this reality
just simply say when doubt arises, `Not two.'
In this `no two' nothing is separate,
nothing excluded.
No matter when or where,
enlightenment means entering this truth.
And this truth is beyond extension or
diminution in time or space;
in it a single thought is ten thousand years.

Emptiness here, Emptiness there,
but the infinite universe stands
always before your eyes.
Infinitely large and infinitely small;
no difference, for definitions have vanished
and no boundaries are seen.
So too with Being and non-Being.
Don't waste time in doubts and arguments
that have nothing to do with this.

One thing, all things:
move among and intermingle,
without distinction.
To live in this realization
is to be without anxiety about non-perfection.
To live in this faith is the road to non-duality,
Because the non-dual is one with the trusting mind.

The Way is beyond language,
for in it there is
no yesterday
no tomorrow
no today.