Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas wild weather could cost millions |

Christmas wild weather could cost millions |

'via Blog this'
Taylors Lakes Nick VlahandreasSTORMS pelted Victorians with hailstones as big as billiard balls during a wild Christmas Day barrage.

The damage bill could run into tens of millions of dollars after hundreds of cars were bombarded, windows in homes and businesses were smashed and roofing was torn away.

The State Emergency Service was called to more than 2500 jobs when a series of storm cells intensified dramatically in Melbourne in the afternoon.

The worst was a tornado that hit Fiskville, near Bacchus Marsh, west of Melbourne.

Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued for many parts of Victoria throughout the afternoon and evening, but the weather was expected to improve ahead of today's Boxing Day Test at the MCG.

Early this morning, a severe weather warning remained current for parts of southern New South Wales, including Wagga Wagga, Albury, Deniliquin, Cobar, Broken Hill and Wentworth.

Around Melbourne yesterday, most calls to the SES were from Keilor Park, Keilor Downs and Taylors Lakes. Parts of Eltham and Greensborough were hit more than once and planes were grounded at Melbourne Airport.

Lightning hit the 3AW transmission tower, knocking out its analogue signal and putting it off air to most listeners.

About 77 passengers on a flight out of Darwin spent almost four hours at Sale airport after Qantas decided it was unsafe to fly into Melbourne.

Metro warned commuters to expect major train delays, with most lines disrupted, and advised passengers to defer non-essential travel.

The storm blacked out more than 5000 homes in Port Melbourne, Ballarat, Armadale, Toorak and South Melbourne as families sat down to Christmas dinner.

A family in Apollo Rd, Taylors Lakes, had nine cars damaged and roof tiles and outdoor lights broken when the storm hit about 3.30pm.

Robyn Sullivan said the hailstones had been almost as big as tennis balls.

"It was like a roar as it came through," she said. "I've never heard anything like it."

Jim Egan was at the house for Christmas lunch when his car was pelted with hailstones.

"I had nine holes in the back window," he said. "One had come through the window, bounced around the car, and it was lodged between the console and the front windscreen."

A couple in Montmorency arrived home from Christmas lunch to find almost a metre of water running through their garage.

Michel Long said his Mercedes-Benz, caravan, bikes and other items were damaged.

"It's come in through the back of the garage from the next street and it's pushed the caravan through the door of the garage and there's debris everywhere ... the car has damage on the side of it where it's pushed a big cupboard out of the garage" Mr Long said.

"I estimate it's probably $25-30,000 damage."

SES spokesman Lachlan Quick said hundreds of volunteers had made big sacrifices to help residents.

"It's a pretty remarkable effort to drag yourself away from your turkey," he said.

- with Michelle Ainsworth

Read more:

Before the storm...a butterfly

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Christmas Day Hail storm in Melbourne

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Friday, 23 December 2011

The Stability of Ease | Tricycle

The Stability of Ease | Tricycle:

'via Blog this'

Find a Refuge in Yourself

Without discipline, it’s very difficult to develop stability; that’s why we have a practice. And when we live according to the dharma, when we follow a teacher, when we follow the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha, what it really does is bring us stability within ourselves. So, for example, when we have taken refuge, we find a refuge in ourselves; when we need ourselves, we are there for us. So often when we need ourselves, we’re not there.
- Sogyal Rinpoche, "The Stability of Ease"
Read the entire article in the Tricycle Wisdom Collection

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

100 Most beautiful words in the English language* | Deshoda

Ailurophile A cat-lover.

Assemblage A gathering.

Becoming Attractive.

Beleaguer To exhaust with attacks.

Brood To think alone.

Bucolic In a lovely rural setting.

Bungalow A small, cozy cottage.

Chatoyant Like a cat’s eye.

Comely Attractive.

Conflate To blend together.

Cynosure A focal point of admiration.

Dalliance A brief love affair.

Demesne Dominion, territory.

Demure Shy and reserved.

Denouement The resolution of a mystery.

Desuetude Disuse.

Desultory Slow, sluggish.

Diaphanous Filmy.

Dissemble Deceive.

Dulcet Sweet, sugary.

Ebullience Bubbling enthusiasm.

Effervescent Bubbly.

Efflorescence Flowering, blooming.

Elision Dropping a sound or syllable in a word.

Elixir A good potion.

Eloquence Beauty and persuasion in speech.

Embrocation Rubbing on a lotion.

Emollient A softener.

Ephemeral Short-lived.

Epiphany A sudden revelation.

Erstwhile At one time, for a time.

Ethereal Gaseous, invisible but detectable.

Evanescent Vanishing quickly, lasting a very short time.

Evocative Suggestive.

Fetching Pretty.

Felicity Pleasantness.

Forbearance Withholding response to provocation.

Fugacious Fleeting.

Furtive Shifty, sneaky.

Gambol To skip or leap about joyfully.

Glamour Beauty.

Gossamer The finest piece of thread, a spider’s silk.

Halcyon Happy, sunny, care-free.

Harbinger Messenger with news of the future.

Imbrication Overlapping and forming a regular pattern.

Imbroglio An altercation or complicated situation.

Imbue To infuse, instill.

Incipient Beginning, in an early stage.

Ineffable Unutterable, inexpressible.

Ingénue A naïve young woman.

Inglenook A cozy nook by the hearth.

Insouciance Blithe nonchalance.

Inure To become jaded.

Labyrinthine Twisting and turning.

Lagniappe A special kind of gift.

Lagoon A small gulf or inlet.

Languor Listlessness, inactivity.

Lassitude Weariness, listlessness.

Leisure Free time.

Lilt To move musically or lively.

Lissome Slender and graceful.

Lithe Slender and flexible.

Love Deep affection.

Mellifluous Sweet sounding.

Moiety One of two equal parts.

Mondegreen A slip of the ear.

Murmurous Murmuring.

Nemesis An unconquerable archenemy.

Offing The sea between the horizon and the offshore.

Onomatopoeia A word that sounds like its meaning.

Opulent Lush, luxuriant.

Palimpsest A manuscript written over earlier ones.

Panacea A solution for all problems

Panoply A complete set.

Pastiche An art work combining materials from various sources.

Penumbra A half-shadow.

Petrichor The smell of earth after rain.

Plethora A large quantity.

Propinquity Proximity; Nearness

Pyrrhic Successful with heavy losses.

Quintessential Most essential.

Ratatouille A spicy French stew.

Ravel To knit or unknit.

Redolent Fragrant.

Riparian By the bank of a stream.

Ripple A very small wave.

Scintilla A spark or very small thing.

Sempiternal Eternal.

Seraglio Rich, luxurious oriental palace or harem.

Serendipity Finding something nice while looking for something else.

Summery Light, delicate or warm and sunny.

Sumptuous Lush, luxurious.

Surreptitious Secretive, sneaky.

Susquehanna A river in Pennsylvania.

Susurrous Whispering, hissing.

Talisman A good luck charm.

Tintinnabulation Tinkling.

Umbrella Protection from sun or rain.

Untoward Unseemly, inappropriate.

Vestigial In trace amounts.

Wafture Waving.

Wherewithal The means.

Woebegone Sorrowful, downcast.

Source: So Much To Tell You

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Remember always | Great Middle Way

Remember always
Posted on December 20, 2011

Remember always that you are just a visitor, a traveler passing through.

Your stay here is but short and the moment of your departure unknown.

None can live without toil, and a craft that provides your needs is a blessing indeed.

But if you toil without rest, fatigue and weariness will overtake you

and you will be denied the joy that comes from labor’s end.

Speak quietly and kindly and be not forward with either opinions or advice.

If you talk much this will make you deaf to what others say,

and you should know that there are few so wise that they cannot learn more.

Be near when help is needed, but far when praise and thanks are offered.

Take small account of might, wealth, and fame for they soon pass and are forgotten.

Instead, nurture love within you and strive to be a friend to all.

Truly, compassion is a balm for many wounds.

Treasure silence when you find it

and, mindful of your duties, set time aside to be alone with yourself.

Cast off pretence and self-deception and see yourself as you really are.

Despite all appearances, no one is really evil.

They are led astray by ignorance.

If you ponder this truth often you will offer light rather that blame and condemnation.

You, no less than all beings, have Buddha Nature within.

Your essential mind is pure.

Therefore, when defilements cause you to stumble and fall,

let not remorse nor dark foreboding cast you down.

Be of good cheer and with this understanding summon strength and carry on.

Faith is like a lamp and wisdom makes the light burn bright.

Carry this lamp always and in time

darkness will yield and you will abide in light.

—Bhante Shravasti Dhammika

Monday, 19 December 2011


Meditation is never one thing

Meditation is never one thing; you’ll experience moments of peace, moments of sadness, moments of joy, moments of anger, moments of sleepiness. The terrain changes constantly, but we tend to solidify it around the negative: “This painful experience is going to last the rest of my life.” The tendency to fixate on the negative is something we can approach mindfully; we can notice it, name it, observe it, test it, and dispel it, using the skills we learn in practice.
- Sharon Salzberg, "Sticking with It"
Read the entire article in the Tricycle Wisdom Collection

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Most of the furniture has arrived at the cottage.

There is still lots to do.
The kitchen and bathroom need much work
It is looking and feeling more comfortable.
Wont be long until this is my permanent home.

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16th Contemplation: General Concepts of Karma | Great Middle Way

16th Contemplation: General Concepts of Karma | Great Middle Way:

'via Blog this'

16th Contemplation: General Concepts of Karma

Happiness comes solely from positive or virtuous acts.
Suffering comes only from negative or harmful actions.
Since virtuous and harmful actions ripen inevitably in this way,
I should adopt some actions and abandon others.
Whether my actions are virtuous or negative,
at the time of the causal act,
what I do may be minor.
But at the time of ripening of the act,
the result may increase in magnitude.
The smallest increases are a hundred or a thousand-fold.
The largest increases are immeasurable.
Therefore, giving up negative acts and adopting positive ones is essential.
If I do not take steps to repair harmful actions committed,
the imprints of those acts will not diminish in the least
until the action ripens fully as an effect.
If I have not done something,
it is impossible for the corresponding karma to arise in y continuum.
Therefore, it is vital to be careful
about what I do and what I avoid.

Monday, 5 December 2011

International Meditation Centre (IMC) - Sunshine N.S.W. Australia . 10 day retreat Nov. 25th to Dec 5th 2011

Some pictures taken on my mobile phone at the 10 day retreat that I have just returned from today.
No phone on for the 10 days but took a few shots of this beautiful place.
Exhausting but refreshing days of intense training in Buddhist meditation.

This Retreat was organised by the :-


International Meditation Centre

54 Cessnock Road, Sunshine NSW Australia, NSW 2264
phone:  0249 705 433 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            0249 705 433      end_of_the_skype_highlighting        fax:  0249 705 749    

The pagoda

From the door of my bedroom in the women's quarters

I had the luxury of my own en suite

My comfortable bed area.

Around the pagoda at night....looking across to the meditation hall.

The meditation hall.

The pagoda lit up at night.

The guilt roof of the pagoda.

The pagoda on a stormy day.

Meditation hall by day.

View from the Bodhi tree

From the Bodhi tree

The surrounding bush.

Bodhi leaves - the yellow leaves were falling off and the new leaves were budding.

Posted by PicasaMeditation
A ten-day course in Vipassana meditation is the practice of the Eightfold Noble Path, as taught by the Buddha.
The Path can be divided into three parts, namely: higher training in morality, higher training in concentration and higher training in wisdom. 

Morality: Morality is the common denominator of all religions. At the Centre, students observe the five precepts of refraining from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying and the use of drugs or intoxicants.
By diligently observing this morality, one develops purity of physical and verbal actions. 

Concentration: Beginning with the base of morality, training in concentration is taught using Anapana meditation (mindfulness of breathing).
Through learning to calm and control the mind during the first five days, the student quickly appreciates the advantages of a steady and balanced mind. 

Wisdom: The third training is wisdom (or insight).
This is introduced through Vipassana meditation, which is practised throughout the remainder of the period. 
4:00 amWake up
4:30Meditation in hall
5:30Morning discourse
6:30 - 8:00Breakfast and rest
8:00 - 9:00Group meditation in hall (for all)
9:30Individual instruction (for all)
11:00 - 1:00 pmLunch and rest
1:00 - 1:45Meditation
2:00 - 3:00Group meditation in hall (for all)
3:30 - 5:00Meditation, and interviews for new students
5:00 - 6:00Tea and rest
6:00Evening discourse
7:30 - 8:30Group meditation in hall (for all)