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Boone injured in firetruck collision

Leigh Boone, the Executive Assistant at the Houston Center for Photography, was injured Monday in an accident involving the collision of two fire engines at the intersection of Dunlavy and Westheimer in Houston. Boone, riding her bicycle, was in the wrong place at the wrong time and remains in critical condition with a broken clavicle and seroius head injuries.  Nine firefighters were also injured in the wreck; two are still in the hospital, in fair condition and expected to survive.  Channel 39 has the whole story, here.

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15 Responses

  1. Trungpa Ricochet

    Being human always involves a struggle. It is the nature of life to strive. We all fluctuate in a range somewhere between lucidity and stupidity. Maybe it’s fair to say that levels of awareness can be marked or measured by how each of us assumes responsibility for himself. Learning to become responsible involves admission of ignorance. Admission of ignorance sometimes involves getting to know a teacher who is presumably less ignorant than his students. A student, then, might also ask, “What, master, do you need that is being fulfilled by your role as a teacher? Why do you teach?”

    I studied Shorin-ryu quite informally with a friend who was a very good fighter. He earned his upper-level ranks in the ring. After watching him win against various blowhards and badasses, all with black belts, I asked him who the best fighter was in the style. My teacher said, “I have never seen him, nor is he ever going to bother entering a ring to prove himself. He is probably a fisherman in Motobu.”

  2. Trungpa Ricochet

    The video performance was funny. I tend to give more credibilty to anybody who can laugh, especially at himself. This, for me, is actually what defines a healthy attitude. Authority, like anything else genuine, must be earned. It cannot be inherited or handed over through friendship. One of the strengths of buddhism is its insistence upon questioning everything. No one is asked to believe based on faith. That is also why it flourishes in the West and why it is not, in the end, tied to geography or even language. I think there have been many very able teachers, translators, and poets who have untied the dharma from its moorings in Japan, China, Tibet, and India, and kept its essential nature intact. And what attracts many in the West is the idea that buddhahood is our true nature, and we can realize it with effort. This is directly opposed to what Asshole accurately called ontological guilt, a characteristic of the religions of the Levant. Just to criticise one of them, since I was born a Roman Catholic, am half Irish, and feel free to speak about it, Christianity, at its core, insists that humans are imperfect, doomed, in fact, by the sin of Adam, and cannot be redeemed except throught the atonement of Jeheshua ben Youssef, carpenter and martyr. That is where the idea of responsibility comes in. That is also where, to me, since I mistrust authority, buddhism stands out. I trust myself. If Jesus actually existed, and if he were the real deal, he would have no argument to offer against anything the Buddha ever said. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam have all been hobbled by politics, family ties, and vanities about language. They also take away responsibility from humans and assign it to a deity.

    I’ve read some of Ken Wilbur’s stuff, although it’s been a while. He impressed me as a pretty smart guy. I always feel free to accept or reject everything, though, and that includes his endorsements. I don’t know much about Dennis Merzel or Brad Warner. I have read that Tibetan Buddhism varies in its attitudes about liberation and how it is achieved. There are the studious ones, the Gelugpa, who sound like Brad Warner. There are also the instant lightning-bolt-thunderstruck ones, the Kagyupa. I think it’s possible to have a spontaneous realization, either self-induced or given in an instant by a teacher. I think Zen admits to both as well. You can arrive via the long way or the short way. The real work, though, like Titus says, is staying there once you’ve “arrived”.

  3. tobrienwriter

    I know most people couldn’t give a rat’s ass about much of this – I just blog about what’s on my radar, much of which happens to be Zen-ish lately. The words Zen and Buddhism are a huge distraction, and they often illicit expressions of disgust from Zennists and Buddhas. I’m grimacing. I’m ashamed of the using them so much myself. Pardon.
    I just got back from sesshin. I’m in the usual physical pain, but quiet minded.
    I just wanted to clarify what I’ve found an important point. Dogen, one of the founders of Zen in Japan and increasingly influential in American Zen, emphasized “practice/enlightenment.” he said they are the same thing. you already have “it.” You “actualize” it by practicing. You don’t sit or whatever to GAIN anything. Your intrinsic “enlightened” self, just as you are, practices as a way to reveal itself to itself. It’s really much more like art than psychotherapy or something. You’re revealing something, expressing it, exploring it, inquiring into your own basic nature.
    So it’s not about having some special experience at a weekend workshop – an idea I find fundamentally grotesque (which is the only word that sums up my feeling about the above promo thing.) Nor is it about working really hard to get some special quality in the future. I practice because its good way to be, to experience things. Its mysterious, and yet totally transparent. It’s like art – but from where the art comes from.

  4. Asshole

    O’Brien I like your thoughts on the subject.

    I’ve been trying to remember and find a zen (like) painting where a man is walking a cow then is taken up to other realms then is back walking the cow, but cannot locate it yet.

  5. Trungpa Ricochet

    That is part of my practice. It’s painless. I also really do chop wood. Happily, I do not carry water. The pipes do.

  6. tobrienwriter

    I think this is what you are referring to, A. There are 10 pictures of a man searching for the ox, tracking it, finding it, subduing it, riding it, disappearing along with it, reappearing with it, walking alongside it, and reentering “the village marketplace” with gift-bestowing hands.
    Its a metaphor for the process. It’s been painted and spoken about for centuries. I’ve been hearing commercials on Chicago NPR for an art performance based on it at the MCA coming up, which sounds pretentious kind of. Funny coming from me right?

  7. Trungpa Ricochet

    Titus, pardon me for asking, and maybe it’s none of my business, but did you take any vows at any time in your Zen practice?

  8. tobrienwriter

    different ones, different traditions, different times. Its a way to orient I guess, affirm a direction and commitment. In Zen they say “know when the vows are open, and when they are closed.” In some Buddhist traditions, they hold to the vows really strictly – like not touching money, or being alone with women (for monks), or eating garlic. These all came about from practical experiences, they weren’t divinely ordained. Like a monk comes back from alms rounds, and says “Hey Buddha, this widow invited me into her hut to give me alms, and she touched my, uh, robes inappropriately.” Buddha’d say “ok, lets add that to the list.” But today, for lay people, there are 5 or 10 or 15 or 20 or whatever, depending on the tradition. Don’t kill people. Don’t steal their stuff. Etc. But then also, beyond that, the flip side, how can one actually give life, free people from obsession with stuff, like that. Flip it into the positive.

  9. Trungpa Ricochet

    I myself have refrained from vows because I know I would have trouble refraining from “destroying towns, villages, cities or large areas by means such as fire, bombs, pollution or black magic”.

    The reason I asked you is because it seems to me you have no reason to apologize for anything you’ve written here. What’s pretentious? How can you write to all who read your blog without overshooting or undershooting in some cases? The best one can do is aim for the middle, which you do, it seems to me. Of course your ideal is to seamlessly join your practice and your life without appearing to separate the two by mentioning something from the tradition, but what’s wrong with the tradition?

    What I think is great about tantra (and please excuse me for using words from a tradition, but the tradition is worthy and it works for me) is that I can use the energy that was harmful and ride it like that ox into town. I just have to understand what it is and not identify with it. Anger is my friend when he’s not burning down my house. Mahakala is a protector, but man, he’s an ugly mofo. If he was handsome, he wouldn’t get no respect. I know you already know this…that’s flipping it into the positive, of course.

    Maybe somebody’s smirking, but it ain’t me.

  10. Trungpa Ricochet

    I played music in a band in Texas some years ago, and we shared the same rehearsal space, (a former mortuary school!) with Really Red, a hardcore group if ever there was one. The singer and main troublemaker, U Ron Bondage, now works for a law firm in Seattle and is a meditator and political activist. RDB, as he calls himself, practices flipping his anger into constructive activism.

    There was a bumper sticker that was around for a while years ago that said LIFE SUCKS AND THEN YOU DIE. At the time I could only shake my head and laugh, but I got the sentiment. A lot of what might define “punk” is dissatisfaction with the way things are. Maybe people could consider it a challenge to deal with things by knowing that they have actually made an important observation when they are dissatisfied. Instead of allowing that dissatisfaction to collapse into apathy, they might try what my friend in Seattle has done.

    Good article, A.

  11. souladventurer

    I’m sorry to say this to those who don’t know, particularly over the internet. Leigh Boone has fought hard to stay with us. The doctors have done all that they could but all resources have been exhausted. Our beautiful and loving friend, Leigh, will not be returning, but will live on forever in our hearts.

    There will be some benefits to come, one at Poison Girl this Monday. This Danseparc (4/25) will also be dedicated to her and a portion of the proceeds will go to her family. It was originally a Pretty in Pink theme especially for her before any of this happened. She loved the song and the movie. Please wear something pink. We’ll have a jar if you would like to contribute extra money to her family.

    There is now a way to contribute if you are not in Houston or prefer to do so electronically.


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