the earth shook

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sattva
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the earth shook

Post by sattva » Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:11 pm

This really isn't that important in the grand sceme of things, but there was an 1:51 Eastern Daylight Savings Time near Mineral, Virginia, USA. The reason why this was big news here in the US is because it happened in a place where earthquakes are rarely felt and it was felt up and down the east coast. It was 5.8 or 5.9 magnitude.

This was the first earthquake i have ever felt. I was upstairs, sitting on my bed, when the whole house started shaking. My first thought was that a car or a truck had struck the house or that some kind of crazy storm had whipped up. I looked outside to see if a storm had started. It was sunny. I also thought perhaps something was going to explode. If the thought of an earthquake came to mind, i must have immediately dismissed it. Earthquakes don't happen here! I just happened to have the Weather Channel on and a minute or two later they announced that there had been an earthquake "near DC".

I live in the mountains of the western part of Maryland. My son who lives in New Jersey called and said that they felt it there. Their television started shaking. I haven't heard about how it was for my nephew who lives and works in Virginia, except that he left a message for his mother that he was alright.

It was strange to see how the mind works. People who have spent time in more earthquake prone areas, knew what it was. Others thought immediately of terrorist attacks. One of my friends who works in an office in a warehouse thought it was something about to explode. I guess since i have seen some nasty storms, it was one of the things that crossed my mind. Funny how we try immediately to figure out what something is, try to reorient ourselves to the world.

Anyway, it was an interesting day.

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bodom
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Re: the earth shook

Post by bodom » Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:15 pm

I have been talking with my family and friends on Facebook who live in the Pennsylvania area and they all felt it.

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

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mikenz66
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Re: the earth shook

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:30 pm

Good to hear you're safe sattva.

Looking at the reports, I was painfully reminded of people I knew who were killed or injured here in February because they ran outside and were hit by falling rubble. We are now drilled to "Stop, Drop, and Hold (onto the table you're sheltering under, so it doesn't slide away from you).
At the Pentagon, a low rumbling built until the building itself was shaking, and people ran into the corridors of the complex. The shaking continued there, to shouts of "Evacuate! Evacuate!"
:anjali:
Mike

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Ben
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Re: the earth shook

Post by Ben » Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:55 pm

Indeed. I'm happy that you are safe, Sattva!
with Metta

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

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sattva
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Re: the earth shook

Post by sattva » Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:40 am

Thanks for the replies and support. I know that there are other people on this board who live closer to the center and I hope they are fine as well.

My nephew who works about 90 miles from the epicenter said it was scary. Everyone where he works thought it was a bomb. There was some damage to the building, but i don't think it was too major. For some places in the US, earthquakes of this magnitude are more common. For this area, they occur once in about 100 years.

Now, the media is talking about the hurricane Irene approaching the US, ---always something.

alan
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Re: the earth shook

Post by alan » Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:14 am

The earth shakes every day. If you grew up in California, this would be a non-event. snooze.

sattva
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Re: the earth shook

Post by sattva » Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:56 am

alan wrote:The earth shakes every day. If you grew up in California, this would be a non-event. snooze.
Your right, it would be a non-event in California. None of us on the east coast live in California obiously. Many of us never have. I live in a small town about 150 miles from Pittsburgh, PA, Washington, DC, and Baltimore, MD, my mind didn't immediately go to the idea of terrorist attacks, but those who live near DC and in NY did because of 9/11. Part of the point i was trying to make in the first post is how our mind tries to search for something to explain an event. How it tries to steady itself. It was interesting for me to observe my own mind as well as to hear about other people's reactions, but then i find the mind and how it works fascinating.

I have to admit, being in a house that is shaking is a little scary, especially if you have never felt an earthquake before. You wonder if the house is going to fall. I think all of us are wondering, though i haven't heard anyone come right out and ask it: is this going to stay a 100 year event or a new trend? More than scary, when it is happening, the mind for most people who had no experience with earthquakes was bewilderment and an almost immediate attempt by the mind to try to search for an explanation of what is happening. It reminds me of how we also, or the mind tries to, reaffirm an individual ego. I can't explain that very well, but i have experienced it. Perhaps those with better communication skills could explain the similarities.

This thread is really less about an earthquake and more about the mind and how it works. Besides that though, lots of people up and down the east coast were frightened by the earthquake and i would hope that karuna would be the natural response by the mind-heart of a Buddhist.
:anjali:

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mikenz66
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Re: the earth shook

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Aug 24, 2011 8:45 am

sattva wrote:
alan wrote:The earth shakes every day. If you grew up in California, this would be a non-event. snooze.
Your right, it would be a non-event in California.
Yes, but that's only because in places where earthquakes are expected the building codes cater for them. A 5.8 quake would be unlikely to cause much damage in California, Japan or New Zealand. In part of Europe it could flatten entire cities.

:anjali:
Mike

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Claudia
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Re: the earth shook

Post by Claudia » Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:44 pm

I am glad to read that you are all right.
The news hit me: I had been so many, many, many times in Washington DC and I was really glad to read in Facebook that friends of us are doing fine.
Many greetings from

Claudia

Jhana4
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Re: the earth shook

Post by Jhana4 » Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:52 pm

What I found interesting about being in the quake was that I had no reaction at all.......until talking about it later. It just wasn't an experience I ever had, so I guess my mind couldn't decide how to react.

I thought this was very similar to the thing that happens to you when you have practiced meditation for a while. An even happens, but there is a gap before your automatic responses kick in, giving you the option of deciding how to react.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

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Vepacitta
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Re: the earth shook

Post by Vepacitta » Wed Aug 24, 2011 5:59 pm

It was so tiny I remember thinking ... "Oh no, is this vertigo?"

I was in the 1994 quake in Los Angeles, so this didn't even seem quake like. But everyone quacked about it at the office.

V.
I'm your friendly, neighbourhood Asura

sattva
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Re: the earth shook

Post by sattva » Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:49 pm

From talking to others it seems that people in cars pretty much didn't feel it. My friend was at the local mall and didn't feel it. Yet, people in other buildings, especially those on 2nd floors or higher felt an intense shaking.

I talked to my one friend today who lives in Wilmington, DE. She lived for quite a few years in San Francisco. She said that she thought of an earthquake and immediately dismisssed the idea. Then she thought that it must have been an accident. Next, her mind thought of a violent storm as there had been a tornado warning the previous week and quite a few storms recently. When she found out it was an actual earthquake she was surprised. She said that in San Francisco earthquakes started with a little rattling and then become more and more intense. She said that this started all at once and was fairly intense shaking from the start.

Guess there is a fairly wide variance of experiences.

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