Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Transport in Sainte-Chapelle

Several years in a row, I tried to get into Sainte-Chapelle, and got discouraged by the long lines. This time, we were able to get in no problem, thanks to tickets for an evening of classical music in the place. Never before, had I seen such a beautiful church. A real jewel, made to delight the eyes with its luminous rose and all around spectacular display of tall stained glass windows.

The best was yet to come after we sat down, and were treated to the auditory feast of Vivaldi's Four Seasons, played by a talented group of French musicians. So much pleasure, and also the happiness of sitting next to Prad and our daughters, all sharing that same delight with me. I thought to myself, this is as good as life can get.

And very quickly, the realization of the impossibility of holding so much gladness forever. With the high, a down was to be expected. The concert would end, and we would have to leave this heavenly setting. Even if the experience were to be prolonged, boredom would inevitably set in eventually, and with it unsatisfactoriness, and the desire to change. No matter what, suffering was involved.

From Ayya Khema, in Who Is My Self?:
When we become aware of something pleasant, we should immediately look at tis unpleasant features, and through this, too, we arouse equanimity, and do not become immersed in desire. The unpleasant feature of anything pleasant is its impermanence. We need to bear this in mind. Most people think they are quite aware of impermanence, quite accepting of it, but in fact they would much rather forget it, and constantly do so. But we should always remember that everything with which we come into contact is impermanent. Every single moment of our lives, pleasant or unpleasant, is one moment in eternity. In order to counteract greed or desiring what is pleasurable, we recognize the impermanence  of that pleasure.
Allowing myself to be transported by the experience, en connaissance de cause. :)

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