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Two Photos Of Paris

Thursday, January 27, 2011

By Venerable Shravasti Dhammika
During my time in Paris I had ample opportunity to visit quite a few of the museums and monuments the city is famous for. Here are two of the many photos I took. The first is of the frieze above the mail portal of Notre Dame Cathedral. It depicts the Judgment Day. At the bottom the dead push aside their tomb stones as they come to life. Directly above this is an angel and a devil using a pair of scales to weigh the souls of the dead. A smaller devil is trying to pull one arm of the scale down, the more souls to be sent to hell. On the right a grinning devil leads the damned, chained and wailing, to hell. Note that amongst these unlucky souls is a knight, a king, a monk, and a little further along out of the picture, a bishop. On the left of the angel are the saved, crowned in glory and looking up to Jerusalem and above that, to Christ. It is a wonderful piece of sculpture. I could imagine Medieval peasants, tradesmen and burgers going into the cathedral, looking up and seeing the scene, and being filled with both hope and dread.
I took this second picture in the Cambodian gallery at Musse Guimet. Rarely have I ever seen artifacts more beautifully organized and presented. Every exhibit was a masterpiece but two that moved me most were these Buddha heads. With what skill and loving care did the Cambodian sculptors capture and then depict the Buddha’s smiling confidence and inner peace.



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Live in Joy

Live in Joy, In love,
Even among those who hate.

Live in joy, In health,
Even among the afflicted.

Live in joy, In peace,
Even among the troubled.

Look within. Be still.
Free from fear and attachment,
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