Buddha in Glory

Centre of all centres

by Rainer M Rilke

Center of all centers, core of cores,
almond self-enclosed, and growing sweet–
all this universe, to the furthest stars
all beyond them, is your flesh, your fruit.

Now you feel how nothing clings to you;
your vast shell reaches into endless space,
and there the rich, thick fluids rise and flow.
Illuminated in your infinite peace,

a billion stars go spinning through the night,
blazing high above your head.
But in you is the presence that
will be, when all the stars are dead.

Rilke wrote the poem “Buddha in glory” at the time he worked as a secretary for the sculptor Auguste Rodin, who he admired very much. He lived in Rodin’s house and was fascinated with a statue of the Buddha in front of his guest quarters.  Buddha in glory is one of three poems and it said that Rilke perceived them, sitting in quiet meditation in front of the Buddha statue in Rodin’s garden.

Stillness and meditation as a path to true creativity.

And for the lucky German speakers, I will not withhold the original. The translation is excellent – but there is an additional dimension in the original. Just sit with it – you’ll feel what the Buddha taught Rilke in the summer of 1908.

Buddha in der Glorie

Mitte aller Mitten, Kern der Kerne,
Mandel, die sich einschließt und versüßt, –
dieses Alles bis an alle Sterne
ist dein Fruchtfleisch: Sei gegrüßt.

Sieh, du fühlst, wie nichts mehr an dir hängt;
im Unendlichen ist deine Schale,
und dort steht der starke Saft und drängt.
Und von außen hilft ihm ein Gestrahle,

denn ganz oben werden deine Sonnen
voll und glühend umgedreht.
Doch in dir ist schon begonnen,
was die Sonnen übersteht.

Rainer Maria Rilke, Sommer 1908 (vor dem 15.7.), Paris

About Michaela

I am a wanderer and a wonderer, like you are. I love our journey and to walk in the company of friends – to learn, experience, share, laugh, cry and above all I simply love this marvelous, magical, mysterious life. I have no plan (cannot believe I am saying this) and my only intention is to be truthful to myself and others.
This entry was posted in Books & Poetry, Rilke's Reality and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Buddha in Glory

  1. Michaela says:

    There is something in this poem that makes me stop and stare at it. It is like a silent teaching coming across….really amazing.

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