I heard a Buddhist monk giving a talk about this Rilke poem once (writes Ian).
Its a short poem, only 11 lines, but he managed to distil dharmic essence out of every line.
Its one of Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus but I know it as ‘All Things Already Rest’.
There are various translations of it but this is the one I’m familiar with (by Stephen Mitchell)
We are the driven ones
Ah, but the step of time
Think of it as a dream in what always remains
All that is hurrying on will soon be over with
Only what lasts can bring us to the truth
Young man, do not put your trust
into the trials of flight
into the hot and the quick
All things already rest
Darkness and morning light
Flower and book
I’ve changed one word: ‘driving’ to driven to mean something like we are all being driven by circumstances beyond our control, compelled by hidden forces beyond our conscious and rational reach.
We think we are driving our lifes. Driving them on and on, propelling them forever forward.. But are we? Really?
Because all things already rest. Are already given. In every single moment. That is Here. That is Now.