My eye opens
and receives the light of day,
after night's peace has strengthened me;
my heart, be strong in will and powerfully feel
how courage and life from God's wide world
pour, give themselves into my limbs.
Let me know at every moment
that God's high powers sustain and bless
everything I can feel within me
and strength enables me to attain.
As a spiritual teacher, Rudolf Steiner wrote many inspired and beautifully crafted verses. Often they were given in relation to specific situations or in response to individual requests; sometimes they were offered simply to assist in the process of meditation. Regardless of their origins, they are uniformly powerful in their ability to connect the meditating individual with spiritual archetypes. Thus, the meditations provide valuable tools for developing experience and knowledge of subtle dimensions of reality.
Matthew Barton has translated and selected Steiner’s verses, sensitively arranging them by theme. In this collection of meditations for times of day and seasons of the year, Rudolf Steiner delves into the rhythms of nature and their relationship to human beings.
The verses in the first part refer to the cycle of waking and sleeping, echoing the greater rhythms of birth and death. They provide an accompaniment for each day, gently reminding us where we have come from and where we are going.
The second section focuses on the human passage through nature’s changing seasons—a greater cycle of sleeping and waking. Together they offer us a spiritual light for our journey through life.
C O N T E N T S:
Introduction by Matthew Barton
PART 1: THE DAY’S BREATH
2. Noon and Afternoon
PART 2: LIGHTING UP THE YEAR
Index of First Lines
Previously published in hardcover as Breathing the Spirit: Meditations for Times of Day and Seasons of the Year (2002).
Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) was born in the small village of Kraljevec, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Croatia), where he grew up (see right). As a young man, he lived in Weimar and Berlin, where he became a well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, known especially for his work with Goethe’s scientific writings. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his early philosophical principles into an approach to systematic research into psychological and spiritual phenomena. Formally beginning his spiritual teaching career under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, Steiner came to use the term Anthroposophy (and spiritual science) for his philosophy, spiritual research, and findings. The influence of Steiner’s multifaceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine, various therapies, philosophy, religious renewal, Waldorf education, education for special needs, threefold economics, biodynamic agriculture, Goethean science, architecture, and the arts of drama, speech, and eurythmy. In 1924, Rudolf Steiner founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world. He died in Dornach, Switzerland.
Matthew Barton is a translator, editor, teacher, and poet, and taught kindergarten for many years at the Bristol Waldorf School. His first collection of poems was Learning To Row (1999). He has won numerous prizes for his work, including an Arts Council Writer's Award and a Hawthornden Fellowship.