Letter to a Young Poet
We have no reason to harbour any mistrust against our world,
for it is not against us.
If it has terrors, they are our terrors.
If it has abysses, these abysses belong to us.
If there are dangers, we must try to love them,
and only if we could arrange our lives,
in accordance with the principle that tells us
that we must always trust in the difficult,
then what now appears to us to be alien
will become our most intimate and trusted experience.
How could we forget those ancient myths
that stand at the beginning of all races –
the myths of dragons that at the last moment are transformed into princesses?
Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are only princesses
waiting for us to act, just once,
with beauty and courage.
Perhaps everything that frightens us is,
in its deepest essence,
something helpless that wants our love.
So you must not be frightened if a sadness rises before you
larger than any you’ve ever seen,
if an anxiety like light and cloud shadows
moves over your hands and everything that you do.
Life has not forgotten you.
It holds you in its hands and will not let you fall.
Why do you want to shut out of your life
any uneasiness, any miseries, or any depressions?
For after all, you do not know what work these conditions are doing inside you.
by Ranier Maria Rilke
For the next 20 Days I invite you to connect with Mindfulness through poetry. Leave a comment if you’ve enjoyed the poem or post your favorite poem.
Here is a step by step guide on how to engage with this practice:
- Each day I will post a careful selected poem
- Find a quiet place, sit comfortable and read the poem aloud to yourself, preferable more than once. An audio recording will also be available in case you prefer to listen to the poem
- Take the poem into your heart and your body. Become intimate with it and allow it to guide you into intimacy with yourself
- Allow a spaciousness of interpretation, openness of the senses and a deep experience of understanding, distinct from cognitive comprehension.
- Spend some time with the poem, as a way of choosing to be present and mindful.
- Bring the poem into your family and community. Share your experience with your loved ones, including Mindful Brain Community.