February 13, 2011

The Buddha

Image by Bonnie of Original Art Studio

As if he were listening; stillness, distance.
We hold our breath and cease to hear it.
He is like a star surrounded
by other stars we cannot see.

He is all things. Do we really expect him
to notice us? What need could he have?
If we prostrated ourselves at his feet,
he would remain deep and calm like a cat.

For what threw us down before him
has circled in him for millions of years.
He, who has gone beyond all we can know
and knows what we never will.

New Poems


  1. I hold my breath, when I'm stressed, and I cease to hear everything. I also forget to look, and I miss so much. Like it's easy for me to miss the Buddha in Bonnie's image here. Subtly, he waits and listens and watches.

  2. I've been thinking on what the Buddha might be. So vast. So inconceivable, really, beyond conception, as though we feel him there in a room like we might feel the presence of furniture in darkness. I see understandings visually. After reading this, I both see this and feel this. I imagine Buddha to be all. I imagine us, man, to be but a vein in the flesh of a chicken's corpse. Have you seen that? Have you seen one so thin and apparently inconsequential, however the very thing which grants life, this coporeal adventure?

    Rilke writes, he would remain deep and calm like a cat. He is so vast to our so small, so constant, so beyond the turbulence of our little beatings.

    Yes, Ruth, I had to look hard inside of the light to see him there. Isn't that the way?


  3. what need could he have indeed

  4. Accepting the mystery of the universe, the bigger and elusive reality we are just a tiny part of. Our souls soar whenever this concept is experienced, in the forces of nature, the indomitable spirit of man, the longing we all feel to be part of the whole.

    Yet, while we know that this giant will never pick us up and pay any attention to us, we crave that union, that communion.

  5. So glad to have followed you here, Lorenzo and Ruth.

  6. Another great pairing of image with words. To me, the words speak volumes about Rilke's understanding of what it means to be at one with One, of the depth to which our inside seeing can take us.

  7. One of the most remarkable aspects of the historical Buddha is that after he achieved enlightenment he decided to share with others what he had discovered. He spent 40 years teaching--he was a teacher--and explaining the path to awakening. Buddha's hope for us was much greater than what Rilke says here:

    He, who has gone beyond all we can know
    and knows what we never will.

    I'm quite sure that Shakyamuni would not agree.


"Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night."

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Go ahead, bloom recklessly!