6 Oct
Posted in: Poems
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Winged Energy of Delight

Over the weekend I listened to a wonderful talk by Phillip Moffitt given at the retreat that’s going on at Spirit Rock right now. I love the title of the talk — Getting Our Ducks in a Row: Sattipatana and the Seven Factors of Awakening

There’s a lot of humor in this talk, which focuses primarily on the happy and enjoyable aspects of the practice listed in the Factors of Awakening…as opposed to the Hindrances, which are the difficult states, and which often seem to get a lot more of our attention!

One translation of these Seven Factors are: Mindfulness (sati), Curiosity (dhammacicaya), Energy (viriya), Delight (piti), Calm (passaddhi), Collected Attention (samadhi), and Peace (upekkha).

It’s a very enjoyable talk as you might image, given the topic. (Click here to listen.) Towards the end, he quotes a poem by Rilke that I haven’t heard him use before. It’s called As Once the Winged Energy of Delight:

As once the winged energy of delight
carried you over childhood’s dark abysses,
now beyond your own life build the great
arch of unimagined bridges.

Wonders happen if you can succeed
in passing through the harshest danger;
but only in a bright and purely granted
achievement can we realize the wonder.

To work with Things in the indescribable
relationship is not hard for us;
the pattern grows more intricate and subtle,
and being swept along is not enough.

Take your practiced powers and stretch them out
until they span the chasm between two
contradictions….For the god
wants to know himself in you. 

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