Breathing the Spirit

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Breathing the Spirit: Meditations for Times of Day and Seasons of the Year

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 beautifully formed and inspired verses. Often they were written and given in relation to specific situations or in response to individual requests; others were created for general use to aid in the process of meditation. Regardless of their origins, they are uniformly powerful in their ability to connect one with spiritual archetypes and realities. Moreover, they have become valuable tools for developing experience and knowledge of other worlds. Matthew Barton has delicately translated these meditations into English, many for the first time, and arranged them thematically in this outstanding new series.

In this popular collection of meditations for times of day and seasons of the year―now available in paperback―Steiner delves into the rhythms of nature and their relationship to us as human beings. The verses in part 1 relate to the cycle of waking and sleeping while echoing the larger rhythms of birth and death. They provide an accompaniment for our daily lives, gently reminding us where we came from and where we are going.

Part 2 focuses on the human individual’s passage through nature’s changing seasons―Earth’s greater cycle of sleeping and waking. Together, these profound verses and meditations offer us a spiritual light for our journey through life.

C O N T E N T S:



1. Morning
2. Noon and Afternoon
3. Evening
4. Night


1. Spring
2. Summer
3. Autumn
4. Winter

Index of First Lines

About the Author

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.

Additional information

Weight 10 oz
Dimensions 5 × 0.5 × 7 in


Matthew Barton




January 2007






Rudolf Steiner Press


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