Friday, September 23, 2016

"The Guest House"

Someone I know sent along this poem to a friend during a moment of self-questioning. It captures well one of the tricks i'm trying to master, which is to accept and deal with whatever reality is in front of you at the moment rather than wastefully wishing things were otherwise.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

By Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi, as translated by Coleman Barks. Original version located here.

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