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.

-Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

Posted by Elizabeth Eilers Sullivan, Visitation Alumna ’93 with gratitude to Rob Brezsny for posting poem and image. bringing both to my attention.

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  1. “treat each guest honorably.
    He may be clearing you out
    for some new delight.”

    I love Rumi.
    Thanks for posting! This poem reminds me a lot of what Fr. Richard Rohr is writing about in his recent daily mediations entitled, “Healing our Violence.”

    “Jesus, and any great spiritual teacher, is somehow talking about the transformation of persons from their false self into their true self—and then the discovery that the true self is who you already were all along, but you didn’t know it. You didn’t know how to live consciously out of that deep place of union. Infants still know it, symbolized by Adam and Eve in the garden, but they soon leave the garden.”

    Rumi, in my humble opinion, is another great spiritual teacher. This “Guesthouse” piece sheds light on the dark aspects of our souls that we dread, or fear, don’t want to welcome in, but ultimately, as we welcome all things in, we are transformed and realize our true selves, and the author of our being: LOVE.

    Thank you.

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