10 April 2008

The Guest House

I was reminded today of one of my favorite Rumi poems - possibly one of my favorite poems of all time. As usual with words like these, the poem came to me just in the moment I needed reminding, as I have been feeling mopey and sorry for myself for the past couple of days.

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 are 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 whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

-- Jelal'udin Rumi



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