Jan 29, 2011

The Guest House, by Rumi

This insightful poem by Rumi talks about accepting our thoughts as they come. I've been increasingly aware of how important it is to fully accept myself as I appear in the moment: happy, sad, depressed, guilty, ecstatic, amused, nice, angry, loving; all states met without resistance. By meeting our thoughts with laughter, understanding and acceptance we begin to love all of ourselves as we are; not just the part we like. Then we are free to be ourselves; to drop the facade that we put on for others. By not resisting unpleasant thoughts we become free from fear and we begin to see that each one is the key to our freedom.

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 ~

(The Essential Rumi, versions by Coleman Barks)


  1. Very true, Aileen! It is what Jesus meant when he said, "Resist not evil." (Matthew 5:39)