Monday, January 30, 2017

Rumi: The Guest House

This weekend I watched a movie about Rumi, a Persian poet who lived eight hundred years ago. He is one of the most widely read poet in the U.S. I became fascinated by his story and his work. You can read more about him on this page.

I'm not personally a big fan of poems, but I've heard about Rumi so many times in mindfulness circles and I've come across many quotes from him that I really like, so I decided to learn more. Here is one of my favorites:

His poems are nothing like I've ever read. One of them called The Guest House really resonates with what I've learned recently. It's about making space for your feelings, whatever they might be. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

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.

~ Jellaludin Rumi
(translation by Coleman Barks)

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