the guesthouse

This being human is a guesthouse.

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 it's 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  ~


This poem describes an attitude of meeting whatever we find . . . at the door  of our life, or coming into our awareness, you could say, without judgement and instead, with kindness. 

It has been used in Afghanistan in a 'community wellness ' project to teach Focusing and  help the local community to support itself and cope with the effects of living in a warzone.

We could read this poem and see ourselves like the host of a party, welcoming everything that comes to the door of our lives. However . . . if we can put ourselves in the picture and imagine that, instead, we are the house itself ~ then something shifts.

We have more chance of finding the right distance inside . . . . . for us to meet whatever comes our way and gently let go, of whatever we sense asking to pass through our house.

In the context of this poem ~ the house could be seen as our mind, heart or consciousness.

For more details about this project in Afghanistan please click here to download a Pdf file.