The Guest House (by Rumi)

(translation by Coleman Barks)

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.

One Response to The Guest House (by Rumi)

  1. Annie says:

    This is the one of the poems that guides my life.I used to feel that it was rather easy to welcome each new guest as they arrived, but this past year I found out that there are indeed, aspects of my life I wanted to shut the door on. How could it be that at age 41 I had not met them all? I should have had at least an inkling of what was about to knock on my door.
    It was a dark and fearful self that i could not seem to cheer up. Then I could not get it to leave. Now I know why people take medication. It is kind of like slipping something in the drink of the obnoxious guest who never leaves so they will sleep.

    But this poem and the experiences of others that I have read help me to turn to this guest as if they have something important to teach me. I do feel that I am being cleared out for some new delight.

    Blessings and love to all.


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