Finding Zen and the Guesthouse by Rumi


Coming to learn to be fully human consider my body a guesthouse

When you breathe deeply and go inward,
make space for whatever wants to come to visit your guesthouse today.
What do you notice rising up in you?
What could it be helping you accept or understand?
What has your grief taught you?

The Guesthouse 

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.

Jalaluddin Rumi

from Rumi: Selected Poems, trans Coleman Barks with John Moynce, A. J. Arberry, Reynold Nicholson (Penguin Books, 2004)