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Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Guest House

Having some depression today so I am taking refuge in this poem by Rumi which was brought to my attention by irving in the comment section at Graceful Presence:

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.

- Rumi

~Peace to all beings~

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theycallmemac said...

This poem is great, James. Glad you brought it to my attention. Also, I wanted to ask you, have you read anything by Sri Chinmoy? I just read "Meditation: Man-Perfection in God-Satisfaction" and I thought it was wonderful.

Irving Karchmar said...

Greetings of Peace Dear Brother James:

Thanks for the mention and the link. This is also one of my favorite Rumi poems also. It speaks to the human in us, with all our ego-driven faults and anxieties, and beautifully relates them to the ultimate Cause. Like the Sufis say, God is both pain and cure.

Many Blessings,


M.D. Shellhammer said...

You know, I once had a mentor who had me practice the idea that in everything that I experienced there was a "gift" Even the traumatic, the ugly, the suffering experiences he always asked me, "Well then, what is the gift for you in this?" Sometimes I thought he was a nut. But it has been ten years since I began that practice and I see what he meant now. James, even when you have down days you always manage to share something wonderful with us. Out of your suffering you shed drops of sweetness to all of us whom you have never met. Could there be any deeper example of Tonglen?
Thanks for the gift brother.

"James" said...


Yeah, it is such a great teaching of accepting the moment just as it is without fighting it. Haven't read anything by Chinmoy...sounds wonderful though. Thanks for the recommendation.


Peace to you as well brother.

You're quite welcome for the nod. Thank-you for bringing this poem to light. It came at the right moment for me and I do not think that was a coincedence.


Yes, everything in life is a gift and there is always something positive in each moment if we are aware enough.

I try my best to make the most of each moment. I think there is a lot to be said of sharing sweetness from our suffering. Transform it so that maybe others may benefit somehow.

You are welcome for the gift and I thank-you for your gift of support and love. May we all be mindful in each moment to see the beauty in it all as it unfolds.

nayj said...

rumi is always soothing. I needed this today too!

"James" said...


I'm so glad to hear that you benefited from this poem. We are all in this together and the more we can help each other the stronger and more peaceful we all become.

Sadiq M. Alam said...

one of the most beautiful, enlightening poem i have ever read.

indeed its a guesthouse!

"James" said...


Indeed. I think that this one is my favorite Rumi poem. There are so many of his that are classics though. I don't think there is anything that Rumi wrote that I do not like!! :)

robinhood005 said...

This poem Is one of the best poem for Me.
Next week I stay at Guesthouse Torquay.

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