The Guest House

Rumi’s poem, The Guest House, is an invitation to mental health and self-care via a deeply spiritual path. The first time I heard it, I reacted strongly. I fussed and bothered and stormed about it for a long, long time. It feels so contrary to logic. And it felt altogether too out of control.

Some years have passed since that first reading. I’ve made friends with the out-of-control-ness of Rumi’s jarring invitation.

How does it settle in you?

The Guest House (~Rumi~)

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.

What happens in you when you read Rumi through? Can you picture your own interior “guest house,” and what it might be like to laughingly invite all who knock at the door?

Looking for someone to talk to?

We’re here to settle into conversation about some of life’s more confusing and complicated questions. What does it mean to welcome a “crowd of sorrows” into the guest house of our lives? And gratitude? For the “dark thought, the shame, the malice…”? How is that possible?

In spiritual therapy/direction we’ll be co-learners in wrestling with ideas like Rumi’s.

Reverent and Unresolved

“…have a reverence always for the immensity that is inside of you.”

John O’Donohue

Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart,
and try to love the questions themselves 
as if they where unlocked rooms
or books written in a very foreign language.
 
Do not search for the answers,  which could not be given to you now,
because you would not be able to live them.
And the point is to live everything. 
Live the questions now.
Perhaps then, someday far in the future, 
you will gradually, 
without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

~Anais Nin~

I will not live an unlived life.

I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire.

I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise.

I choose to risk my significance, to live so that which came to me as seed goes to the next as blossom, and that which came to me as blossom, goes on as fruit. ~  Dawna Markova

Listening care is intended for all. We welcome all races, religions, genders, sexual orientations, ethnicities, and abilities.

Listening to Your Self

“To listen is very hard because it asks of us so much interior stability that we no longer need to prove ourselves by speeches, arguments, statements…True listeners no longer have an inner need to make their presence known. They are free to receive, welcome, and accept.”

~ Henri Nouwen

What if you were given the invitation to settle in with a cuppa, a soft throw, and the opportunity to talk it all out? What if there was someone nearby ready to “receive, welcome, and accept” you as you are? Someone who believes that your deepest Self has wisdom and goodness to offer? You have found true listeners here.

Nouwen doesn’t stop there. His challenge is the quiet safety at the heart of our Still Lake Listening practice. He says, “Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place. It is not to bring men and women over to our side, but to offer freedom not disturbed by dividing lines. It is not to lead our neighbor into a corner where there are no alternatives left, but to open a wide spectrum of options for choice and commitment. It is not an educated intimidation with good books, good stories, and good works, but the liberation of fearful hearts so that words can find roots and bear ample fruit…

The paradox of hospitality is that it wants to create emptiness, not a fearful emptiness, but a friendly emptiness where strangers can enter and discover themselves as created free….not a subtle invitation to adopt the life style of the host, but the gift of a chance for the guest to find his own.”

Find that welcome – the safety of hospitality and compassionate listening – here. Contact us for more information on how you can connect with a listener.