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.