The Guesthouse

At this week’s session of the Buddhist Christian Interspirituality Discussion Group I facilitate, we discussed equanimity. Yesterday, one of the participants in the group shared with me this poem of Rumi’s, which our discussion reminded her of. The poem, which I had read many years ago but was happy to be reminded of, is titled 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 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.

Be grateful for whatever comes. As St. Ignatius would say, it all has the potential of calling forth in us a deeper repsonse to our life in God.