Rumi’s poem, The Guest House, encourages us to welcome all visitors – sadness and joy, prosperity and poverty, abundance and destruction, meanness and compassion. “Each has been sent as a guide from beyond.” Tosha Silver, in her book, Changing Prayers, writes “May I know who I AM: All that I encounter.” We whisper and affirm a resounding yes. We share on Facebook. We resonate with the truth elegantly expressed. Until…. And then comes the “yes but…”
How many years did it take water, wind, sun and seasons to carve a key hole in these rocks that have stood for over 200 million years? Erosion and destruction leaving the heart breathless with beauty’s awe. And then comes the response, ” No ‘yes but.'” Yes buts are like the quick fake hugs and kisses acquaintances and pretend friends give. A true embrace holds.
On this day of storms, some with names and others not, may all be safe and free from danger. May all be free from suffering and the roots of suffering. May all, those with legs of any number, roots, wings, fins, upon the earth, ocean, and sky know peace. May we all dare to embrace.
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’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.