The Guesthouse

welcome mat

Image Description: A brown mat with the word “Welcome” in black. It’s on the ground in front of a yellow door which is slightly ajar. Public domain image.

Earlier this week, I posted a piece called “Receive From Everything, Share From Everything.” A friend emailed me and shared that this piece reminded her of the poem, “The Guesthouse” by Rumi. I had not made that connection, but as it turns out, that is one of my favorite poems. So I thought I’d share it today.

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.

— Jellaludin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks

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