Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi: "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.

"The Guest House" by Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, from The Essential Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks with John Moyne. © HarperCollins Publishers, 1995.