Archive for August 30th, 2009


“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…” excerpt from the Guest House by Rumi

Such a beautiful expression Rumi makes here.  What if we treated everything that we experienced as a welcome guest?  What if we did this even and especially with the contrast, the challenges we experience and the so called “negative” emotion that often comes with it?  What if we treated it all like a guest, a visitor and a welcome one at that?  Why a welcome one?  Because everything at its core has something to offer us and when left unresisted, a new expansion lies within easy reach on the horizon.

Thich Nhat Hanh also said: “Feelings, whether of compassion or irritation, should be welcomed, recognized, and treated on an absolutely equal basis; because both are ourselves. The tangerine I am eating is me. The mustard greens I am planting are me. I plant with all my heart and mind.  I clean this teapot with the kind of attention I would have were I giving the baby Buddha or Jesus a bath. Nothing should be treated more carefully than anything else. In mindfulness, compassion, irritation, mustard green plant, and teapot are all sacred.”

Thich Nhat Hanh and Rumi are centuries and countries apart and yet each with a similar viewpoint, one calls it all sacred, the other a welcome guest. Imagine if you were feeling irritation, if you regarded it as sacred.  Just take a breath into it or whatever it is you are feeling, no pushing it away, it’s sacred now.  You’re alive, this alive-ness, this human-ness is so sacred.  You get to experience it all, anything and everything.  Now, know that none of it is wrong.  You may bring compassion, wisdom and understanding to all that you experience at any time.  And the moment that you do, is the instant that you know none of this life of yours is wrong.  All of it is sacred.  All of it is holy.  Can you feel that – how soft, how easy, how self-honoring that is?  I sure do.  Now, imagine bringing this awareness to all your sacred guests.   Welcome them, as Rumi said: “be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”

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