RSS Feed

The Guest House

Rumi wrote this beautiful poem 800 years ago. The message rings true today although we might resist it at times. Perhaps, in busyness and haste, we avoid the messages received in the guest house that our being and becoming entails. When we slow down encountering each guest as a transient event moving on, we learn lessons learned readily and easily.

In sabbath moments, whether a few minutes, hours, or days, we welcome these unexpected visitors. We recognize they will leave and, in treating them honourably, they may move along quickly allowing delight to return.

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.

About ivonprefontaine

I have been an educator for almost 20 years. Prior to that, I worked in private industry for 15 years, then returned to university to earn my education degree. For the past 11 years, I have been a co-creator of learning in a unique, progressive, alternative educational school of choice. Currently, I am engaged in a doctoral program at Gonzaga University in Spokane. A main theme in my learning there has been the roles of systems thinking, complexity theory, and organizational theory, and how they apply to education generally and the learning environment I share with students, parents, and colleagues.

26 responses »

  1. One of Rumi’s quote ” “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it

    Reply
  2. This poem continues to speak to me from the heart. I believe I might commit it to memory and recite it, much as a prayer of sorts. Thank you for posting it, Ivon.

    Reply
  3. I love this poem. Thank you.

    Reply
  4. There’s a lesson to be learned in the good and bad…acceptance is key as it’ll keep us true to our path.

    Reply
  5. Rumi’s words are timeless and always captivate. Thank you for sharing this poem. I needed a reminder!

    Reply
  6. Thanks for posting one of my favorite Rumi poems. It has helped me any number of times when the “house” seemed overflowing with trouble. bring them in, serve them tea.

    Reply
    • You are welcome David. Rumi’s wisdom is as relevant today as it was 800 years ago. The idea of serving tea is appealing. It is a time to be calm over the tea as once meditates.

      Reply
  7. A great reminder for helping our attitude

    Reply
  8. a good reminder to let it be. I have been fightin’ a lot of stuff inside…

    Reply
  9. this is one of favorites Ivon … and I needed to connect with it today. Thank you!
    Val

    Reply
  10. Certainly a wonderful piece of wisdom and poetry.

    Reply
  11. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez

    Rumi’s human soul was wise beyond description. I love the quote above: “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

    Reply
  12. This past week, I came to the conclusion (I am “only” 64–long in the tooth but getting to appreciate all of me) that I have to face and embrace the “shadow” side of me as well…so that I can grow from it…all the many steps of being! I love Rumi! You have a great site! Of course, I am biased, because you are a teacher…I taught for 36 years…it does not seem possible that it has come to an end…I also felt that the teacher should be “the guide on the side and not the sage on the stage”…as one of my Professors taught us. I taught Middle School the last seven of my years. I miss the students so much! But Facebook has helped me, as many of my former students have come to say HI to me on that social site. They are so sweet! Blessings on you, Ivon! and thank YOU for all of your visits to my blog!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,670 other followers

%d bloggers like this: