Monday, July 19, 2010

The Guest House by Rumi

I was reminded this week of a wonderful prose by Rumi. A reminder that we may all need, especially during the rough times in our lives. Somethings in life come to us because of others choices, some come to us because of our own choices. What we are reminded of in this writing, is that they do come. The interesting thing that our practice of Yoga and its philosophies try to get us to do is to be aware, and then choose to "act" rather than to "react." This is a very hard thing to do, especially when emotions, old and new, are brought into the mix.

In our Hatha Yoga Practice (the physical practice of Yoga postures)we see our reactive tendencies on all three levels of our being. If we pay attention, we see that through out our practice we go through a variety of sensations: physical, emotional, and spiritual. What our practice is really begging us to do is to pay attention and to choose our actions, instead of staying in the mode of reacting. Which do we choose? Action or Reaction? It is a very interesting view if we can step back, as though we are watching ourselves from a distance, and see ourselves as we truly are. In this way we can learn some very valuable things about ourselves, and with this new knowledge, learn to stop the pattern of reacting, and choose our actions. This can help us avoid more of the bumps in life, and with that, possibly our "Guest House" visitors will be more pleasant.

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.

- Rumi -