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.
My yoga teacher, Meredith, read this aloud to our class on a dark, snowy night in February, as we lay on our mats in savasana (the final resting pose). Most of the time, Meredith is quiet during savasana, but when she occasionally offers words, they are good ones.
This has been (as I’ve said before) a difficult year, and so the lines about being cleared out “for some new delight” particularly struck me. But the whole poem resonated: lovely, luminous and wise.