The Guest House, “Inside the River”

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 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.

— Jelaluddin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks

“Every decision I make is a choice between a grievance and a miracle. I relinquish all regrets, grievances, and resentments and choose the miracle.” — A Course in Miracles

Before speaking, to others or to ourselves, we might consider passing through four gates.  At the first gate, we ask ourselves, “Are these words true?” If so, we let them pass on; if not, back they go. At the second gate we ask; “Are they necessary?” At the third gate we ask; “Are they beneficial?” and at the fourth gate, we ask, “Are they kind?” If the answer to any of these is no, then what you are about to say should be left unsaid. – See more at: http://jizoandchibi.com/stage2/four-questions-sufi-mindfulness/#sthash.GCMaEhTk.dpuf
Before speaking, to others or to ourselves, we might consider passing through four gates.  At the first gate, we ask ourselves, “Are these words true?” If so, we let them pass on; if not, back they go. At the second gate we ask; “Are they necessary?” At the third gate we ask; “Are they beneficial?” and at the fourth gate, we ask, “Are they kind?” If the answer to any of these is no, then what you are about to say should be left unsaid. – See more at: http://jizoandchibi.com/stage2/four-questions-sufi-mindfulness/#sthash.GCMaEhTk.dpuf

An old Sufi tradition advises us to speak only after our words have managed to pass through four gates. At the first gate, we ask ourselves, “Are these words true?” If so, we let them pass on; if not, back they go. At the second gate we ask; “Are they necessary?” At the third gate we ask; “Are they beneficial?” and at the fourth gate, we ask, “Are they kind?” If the answer to any of these is no, then what you are about to say should be left unsaid.

It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.”– Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.”― Paulo Coelho

“I dream. Sometimes I think that’s the only right thing to do.”– Haruki Murakami

If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”–Toni Morrison

I’ve written “The End” on my book. This blog is a homage to the writers whose words inspired me…thank you for being guests in my house!

I think people are universal– Ang Lee

 

 

5 Comments

  1. Is anything that can be said, true? Or is truth perhaps beyond words altogether?

    I think words are tools of an illusory nature that are useful for processing thoughts and communicating. But, as is often the case we become enchanted with them and being to think that words are completely real. In other words, we think the word steak on a dinner menu is actually a steak.

    So, what then could be said that is true? What can be said that is beneficial? Are words necessary? Useful, but perhaps unnecessary. So, to follow these questions posed by the Sufi, it would seem to me that one might not say anything at all. Which perhaps is the point 🙂

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    • I so appreciate your thoughts, Jack. I do believe words are our most powerful tool…although often used to harm, manipulate, and deceive. How incredible to exercise these 4 gates with each encounter so that we can be kinder to one another and ultimately kinder to our habits of mind. But, yes, I also think the Sufis may have been proposing a lot more silence in the world.

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I would love to know your thoughts...thanks for sharing!

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