Yoga, Emotion and Poetry by Gloria Thiessen Trauma & Addiction Specialist

On: April 7th, 2012 at 11:25 am | While the poem ‘The Guest House’ is not from the Yoga tradition itself, its spirit is in line with the Yogic view of psychological healing, that is to welcome into the present moment whatever it is we may be feeling (in a way that brings no harm to ourself or others), knowing that doing so, will teach us something of value about ourself and prepare us for a new phase of life to enter our experience.

Having said that, here’s the beautiful poem I spoke of by Jelaluddin Rumi (translation by Coleman Barks). See what you think.

* * * * *

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.

* * * * *

It’s a provocative way of looking at things, that there’s a wisdom there to guide us through life in each and every emotion that comes our way.

Honestly now, how open are you to your emotional experience? How willing are you to be in the presence of whatever may arrive in the moment? Or have you become expert at chasing emotion away? Here’s a few more questions: If you’ve become expert at chasing emotion away, does this bother you? If it does, then how? What have been the consequences to yourself or others as a result of chasing emotion away?