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.
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I’m basing my new writing on Rumi’s poem The Guest House in order to address the tenets of Yoga as if they are characters to welcome, entertain, and develop; as if they were tenants of The Guest House.
The first tenet of Yoga is AHIMSA, which translates from Sanskrit into non-violence. Gandhi based his life on this spiritual principle as an example of how peace can be a powerful force in the world.
The thing is, the very notion of a tenet may cause many people to become so rigidly fixated on beliefs that they end up living blind to how their attitude and actions are manifesting. For example, a person can get caught up in one way of practicing AHIMSA but then end up watering seeds of anger when another person’s way of cultivating non-violence and loving-kindness differs from their belief.
While beliefs, attitudes, and actions are vital to improving our character and developing a strong ego, they can limit us and even get us into trouble.
It is best when our tenets remain in focus with a larger framework of values.
To access my 10 blog posts based on the 10 tenets of Yoga and how they can become tenants of your Guest House, please join the Home Practice series where we guide you in Yoga for physical and personal development.
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