The Guest House: A Poem

This poem by Rumi would have to be one of the most frequently recited poems in mindfulness retreats and courses around the world. I love all of his poetry but this is definitely one of my personal favourites. It just gets to the heart of mindful living in the most eloquent and beautiful way.

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.

— Jellaludin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks

Want some more like this? Here are some more mindfulness poems


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  1. […] The Guest House by Rumi […]


  1. […] sadness, or whatever (one of my favorite poems to help explain this outlook on our emotions is The Guest House by Rumi). Authors like Pema Chodron and Thich Nhat Hanh have helped me to be still with myself, to sit […]

  2. […] instead, hold yourself in loving arms. Talk to yourself in a kind, tender, gentle inner voice. Welcome joy, depression and meanness at your door like unexpected visitors. I find it almost funny. Of course mindfulness is the answer. What else could it […]

  3. […] words of Rumi have never resonated more deeply; be it joy, happiness, or sadness; an ache, a tingle, a pain – […]

  4. […] I found this poem through the Search Within Yourself book, in which I’ve enjoyed learning about mindfullness in a business context. I found this poem online here. […]

  5. […] on the past, I’ve adopted an open-door policy, very much inspired by Rumi’s powerful poem “The Guest House”. I have looked at my past with the bright and hopeful eyes of a 20 year old. I’m looking at it […]

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