Posted by & filed under Coleman Barks, Deepak Chopra, Haydn Reiss, Huston Smith, Jala ad-Din Rumi, Michael Meade, Mystical Poetry, Robert Bly, Rumi, Rumi:Poet of the Heart, Sufi, Sufi Poetry, Sufism, The Guest House.

As we begin a series of Guest Posts on the theme of Spiritual and Religious Wisdom and Unity, I thought it a good idea to kick off the series with this wonderful poem by Rumi:


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 it’s 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.

                                                                                            – Rumi  (Translated by Coleman Barks)

And here is the award-winning film, “RUMI: Poet of the Heart,” produced and directed by Haydn Reiss, featuring Coleman Barks, Robert Bly, Deepak Chopra, storyteller and mythologist Michael Meade, and religious historian Huston Smith. Narrated by Debra Winger. Performances by oud virtuoso Hamza El Din and musician Jai Uttal offer inspiring accompaniment to this beautifully produced film. A lively and provocative exploration of the genius and timeliness of Rumi’s emergence in the west.


Coleman Barks is a preeminent poet, scholar, and interpreter of the writings of Jalal ad-Din Rumi.  Here are two of his excellent collections.



Did you like this post? Leave a Comment and tell us what you think! (The reader with most comments this month will win a Free Copy of The Purpose of Religion: Enlightenment, Meaning and Love in Jewish, Christian and Islamic Symbology)
Andrew Cort

(Tomorrow’s Guest Blog: “Buddhism”, by Ben Riggs, Spirituality Editor of Elephant Journal)

John Backman says:

What a marvelous poem–especially these lines:

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

I’d like to think that this is why I laugh so much–because I’m meeting everything at the door!