I attend a low-key yoga class at a local church hall in Manchester. The teacher likes to recite poems during the final Savasana (relaxation pose) as a way of giving some inspiration and yesterday chose a poem by Rumi. It talks about welcoming and accepting any aspect of the human condition, even the seemingly dark and mean sides. Lying on the ground appears simple but many things rise up to one’s awareness when in this posture and it’s quite challenging to bring a spacious attention both to things that are attractive and those that feel repellent. When one stops applying the usual framework for judging and interpreting for a little moment, life can seem very vivid.
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’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.
~ Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi (13th century) ~
(The Essential Rumi, versions by Coleman Barks)
ABC-Classic FM Radio in Australia are broadcasting a series of concerts from last year’s edition of the Donaueschinger Musiktage. The Guest, a ‘concerto for orchestra and recorder’, that I wrote for Jeremias Schwarzer and the SWR Orchestra conducted by Rupert Huber can be heard online via their website.