Practice Day 13- Welcome: Welcome it all (without judgement)
Theme/Mantra: “Welcome. Welcome it all without judgement.”
The Guesthouse by Jalaluddin 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 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.
Find a comfortable position.
As you breathe deeply, open yourself to reflect on the ways in which you welcome life around you. Into your heart and mind and actions.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, with your arms straight in front of you and your palms together at your chest.
Open your mouth and inhale as you fling your arms open and back, as if you were getting ready for a big bear hug.
Exhale completely as you tuck your chin and tuck your tailbone, rounding your back and bending at your waist and knees, bringing your hands together in front of your chest.
Repeat 1,2, 10, 12 times.
It is such a hard lesson. At least for me- to be welcoming. Of it all. I want to keep myself from doing “wrong” all the time. Taoists amaze me in their ability to see things as not “wrong” or “bad.” But as life happening, and a chance make decisions about how to respond to life in the moment. I was taught that people were either one or the other-good or bad. And if you did something wrong, you were bad. (For some reason it never translated the other way, that if you did a “right” thing- you were necessarily good). I no longer accept what I was taught. We- all of us- have the capability of being Both. I like to think of it with different language though. We all have constant opportunities to make choices that harm ourselves (or others), and we all have the chance to make choices that don’t. To see people as human, which is neither good nor bad, helps us to better relate to one another. It helps us to not be so critical or judgmental. I wonder as you go throughout your day, if you can practice not putting people around in one or the other category, but hold all of who they are. I wonder if you can do it for youself?
(Note: if you are interested in being stimulated more around this idea- I highly recommend reading Ursula LeGuin’s Earth Sea series, the first being The Wizard of Earthsea. Or watch some of Hayao Miyazaki’s Films, Nausica and the Valley of the Wind, Spirited Away, and Princess Mononoke are a few of my favorites. Ideas of creatures being a mix of decisions without the label of good or bad are strewn throughout all).
Song: Welcoming by Michael Manring
Lyrics: (instrumental) - But I wonder what images you see as you listen?
Until Tomorrow- Peace.