How do we grieve well? Not always easy to face loss or death in this life, whether that be material, physical or spiritual. My father died a few months ago, it was a difficult time. Then this wonderful passage came to me, whilst I spent some quiet days on the Roseland peninsula in Cornwall. I have been musing on it since and finding it working its mystery deep within. Everything changes, nothing stays the same, Rumi says welcome it all. My contemplative practice teaches this too, welcome and let go. Breathe into it and something new emerges. Somehow when we put our roots down into the Source of all being in the vertical we can bear whatever weather comes across our emotional landscape on the horizontal, no matter how turbulent. Jesus bids us build our house on rock not the shifting sands of our thoughts and emotions which are ever changing from day to day, sometimes sunny, sometimes rain
and sometimes we find the stillpoint in the centre of a tornado!
Rumi, a poet and mystic. Speaker of Love and the Divine which he called The Source.
born 805 years ago!
Here is his poem The Guest House
Darling, the body is like a guest house
every morning someone new arrives.
Don’t say, “O, another weight around my neck!
or your guest will fly back to nothingness.
Whatever enters your heart is a guest
from the invisible world: entertain it well.
Every day and every moment a thought comes
like an honored guest into your heart.
My soul, regard each thought as a person,
for every person’s true value
is in the quality of the thought they hold.
If a sorrowful thought stands in the way,
it is also preparing the way for joy.
It furiously sweeps your house clean,
in order that some new joy
may appear from the Source.
It scatters the withered leaves
from the bough of the heart,
in order that fresh green leaves might grow.
It uproots the old joy so that
a new joy may enter from Beyond.
Sorrow pulls up the rotten root
that was hidden from sight.
Whatever sorrow takes away
or causes the heart to sacrifice,
it puts something better in its place–
especially for one who is certain
that sorrow is the servant of the intuitive.
Without the frown of clouds and lightning,
the vines would be burned by the smiling sun.
Both good and bad luck
become guests in your heart:
like planets travelling from sign to sign.
When something transits your sign,
and be as harmonious as its ruling sign,
so that when it rejoins the Moon,
it will speak kindly to the Lord of the Heart.
Whenever sorrows come again,
meet it with smiles and laughter,
saying, “O my Creator, save me from its harm;
and do not deprive me of its good.
Lord, remind me to be thankful,
let me feel no regret if its benefit passes away.
And if the pearl is not in sorrow’s hand,
Let it go and still be pleased.
Increase your sweet practice.
Your practice will benefit you at another time;
someday your need will be suddenly fulfilled.”
Rumi, translated by Kabir Helminski
MATHNAWI V, 3644-46; 3676-88;3693-96; 3700-01