Your Practice Room, The Guest House

Our practice sessions invite us to examine ourselves. This is usually a pretty bossy invitation, as it's not always a choice to attend this self-examination.  

That being said, when we do make the choice to observe ourselves during a practice session, the experience allows us to deeply learn from ourselves. This self-observation has long-term results, but only if we're asking the right questions and holding ourselves open (and literally relaxed!) to allow whatever emotions and obstacles that arrive to continue on their way.   

The things that present themselves in a practice session are merely guests. If we are hospitable and provide boundaries to ourselves and our practice session guests, they will move on when they are no longer our guide.  who knows perhaps they will become good friends too.

The poem by Rumi seen below, is a beautiful picture of this...



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.

-- Jelaluddin Rumi 

translation by Coleman Barks