Inspired by Rumi’s poem ‘The Guest House’, we look at how we can treat each of our experiences with respect and as a different individual guest, whether we find them pleasant, unpleasant or neutral.
One of our most persistent habits in life is to equate unpleasantness with suffering, pleasantness with happiness and neutral experiences with indifference. But this is not an inevitability and it could be said that this misunderstanding is what leads to the majority of our suffering.
By learning to be with our experience regardless of its initial flavour, we develop tolerance for it and with this comes the ability to be with the experience without judgement or preference. This is the process of cultivating what is called ‘equanimity’ and it is one of the greatest skills we can develop and abide within.
Through responding to our experience with equanimity instead of mindlessly chasing or rejecting experience based on first impressions we become freed of the suffering inflicted by our own judgemental minds.
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