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.

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.

Childhood Friends

An empty mirror and your worst destructive habits, when they are held up to each other, that’s where the real making begins. That’s what art and crafting are.

Whoever sees clearly what’s diseased in himself begins to gallop on the way.

Don’t turn your head. Keep looking at the bandaged place. That’s where the light enters you.

And don’t believe for a moment that you’re healing yourself.

- Rumi

A Blessing for Presence

May you awaken to the mystery of being here and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.

May you have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.

May you receive great encouragement when new frontiers beckon.

May you respond to the call of your gift and find the courage to follow its path.

May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame and anxiety never linger about you.

May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul.

May you take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.

May you be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.

May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.

- John O'Donohue

A Blessing

Blessed be the longing that brought you here and that quickens your soul with wonder.

May you have the courage to befriend your eternal longing.

May you enjoy the critical and creative companionship of the question: ‘Whom am I’ and may it brighten your longing.

May a secret providence guide your thought and shelter your feelings.

May your mind inhabit your life with the same sureness with which your body belongs in the world.

May the sense of something absent enlarge your life.

May your soul be as free as the ever-new waves of the sea.

May you succumb to the danger of growth.

May you live in the neighbourhood of wonder.

May you belong to love with the wildness of dance.

May you know that you are ever-embraced in the kind circle of God.

- John O'Donohue

All the problems that you face in life, all the ups and downs are really the means to your personal evolution. Everything that you face in life, whether pleasant or unpleasant, is really the means to higher awareness. They really help you. Though they may seem to hinder you from a limited and personal viewpoint at this stage, they are really the tests, the means to your eventual transcendence and total understanding of reality. Though mental disturbances during meditation practices, and during everyday life may seem like obstacles, they are really the things that help you to become aware of, to confront, and to remove the personal blocks or hindrances that prevent the flight into higher awareness.

Without these apparent obstacles you would never become aware of the imperfections in yourself that prevent higher experience. It is only through unhappiness that you can recognize seeds of disharmony within yourself. Without day to day problems, you would never try to overcome your own obstacles. All the turmoils of everyday life are the indicators that stimulate you to overcome your own imperfections. So recognize your problems and use everyday life as the means to attain perfection.

- Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Love and serve all humanity. Help everyone. Be happy. Be courteous. Be a dynamo of irrepressible joy. Recognize God and goodness in every face. There is no saint without a past and no sinner without a future. Praise everyone. If you cannot praise someone, let him go out of your life. Be original. Be inventive. Be courageous. Take courage again and again. Do not imitate. Be strong. Be upright. Think with your own head. Be yourself. Do not lean on the crutches of others. All perfection and every divine virtue are hidden within you - reveal them to the world. Wisdom too is already within you - let it strike forth. Let the Lord's grace make you free. Let your life be that of the rose - in silence it speaks the silence of fragrance.

- Babaji, India 1984

Difficulties exist so that you may grow strong by overcoming them. So overcome all difficulties, one by one, patiently. If you fail a thousand times, rise up and march on boldly. Failures are indeed stepping-stones to success.

- Swami Sivananda

Yoga is a system of integral education, education not only of the body and the mind or the intellect, but also of the inner spirit. Yoga leads from ignorance to wisdom, from weakness to strength, from disharmony to harmony, from hatred to love, from want to fullness, from limitation to infinitude, from diversity to unity and from imperfection to perfection. Equanimity is yoga. Serenity is yoga. Skill is action in yoga. Control of the senses and the mind is yoga. Anything by which the best and the highest can be attained is also yoga. Yoga is thus all-embracing, all-inclusive and universal in its application, leading to all-round development of body, mind and soul.

- Swami Sivananda Saraswati

People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean that they've gotten lost.

Dalai Lama


An important step in yoga is to accept your nature as much as you are able. If you can accept your nature, then we can also. Your purpose for wanting to do yoga is not important; your religion or non-religion is not important; and your lifestyle is also not important. The main thing is that you have started to practice yoga with some degree of sincerity.

Your nature is unimportant; all faults are unimportant. Your present personality is the starting point. Yoga and daily life experience will be the means to refine your being and eventually bring equilibrium. Everyone has the ability to contact elevated states of awareness. The potential lies within. It is not made or created, but at present this potential does not express itself because of imbalance and conditioning of the mind. These blocks are superimpositions on your nature. Each of us has the same potential. There is not one person in the world who is unfit to tread the path of yoga. If you make the effort then you will start to tune in with yoursel. But first of all accept your faults as being merely superficial aspects of your being.

- Paramahamsa Satyananda Saraswati

Our Deepest Fear

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

- Marianne Williamson

The Invitation

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals, or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself, if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. I want to know if you can be faithless and therefore be trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it is not pretty every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of a lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, "Yes!"

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair,weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for the children.

It doesn't interest me who you are, how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself, and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

- Oriah Mountain Dreamer


Service is a natural expression of love. It expands the heart and widens the vision. The more energy you spend serving others, the more divine energy will flow into you.

Serve with love, kindness, and courtesy. Watch for opportunities to serve. Serve without being conspicuous. Serve silently without advertisement. Do what is right and leave the results to look after themselves. Half-hearted service is not service at all. Give your whole heart, mind and soul when you serve. Some people have their body in one place, mind in another place and soul in another place. That is the reason they do not make any substantial progress on the path.

When you practice selfless service, be free of egoism, do not expect any appreciation and have a balanced state of mind in success and failure.

Life is not fully lived if you do not serve and love all humanity. Think how best you can utilize your energy, intellect, education, wealth and strength for the betterment of others

- Swami Sivananda Saraswati

Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens

- Carl Jung

If you study life's journey, when you start unfolding yourself and experiencing life and its necessities, you will find throughout that life is full of changes and modifications. Learn to enjoy life from moment to moment and do not worry about the future. If you take care of the present, the future will be at your disposal and one day you will find out that you are the architect of your life.

- Swami Rama

On Pain

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain. And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy; and you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields. And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.

Much of your pain is self-chosen. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility: for his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen, and the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears.

- Kahlil Gibran

Keep walking though there's no place to get to. Don't try see through the distances. Move within, but don't move the way fear makes you move.

- Rumi

Krishna And The Flute

There is a beautiful story about the flute of Krishna. You know Krishna always holds a flute in his hand, but there is a great story behind it. Everyday Krishna would go in the garden and say to all the plants, “I love you”. The plants were very happy and responded back and said “Krishna, we love You, too”. One day Krishna rushed quickly into the garden very alarmed. He went to the bamboo plant and the bamboo plant asked, “Krishna, what´s wrong with you?” Krishna said “I have something to ask you, but it is very difficult”. The bamboo said “Tell me: if I can, I will give it to you”. So Krishna said “I need your life. I need to cut you”. The bamboo thought for a while and then said “You don´t have any other choice. You don’t have any other way?” Krishna said, “No, no other way”. And it said “OK, I surrender to you”. So Krishna cut the bamboo, made holes in it, and each time, while he was doing that, the bamboo was crying with pain, because it was paining the bamboo so much. Krishna made a beautiful flute out of it. And this flute was with Krishna all the time. 24 hours a day, it was with Krishna.

Gopis were jealous of the flute. They said, “Look, Krishna is our Lord, but yet we get to spend only some time with him. He wakes up with you, He sleeps with you, all the time you are with him”. So one day they asked the bamboo, “Tell us the secret of it. What secret do you have, that the Lord treasures you so much?” And the bamboo said “The secret is that I´m empty inside. And the Lord does whatever he wants with me, whenever he wants with me and however he wants with me”. So this is complete surrender: where God can do whatever He wants with you, whenever He wants, as He wants. And for that you don’t need to be scared, you know, you have just to give yourself. And who is yourself in reality? It’s just Him!

Don't Let Them Make You Crazy

Think of that one person who drives you crazy -- who upsets you, makes you feel guilty or sad. Does someone come to mind? You may have spent many hours reliving events when this person was unfair, unappreciative, or inconsiderate.

You may have thought, “What a jerk!” Even remembering this person may make your blood pressure rise, your pulse race and your mind fill with grief.

Try not to let this person -- or other people -- make you feel so miserable.

Their problems are their problems. Try not to make them your problems. Letting other people “get to us” is seldom a good idea for two reasons: 1) it does not help the situation and 2) life is too short to spend your time feeling bad.

An old Buddhist parable may help.

A young farmer was covered with sweat as he paddled his boat up the river. He was going upstream to deliver his produce to the village. It was a hot day, and he wanted to make his delivery and get home before dark. As he looked ahead, he spied another vessel, heading rapidly downstream toward his boat. He rowed furiously to get out of the way, but it didn’t seem to help.

He yelled, “Change direction, you idiot! You are going to hit me!” His screaming was to no avail. The other vessel hit his boat with a sickening thud. He was enraged as he cried out, “You moron! How could you manage to hit my boat in the middle of this wide river? What is wrong with you?” He then realized that he was screaming at an empty boat that had broken free of its moorings and was floating downstream with the current.

The point of this story is simple.

There is never anyone in the other boat. We are always screaming at an empty vessel.

The person who is making you so angry can’t help but be who he is, and getting mad at him makes no sense.

You don’t have to like the other person, respect him, or agree with him. Just accept that he is who he is and decide not to let his craziness become yours.

Often, the cause of our anger is not the other person. We are usually mad at ourselves. For example, on a recent flight, I talked to an investor who had bought a small business. He was livid about how the original owner had let him down. In spite of the owner’s positive initial impression, he consistently missed commitments. The investor told me how the owner had induced him to make a poor investment. The investor was a multi-millionaire who lived in a beautiful home in Switzerland and had a lovely wife and child.

I asked how long this had upset him.

He angrily grunted, “Many months!” I suggested that the real cause of his anger might be that he was incensed with himself for being a poor judge of character and not conducting adequate due diligence in the purchase.

He reflected, “You’re right. In hindsight, I was dumb for making this purchase. I’m usually a good judge of character and have a great sense for these deals. I just screwed this one up! I’m really mad at me for missing this one!” I suggested that getting upset with himself for making one mistake was even crazier than getting upset at the other person. He was successful in spite of this mistake. Besides, in the future, he could learn from what he did wrong. By the end of the flight, he decided to sell the business, cut his losses, and enjoy life with his family! The next time you feel like another person is making you crazy, just smile and say, “There is no one in the other boat.” Accept him for who he is and make the best of it.

Also, look in the mirror. The person you are angry with may be staring back at you. Forgive yourself for making a mistake in judgment. Cut your losses, get on with life, and enjoy your family!

Life is good.