Thursday, August 15, 2013

Rucksack Revolution, Guest House of the Heart

“I see a vision of a great rucksack revolution thousands or even millions of young Americans wandering around with rucksacks, going up to mountains to pray, making children laugh and old men glad, making young girls happy and old girls happier, all of 'em Zen Lunatics who go about writing poems that happen to appear in their heads for no reason and also by being kind and also by strange unexpected acts keep giving visions of eternal freedom to everybody and to all living creatures.”

-Gary Snyder

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.

- Rumi, from "The Guest House"

In the old tales, the world over, gods and goddesses might disguise themselves as beggar-gypsies, tatterdemalion and strange, and come knocking for a warm meal and a place to sleep. Opening the heart-home, blue as the divine sky, to the nourishment of the world, to that vision of eternal freedom and rucksack rambling kindness, letting in the beautiful and the weird, the roadkill skunks and the graceful does alike.

"Nature is not a place to visit. It is home."

-Gary Snyder


  1. LOVE this, Sylvia, the words and series of guest houses. Gary Snyder is such a grand hippie, and I mean that as a sincere compliment. Zen lunatics; guru spirit kin to Rob Brezsny. Rumi is a wonder at cleaning the windows of perception.

    1. Thank you Carmine! So glad you enjoyed. Yes, Gary Snyder is one of my heroes, really, a grand hippie in the best possible deepest sense. & thank heavens (and sweet peach blossoms) for Rumi!