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Friday, 12 August 2011

Rumi's The Guest House, on Youtube

Cognitive behaviour therapists are routinely confronted by writings that beautifully express CBT ideas - and that predate CBT by hundreds or thousands of years.  Whether it is Epictetus or the Buddha, it seems that CBT has seldom broken entirely new ground.

One of the best examples of this principle is the Persian 13th century poet Rumi, and one of the best illustrations of his insight into emotional difficulties is his poem The Guest House.  In it, Rumi suggests that rather than resisting uncomfortable emotions we open up to them and invite them into our lives, as each of them has something to offer us.

Here is a reading (and short commentary) of The Guest House by American poet Coleman Barks, on Youtube:

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