There’s a beauty in being a guest at a friend’s home. We feel comfortable and we love the company. There is no attachment to their home. There’s also an unspoken expectation at the end of the trip:
When it comes time to leave, we can drop our attachment to that place and move on. We are happy when we are there, but it doesn’t cause us suffering when we have to go.
It’s even easy to get into action with chores. How much easier it is to do the dishes, or tidy up the place when we’re a guest at someone else’s home!
Yet, when it comes to our own home, we feel very differently. In our own homes, we are often miserable sitting alone. We work endlessly to change things up. Dishes remain undone in the kitchen sink. Our attachment to our home causes suffering, and it also serves as a shell to retreat from the challenges of life.
The whole place can become a sty and we put up with it, unless of course we’re having guests over as well! Then we tidy the place up.
But what would happen if we could be a guest in our own home?
And what if we could be a guest in our own lives?
A Guest In Our Body
Western thought puts emphasis on my house, my job, my body, my looks, my my my. Eat, breathe, and sleep with your goals. Burn yourself up to make sure you get there!
But what if we saw ourselves as guests in this body visiting only for 70–80 years?
We would live our lives with a lot more grace, a lot more compassion, and indeed, it would be easier to get into action without the pain and suffering. The drama of our lives would be enjoyable, without the misery.
This is one of the deepest teachings of yoga. In my lifetime of studying yoga, this was one of the first lessons I learned at the age of 5.
We mistakenly think yoga is all about twisting ourselves into crazy shapes. But the main texts on the subject have almost no mention of these poses, or asanas.
Instead, it teaches us the secret to living. It teaches us to cultivate non-attachment to the temporary. It teaches us ways to engage with the world more fully without the pain of “I” and “mine.” It teaches us, in short, to be a guest in our own homes. In our own lives.
Today, when you get back to “your” home, just for one night, see yourself as a guest. See what happens and leave a comment below.
Changing your life requires a steady drip of thoughts day by day. Empty a bucket of water in an area, and the area will be dry the next day. But start a trickle of drops from that same bucket, and the area will stay wet. That’s how we change our minds, hearts, and souls. Drop by drop. Article by article. If this philosophy of changing and reinforcing your life appeals to you, please subscribe to the email newsletter.