Experiences as guests, living their own life

Seeing experiences as guest can be a useful (and rich) analogy.

Any experience is a guest, which lives its own life and comes and goes on its own.

We can of course invite certain guests, and discourage others, but that only works to a limited extent. We can invite happiness, through gratitude inventories, rejoicing in other’s happiness, acts of kindness and so on, but happiness still lives its own life… it comes and goes on its own, on its own time. No guest stays around permanently. We can discourage pain, yet pain also lives its own life, coming and going on its own and on its own time.

When guests are around, we can also be different types of hosts. We can cling to some guests, trying to convince them to stay around longer. We can be nasty to other guests, trying to get them to leave. But again, that has only limited effect, and is also quite stressful. As before, the guests live their own life, they come and go on their own time.

We can also be a courteous host, allowing the guests to come and go on their own, as they do anyway. We can find peace with them arriving, hanging around, and leaving, on their own time. We can even find appreciation for them, and their coming and going.

The ultimate hospitality is that of Ground which inherently allows any and all experiences to live their own life and come and go on their own. Mimicking this hospitality, we may even eventually discover ourselves to (already and always) be that Ground… this awake void allowing any forms which are not other than the awake emptiness itself.

In a relative sense, it is stressful and creates a lot of drama when we act as less than hospital hosts… it goes for our external life in the world, and also for our experiences. When we act with more hospitality, allowing the presence of the guests and recognizing that they live their own life, there is more peace and even appreciation for them. And it may even invite Ground to notice itself as Ground, as ultimate hospitality.