Home > Personal & Spiritual Development > Rain and the Flow of Life

Rain and the Flow of Life


Photo by: Malene Thyssen

April Rain Song:

Let the rain kiss you.
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops.
Let the rain sing you a lullaby.
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk.
The rain makes running pools in the gutter.
The rain plays a little sleep-song on our roof at night –
And I love the rain.

– Langston Hughes (1902-1967).

I have always loved the sound of rain, which is probably why I love spring in Oklahoma, and wistfully wish that I lived someplace like Washington State, where it rains almost all year long. Unfortunately, those of us in Oklahoma have been suffering through the worst drought since the famous “Dust Bowl” period. Luckily, today we have been blessed by several hours of hard steady rain. The rain and occasional thunderclap have added a wonderful soundtrack to my workday, as I finish up some discovery responses in a legal case that I am working on. I have also enjoyed the fresh and clean smell of nature as the various plants outside of my office window open up to receive the rain.

During lunch I replied to a series of emails from a reader asking for advice on how to deal with the spiritual and emotional highs and lows of life. My advice to her was, as I have stated several times on previous posts, is to simply learn to go with the flow of life. I always, half jokingly, tell people to watch “The Big Lebowski“, and try to be more like Jeff Bridges’ character “The Dude”, because no matter the situation, The Dude abides.

A central teaching of eastern religions (Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism), is that while life is impermanent, there is a natural flow to life.  So, in many ways rain mimics the flow and general impermanence of life. For example, the very same plants that are being nourished by today’s rain, will have to face the scorching heat of an Oklahoma summer, in just a few short months. Also, the rain that is filling the local lakes and streams, will flow away, or evaporate in the summer heat. In the same way, the spiritual and emotional highs of life are eventually tempered by low points. However, there is no reason to despair, because just as the evaporated rain water condenses in clouds to become rain once again, the low points of life will eventually give way to happier times. The key is to set down deep spiritual and emotional roots, so that when tough times come, you can face them with greater ease.

Practical Tip: Keep a journal and record the good times and the bad. During “good times” read over entries from “bad times”, and use them as positive reinforcement that things always get better. During the bad times, read over entries from good times, to help motivate you to stay the course, because as always, things will get better. Above all, stay centered, and try to just enjoy living in the now.

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Also please check out my book, “The Path: Using the Religions of the World as a Guide to Personal and Spiritual Development.” (Click on the book cover to view on Amazon.com)

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  1. Dave
    March 21, 2012 at 5:45 AM

    Enjoyed your post. Rain is one of, if not the most relaxing sound to meditate. We will be getting some, today. Just as nice is the quiet sound of the sunshine.

  2. March 26, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    There is nothing in the world like the sound of summer rain on a tin roof. Impermanent, life-giving, magical, and evanescent. Who can say whether an experience is good or bad in the long arc of things? Seemingly good things lead to seemingly bad things and vice-versa. As you wisely advise, being in the flow of life helps one to be in a larger sense of awareness about the good that may come out of the uncomfortable.

  3. March 27, 2012 at 4:24 AM

    There is a saying in my family passed down from my great great Grandmother , “Nothing good or bad lasts forever” I think there is profound wisdom in that simple saying that no University could ever duplicate

    • April 1, 2012 at 7:40 PM

      Your grandmother gave you great advice Cole! Thank you for commenting!

  4. March 29, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Because I adore your blog and hope other people will find it, too, I have just nominated you for the “Versatile Blogger” award. If you’re interested about how to accept, here’s the link:

    http://erranttranscendentalist.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/versatile-blogger-award-thank-you-i-am-honored/

    • April 1, 2012 at 7:40 PM

      Thank you for the nomination! I love your blog as well, so it is quite an honor!

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