How to make rain – and anything else…

How to make it rain – follow Tao

Richard Wilhelm (the sinologist and translator of I Ching) was once in a remote Chinese village that was suffering from severe drought. The villagers had invoiced every kind of prayer for rain, but nothing worked. In desperation they sent for a well-known rainmaker who lived in a distant area. Wilhelm was on hand when the rainmaker, a wizened old man, arrived in a covered cart. He alighted, sniffed the air with disdain, then asked for a cottage on the village outskirts. He gave instructions not to be disturbed, and that his food was to be left outside his door. Nobody saw or heard anything of him for three days. Then the villagers awake to a downpour of rain mixed with snow, which was unheard of for that time of year.

Wilhelm was greatly impressed. He approached the old man, who was no longer in seclusion. “So you can make it rain?” he probed. Of course he could not, the old man scoffed. “But there was the most persistent drought until you came, “Wilhelm objected, “and then – within three days – it rains?”

“Oh,” the old man responded, “that was something quite different. You I came from a region where everything is in order, it rains when it should and is fine when that is needed, and the people also are in order and in themselves. But that was not the case with people here, they were all out of Tao (the perfect way of nature) and out of themselves. I was at once infected when I arrived, so I had to be quite alone until I was once more in Tao and then naturally it rained!”

The villagers, the rainmaker explained, were trying to beat the climate into submission when they should have been looking inside themselves. “Just being”, as the rainmaker realized, can outperform muscular, aggressive action. The reward of inner quite may be rain.

And another way to make it rain is to do something about it following the feng shui formula i.e. feng shui = intention + energy + ritual. Read this short story…

The Drought
Once, in a faraway country there was a drought. There had been no rain for days. No rain for weeks. No rain for months. And the land was dry, dry, dry. And hard and cracked and brown and dusty. And the sun beat down relentlessly. And the heat was unbearable. Like living in an oven. Impossible to breathe. And everywhere the dust. On the ground. In the air. On your skin. In your eyes. In your throat. Suffocating dust.

And the plants were dying. Changing from green through yellow to brown, they withered and died. And the animals were starving: the cattle, the sheep, the pigs, the goats – getting thinner and thinner and thinner … and dying. And the people were starving too, for there was nothing to eat.

And the drought went on and on and on.

So one day, all the men went into the temple to pray for rain. In the sweltering heat, they got down on their knees on the hard, dusty ground and they prayed and they prayed and they prayed for rain. But still there was no rain.

And so another day, all the women went into the temple to pray for rain. In the sweltering heat, they got down on their knees on the hard, dusty ground and they prayed and they prayed and they prayed for rain. But still there was no rain.

And then one day, a little girl went up the steps to the temple. She was about nine and she was wearing a dirty yellow dress that was torn. Her feet were bare and her legs and arms were dusty. Her long hair was tangled and in a mess. There was dirt on her face. And up she went, up the steps of the temple, to pray for rain. But do you know what she had with her? She had with her an umbrella. Not a posh umbrella. A scruffy old broken umbrella. But an umbrella just the same. And she skipped into the temple and got down on her knees and put her umbrella on the ground beside her and she prayed and she prayed and she prayed for rain.

And do you know what? When she came out of the temple, it was raining.

Story from ‘In Your Hands: NLP for teaching and learning’ by Jane Revell and Susan Norman, pub Saffire Press 1997

How to make rain – and anything else…
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