As Autumn deepens its grip on the country, one thing the Great British Weather can be relied upon to produce is plenty of rain. As we get progressively more wet, soggy and muddy, we love to moan about the rain, and many people would prefer to stay under the duvet if they wake up to steely grey skies and a downpour in progress. Even our nursery rhymes, proverbs and idioms are negative about the rain – “Rain, rain go away,” or “It never rains but it pours.”
For me, however, rain is one of nature’s greatest spiritual teachers. Here in the UK, we may be blessed with more than our fair share of rain, but we are fortunate enough to be largely exempt from the terrible destruction of serious flooding, typhoons and storms. Here, apart from being a favourite topic of small talk among strangers, the rain has many spiritual lessons to share with us. Next time the heavens open, instead of cursing and running indoors, or looking sadly out of the window, try renewing your spiritual relationship with rain through one or more of the following activities:
1. Interconnectedness and the Cycle of Life
The rain which falls on you today may have come from a puddle, river or ocean hundreds or thousands of miles away. Isn’t that amazing? The rain cycle, from water evaporation to clouds to rainfall which then evaporates again is a never ending cycle, and has much to teach us about the cycle of life, or indeed the cycle of life, death and rebirth. Meanwhile, the way the whole of the natural world depends upon rainfall teaches us how interconnected this beautiful world of ours is, and how each of contains the same divine spark. Meditate on interconnectedness and the cycle of life as you listen to the rain.
2. A Loving Caress
Take off as many clothes as you dare (privacy is a great thing if you have it!) and feel the rain on your skin. Close your eyes, and enjoy the feel of the rain trickling down your body. This is a very sensual experience, but it’s also a deeply spiritual one, and an add-on to the interconnected meditation mentioned above. After all, every drop of that rain has come from far, far away.
3. Nature’s Music
The rain has many voices, from the rhythmic plink, plink of rain hitting puddles to the drumming sounds of rain on a conservatory roof and the almost white noise of a heavy rainstorm. Sit quietly, inside or outside, and just listen. The sound of the rain is perfect for inducing a meditative or trance-like state; it also stimulates creativity too – who hasn’t had some of their best ideas in the shower?
4. See the Beauty Around You
No matter where you live, your surroundings will look different in the rain. Whatever was dusty, dry or dirty will suddenly be gleaming and shining. Pathways and stones change colour, interesting patterns form on windows. Use the next lot of rain as an opportunity to actively seek and see the beauty all around you. Note everything that sparkles or glistens, and delight in it. Rain is a wonderful reminder of how even the most mundane of objects can take on a new beauty.
5. Enjoy the Negative Ions
Negative ions abound when water moves, whether it’s a waterfall or the rain hitting the ground. The heavier the rain, and the more movement involved, the more negative ions are released – and negative ions refresh us, invigorate us and make us feel more alive. The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to be outside in the rain to get the benefit of these ions – although opening your door or window will help you feel the effects faster.
6. Sit Outside – Umbrella Optional!
In order to really experience the spiritual power of the rain, however, you need to be in it. Make an effort to go outside. If you have somewhere to sit, that’s great, but a quiet walk is also good. Just be. Listen to the rain, feel the rain, watch the rain, and let it boost your spirituality and take your mind far, far away. If you don’t mind getting wet, ditch the umbrella – but actually an umbrella itself can be a powerful symbol if you’re meditating in the rain – think of it as a form of protection, and use that symbology in your meditation.
7. Cleansing Rain
Just as the rain cleanses and transforms the outdoors, so it can cleanse and transform us. Again, exposing as much of your skin as you dare will help you to symbolically wash yourself clean of negativity and unhelpful influences. Don’t forget your spiritual tools, too – the rain is perfect for cleansing crystals, other ritual objects, singing bowls and all kinds of implements.
8. Unleash Your Inner Child
You know when you were a child, and you wanted nothing more than to splash in the puddles when it was raining? Well, give yourself permission to do so now! Yes, you’re a grown up – but who cares? Reconnecting with your inner child and allowing yourself to feel those short moments of joy – these are very powerful instances in your spiritual growth process.
The country singer Roger Miller once said “Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.” Indeed. Be someone who feels the rain!