In the Rain!

17- 27 April, Australia

Melbourne Retreat

Meditation session with Amma

The special meditation session with Mother had been held indoors because of both cold and rain. The last mantra, “Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu” (“May all beings in the universe be happy”) was reverberating. Then silence. Not quite. Rain. Pitter-patter. Then faster. The lights came up; Mother looked ruefully around at the children. Then She looked up at the ceiling.

She raised both Hands in that Indian gesture of “What to do?” and sat a little longer. Everyone listened to the rain, and envisioned the walk to the dining hall, where, traditionally, Mother would serve everyone dinner. A longish, wet walk. Mother asked whether dinner could be brought to the meditation hall. James, one of the organisers, gave a good disciple’s answer: “Yes, if Mother wants. We can bring it in ten minutes.” Mother asked the children: “Here? There?” The vote was mostly “There.” People didn’t mind getting wet; they would adjust. Mother seemed pleased, and told a traditional story.

Gold Coast Retreat

The special meditation session with Mother was ready to begin – outdoors, despite the gathering storm clouds. The beach hillock where Mother sat, surrounded by Her children, was almost dark, the only light coming from a few kerosene torches on high poles stuck into the sand. The first mantra, OM, was about to be chanted, but the anticipatory silence was broken by the sound of raindrops, a soft, muffled sound on sand, a bit sharper when drops hit the sound system’s speakers and the hastily opened umbrellas. Mother looked around at Her children: “How many children umbrellas?” She asked. Maybe several could huddle under each umbrella, and all would stay dry. But only a few hands were raised. Mother waved away the umbrella someone held above Her, and joined Her children in getting wet. People gave up their ponchos and umbrellas to shield cameras and speakers. The rain came harder. “There? Here?” Mother asked, willing to take the group back in to the program hall. “Here!” came the vote. Mother seemed pleased, and told the same traditional story.

Here is the story Mother told:

Once in the old days a king went walking, and got a thorn stuck in his foot. Calling his minister, he said, “Carpet my kingdom!”
“Sir,” replied the wise minister, “It would be good to wear shoes.”

Mother told Her children, on those two rainy nights, that instead of always trying to change the outside circumstances, it is often good to try to adjust to what is, or to make changes in ourselves.

The retreatants were ready to get wet; they faced the situation with cheerful acceptance. In Melbourne, as they left the meditation hall for the dining hall, the rain let up; in Gold Coast, after just enough rain to make the willing people cool, it tapered off. Mere chance? Or is there a message in these facts, too?