The prisoner had sat all night in his cage in the rain, condemned to die in the morning. He was waiting, hoping with every fibre of his being for a reprieve; that his appeal would be heard and that somehow he would be spared. The hours came and went but no news came. He realised that this really was the end. He was soon to be executed. At first panic gripped him. He shook with fear. His heart ached unbearably with the thought of all that he was losing. Then, as he accepted that there was nothing more to be done, he experienced an immense peace, a profound stillness. His mind became quiet. His attention came fully to the present moment. He felt clearly the hypnotic rhythm of the fat warm raindrops upon his naked head, of the almost unbearable beauty of the raindrops adorning his bare arms. So too, the perfect form of each drop, like so many beautiful, precious and tiny jewels. He was enthralled by the joyful chaotic splashing of the raindrops hitting the puddles contrasting with the drip-dripping from the roof tiles. He experienced a deep sense of connection with everything – a sense of oneness, a sense of immense spaciousness.
The soldiers came, ordered him to his feet; it was time. Even as they marched him towards the gallows, his heart was filled with a sense deep gratitude for this gift of rain.
A shout rang out; he had been pardoned and was to be set free immediately.
A few weeks later and back in his previous life, he was walking to his office when once again the fat warm raindrops began to fall. Straight away he thought, “Fuck me, isn’t that just typical! it always fucking rains when I haven’t got an umbrella! Like I haven’t got enough problems without this shit as well!”
That is the difference between being fully present in your life and the mindless, “autopilot” mode in which we usually live in our heads. We rarely experience things as they are because we are so seduced by our thoughts, opinions and ideas about those things.
The fact is that we and all creatures live under a death sentence. All that is born will die. We just don’t like to think about it. Peace, connection and infinite space are always there for you and for me. We all carry it within us. We just have to stop confusing who we are with our thoughts.
You are the infinite blue sky, spacious and calm; everything else is simply the weather.