When Suzuki was a very young monk in Japan, he used to walk in the heavy rain with his master and his master used to tell him : « Why do you hurry up, rain is everywhere ! ». When it rains, we all hurry up, rushing, running frantically, with shoulders up, head bend, to avoid rain. Just look at yourself, look at everybody in the street. A few drops of rain and suddenly everybody becomes hysterical, we found ourselves in a swarm of mad bees. And eventually, we are just as wet as if we have been walking peacefully. There are many interpretations of this teaching. We could say that there is no need to hurry up to escape difficulty, for difficulty will always be with us. Trying to escape pain just makes more pain. You are wet, out of breath and even in danger for you do not pay much attention to what you do, just obsessed with the idea of getting out of the rain. Even if it does not rain, we always in a rush, running from one point to another, one activity to the next, we hardly take the time to live, to experience life, if we really ask ourselves, if we wonder why we are in a hurry, we don’t know or we blame people, circumstances, work. It shows how very little space we give to our life, trapped in rush and judgmental mind. Suzuki’s master wanted to point out that pain is very much created by our attitude towards life, not totally, thoroughly doing what we are doing. Popping, jumping, skipping, the ape instinct of the ego as Trungpa Rimpoche calls it. This is the pessimistic understanding.
Yet, there is another way of understanding it: rain, Buddha nature is always with us, no need to hurry up, when it rains, it is Buddha rain. Rain is not separated from us. The problem comes from the fact that when it rains, we think it rains, « it » being something different from what we are. On one side, there is rain, one the other, there is me. From the Buddha’s perspective, there is just a moment and it is called rain, and it includes everything, including myself, here and now. Pouring down, Buddha rain, Bright sun, Buddha sun. When it rains cats and dogs, Buddha cats, Buddha dogs ! And everyday I find myself rushing under the rain, not only the rain made of water, cats and dogs, but also the rain made of work, relationships, difficulties and joy, Please, next time you are under a shower, do not try to walk as slowly as possible to really get soaked… You won’t get enlightenment, just a cold ! justcome back to this precious undivided moment. The point is not to think we should, or should not do this and that. The point is pointless, just enjoy your life and welcome every moment as it comes. Rain is everywhere means that the path is the goal.
When it rains, we call this moment rain, it is the very moment we experience. Rain is not at object over there. Rain cannot grasped. The whole experience rain is beyond concepts,words, nets and buckets. Rain is everywhere, everything, and rain is who we are. Originally Buddha. So being originally Buddha, does not mean that we are always happy, perfect. Buddha is sometimes wet, sometimes dry, sometimes merry, sometimes not. Buddha is an ordinary man or woman. We often have a kind of distorted perception, idea of what an enlightened being would be like. A Buddha would be like a super hero of the spiritual path, always wise, helpful, opened, clear... Being Buddha is accepting things as they are, if sadness comes, sad Buddha, if joy comes, joyful Buddha, if rain comes, soaked Buddha. No need to hurry up. No need to pretend or escape. Ordinary life, everyday life is Buddha. When Dôgen says that ordinary people are deluded about enlightenment, and Buddha enlightened about their delusions, he literally means that : enlightening our illusion, moment after moment, realising Buddha within our simple and daily life. Being aware of how much we hurry up in the rain. When we sit, we are enlightened about our delusions, for rather than being the thoughts in our mind and tensions in our body, identifying ourselves to the flow of illusions, we see it, we notice it without judging. The mind that does not judge or discriminate is Buddha mind.