Rainbow : Between Rain & Shine?

In the movie ‘Cape No. 7’, the female protagonist, who was in charge of organising an outdoor concert was feeling down from love blues on a rainy day. She indirectly articulated her woes via stating the uncertainty of whether it would still rain the next day – on the day of the concert. The truth is, she had to leave the small town she was in… right after the concert. She was fretting the uncertain future of her new relationship formed there. Offering some solace, a singer she was managing said there might be a rainbow instead of rain.

But rainbows do not always manifest after rain, though sunshine always does, just as rain will ensue after sunshine. As such, it is wiser not to hanker after rain, rainbows or sunshine, but to simply make the best of whatever comes. Make hay while the sun shines; water your plants with the rain; appreciate rainbows while they last. I saw the film almost right after giving a lesson on the Heart Sutra, the essence of which is about the wisdom of not having attachment to anything; not even non-attachment. (This is the true meaning of ultimate equanimity.) In the class, I told the below story (from TheDailyEnlightenment.com), which is somewhat related to the above.

Sunny Day Rainy Day

Here is a famous Zen story retold with a twist in the ‘tail’ :

Part 1 :
The old lady cries when it rains,
as her washerwoman daughter can’t dry the clothes she wash.
The old lady cries when it shines,
as her umbrella-selling daughter can’t sell her umbrellas.

Part 2:
A Zen master comes along and tells her:
Why don’t you rejoice when it rains, for your second daughter?
Why don’t you rejoice when it shines, for your first daughter?
The old lady agrees, now laughing heartily, be it rain or shine.

Part 3:
Another Zen Master comes along again and tells her:
Why aren’t you sad when it rains, for your first daughter?
Why aren’t you sad when it shines, for your second daughter?
Is there really reason to be elated or sad?
To go through emotional highs and lows?
The old lady becomes calm… enlightened in peaceful equanimity.

Related Articles:
Just Like This
This Too, Will Pass
Equanimity : Ups & Downs

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