As there had been no rain for over two years within several hundred miles' radius of San Francisco, there was a severe drought that not only made it impossible to irrigate the fields, but even depleted the drinking water supply. Daily water use was rationed, causing great inconvenience.
All the left-home and lay people at Gold Mountain Dhyana Monastery resolved to practice the Bodhisattva Way by praying for rain. At seven o'clock in the morning on February 16, 1977, a prayer platform was set up in a clearing at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. The several hundred participants sincerely recited the Spiritual Rain Mantra in a solemn ceremony. It would be the first time in this country that a drought would be ended by Buddhist recitation. Most people who weren't Buddhists regarded the affair as superstitious and impossible. When the prayer ceremony ended at seven o'clock that evening, participants returned home full of faith that it would rain.
As it's said, "When one is sincere to the extreme, even gold and stone can break open." So it was no surprise when, at noon on the following day, dark clouds suddenly covered the clear blue skies, there was thunder and lightning, and then the rain started pouring down. Everyone was overjoyed, and the weather forecasters were completely perplexed. This circumstance came about in response to the extreme sincerity of people's prayers, which moved the Dragon King to take pity and send down rain when he was not supposed to, in order to save beings. The rain that ended the drought caused an uproar in San Francisco. News reporters and T.V. cameramen rushed over to conduct interviews and take pictures. The "miracle was given full coverage in the newspapers, magazines, and television. [This event has been briefly related here for the readers' information.]