Meeting Difficult Moments with RAIN
Mindfulness training generally reduces rumination and worry by helping us see our thoughts and emotions with a little more space, and by providing us with tools such as breath and body awareness to work with our attention.
And yet we also do carry difficult internal issues. We do face serious life challenges. While resting more in the present moment helps, we also need tools to face our challenges.
It’s helpful to include practices that embrace the difficulty of life and turn towards the challenges we face (and too often worry, fret, and ruminate over).
The practice of RAIN one of these practices. The acronym R.A.I.N. can remind us of a wise way to meet difficult situations with mindfulness and kindness towards ourselves and others.
"R" Recognize what is happening. See it more deeply. Feel it for what it is. What is the challenge your facing? Recognize.
"A" Allow and Accept. What is, is. We can shed some of our resistance and aversion and allow and
accept the challenge to be a part of our lives? Allow and Accept.
"I" Investigate your inner experience. Deeping more deeply still. What are the feelings behind the
feelings? How does this challenge manifest in the body? Drop into the spaciousness of mindfulness practice and Investigate.
"N" Non-identification. Don’t let this difficulty define you. All humans have challenges. All humans make mistakes. Bad things happen. Consider that this challenge might not be
your fault, while it is still your responsibility to find a way to meet it wise. It’s just a challenge, it isn’t the all of you. And it’s not just you anyway, consider that just like you many other people face a similar challenge to yours. Everything is workable. Non- identification.
RAIN directly de-conditions the habitual ways in which we resist our moment-to- moment experience and turn away from our challenges. It doesn’t matter whether you resist “what is” by lashing out in anger, by having a drink, or by getting immersed in obsessive thinking. Our attempts to control the life within and around us actually cuts us off from your ours hearts and from this living world. RAIN begins to undo these unconscious patterns as soon as we take the first step.
(Content/text from Mindfulness Northwest, used with permission)