Rain always makes me more aware of my emotional state, leading me inwards to investigate anything I might be holding too tightly to.
RAIN is also an acronym for a wonderful mindfulness practice that cuts through confusion and stress, giving us somewhere to turn in a painful moment……as we strengthen our capacity to come home to our deepest truth.
R – Recognize what is happening
A – Allow life to be just as it is
I – Investigate inner experience with kindness
N – Non-Identification.
This practice (described below) is something I do on a daily basis as I collaborate with the natural world around me……helping me to know myself and the patterns I create in my life.
This process is from Tara Brach’s book: True Refuge: Finding Peace & Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart (Bantam, 2013)
Recognize what is happening:
Recognition is seeing what is true in your inner life. It starts the minute you focus your attention on whatever thoughts, emotions, feelings or sensations are arising right here and now. You will discover that some parts of your experience are easier to connect with than others. For example, you might recognize anxiety right away, but if you focus on your worried thoughts, you might not notice the actual sensations of squeezing, pressure or tightness arising in the body. On the other hand, if your body is gripped by jittery nervousness, you might not recognize that this physical response is being triggered by your underlying belief that you are about to fail. You can awaken recognition simply by asking yourself: “What is happening inside me right now?” Call on your natural curiosity as you focus inward.
Allow life to be just as it is:
Allowing means “letting be” the thoughts, emotions, feelings or sensations you discover. You may feel a natural sense of aversion, of wishing that unpleasant feelings would go away, but as you become more willing to be present with “what is,” a different quality of attention will emerge.
It may be helpful to support your resolve to “let be” by mentally whispering an encouraging word or phrase such as “yes” or “I consent”, when you feel the grip of fear or the swelling of deep grief. At first you might feel you’re just “putting up” with unpleasant emotions or sensations…..but, offer the phrase gently and patiently, and in time your defences will relax.
Investigate with Kindness:
Some times the simple intention to recognize and allow is not enough. For instance, if you are in the thick of a divorce, about to lose a job or dealing with a life threatening illness, you may be easily overwhelmed by intense feelings as these feelings are triggered over and over again.
Investigation means calling on your natural interest—the desire to know truth—and directing a more focused attention to your present experience. We have a natural resistance to feeling uncomfortable and unsafe and we want to escape the thoughts that swarm in our head; leave the pain in our body and judge what is happening.
In order for investigation to be healing and freeing, we need to approach our experience with gentle attention…….“Investigate with kindness.”
Imagine that your child comes home in tears after being bullied at school. In order to find out what happened and how your child is feeling, you have to offer a kind, receptive, gentle attention. Bringing that same kindness to your inner life makes inquiry, and ultimately healing, possible.
Realise Non-identification; Rest in Natural Awareness:
Non-identification means that your sense of who you are is not fused with or defined by any limited set of emotions, sensations or stories. When identification with the small self is loosened, we begin to intuit and live from the openness and love that express our natural awareness.
To read further on this process visit here is the link to Tara’s blog