R.A.I.N. is a four-step practice that helps us recognize our emotions so we can respond, not react, to challenging situations. It can assist in easing emotional confusion and suffering. Sharon Salzburg and Tara Brach are a few of my favorite meditation teachers that teach R.A.I.N.R — Recognize:
Recognize what is happening.
It is impossible to deal with an emotion—to be resilient in the face of difficulty—unless we acknowledge that we’re experiencing it. The first step is simply to notice what is coming up.
A — Acknowledge or Allow:
Allow life to be just as it is.
The second step is an extension of the first—you accept the feeling and allow it to be there. Put another way, you give yourself permission to feel it.
I — Investigate:
Investigate inner expereince with kindness.
Now you begin to ask questions and explore your emotions with a sense of openness and curiosity.
N — Non-identify or Nurture:
In the final step of RAIN, we consciously avoid being defined by (identified with) a particular feeling, even as we may engage with it.
We cannot will what thoughts and feelings arise in us. But we can recognize them as they are—sometimes recurring, sometimes frustrating, sometimes filled with fantasy, many times painful, always changing. By allowing ourselves this simple recognition, we begin to accept that we will never be able to control our experiences, but that we can transform our relationship to them. This changes everything.
- Real Love by Sharon Salzburg