15 Jun Let it RAIN
When Sarah entered the room, I knew that something had happened. Her face, usually relaxed and smiling, now unveiled pain and upset. I could feel the heaviness she carried on her shoulders.
Do you know those heavy days when the whole world rests on your shoulders? When everything looks grey and foggy? When you just want to hide and snuggle under the duvet and hope for miracles?
On days like this I pray for RAIN.
This was one of those days for Sarah.
I’ve discovered RAIN more than 5 years ago when I read the book “True Refuge’ by Tara Brach. Since then I have gifted RAIN many times in many sessions with many people. And many times, I used it myself.
I LOVE RAIN.
RAIN gives us somewhere to turn in a painful moment. Like the clear, blue sky and clean, refreshed air after a cooling rain, it brings openness and calm to our daily lives.
RAIN is an acronym for the four-step process that can help us when we resist our experience. It doesn’t matter if you are drowning in sorrow, lashing out in anger, lighting a cigarette, reaching for another drink or spiralling into your obsessive thinking.
In this moment… THE ONLY WAY OUT IS IN.
Let RAIN help you…
R – Recognise what is happening
A – Allow life to be just as it is
I – Investigate inner experience with kindness
N – Nourishing non-identification
Recognise what is happening:
This is about seeing what is happening in our inner life. It starts the moment we focus our attention on whatever thoughts, emotions, feelings or sensations are arising for us in this moment.
We can simply ask: “What is happening inside me right now?”
And then just take a moment to focus inwardly with curiosity and listen in a kind, receptive way to our bodies and hearts.
Allow life to be just as it is:
Allowing means letting be. Whatever we discover – let it be. Thoughts, emotions, feelings, sensations, circumstances – let it be. Relax into it. If you can take a step further and surrender into it …
At first, we may feel uncomfortable and wish for all those unpleasant feelings to go away, but as we become more willing to be with what is happening … as we are able to relax into what is happening and to whatever we are feeling … we can start noticing that unpleasantness slowly subsides…
Investigate with kindness:
Often, the first two steps of RAIN are enough to provide us with relief and reconnect us with ourselves.
Other times, it may not be enough. For instance, if we are going through an especially difficult time and are easily and repeatedly overwhelmed by intense feelings, we may need it to RAIN a little longer.
Investigation means calling on your desire to know truth. We might ask ourselves:
- What most wants my attention?
- How am I experiencing this in my body? or What am I believing right now?
- What does this feeling or this situation want from me?
- How can this serve my growth?
- What is the gift in this?
And just listen for what arises. Just keep noticing what this enquiry takes you. All we need to do is to offer a gentle and kind welcome to whatever surfaces.
Nourishing non-identification is about understanding that our sense of who we are is not fused with or defined by any thoughts, emotions, sensations or stories. All experience, however difficult, is transient. It simply passes through us… just like weather… clouds… just like rain…
There’s nothing to do for this last part of RAIN – just resting, nourishing yourself and surrendering to whatever is moving through you… realisation arises spontaneously on its own as we relax, open and surrender to whatever is showing up…
The more we allow ourselves to rest in this simple awareness, the more we begin to live from the openness, love and freedom.
And that’s my wish for us all,
With Love and RAIN