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Mindless to Mindful: Finding Your Way to Presence with the New and Updated RAIN

Mindfulness Posts

MIndfulness, Meditation, Mindful Practice and Activities

Mindless to Mindful: Finding Your Way to Presence with the New and Updated RAIN

Bev Alldridge

Are you familiar with RAIN and how it is a powerful tool in your mindfulness practice? Did you know it has been updated? Read on for more.

BACKGROUND:

Like you, I’m a work in progress. I snack to distract myself from whatever is going on that I don’t want to feel at that moment.  Recently, I found myself ‘finishing off’ a plate of sweets rather than putting them away. I realized that it wasn’t a great idea, but mindlessly need to have the sweets.  Afterwards I was pretty hard on myself..

I was caught up in habitual behaviour and forgot that I had tools readily at my disposal to bring me back to the present. One of the most powerful tools is called RAIN.  The acronym RAIN and was first coined about 25 years ago by Michele McDonald, and recently updated. Credit to Tara Brach for her explanation of these changes.

WHAT IS RAIN?

  • an easy-to-remember tool for practicing mindfulness;

  • a strategy to find your way back to presence when caught up in emotions and thoughts;

WHAT IS IT MADE UP OF?

Four steps:

R---Recognize what is going on (roots of understanding);
A---Allow the experience to be there, just as it is (grounds of love);
I---Investigate with gentle attention (depends understanding);
N---Nurture (awakens love)

After the RAIN: realizing you are not your emotions – a freedom from narrowly identifying yourself as such and instead experiencing the freedom of wisdom of being a witness to your experiences rather than a victim or slave to them

WHEN DO I USE IT?

  • as a stand-alone meditation; or

  • when difficult feelings arise; or,

  • when you recognize the cues to reacting to addictive or other behaviour (e.g. distracting self through shopping, time spent on-line, snacking.)

WHY IS IT EFFECTIVE?

It interrupts our habitual patterns and begins to put some space between the trigger and your habitual or mindless response. Instead, you have the space and opportunity to respond in a more measured and thoughtful way.

HOW DO I PRACTICE?

You can

  • do this on your own, or

  • follow a guided practice such as this one.

WHAT DO I WANT TO BE MINDFUL OF WHILE PRACTICING RAIN?

RAIN is not a mental activity. It is about feelings and senses. With practice it becomes easier to recognize that who we are is not identified by our emotions and thoughts. This is the opening to experiencing your life in a different way—in a manner of being more connected and in tune.

Each of the three 9”x12” panels in oil has 5 sections which coincide with an element of RAIN.

Each of the three 9”x12” panels in oil has 5 sections which coincide with an element of RAIN.

WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT RAIN?

Tara Brach discusses RAIN here as well as offers some guided meditations and talks.

P.S. If you’re new to mindfulness get my FREE Beginner’s Guide HERE.

P.P.S If you have any subjects you’d like covered in the FAQ section, please let me know.

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