While face-to-face contact is out right now, and this is incredibly hard, this is a time for choosing to focus on new positive activities. My ‘aha’ choice has been to take the time to read Tara Brach’s latest book, “Radical Compassion – learning to love yourself and your world with the Practice of RAIN”! I have savoured every page – its a book to re-read and come back to often. Tara uses gentle but deep wisdom and real-life stories to illustrate the wonderful value of RAIN, noting that a lot of the time we can be in a trance-like below the line state of awareness (preoccupied with thoughts) and not ‘in presence’ to ourselves and others. Practicing RAIN can strengthen our ability to be present and to manage everyday more clearly and fully effectively.
R = recognise what you are experiencing/the discomfort. “What’s happening inside me?” Am I in the trance of ‘unworthiness’?
A= allow the experience to be there, accept it (eg “hello frustration – you belong right now” can whisper “Its OK”)
I = Investigate (with kindness) where, in the body, that feeling shows up (could be in throat, chest, belly, forehead)
N= nurture your feelings with compassion (may put a hand on your heart, link to higher or future self to reassure the hurting part of yourself)
After the rain = sit with/soak up the calm feelings, recognize the ‘gold’/good within yourself. Notice the sense of who you are is enlarged
Grow Awareness above the trance of
Once you have mastered/wired-in RAIN as a strategy, Tara adds a pared-down practice to use in-the-moment once you have mastered rain (which can be invaluable in these challenging days) ie PSTR
P = Pause for presence – to keep above the trance line and be present (even when your child/another is pushing your buttons) Note: what is going on for them right now?
S = Say ‘yes’ to what’s here (open your heart to accept what’s going on) – smile, recognize and allow.
T = Turn towards love – set your intention to turn toward love when you have unsettled feelings, say “May I be safe/happy/calm/well” or imagine a loved one sending you a caring message. When you feel warmed by this, send out care to others, through a message or image
R = rest in awareness, close your eyes and notice the foreground of what you are experiencing (thoughts, sensations, images sounds, notice your own presence Brief moments, many times a day.
Tara freely shares a lot of wisdom on Youtube eg