The R.A.I.N. approach, originally developed by senior mindfulness teacher Michele McDonald, is a great tool to utilize in your Mindfulness/Vipassana practice. Use it when you’re overwhelmed and need to regather your inner resources to respond rather than react to your current situation.
If an intense experience floods you with emotion and you feel lost in its energy, practice the following steps:
- R: Recognize: Recognize whatever is arising in your present experience. If there is anger, and fear, or physical pain, or desire present, recognize whatever is true in your experience right now.
- A: Accept and Allow: Accept and allow your experience to be here just as it is. By accepting and allowing, we stop the internal warfare based in aversion or craving, thus reducing the propensity for added suffering.
- I: Investigate or Inquire: Investigate or inquire into your experience with kindness. What sensations, emotions, beliefs, etc can be seen while you bring curiosity to your experience?
- N: Natural Awareness/Non-Identification: Natural awareness is an awareness that is not identified with your “self” and does not take a situation personally. When you catch yourself taking your experience personally, pull back into natural loving awareness.