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R.A.I.N. is an acronym for an insight/vipassana meditation technique created by meditation teacher Michelle McDonald and further developed by the meditation teacher Tara Brach. It is a powerful way to expand self-awareness, especially when faced with challenging situations, emotions, sensations and thoughts. Sometimes, through the development of our psyche and the unmindful busyness of our lives, we become blind to the deeper influences and motivations that are moving us. These hidden emotions and intentions become the source of habitual reactions, feelings of inadequacy, hurt, anger and sadness. The RAIN technique is a way to bring these buried emotions, sensations and thoughts to the light of our awareness, in a place of safety and compassion.
The process is similar to the STOP technique, as it begins with pausing to allow yourself to take stock with what is actually happening and ends with an expansion of natural awareness, which occurs after pausing and gently turning your attention inward. The difference between STOP and RAIN is that this technique allows for a gentle investigation into what emotions, sensations or thoughts are occurring within you in the present moment.
The STOP technique comes from the Mindfulness Bases Stress Reduction program and is a useful and effective way to bring you back to your breath and into presence. When you are struggling with keeping presence in a difficult situation, or if you would like to explore more deeply an emotion, sensation or thought that is interfering with your meditation practice, this technique can provide a structure for support to guide you back to presence and clarity. It can be utilized anywhere and only takes a minute or two to practice.
A blog by Ven. Do'an Prajna and Lotus Heart Zen sangha members.
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