Make it RAIN

There are many tools beyond meditation that can support our mindfulness practice in everyday situations. One such tool uses the acronym RAIN. 


Through one of my favourite mindfulness and meditation teachers, I have learned to use this process and have been able to offer this type of support to people with whom I work.

RAIN can be employed in any circumstance and helps us reflect on an experience or situation in the present, while it is happening. But as with most mindfulness practices, we must have the awareness in the moment in order to utilise its benefits.

To offer a generic example: One of many times I was on the tube headed to an appointment. The tube was stopped at a station for longer than usual, and in my personal opinion too much time had passed without an announcement or explanation for still being there.

Recognise. I recognised that I was becoming extremely impatient. 

Allow. I became aware of my impatience and let myself just feel what that means to be impatient in that moment. And in doing so I could let that energy flow through me without projecting it onto anyone else, like the conductor or other passengers.

Investigate. This is the step at which there is a tendency for people to become very analytical. That is not what is meant by the term. The investigation starts and ends with ourselves. That means that I was not trying to figure out why we were stopped, rather I was trying to get to the bottom of my annoyance. It was simple in the end. I was annoyed and impatient, because I had to be at a meeting. It was important to be punctual for that meeting, but I had tried to squeeze in some last minute things and left for the meeting with just enough time for a punctual arrival. But only if everything ran smoothly and without delay. So in actuality, my annoyance was with myself.

Non-judgment (or non-attachment). There is no need to wait until the end for this step. It works best if used throughout the process. In mindfulness we are learning to be aware and to be conscious without judging. Judgment blocks transformation. Release from attaching to notions of right/wrong, good/bad, positive/negative etc.

With these steps it becomes possible to remain present in any situation, allowing oneself to feel whatever it is coming up yet, at the same time, channeling that energy into understanding. 

Make it RAIN and let the change come in.