Updated: Jan 16
Hè hè, you're sitting. You found a good spot and made some time to enjoy your meditation. You now know what visitors are, so you are ready! Or maybe not? The RAIN method is a useful thing to hold on to during your meditations. It will help you to deal with annoying visitors that you just don't know what to do with.
I don't know for sure who came up with the method first. I think it might have been Tara Brach Though I might be totally wrong. I learned the method during my meditation teacher training so I will explain it the way I learned it.
Each lettre in the word RAIN stands for a word. Being:
The words give you the order in which you can deal with your visitor. They are stept you can take and that will help you while dealing with your visitor.
During your meditation you have the intention to stay with your anchor, often this will be your breath. It's only natural that at some point you are going to be distracted. The first step would be to recognize the fact that there is a visitor, something that is distracting you. Recognize what happens and that you aren't able to stay with your original anchor with your attention. It's important not to get frustrated because you were distracted. The fact that you now are aware is what it's all about. It means that now you are aware, even though you lost it for a bit. So it's all part of the meditationpractice. Now you try to become the observer. You observe what is happening.
After noticing that you were distracted comes the next step, acceptation. You accept that there is a visitor, that there is something that distracts you. You accept the situation as it is. You don't get frustrated because you were distracted or with the thing that distracted you in the first place but you accept is as a part of the meditationpractice.
Then it's time to investigate. Here you still are the observer, this will help you not to go right back into that distraction head first. Questions you could ask yourself are:
How do I relate to my visitor?
Is this a visitor that comes back often?
Do I have any judgements about my visitor and can I let go of them?
At first you most likely will ask yourself these questions quite literally. After a while you are suppose to go about them in a more intuitive way. You observe what happens, stay in the role of observer. That the question might look more like this:
What is the visitor?
What is my stat of mind like with this visitor? Positive, neutral or negative?
What can I detect in my body? How does this state of mind express itself in my body?
You no longer go into what your visitor is but what it does with you. You observe what happens to you. You might notice there are continuous changes. The only constant is change. It goes for this world, your life and your meditationpractice. And if you even go a little deeper, also in what you observe during your meditationpractice.
You are not your thoughts, you are not what you feel. You are the observer. You are now going away form the naming or even the intuitively analyzing, you just observe. There is nothing but observing. You might notice that your visitor isn't that strong anymore and might even dissolve into the background. Now you can go back to your original anchor, in this case your breath.
Of course you can play with this a little. You don't have to stay with these steps. When you just start you also will be more focused on it but after a while you will notice that you are going through it without thinking about it too much. And you probably don't even need all of the steps all of the time.
That was it for today. Don't forget that RAIN can also be used outside of your meditationpractice, as a mindfulness-technique. For now, good-luck with the next steps on your bridge and I wish you all the happiness and an amazing rest of your day.