Register, Allow, Inspect, Noursh-guided mindfulness meditation for feeling emotion (R.A.I.N.)

I (finally!) recorded the “RAIN”-meditation I use in the intro course to mindfulness meditation, week 3. People either love it or hate it. I have recorded it for people who loved it. Or those who want to try a R.A.I.N.-meditation for the first time. And of course those who hated it might want to give it another go.

R.A.I.N. meditations assist with exploring icky feelings and bodily sensations we usually don’t want, label as negative, prefer to ignore, push away or try to fix. R.A.I.N. is an excellent tool for persistent emotions that keep gnawing or are repetitively triggered.

R is for recognise (the feeling) or register the feeling; starting by noticing there’s “something there”. A is for allowing it to be there, recognising that whatever you feel is  okay (even when it doesn’t feel okay). Allowing leaves the judgement outside the door. I is for investigating or inspecting, getting to know the feeling; it’s qualities, it’s location in the body, it’s associated thinking patterns. And finally, N is for non-identification (I feel this, but the feeling is not who I am. It’s a passing thing and it doesn’t define me, even though it seems temporarily part of me) or N for nourishment. In this guided meditation we use Register, Inspect, Allow and Nourish.

If you are new to using guided RAIN meditations, don’t try and tackle the “biggest” emotion straightaway and don’t start with the toughest upheaval. Practice this technique first. Begin with feeling (from a situation) that is mildly unpleasant, something not too threatening. Perhaps the feelings arising from a quarrel with a colleague, for instance, or an impatience with your neighbour, irritations from an encounter with a stranger in the supermarket, or something such as a slight sensation of restlessness that can be felt present somewhere in the body, like a persistent background noise. While it’s often external events, conditions, encounters that seem to elicit feelings/emotions/sensations, whatever goes on in you is still yours, you own it. With kindness we acknowledge they’re our perceptions and interpretations.

As with other (guided) mindfulness meditation sessions, these formal sitting times are to ‘build up muscle’, a muscle of emotional strength and curious kindness. Not only to be able to “tackle”, or rather “be with” bigger feelings over time, but also to build the skill to use these R.A.I.N.-tools ‘on the fly’, ‘in the world’, out in the wild, whenever you might need or want to use them. Until they become second nature – with awareness.

Unlike psychological or behavioural approaches, you are not asked to analyse or overthink your feelings/emotions/sensations. You “RAIN” them! This is important to remember. To remember to just feel and notice. Use breath where needed to focus awareness on the body whenever attention gets stuck in the mind. Write to me with any questions!

Click here to access this guided mindfulness meditation, stored on Soundcloud. It is about 14 minutes long, but of course you can use it multiple times a day if you feel to. The session ends with three tinkles of a meditation bell.