How to Use RAIN

These words of wisdom from Teah Strozer talk about how getting started on a spiritual path take courage. The main thrust of the article, however, was how to use RAIN.

RAIN is an acronym for a four part meditation procedure developed initially by Insight Meditation Society teacher Michele McDonald and more thoroughly discussed by Diana Winston in Wide Awake: A Buddhist Guide for Teens and Tara Brach in her book, True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart. This procedure has been used by many people to gain insight into dealing with the difficult emotions, sensations, and thoughts that bring us suffering.

The Path of Freedom | April 6, 2015

Getting started on a spiritual path takes guts. We usually don’t know it in the beginning, but if we keep going on it—if we really want to know the truth of what it means to be human or if we are deeply finished with our suffering—we will learn that walking the path of freedom takes a humble courage. It also takes determination, humor, a balanced effort, and the willingness to feel, directly in our body, the suffering brought by attachment to our conditioned thoughts, which create separation, dis-ease, and the greed and aversion we usually use to seek happiness.

– Teah Strozer, “RAIN”


I first learned about RAIN in the series of interviews by Rick Hanson called The Neuroscience Of Compassion when he interviewed Tara Brach. I’ve used it in my own practice when I faced a difficult situation.

For example, on April 6, I took a long walk in between errands and felt a little tired and anxious in the beginning. I Recognized my anxiety and experienced the felt meaning of the experience. I then began to Accept the feeling and began to Investigate its causes. I felt some uneasiness about getting everything done for my upcoming trip to Spain. Once I realized that I still had several days to get things done, I dropped the anxiety (Non-identified from it) and went on to do walking meditation for the next hour and one-half!

Have you worked with RAIN? What kind of results did you achieve? Please share.

Books by Tara Brach

True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart

Tara Brach

How do you cope when facing life-threatening illness, family conflict, faltering relationships, old trauma, obsessive thinking, overwhelming emotion, or inevitable loss? If you’re like most people, chances are you react with fear and confusion, falling back on timeworn strategies: anger, self-judg… [Read More…]

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