RAINS Meditation for Happiness

On October 21, 2021, I introduced this RAINS Meditation for Happiness to my colleagues in the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program (MMTCP) with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach and I am offering a version of it tonight for my class in How to Use Mindfulness to Be Happy. The acronym RAIN has been used by Buddhist teachers such as Tara Brach and Michele McDonald. Tara’s formulation is used in the MMTCP. Tara writes,

The acronym RAIN is an easy-to-remember tool for practicing mindfulness and compassion using the following four steps:
• Recognize what is going on
• Allow the experience to be there, just as it is
• Investigate with interest and care
• Nourish with self-compassion
You can take your time and explore RAIN as a standalone meditation or move through the steps whenever challenging feelings arise.


In RAINS meditation for happiness, we use the following steps:

  • Recall at time when you were especially joyful and / or happy
  • Allow the memory to fill you with great joy or happiness
  • Imagine the situation in as much detail as possible
  • Nurture your experience as long as you are able
  • Savor the experience to review and appreciate it

RAINS Meditation

Steps for RAINS Meditation

Here are the detailed steps for RAINS meditation for happiness. Spend as much time in each step that is comfortable for you.

  1. If you like and have a bell handy, please invite the bell one to three times.
  2. Withdraw yourself into yourself and become aware of your  body. Note there is a body! You might say to this body, “Be safe and secure, strong and healthy.” Stay with the body as long as necessary to become grounded.
  3. Now bring a joyful or happy time to mind, the R of RAINS. It could be a wonderful trip to an exotic place or some time in nature or being with a group of loving friends and / or family. Maybe you choose a random act of kindness or a time of great generosity or something that you were especially grateful for. Maybe a time that you experienced flow in your work or hobby.
  4. Now just simply allowing the memory to fill you with great joy or happiness – A of RAINS.
  5. Next, try investigating or imagining the causes and conditions that brought this memory alive – I of RAIN. What was it about the experience that captured your attention? Who was there? What happened? How did it happen? What was the weather like? How does it feel in your body to renew the feelings of the happy experience?
  6. Nurture the experience – the N of RAINS.Allow the experience to nurture you. What do you need to do to allow these feeling to arise again? What is it like being with these feelings of happiness and joy? Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh would say, “When the wholesome seed of joy comes into mind consciousness, cultivate and nurture this seed with kindness and allow it to remain.” The Buddha would say, “When the awakening factor of joy is present, be aware.”
  7. Savor this experience so that you can feel it again – S of RAINS. Pay attention to and enjoying the pleasant sensations. Learn to focus on positive daily experiences. Spend a much
  8. If you like, invite a closing bell.

When you are finished, you are welcome to submit your comments in an email to me.

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