Meditation is the training of the mind, the consciousness, by concentrating on some object. "It can be anything - contemplating a flower, repeating a word or a movement," says the expert. - Moreover, almost everyone has meditated at least once in their life without realising it. But if you're a beginner, it's better to do everything according to the rules developed by experts in psycho-techniques - then meditation will give the maximum benefit.
Benefits of RAIN Meditation
The RAIN technique was developed over 20 years ago by meditation teacher Michelle McDonald. RAIN is an acronym for Recognise, Allow, Investigate and Non-Identification. It has become a favourite technique of many meditation teachers and psychotherapists for dealing with stress, anxiety and other uncomfortable feelings.
- Happiness. RAIN meditation gives and enhances positive emotions and also helps to get rid of stress, depression and anxiety. The more we meditate, the less we worry, and this is because we loosen the connections of certain neural pathways.
- Health. Frequent practice increases antibody production, improving immunity, easing pain, helping to reduce inflammation at the cellular level and, as a study by Herbert Benson found, reducing the incidence of headaches by 35%.
- Self-control. RAIN meditation teaches you how to manage your emotions and thus helps you cope with bad habits and dangerous addictions. Researchers at Yale University recently found that a 4-week mindfulness training programme reduced cigarette consumption in smokers by 90%, while 35% quit smoking altogether.
- Social life. By meditating, you won't feel lonely, you'll learn compassion and empathy for others, and you'll become more social. The National Institute of Health has found that meditation can promote the release of endorphins, thereby boosting self-esteem, and studies by Madhav Goyal have shown that meditation is as effective as antidepressants in preventing depression.
The benefits of a daily rain meditation practice
- Helps you get rid of accumulated stress and prevents it from occurring states of happiness and contentment become natural
- All the senses become more receptive (your sight, hearing, smell and taste are heightened)
- Improves intuition
- You are able to control your anger
- The ability to make good decisions improves
How to Practice RAIN
How does it work? Let's look at what a typical session looks like using Tara Brach's RAIN meditation approach:
- Not Identify with
Those who have studied practical psychology will not be surprised by this technique, but I found it interesting to see such a simple methodology and formalisation of rules of work. In this age of abundance of information we want to receive clear and comprehensible guides to action.
So how does RAIN work? When recognising involvement in a negative emotion, there are 4 steps to follow:
- Recognize - Recognize the emotion
At this point, you'll need your "feeling detector" honed by regular practice. You need to understand where the negative comes from, what caused it. This kind of analysis sometimes yields surprising things. You may think that the source of your bad mood was the driver who just cut you off, but then you find that the offense is rooted in the morning, from a negative conversation with someone close to you.
- Accept - accept the emotion
At this point, you have to let go of the feeling. Acknowledge your bad mood, don't blame yourself for being sad or weak. Being self-condemned will only make you feel worse.
After confessing, not only examine the emotion more closely, but also your reaction to it. Why did some situation or thought knock you so out of alignment with a colleague? Are these situations perhaps recurring? Is it possible to influence them or is this area beyond your influence? Then try to change your attitude towards the situation.
- Stop identifying with
The most important step in my opinion. At this step you need to clearly understand that the negative situation, the mistakes of the past are a certain burden. How to deal with this burden is up to us. Carry it on you all day, all week or all your life, or stop associating a small piece of your story with your whole personality, the richness of your inner and outer world.
Make it RAIN
The combination of knowledge, understanding and practice makes life whole. When you grow to higher states of consciousness, you feel that you no longer lose your inner equilibrium from the effects of different situations and troubles. You are filled with beauty and strength at the same time - a fragile, delicate and beautiful blossoming flower, capable of unconditionally accepting and accommodating a variety of life's values. For the spiritual seeker in you, meditation is a way of moving beyond your body and mind to experience the deeper aspects of your being.
Why not try RAIN? All you will lose is a few minutes of your day. In return, you'll improve your ability to engage with your moment-to-moment experiences, break free from the grip of fear and reduce the impact of difficult emotions.