Category Archives: Other Meditations

Reflection: Bringing RAIN to the Wanting Mind (11:01 min.)



Most of us have spent a lifetime fixating our desires on external objects. But if we learn to really trace them back, we discover that they are the voice of loving awareness calling us home.

We begin the meditation by briefly scanning through the body and sensing awareness of being here. We scan our life and use the acronym RAIN to Recognize a feeling of wanting, Allow it to be there, and Investigate how we’re holding the experience in our body. Then as we trace back to our longing for belonging, we Nurture a feeling of belonging as warmth, openness and tenderness that’s already here.

This is the final meditation from the full talk given on March 3, 2020, Desire and Addiction (Part 1): Voices of Longing Calling You Home.


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Blog ~ Guided Reflection: Bringing RAIN to Difficulty (text and audio)



Download in PDF: Guided Reflection: Bringing RAIN to Difficulty


Guided Reflection: Bringing RAIN to Difficulty

Sitting quietly, close your eyes and take a few full breaths. Bring to mind a current situation in which you feel stuck; one that elicits a difficult reaction such as anger or fear, shame or hopelessness. It may be a conflict with a family member, a chronic sickness, a failure at work, the pain of an addiction, a conversation you now regret. Take some moments to enter the experience—visualizing the scene or situation, remembering the words spoken, sensing the most distressing moments. Contacting the charged essence of the story is the starting place for exploring the healing presence of RAIN.

R: Recognize what is happening. As you reflect on this situation, ask yourself, “What is happening inside me right now?” What sensations are you most aware of? What emotions? Is your mind filled with churning thoughts?

Take a moment to become aware of your “felt sense” of the situation as a whole. Can you feel how the experience is living in your heart and body, as well as in your mind?

A: Allow life to be just as it is. Send a message to your heart to “let be” this entire experience. Find in yourself the willingness to pause and accept that, in these moments that what is…is. You can experiment with mentally whispering words like “yes,” “this belongs,” or “let be.”

You might find yourself saying yes to a huge inner no—to a body and mind painfully contracted in resistance. You might be saying yes to the part of you that is saying, “I hate this!” That’s a natural part of the process.

At this point in RAIN, you are simply noticing what is true, and intending not to judge, push away or control anything you find.

I: Investigate with a gentle attention. Now begin to explore what you are experiencing more closely, calling on your natural interest and curiosity about your inner life. You might ask yourself: What about this most wants my attention? or What most wants my acceptance? Pose your questions gently, your inner voice kind and inviting.

Notice where you feel the experience most distinctly in your body. Are you aware of heat, tightness, pressure, aches, squeezing? When you have found the most intense part of your physical experience, bring it into your face, letting your expression mirror, and even exaggerate, what you are feeling in your body. What emotions are you aware of as you do this? Fear? Anger? Grief? Shame?

As you continue to investigate, you might find it helpful to ask: What am I believing? If this leads to a lot of thinking, drop it. But you might find that a very distinct belief emerges almost as soon as you ask. Do you believe that you are failing in some way? That someone will reject you? That you will not be able to handle whatever is around the corner? That you really are flawed? That you will never be happy? How does this belief live in your body? What are the sensations? Tightness? Soreness? Burning? Hollowness?

As before, send the message of yes or this belongs or let be, allowing yourself to feel the fullness or intensity of the difficult experience. As you contact and allow what is happening, what do you notice? Is there any softening in your body and heart? Can you sense more openness or space? Or does the intention to allow bring up more tension, judgment and fear? Does it intensify or change what you are feeling?

Now ask the place of most difficulty: What do you most need? or How do you want me to be with you? Does this suffering part of you want understanding? Acceptance? Company? Forgiveness? Love?

N: Nurture. Let yourself attend from your most awake and wise heart. As you sense what is needed, what is your natural response? What does this vulnerable place most need to remember, experience or trust? You might offer yourself a wise message, such as I’m sorry, and I love you or Trust your goodness or It’s ok, sweetheart or I’m here, and I’m not leaving. This place might also find touch healing, and you might gently place your hand on your heart.

Feel free to experiment with ways of befriending your inner life–whether through words or touch, images or energy. Discover how your attention might become more intimate and loving.

After the RAIN. As you offer this unconditional, kind presence to your inner life, sense the possibility of relaxing back and being that awareness. Get familiar with the quality of presence that is here. Like an ocean with waves on the surface, feel yourself as the tender, wakeful openness that includes this changing life.

Can you sense how “who you are” is not identified by or hitched to any particular wave of fear or anger or hurt? Can you sense how the waves on the surface belong to your experience, but cannot injure or alter the measureless depth and vastness of your being?

Take some moments, as long as you’d like, to simply rest in this spacious and kind awareness, allowing whatever arises in your body or mind to freely come and go. Know this natural awareness as the innermost truth of what you are.

Adapted from True Refuge by Tara Brach


More resources on RAIN, including guided meditations here.

Meditation using RAIN in audio below and here: Meditation: The RAIN of Compassion (30:00 min.)


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RAIN on Blame: A Guided Meditation (14:40 min.)



When we are stuck in blame or resentment we are in a trance – the other person becomes an unreal bad other, and our own sense of being contracts into a victimized self, an angry self, a righteous self. Using the acronym RAIN, this practice guides us in bringing mindfulness and compassion to our inner experience, and then to viewing the other with a more open and clear heart.  By awakening from the trance of blame, we are able to respond with intelligence and care to the unmet needs that underlie all conflict.

From the conclusion of Belonging to Each Other – Part 2. Listen to the full talk here.


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Reflection: Pausing and Deepening Attention in the Face of Attachment (10:48 min.)



In this short reflection, we explore how we can bring mindfulness and self-compassion to the habits of obsessing, over-consuming and hurting ourselves and others that keep us from true happiness, connectedness and peace.

The happiness we seek is available in the moments when there is really no clinging, there is simply openness and presence and ease.

Listen to the full talk, “The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Working with Attachments and Addictions.”

Without desire everything is sufficient.
With seeking myriad things are impoverished.
Plain vegetables can soothe hunger.
A patched robe is enough to cover this bent old body.
Alone I hike with the deer.
Cheerfully I sing with village children.
The stream under the cliff cleanses my ears.
The pine on the mountain top fits my heart

Zen Poet, Ryokan


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Meditation: RAIN on Self-Blame (9:45 min.)



One of the greatest roots of suffering is being at war with ourselves. This meditation, based on the acronym RAIN (recognize-allow-investigate-nurture), guides us in releasing the armoring of blame, and relating to our inner life with greater understanding and compassion.

“Letting yourself sense the space of kindness and presence that can arise that can hold what’s there. And you might ask yourself, “Who would you be if you trusted your goodness? Who would you be if you sensed there is nothing really wrong? How would your life be if you were without anxiety about non-perfection, if you basically trusted okayness?”

Listen to the full talk here: Forgiveness: Releasing Ourselves and Others from Aversive Blame – Part 1

More Resources on RAIN here.


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Meditation: Awakening the Heart – Giving and Receiving Loving Blessings (11:07 min.)



Our hearts awaken as we express and receive love in an embodied, conscious way. This guided practice brings our attention to dear ones in our life, and explores how we discover deep communion through offering and letting in love.

NOTE: This meditation is a favorite from the archives – from the end of the talk, “Bodhichitta – The Awakened Heart – Part 2.

“To love someone is to learn the song in their heart and sing it to them when they have forgotten.” Arne Garborg


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Reflection: Learning to Stay (4:41 min.)



We open the door to healing by bringing a mindful and kind attention to inner vulnerability and fear…

“Learning to stay opens up the space that gives us our life. That’s when it becomes real with our inner life… with others. Let’s do a brief reflection on this.

Closing your eyes and just to take a pause together. Notice what’s right here. What is happening inside me right now? That question… and… Can I let it be? Can I let it be just as it is?

One sage asked, “What have we been unwilling to feel?” You might sense and scan your life a little, and sense… What’s going on that you’ve been in some way not wanting to feel? What vulnerability? What fear? What sorrow?

For these moments let your intention be just to stay a bit… to offer that attention that can truly transform.

You might deepen your attention a little and feel where whatever might be vulnerable… might be scared… might be sad… is living in your body.

Just for these few moments, offer a genuinely kind attention. And that means that if you’d like to also offer a gesture of kindness – that can be a really powerful part of staying – simply putting your hand in your heart… two hands on your heart so that you are really communicating inwardly, I’m here right now. I’m here and attending. I’m with you.

Notice what changes… in just a few moments of offering attention to something that you might habitually pull away from.

Rumi says, “Keep your gaze on the wounded place. This is where the light enters.”

Sensing what happens as you offer your presence, and perhaps noticing more of what I sometimes call heart space… that you’re resting in a more open, tender awareness.

This is the first pathway. Learning to stay begins to open us to our secret beauty… to that tenderness… that compassion… or as Thomas Merton says, “To the divine that shines through.”

Now as you like, you can relax your hands down if your hands have been on your heart and open your eyes if you’d like.”

Listen and watch the full talk: “Secret Beauty – Seeing the Goodness” – Solstice Evening


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Meditation: Blessings of Love (11:28 min)



A blessing is whatever reminds us of the sacred loving presence that shines through all of us. This meditation is a transformational practice in receiving and offering blessings. First we connect with the vulnerable tender place within us that longs to feel loved, and call on loving presence to bless us. By imagining and allowing ourselves to receive love, our hearts become open and filled with light. We then bring that inner loving presence fully alive as we offer blessings to other beings. The image of receiving a kiss on the brow, and offering one, is suggested as a powerful channel for the blessings that awaken our heart. (from the end of Bodhichitta – the Awakened Heart – Part 1 talk on same evening)

“…being loved into being more who we are is a moment of blessing. What is a blessing? A blessing is a reminder or homecoming into more realness – more love. We’re blessed when we remember.”

“Part of what keeps us from realness – in that small self identity – is the avoiding of what’s here.”


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Tara Talks: Guided Reflection on Inhabiting This Body (12:50 min)



When we are not inhabiting our bodies, we are not experiencing our full aliveness. When pain arises, how much can you open to it and let it be as it is? Just like waves in the ocean, pain and unpleasant sensations are part of the larger space of our lived experience. Loving presence arises when we can say, “This belongs.”

For Tara’s full talk, go to: Awakening Our Body’s Awareness – Part 2 – (Working with Pain)



Tara Talks – Reflection: The Practice of Savoring As a Gateway to Happiness (5:53 min.)



It is radical and transformative to pause and sense the goodness that is right here in this moment. When we experience gladness for simple things, we know we really can be happy for no reason.

I hope you enjoy this short reflection on how savoring our moments can help decondition the brain’s negativity bias and lead to a greater sense of happiness and well-being.

Listen to and watch the full talk: Happiness Is Possible: De-conditioning the Negativity Bias – Part 2