Buddhist psychology views clinging as the source of suffering, and one of the great domains of clinging is compulsive overeating. For most of us the causes and conditions for compulsive overeating existed before we were born, during our early childhood, and in our surrounding society. We begin to release shame and self-aversion by realizing we are not alone in this suffering; and eating addiction is not “our fault.” The talk includes an exploration of how, through RAIN, we can bring mindfulness and self-compassion to compulsive eating, giving us more choice in our behavior. Ultimately we discover that this deep prison of suffering can become a portal to realizing the freedom our true nature.
This talk offers an in-depth exploration of RAIN, applying the wings of mindfulness and compassion to painful domains of trance. We bring special attention to the fruit of RAIN, the realization of who we are beyond any limiting identity.
This talk was given at the 2018 IMCW Spring 7-day Retreat at the Pearlstone Center in Reisterstown, MD.
For more resources on RAIN: https://www.tarabrach.com/rain/.
This guided practice applies mindfulness and self-compassion to challenging emotions. It is based on the acronym RAIN, and provides a four step practice that is accessible and effective, even at those times when mindfulness is most difficult to remember.
The acronym RAIN is one of the most powerful tools I know for working with difficult emotions and discovering the freedom of an awake, compassionate presence.
The 4-steps of RAIN are:
- Recognize what is happening;
- Allow the experience to be there, just as it is;
- Investigate with interest and care;
- Nurture with self-compassion.
After RAIN, it’s important to simply notice your own presence and rest in that open, tender space of awareness. When we are no longer identified with passing states like fear or anger, we begin to realize who we are beyond any limiting identity.
The short audio and video below provide step-by-step instructions on how to use this powerful practice when facing your own life challenges. I hope you find it helpful!
Audio of full talk: Dissolving Trance with RAIN
One of the pervasive expressions of trance is identifying with a limited and separate sense of self. This talk contrasts the self-trance to our intrinsically open, awake and loving awareness. We then explore how the mindfulness and self-compassion in the RAIN practice can directly dissolve trance and reconnect us to our true nature.
Mindfulness means paying attention on purpose to our moment to moment experience. This meditation invites us to collect our attention with the breath and use the breath as a home base for mindful presence. We then include whatever is predominant, recognizing and allowing the changing flow. The blessing of this practice is simple and beautiful: We are learning to be here for our life.
photo: Jon McRay
Tara gives morning instruction on retreat including RAIN (Recognize, Allow, Investigate, Nourish), then responds to questions from retreatants. Includes a question on resourcing when working with trauma. Recorded at the 2016 IMCW Women’s Retreat.
photo: Jon McRay
This meditation from the morning of spring retreat begins with a body scan, then widens to include sounds, senses and open energetic awareness. Includes an application of the RAIN of Compassion to close. (from a morning guided meditation at the IMCW 2016 Spring Retreat)
photo: Mary McGurn
The capacity to release the armoring of hatred and blame is intrinsic to our evolving consciousness. This talk explores the process of authentic forgiveness, and how we can use the mindfulness-based tool of RAIN to heal and free our hearts.
We have deep conditioning to disconnect from our body’s awareness and, in so doing, leave the site of our creativity, love and vitality. This short meditation uses the acronym RAIN as a guide in re-inhabiting our bodies and our full aliveness.
Listen to the full talk: “Embodied Awareness – Embracing Unlived Life – Part 2”
photo: Jon McRay
This short reflection, guided by the acronym RAIN, engages mindfulness and compassion as we open to life that we’ve been pushing away. By including unlived life, we reconnect with the fullness of our being, with vibrant, loving awareness.
NOTE: from the end of the talk: Embodied Awareness – Embracing the Unlived Life – Part 1