Center for Action & Contemplation

R A I N

November 14, 2021

Dear Beloved,

In the midst of my pain, give me comfort.
In the midst of my sorrow, give me peace.
In the midst of my brokenness, give me wings.
For You are the author of miracles
and I need one now.

We are spirit and thus we are more than the world.

-Marianne Williamson

Center for Action and Contemplation, New Mexico

Cultivating Radical Compassion

Author Tara Brach is a skilled psychotherapist and meditation teacher who has developed countless ways to help her students transform their suffering not only for their own sake but on behalf of the world. Over the last seventeen years she has focused particularly on the RAIN meditation practice, [1] which “cultivates a trust in our own basic goodness and by extension helps us recognize and trust that same light shining through all beings.”  Brach suggests:   

When you are caught in difficult emotions, the RAIN meditation can bring you back to a wise and compassionate presence. Give yourself a few moments to pause and turn inward.

R   Recognize what is happening. Mentally whisper whatever you are aware of: fear, anger, hurt, shame.

A   Allow. Let whatever you are feeling be here, without judging it, trying to fix it, or ignoring it. Simply pause and “let be.” You might whisper “This too belongs.”

I   Investigate. With curiosity, feel into your body—your throat, chest, belly. Discover where the emotions live inside you. You might gently place a hand wherever feelings are strongest. Sense what is needed or being asked for right now. Is it love? Forgiveness? Acceptance? Understanding?

N   Nurture. Offer care to feelings of vulnerability, hurt, or fear. Let the touch of your hand be tender, and send whatever message might most offer healing. You can imagine this coming from your own awake heart or from another being (friend, grandparent, spiritual figure, dog) you trust and love.

After the RAIN: Take some moments in stillness, simply sensing the quality of presence that has unfolded. Notice the shift from when you started (an angry or fearful or victimized self) to the compassionate awareness that is always here. 

[1] To learn more about the RAIN meditation, see Tara Brach’s book Radical Compassion: Learning to Love Yourself and Your World with the Practice of RAIN (Viking: 2019). For online RAIN resources, visit tarabrach.com/RAIN