In the past month I’ve experienced some emotional turbulence; in the mix I’ve felt waves of sadness, had a recurring sense of loss or grief and I’ve also felt disquieted by so much uncertainty. Initially I felt unable to understand what these feelings were or why I was experiencing them. But worse, as someone used “emotional fluency”, I was unable to find words that accurately described what was going on for me, even to myself.
But I’ve been leaning into some specific meditation practices that are designed to help us recognise specific emotions, as they arise and, through deepening our understanding, become more self-compassionate. This is a four-step process designed by Tara Brach who created the acronym RAIN to help identify and remember each step.
Recognize what is going on;
Allow the experience to be there, just as it is;
Investigate with interest and care;
Nurture with self-compassion.
This following short meditation introduces these steps and has a focus on the first step – recognition.
Recognising means consciously acknowledging, in any given moment, the thoughts, feelings, and behaviours that are affecting you. This can be a done informally, or by writing down what you are most aware of.