“RAIN” is a well-known meditation acronym that stands for Recognize, Accept, Investigate and Non-Identify. It’s a helpful way to explore – and sometimes process – any sensation, thought, or emotion, even the hard ones. I led this practice at a Monday night Consciousness Explorers Club (CEC) meeting in Toronto, sometime in 2017. It ends with a loving-kindness practice.
A longer description of the rationale and effects of this practice can be found in a short version of this meditation, here. For now, the most important thing to say about working with challenging emotions is: pace yourself. That means first find a home-base in your experience that you’re comfortable with – maybe a grounding or neutral sensation like sound, or the breath, or the feeling of the floor under your seat or feet. Then, if you’re feeling up for it, you can begin to explore, RAIN-style. I recommend doing so gradually, swinging into the sensation for a bit – opening, feeling, investigating – and then swinging back to home base. If at any time things get too intense, you can always back off and choose a more neutral sensation, or you can stop meditating altogether. I’ve written more about how to work safely and intelligently with challenging emotions in the CEC’s free guide to community practice, here.