Working with Difficulties: The Blessings of RAIN

Published 07/10/2019 by Alissa Liu

Adapted from Tara Brach: True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart (Bantam, 2013)

About twelve years ago, a number of Buddhist teachers began to share a new mindfulness tool that offers in-the-trenches support for working with intense and difficult emotions. Called RAIN (an acronym for the four steps of the process), it can be accessed in almost any place or situation. It directs our attention in a clear, systematic way that cuts through confusion and stress. The steps give us somewhere to turn in a painful moment, and as we call on them more regularly, they strengthen our capacity to come home to our deepest truth. Like the clear sky and clean air after a cooling rain, this mindfulness practice brings a new openness and calm to our daily lives.

I have now taught RAIN to thousands of students, clients, and mental health professionals, adapting and expanding it into the version you’ll find in this chapter. I’ve also made it a core practice in my own life. Here are the four steps of RAIN presented in the way I’ve found most helpful:

  • R – Recognize what is happening
  • A – Allow life to be just as it is
  • I – Investigate inner experience with kindness
  • N – Non-Identification

RAIN directly de-conditions the habitual ways in which you resist your moment-to-moment experience. It doesn’t matter whether you resist “what is” by lashing out in anger, by having a cigarette, or by getting immersed in obsessive thinking. Your attempt to control the life within and around you actually cuts you off from your own heart and from this living world. RAIN begins to undo these unconscious patterns as soon as we take the first step.

Recognize what is happening.

Recognition is seeing what is true in your inner life. It starts the minute you focus your attention on whatever thoughts, emotions, feelings or sensations are arising right here and now. As your attention settles and opens, you will discover that some parts of your experience are easier to connect with than others. For example, you might recognize anxiety right away, but if you focus on your worried thoughts, you might not notice the actual sensations of squeezing, pressure or tightness arising in the body. On the other hand, if your body is gripped by jittery nervousness, you might not recognize that this physical response is being triggered by your underlying belief that you are about to fail. You can awaken recognition simply by asking yourself: “What is happening inside me right now?” Call on your natural curiosity as you focus inward. Try to let go of any preconceived ideas and instead listen in a kind, receptive way to your body and heart.

Allow life to be just as it is.

Allowing means “letting be” the thoughts, emotions, feelings or sensations you discover. You may feel a natural sense of aversion, of wishing that unpleasant feelings would go away, but as
you become more willing to be present with “what is,” a different quality of attention will emerge. Allowing is intrinsic to healing, and realizing this can give rise to a conscious intention
to “let be.”

Many students I work with support their resolve to “let be” by mentally whispering an encouraging word or phrase. For instance, you might feel the grip of fear and whisper “yes” or experience the swelling of deep grief and whisper “yes.” You might use the words “this too” or “I consent.” At first you might feel you’re just “putting up” with unpleasant emotions or sensations. Or you might say “yes” to shame and hope that it will magically disappear. In reality, we have to consent again and again. Yet even the first gesture of allowing, simply whispering a phrase like “yes” or “I consent” begins to soften the harsh edges of your pain. Your entire being is not so rallied in resistance. Offer the phrase gently and patiently, and in time your defenses will relax, and you may feel a physical sense of yielding or opening to waves of experience.

Investigate with Kindness.

At times, simply working through the first two steps of RAIN is enough to provide relief and reconnect you with presence. In other cases, however, the simple intention to recognize and allow is not enough. For instance, if you are in the thick of a divorce, about to lose a job or dealing with a life threatening illness, you may be easily overwhelmed by intense feelings. Because these feelings are triggered over and over again—you get a phone call from your soon-to-be ex, your bank statement comes, you wake up to pain in the morning—your reactions can become very entrenched. In such situations, you may need to further awaken and strengthen mindful awareness with the “I” of RAIN.

Investigation means calling on your natural interest—the desire to know truth—and directing a more focused attention to your present experience. Simply pausing to ask, “What is happening inside me?” might initiate recognition, but with investigation you engage in a more active and pointed kind of inquiry. You might ask yourself: “What most wants attention?” “How am I experiencing this in my body?” or “What am I believing?” or “What does this feeling want from me?” You might contact sensations of hollowness or shakiness, and then find a sense of unworthiness and shame buried in these feelings. Unless they are brought into consciousness, these beliefs and emotions will control your experience and perpetuate your identification with a limited, deficient self.

When I first shared the RAIN acronym with students, many of them had problems with the investigation step. Some said things like, “When fear arises, my investigation just takes me into thinking about what is causing it and how to feel better.” Others reported, “I can’t stay in my body long enough to investigate where an emotion lives in me.” For many, investigation triggered judgment: “I know I’m supposed to be investigating this shame, but I hate it…and I hate myself for having it.”

All these responses reflect our natural resistance to feeling uncomfortable and unsafe: thoughts swarm in our head, we leave our body, we judge what is happening. What my students were telling me was that RAIN was missing a key ingredient. In order for investigation to be healing and freeing, we need to approach our experience with an intimate quality of attention. We need to offer a gentle welcome to whatever surfaces. This is why I use the phrase “Investigate with kindness.” Without this heart energy, investigation cannot penetrate; there is not enough safety and openness for real contact.

Imagine that your child comes home in tears after being bullied at school. In order to find out what happened and how your child is feeling, you have to offer a kind, receptive, gentle attention. Bringing that same kindness to your inner life makes inquiry, and ultimately healing, possible.

Realize Non-identification; Rest in Natural Awareness.

The lucid, open and kind presence evoked in the R, A and I of RAIN leads to the N: the freedom of Non-identification, and the realization of what I call Natural awareness or natural presence. Non-identification means that your sense of who you are is not fused with or defined by any limited set of emotions, sensations or stories. When identification with the small self is loosened, we begin to intuit and live from the openness and love that express our natural awareness. The first three steps of RAIN require some intentional activity. In contrast, the N of RAIN expresses the result: a liberating realization of your natural awareness. There’s nothing to do for this last part of RAIN—realization arises spontaneously, on its own. We simply rest in natural awareness.

Tara Brach – Working With Difficulties: The Blessings of RAIN

Hyun Ah releases the full music video of ‘Ice Cream’

Published 23/10/2012 by Alissa Liu

The music video of Hyun Ah’s new song, ‘Ice Cream’, was revealed.
On 22nd, the music video of Hyun Ah’s second solo album, ‘Ice Cream’, was released through the official YouTube channel.
Especially, PSY made a surprise appearance in the music video, and showed a comic acting with Hyun Ah.
Previously, Hyun Ah made a special appearance in PSY’s ‘Gangnam Style’ music video, and gave him a huge support. Thus, PSY also decided to show his support for her comeback.
When the first teaser video was released, it had over 1 million views only in a day, and it became the second most viewed video of the day on YouTube.
On the other hand, ‘Ice Cream’ was released on 21st, which is a day earlier than scheduled, and it is currently dominating in various music charts.

Source: Yahoo OMG!

The official video:

Gangnam Style (PSY) Lyrics+Translation

Published 22/10/2012 by Alissa Liu

Oppan gang-namseutayil

Naje-neun ttasaroun inkanjeo-gin yeoja
Keopi hanjanye yeoyureuraneun pumkyeok i-nneun yeoja
Bami omyeon shimjangi tteugeowojineun yeoja
Keureon banjeon i-nneun yeoja

Naneun sana-i
Naje-neun neomankeum ttasaroun geureon sana-i
Keopi shikgido jeone wonsyas ttaerineun sana-i
Bami omyeon shimjangi teojyeobeorineun sana-i
Keureon sana-i

Areumdawo sarangseureowo
Keurae neo hey keurae baro neo hey (2x)
Chigeumbu-teo kal dekkaji kabol-kka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka……

Oppan gang-namseutayil (Kang-namseutayil)
Op op op op… Oppan gang-namseutayil (Kang-namseutayil)
Op op op op… Oppan gang-namseutayil

Eh- sexy lady, Op op op op… Oppan gang-namseutayil
Eh- sexy lady, Op op op op…

Jeongsu-khae boijiman nol ttaen noneun yeoja
Ittaeda shipeumyeon mukkeot-deon meori puneun yeoja
Karyeot-jiman wen-manhan nochulboda yahan yeoja
Keureon gamkakjeo-gin yeoja

Naneun sana-i
Jeomjanha boijiman nol ttaen noneun sana-i
Ttae-ga dwehmyeon wahnjeon michyeobeorineun sana-i
Keunyukboda sasangi ul-tungbul-tung-han sana-i
Keureon sana-i

Areumdawo sarangseureowo
Keurae neo hey keurae baro neo hey
Areumdawo sarangseureowo
Keurae neo hey keurae baro neo hey

Chigeumbu-teo kal dekkaji kabol-kka-ka-ka-ka-ka-ka……

(Back to Chorus)

Ttwiineun nom keu wiie naneun nom
Baby baby Naneun mwol jom aneun nom (x2)
You know what i’m saying
Oppan gang-namseutayil

(Back to Chorus)

Oppan gang-namseutayil

Source: Know Your Meme

English Translation:

Oppa’s Gangnam style
Gangnam style

A girl who is warm and graceful during the day
A classy girl who knows how to enjoy a cup of coffee
A girl whose heart gets hotter when night comes
A girl with that kind of twist

I’m a guy
A guy who is as warm as you during the day
A guy who downs his coffee before it cools down
A guy whose heart bursts when night comes
That kind of guy

Beautiful, loveable
Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
Beautiful, loveable
Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
Now let’s go until the end

Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
Oppa is Gangnam style

Eh- Sexy Lady, Oppa is Gangnam style
Eh- Sexy Lady oh oh oh oh

A girl who looks quiet but plays when she plays
A girl who puts her hair down when the right time comes
A girl who covers herself but is more sexy than a girl who bares it all
A sensable girl like that

I’m a guy
A guy who seems calm but plays when he plays
A guy who goes completely crazy when the right time comes
A guy who has bulging ideas rather than muscles
That kind of guy

Beautiful, loveable
Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
Beautiful, loveable
Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
Now let’s go until the end

(Back to Chorus)

On top of the running man is the flying man, baby baby
I’m a man who knows a thing or two (2x)
You know what I’m saying
Oppa is Gangnam style

Eh- Sexy Lady, Oppa is Gangnam style
Eh- Sexy Lady oh oh oh oh

Official video

Feat. HyunA version

Download MP3 here

Lha? Ternyata listrik tidak secepat cahaya?

Published 22/10/2012 by Alissa Liu

Hmm… Tentu saja agan2 sekalian sudah mengenal listrik kan?
Listrik adalah partikel elektron yang bergerak dalam kecepatan tinggi melalui arus kabel, dan merupakan energi yang sangat praktis, karena bisa diubah ke dalam bentuk energi apapun.

Nah, listrik tampak seperti kilatan cahaya, tapi faktanya adalah, listrik adalah energi elektrik yang mengalir secara cepat, dan tentu saja tidak secepat cahaya, karena cahaya merupakan objek tercepat di dunia hinga saat ini, dan menurut teori, tidak ada objek yang melebihi kecepatan cahaya.

Elektron bisa bergerak secepat cahaya hanya bila menggunakan teori relativitas, yaitu fenomena di mana benda terlihat bergerak lebih cepat dikarenakan sang pengamat bergerak berlawanan arah terhadap benda yang diamati.
Kecepatan dari muatan listrik dalam arus elektrik sendiri sangat lambat, sekitar beberapa centimeter per jam (siput menang kali yak? 😮 ). Di tempat dimana arus elektrik dapat terlihat, seperti di dalam electrophoresis, pergerakan lambat dari pembawa muatan dapat dilihat langsung.

Link Sumber, liat spoiler no 2
10 Kesalahan sains

Credit to: nisamerica (See original post)

Comment by me:
Aliran listrik merupakan aliran elektron. Sedangkan elektron mempunyai massa, maka kecepatannya tidak mungkin menyamai kecepatan cahaya (c), yang merupakan kecepatan yang paling tinggi. Berikut alasannya, benda bermassa diam m yang bergerak dengan laju v memiliki energi (E) dan momentum (p) sebagai berikut.


Dengan demikian dibutuhkan energi tak terhingga untuk mencapai kecepatan cahaya yang merupakan kecepatan maksimum.

Unek-unek Acara Indonesia Bermain (Sabuga, 22-23 Okt 2011)

Published 23/10/2011 by Alissa Liu

Nih, saya share foto2 saat di acara IB (Indonesia Bermain), cuma saat hari sabtu itu XD
dan juga artikel menarik yg didapat dari rangkuman presentasi conference oleh Arief Budiman:

Sebelumnya, tau engga acara IB sendiri? Liat nih posternya 😀

Okay, ini foto2nya 😉

di sayap kiri pas dekat tempat makan2

iseng di deket conference room :kabur:

di balik stan Magic The Gathering

stan Nokia Developer

ada di stan Magic The Gathering sendiri :v

di stan HotGame yang ada game dance yang pake Xbox 360 with Kinect

iseng foto, cuma stannya om UB (aka. Frida Dwi, anggota GDI), saat itu orangnya masih away :v

seminar Komikoo di Community Area, maap kamera butut, di layar proyektornya jadi putih :hammer:

persiapan presentasi conference :kabur:

saat2 awal presentasi conference oleh M. Arief Budiman :v

8-11, Komunitas Digital Creative (GDI)

Published 27/08/2011 by Alissa Liu

Nih tadi hari Jumat sekitar jam 10 ada bincang2 bareng om Arief Widhiyasa dari Agate Studio (gamedev lokal asal Bandung) mengenai perkembangan game developer di Indonesia, di acara 8-11 (eight-eleven) di Metro TV.

Dan sekarang saya mau share hasil rekamannya yang telah di-upload oleh Wimindra Lee (telah mendapat ijin).

Berikut ini link hasil rekamannya (uploaded by Wimindra Lee):
Part 1:
Part 2:
(Sori aplotannya ga pake youtube :v)

Review dari saya sendiri:
– Intinya sih gamedev Indonesia keliatannya berpotensi, tapi menghadapi berbagai tantangan pula, seperti pemasaran & beberapa market (lokal) yang belum ready, dan sebagainya
– Game2 banyak juga yang berbasis web & mobile, ini merupakan salah satu strategi pemasaran juga
– Seiring maraknya pembajakan lagu2 (mp3), game juga ada yang kena pembajakan, maka publiser game harus memperhatikannya
– Alangkah baiknya game2 dimanfaatkan untuk sesuatu yang berguna, atau dimanfaatkan utk kehidupan sehari2

Anyway, semoga berguna sekali untuk pengembangan2 game di Indonesia =w=b

[Duel] Creative Minigame Contest

Published 13/11/2010 by Alissa Liu

Okay, berikut ini peserta Creative Minigame Contest yang telah terdaftar:

– izn_lawliet (RMID)
– hooore (Vixep)
– imam_mashur (RMID)

Minigame berikut ini sudah disubmit dan diterima:
– Dikejar Batu  (hooore, RPG VX)
– Mrs. Shooter (imam_mashur, GM)

Btw, tambahan pula, diperbolehkan men-submit ulang minigame selagi deadline belum lewat, namun dengan catatan, hanya versi terakhir yang akan dinilai (tak peduli apapun keadaannya).

Tentang Creative Minigame Contest, dapat dilihat di page ini.

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