Week 8: HEAL and RAIN

Final week of Month 2!

This week we bring everything together by sharing two powerful practices that recap most of what we have learned so far. These techniques are a great way to practice – knowing that you are getting a well rounded, effective and complete experience.

Rick Hanson’s HEAL is all about maximising the impact of nurture positive practices (planting good seeds) using insights from neuroscience. Over time the aim is for the states we are cultivating to become lasting traits.

  1. Have a good experience. Begin by cultivating a positive experience. Use any of the nurture positive practices we have done so far (gratitude, loving-kindness, joy, peace, safety, etc.).
  2. Extend the duration of the experience. Hang out in that experience for as long as possible.
  3. Amplify the experience. Experiment increasing the intensity of the experience.
  4. Let it in. Intend for the feeling to ‘soak in’. Notice novel things about the experience and make it relevant to you specifically.

Tara Brach’s RAIN is about reconditioning the nervous system (pulling weeds) as effectively and wisely as possible.

  1. Recognise a difficult experience. Label something in your immediate experience that is causing discomfort. (e.g. physical pain, stress, mental noise, anxiety, etc.)
  2. Accept/Allow the sensations to be there. Don’t wish for anything to change. Just make space for whatever is there. Fully letting it be as it is.
  3. Investigate the sensations that are making up the thing you recognised. Get really curious. Where exactly is the discomfort? How would you describe it? Constant, changing, tingling, throbbing, pulsing, dull, sharp.
  4. Nurture the challenging sensations. Offer up some form of care, compassion, support, gratitude, forgiveness, warmth, etc. towards the difficult experience. Like a balm of positive intention.