RAIN — Recognize, Allow, Investigate, Non-identification (or Nurture)
RAIN is probably the acronym I've referenced the most in Inside Meditation, and that's purely because it's what works best for me. I like that I can do it in the middle of the workday (like STOP) or I can save it for my daily meditation, using it as a structure to parse through my more difficult emotions.
Structurally, it's very similar to STOP, but the intention is less about breaking away from an immediate, negative reaction. RAIN is what I use to explore an emotion that often sticks with me throughout the day, like anxiety or regret. Instead of Stop, we start with Recognize, simply seeing the feeling for what it is, and then Allowing it to be present, not pushing it away like we instinctively want to.
Investigate is very similar to the Observe in STOP and I feel like it's the most open-ended of the letters. It's the space for us to see the ramifications of letting an emotion run wild in our minds. We might notice reactions in our bodies, or that the mind jumps from painful memory to painful memory. It's our space to see how our mind naturally operates, before letting it go.
Finally, the N. It stands for "Non-identification" in Michele McDonald's original use of the acronym. This means we're able to distance ourselves from the emotion once we've investigated it. If the emotion is anxiety, we can step back and realize that it's simply a manifestation of our own mind when dealing with certain obstacles. In this version of the "N" we can move from "I am anxious" to "I feel anxiety."
However, the "N" has evolved over time, and is now most often listed as "Nurture," thanks to Tara Brach. She asks us to extend ourselves warmth and self-compassion when dealing with the moment. If we remind ourselves that we're loved and worthy of love, then the non-identification follows naturally through a state she calls "After the RAIN."