RAIN is a four-step process that helps cultivate awareness and break the trance of self-judgment. It's also supportive in re-connecting you with your physical experience. While many Buddhist teachers have shared it, this offering is inspired by Tara Brach's way of teaching it in her book, True Refuge. You can practice this process during a formal meditation when a challenging emotional state arises, or on-the-spot, in your everyday life.
RAIN stands for: Recognizing, Allowing, Investigating with Kindness, and Not identifying.
To begin, pause in some way; maybe by taking a few breaths.
Recognizing means that you bring awareness to your experience and notice whatever is happening ~ maybe it's a feeling of tightness in your chest, or an increased heart rate that you identify as "anxiety." It might also include familiar, fearful thoughts about what might happen next. Or it might be a more subtle feeling ~ a quality of energy you notice in your body. Whatever is happening, see if you can recognize it and get as specific as possible.
When you are Allowing, you are relinquishing your argument with things as they are. It doesn't mean that 100% of you agrees with things as they are, though. It might mean that part of what wants to be allowed is the full spectrum of your experience: Can you accept that you are arguing with the way things are, and yet things are the way that they are? Tara Brach suggests that students experiment with whispering "yes" or "I consent" when an experience feels challenging.
I see investigating with kindness as a way to practice re-training your inner critic. In this step you can acknowledge the strengths of the critic ~ specifically its attention to detail. You need that attention to notice the nuances of your experience. At the same time, when you investigate with kindness, you have a focused quality of attention that does not judge. Brach refers to it as a "kind, receptive, gentle attention." See if you can un-blend your attention to detail from the criticism that often goes along with it.
Finally, not identifying means that you begin to recognize that you are not your feelings, thoughts, beliefs or sensations. This is what arises as you practice recognizing, allowing and investigating with kindness. As we notice more, we identify less. There's an opportunity to rest more fully in your true nature ~ what Brach calls "natural presence" or "natural awareness."
I find that having an acronym makes a tool easier to remember, and I hope that is true for you and RAIN.