Opening to Our Inner Radiance with the RAIN Process with Tara Brach, Ph.D.

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We all have aspirations and intentions for our best lives. Yet these often go by the wayside as we get lost in unconscious, mental, emotional reactivity, fear, and our own personal woundedness. We get caught up in self judgment, blaming others, living on autopilot, as the saying goes. This makes for a big gap between what’s possible and how we’re actually living our lives. The good news is there is a healing process available to us that opens us to our inner radiance. This process is called the RAIN Process and it reminds us to pause and reconnect with a wise and compassionate presence allowing us to align our lives with our hearts. She describes an analogy in our own lives to the story of the discovery of a golden buddha that, for centuries, was covered by cement, “We cover over our gold and suffering comes when we identify with the coverings. . . . We identify with our defensiveness, our judgments, or the ego that we’re using to promote and defend ourselves. The freedom comes when we start seeing that and holding it with compassion. It’s not our fault that we’re judgmental and it’s not our fault that we get angry or frustrated or defensive. We’re just trying to make it on the planet. When we can see it and hold it with compassion, then that covering starts getting more transparent and we start trusting the gold that’s always been and always will be our deepest nature.” This process is grounded and practical and can be of true service in dealing with frustrations and our habitual habits of reaction. It also can serve our evolutionary growth. Brach says, “We can actually change the structure and function of our brain and wake up our hearts to care more . . . This is possible for people to begin to sense we are friends, we belong to each other and not just humans but non-human species too. We belong to this living web.” (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Tara Brach, PhD, is an internationally known teacher of mindfulness, meditation, emotional healing, and spiritual awakening. Tara is the senior teacher and founder of Insight Meditation Center of Washington, DC. and she produces a weekly podcast.

 Tara Brach is the author of many books including: 

  • Radical Compassion: Learning to Love Yourself and Your World with the Practice of RAIN (Viking 2019)
  • Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha (Bantam 2004)
  • True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart (Bantam 2016) 

To learn more about the work of Tara Brach go to

 Topics explored in this dialogue include:

  • How the RAIN process came to be
  • What is below the line and above the line awareness
  • What RAIN acronym stands for: Recognize, Allow, Investigate, Nurture
  • How investigating is a somatic discovery not a cognitive or analytical process
  • Why untangling an emotional issue needs to first be felt in the body
  • Brach demonstrates the process with an example of a frustrating event in Justine’s life
  • Why practice helps us “install” new neuropathways in our brain
  • What does Brach mean by allowing an emotion and why that does not add fuel to the emotion
  • Brach gives an example of working with the RAIN process in her own life
  • What is the significance of the Golden Buddha found in Southeast Asia
  • What is the evolutionary perspective of the process of RAIN
  • What are some examples of how RAIN has worked in practice
  • Brach shares an example of what she learned about her own white privilege

Host: Justine Willis Toms   Interview Date: 1/24/2020   Program Number: 3694

Music Playlist

From Album: The Living Music
Artist: Michael Jones

Opening Essay: Track 02 Prayer
Music Break 1: Track 04 Spring Song
Music Break 2: Track 05 Evening
Music Break 3: Track 08 Indian Summer