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Radical Compassion

Learning to Love Yourself and Your World with the Practice of RAIN

By Tara Brach
19-minute read
Audio available
Radical Compassion by Tara Brach

Radical Compassion (2019) is a practical guide to letting go of painful emotions and embracing the world with more love, forgiveness, and compassion. Mindfulness expert Tara Brach presents RAIN, a simple four-step meditation system that helps practitioners cultivate inner strength to overcome life’s many obstacles.

  • Mindfulness practitioners eager for additional advice
  • Troubled souls looking to shake negative thoughts
  • Anyone seeking tools to overcome life’s challenges

Tara Brach is an internationally-recognized therapist, teacher, and mindfulness expert. She holds a PhD in clinical psychology from the Fielding Institute and founded the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, DC. Her bestselling books include Radical Acceptance (2003) and True Refuge: Finding Peace & Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart (2013).

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Radical Compassion

Learning to Love Yourself and Your World with the Practice of RAIN

By Tara Brach
  • Read in 19 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 12 key ideas
Upgrade to Premium Read or listen now
Radical Compassion by Tara Brach
Synopsis

Radical Compassion (2019) is a practical guide to letting go of painful emotions and embracing the world with more love, forgiveness, and compassion. Mindfulness expert Tara Brach presents RAIN, a simple four-step meditation system that helps practitioners cultivate inner strength to overcome life’s many obstacles.

Key idea 1 of 12

The key message here is: You can create the mental space you need to gain that perspective, by using the RAIN meditation technique.

With chores, meetings, bills, and traffic, daily life can sometimes seem like an endless parade of things to do and problems to solve. Getting through the day can feel like being lost in a dense forest: around each corner is just more undergrowth, with no exit in sight.

In these moments, when you feel like there is no way out, carve out a clearing. Create a bit of space to breathe. You’ll find that when you do, you’ll finally be able to see a path forward. It sounds easy enough, but how is it done?

The key message here is: You can create the mental space you need to gain that perspective, by using the RAIN meditation technique.

So what is the RAIN technique? Well, RAIN is an acronym for a four-step meditation practice. It’s designed to give you distance from life’s problems, and allow you to live in the moment. The first three steps were developed in the 1980s, by senior Buddhist teacher Michele McDonald. Since then, Tara Brach has honed and perfected the practice, adding a final step to awaken self-compassion.

When you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed – what Brach calls “being in a trance” – practicing RAIN can help you let go of those negative emotions and be present in the moment.

The RAIN meditation practice begins with R, which stands for Recognize. That’s because, here, you first have to recognize you’re in a trance. Do this by noticing red flags such as compulsive behavior, ruminating on anxious thoughts, or rushing to get things done.

The next step is A for Allow. Here, don’t try to change anything just yet. Simply take a breath, and allow yourself to experience what is happening without judgment.

Once you are centered, it’s time for the third step: I, or Investigate. It asks you to direct your attention inward to uncover why you are feeling this way and what you may need to feel better. Are you feeling fear of failure? Are you feeling torn by multiple priorities? What type of reassurance would help you move on?

The final step is N, for Nurture. Close your meditation by sending a message of support inward to yourself. Gently relax your body as you think of a positive phrase like, “You will be alright,” or “We can do this.”

Following these four steps may only take a few minutes, but can yield powerful results. RAIN meditation helps you turn your attention away from the outside world and toward your inner self. In the next blink, we’ll look more closely at steps one and two.

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