Home » Blogs » Mindfulness and Psychotherapy » The RAIN Practice: Monday's Mindful Quote with Rumi

The RAIN Practice: Monday's Mindful Quote with Rumi

Here we are again with Monday’s Mindful Quote. In a famous poem, 13th century Sufi poet Rumi lays down a radical notion about welcoming pain in life, rather than avoiding it to experience emotional freedom. As you read the following poem, remember, the words speak as a guidepost, reminding us which way to go. After the poem, I will introduce you to a practice from A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook that you can begin taking into your daily life to work with difficulties (but read the poem first).

This being human is a guest-house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

Who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture.

still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you

out for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.

–Rumi, “The Guest House”
Translated by Coleman Barks with John Moyne

Here is a practice excerpted from A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook to get started with.

The RAIN Practice

A little later in this chapter, we’ll guide you through a meditation for self-inquiry into stress and anxiety. In the meantime, you can use the acronym RAIN as an informal practice for working with mindful self-inquiry:

R = Recognize when a strong emotion is present.

A = Allow or acknowledge that it’s there.

I = Investigate the body, emotions, and thoughts.

N = Non-identify with whatever is there.

RAIN is an insightful self-inquiry practice that you can bring into your daily life to help you dis­cover deeper threads of what triggers strong emotional reactions. Throughout the next week, bring rec­ognition to any strong emotion and allow it to be present. Investigate what you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally and see where it takes you. The last element, non-identification, is very useful because it helps to deflate the mind’s stories and cultivates the understanding that strong emotions are just another passing mind state and not a definition of who you are. It’s like going to a movie, where you sit back and watch the actors play out the drama. By seeing your story as impermanent and not identifying with it, you’ll begin to loosen the grip of your own mind traps. This will help create the space for you to be with things as they are and deepen your understanding of what drives, underlies, or fuels your fears, anger, and sadness. It also grants you the freedom to look at the situation differently and choose a response other than what may be dictated by your story.

Go ahead and try this out. You can even try it when you’re feeling fine to awaken to the pleasantness of a particular moment.

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction provides a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

The RAIN Practice: Monday's Mindful Quote with Rumi

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is creator of the six month online program A Course in Mindful Living, author of the book Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and Self-Compassion, The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler: Quick Exercises to Calm Your Mind, the premier eCourse Basics of Mindfulness Meditation: A 28 Day Program, the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations. Join The Now Effect Community for free Daily Now Moments and a Weekly Newsletter. Dr. Goldstein is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles.

7 comments: View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Goldstein, E. (2010). The RAIN Practice: Monday's Mindful Quote with Rumi. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 1, 2020, from


Last updated: 22 Mar 2010
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.