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Day at a time, RAIN, 08/4/2020

9 Apr 2020

A Day at a Time – A Daily Blog of Life in Lockdown

I was feeling quite fed-up and my husband and son seem to be in similar mood today too. It is so easy to just keep going, perhaps having a coffee to perk up and to hardly even be aware that I am avoiding how I feel. After lunch I chose to go for a walk and ended up in one of my favourite fields where one of my beloved oak trees resides. I sat at the base of this beautiful oak and tried to share in its rootedness and stability and be peaceful for a while. Then I noticed some sensations in my chest, perhaps sadness, which rose up to my neck and then a slight heaviness in my head. This was followed by more of a fluttering sensation again in my chest, perhaps anxiety and this too shifted upwards. I continued to feel the sensations of my feet on the earth and my body cradled by the great roots of the oak as I allowed these sensations to move through my body. Now writing this I am reminded of that lovely Wendell Berry poem from the Sabbath Poems-

I go among trees and sit still.

All my stirring becomes quiet

around me like circles on water.

My tasks lie in their places

where I left them, asleep like cattle.

Then what is afraid of me comes

and lives a while in my sight.

What it fears in me leaves me,

and the fear of me leaves it.

It sings, and I hear its song.

Then what I am afraid of comes.

I live for a while in its sight.

What I fear in it leaves it,

and the fear of it leaves me.

It sings, and I hear its song.

 After days of labor,

mute in my consternations,

I hear my song at last,

and I sing it. As we sing,

the day turns, the trees move.

As I walked home, I recalled that first thing this morning a friend told me the sad news that one of her friends had died from Covid-19 leaving young children. Not long afterwards another friend wrote that his elderly father had been taken into hospital. So much sadness.


HINT: Taking care of ourselves includes taking care of how we feel which may simply mean pausing for a moment and noticing or giving yourself a little longer to quietly be and let the body communicate its wisdom.


Practice: RAIN

This practice comes from Tara Brach a wonderful meditation teacher. To begin stop what you are doing and sit down and allow your mind and body to settle.


Recognize what is happening – which simply means acknowledging what is going on for you, what thoughts are around, any particular emotion or sensations in the body.


Allow life to be just as it is – letting the thoughts, feelings and sensations be there without pushing them away or trying to fix them.

Investigate with gentle attention – staying present by grounding yourself, noticing sensations of feet on floor or the breath and then bringing an attitude of curiosity and kindness to how you are. Let this attitude be non-judgemental.

Nurture with self-compassion – recognising that you are suffering and asking yourself what your inner self most needs at this time. Some of us find it helpful to place a hand on the heart or arm as a gesture of self-compassion