The RAISE system
The background to meditation, balanced growth and a tool that helps us 'feel into' things instead of engaging the mind excessively and compulsively. (Recognise, Allow, Investigate, Soften, Expand).
To RAISE is
We can take this quality into our meditation and our life. I use this when meditating on emotional or physical difficulty, As an example - when I stretch! Then I verbally sometimes also, announcing each stage as I stretch:
R – Recognize (Resistance) what is happening (Eg. Where the feeling of the stretch is felt? “Aha - there it is”)
A – Acknowledge (& Allow) seeing and accepting life to be just as it is (don’t fight or think - just feel). Eg. “Hello, I feel you, it’s ok”
I – Investigate (& Inhale) inner experience with kindness (Eg. I place my awareness in the middle of the feeling and explore with your mind’s eye. I place my hand on the area and feel the edges. “Hmmmm…”)
S – Soften (and Surrender) your hold and identification with kindness - soothing the muscles into the stretch. (Eg.I relax the effort and resistance, leaning in slightly. “This is ok, I surrender into this.”)
E – Enjoy (& Express) with a smile, a sound or a word. (Eg. i take a breathe and feel the stretch on the outbreath and then release, move on to a different stretch, “Mmmmmm….”)
Recognition is seeing and acknowledging (by feeling) exactly where it is, like a ping on a radar- it invites you to sit up and pay attention - look at it without judging or over-reaction, just awareness. We finally get a ping - aha - resistance!.
Acknowledge and Allowing is to say “Hello, it’s ok to be here.” It is to "let it be' exactly as it is - trusting you are ok and you can include this sensation, emotion or thought into your experience without needing it to go away. Instead, let it come in, without resistance. This takes no effort, it is a frame of mind.
Investigating is about opening it up and getting to the core, so that you can understand it. Ask yourself: “What most wants attention?” “How am I experiencing this in my body?” Is there a shape, form, texture, or even a colour? Can you touch that part of your body with your hand and feel into it. Find the edges and the centre of it. Maybe you notice there are thoughts, images or beliefs associated with it.
Soften and Surrender is about trusting and letting go of resistance or holding. Physically soften the area, perhaps even leaning into it. This cultivates patience and love. Every sensitive area or wound builds a protective layer - sometimes psychological sometimes physical like a hard skin, to protect it. These sensitivities should be gently and slowly softened, the hard skin dissolved, before they can heal well. This should occur after investigation so the area is understood as safe / clean.
Softening your edges allows thoughts, feelings and emotion to pass through. Softening stories, labels and descriptions like 'pain' and 'problems' allows you to live in flow and with openness.
Enjoying easily is the final release and transformation of our relationship with the intense feeling. We accept it and now find a tiny sense of enjoyment in this moment and this bare experience. It is ok, or even interesting and wonderful to be with this, without resistance. Often a long exhale can allow one to sink into that easier.
The more we enjoy the more we can expand our capacity to include - to let life experiences in - more freedom of movement, more tolerance of pain, more love, more beauty, more sensation and more emotion. We do this with ease, because we know that if we do this without enjoyment - if we force it - we damage ourselves. So we keep it easy and enjoyable - expanding gradually, over time. This is true, organic growth, just like breathing. Raising above the thoughts of the mind that create fear and seeing the perspective and beauty of this experience.
Copyright Neil Morbey