When we are advised to Recognize, Accept, Investigate emotions with Non-attachment (RAIN) I wonder what is being recognized, accepted and investigated through the observational lens of non-attachment. Emotions and their associated thoughts require attentional resources. Accepting, observing, and investigating require attentional resources. To direct attentional resources to one thing is to withdraw attentional resources from something else. A thing observed becomes a diminished version of itself insofar as the observed and the act of observing draw from the same well. What does it mean to investigate with non-attachment? The dictionary sense of “investigate” denotes a serious and systematic examination into the particulars of something: a deep and persistent inquiry. In contrast, the sense of investigation in RAIN is a pretty lightweight endeavor. It’s about cultivating a sense of curiosity about our experiences.

Curiosity is not the same as interest; the difference between them is instructive. Curiosity requires little commitment on the part of the agent. Curiosity may or may not lead to interest. To be curious is to be a bit detached. To be interested is to be engaged. To be curious is to stand apart. To be interested is to jump in. To be curious is to be half-way to non-attachment, which is an attitude of being witnesses to our experiences but not getting caught up with them.