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Melli O'Brien



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Do We See Beauty?

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness.

Today, I'm going to talk

about hidden beauty.

So on a cold January morning in

2007, a man with a violin played

in a Metro station in Washington.

As he played several Bach pieces,

about 2000 people walked by him.

Most of them on their way to work.

Now, after about four minutes

of him playing, a middle-aged

man slowed down a little bit and

watched, then he hurried onto work.

A few minutes later, a young

woman threw money in the

violinist's hat without stopping.

She continued on.

Shortly after a man leaned against the

wall to listen for a few seconds then

looked at his watch and walked on.

After he was playing for about

10 minutes, a little boy stopped,

tugged his mother towards the

music but she pulled him onwards.

And as she pulled him away, the little

boy turned back and kept looking at

the violinist as long as he possibly

could until he was out of sight.

The same behavior was repeated

by several other children, but

every parent pulled their child

onwards to where they were going.

After an hour of playing six Bach

symphony pieces, only six people had

briefly stopped to watch this violinist.

The violinist had $32 when he finished.

No one uplauded.

There was no recognition at all.

Everyone kept walking as he packed up.

The violinist that day in the

Metro was Joshua Bell, one of the

greatest musicians in the world.

He played one of the most complex and

renowned pieces of classical music ever

written with a violin with $3.5 million.

Two days before being in the Metro

station, Joshua played to a sold out

theater where each seat costs a minimum

of a hundred dollars for each person

to watch him play the exact same music.

This story raises some questions

about our everyday perception.

Do we recognize the beautiful

things that are all around us?

If so, do we actually stop

to enjoy and appreciate them.

If most of us don't have a moment to stop

and recognize such a gift as this music in

the Metro station, I wondered to myself,

how many other things are we missing out

when we rush through our daily lives?

So today, my invitation to all

of us is a really simple one.

It's just, as we go about our

day, let's try to notice the

hidden beauties all around us.

The sweetness of a smile or a hug,

the sunlight on our skin, the breeze,

a starlit sky, and even just the

miracle that we're alive at all.

So as always, thank you for your

practice and your presence here.

And let's settle in

for today's meditation.

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