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Life Without a Story

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 the possibility of living life without a story. So what do I mean by life without a story? Well, have you ever seen a director's commentary of a film? So, this is where the director of a film will comment on what was happening in the making of the movie. So how it works is the original film is playing, but with muted volume, and then you hear the director's voiceover providing their own personal take on what was happening at that point in the making of the movie. So the whole way through the movie, they're speaking over the top and adding their viewpoints, their thoughts, their stories, and their opinions.

Now most people hardly ever watch these to the end because they get a bit boring, but this is a good analogy of what it's like living with a human mind. You know, we constantly have two things happening. We have our direct experience or what we sometimes call our primary experience. And this is the direct experience, the actual experience of our lives - the colors, the shapes, the experiences, our sense perceptions. Then we also have have in any given moment, our secondary experience.

This is all the thoughts we have about primary experience. So we have our viewpoints, our opinions, our judgments, our beliefs, all this mental commentary that we have going on in the mind. Anyone with a normal human mind has this going on, we all do it. But the problem is, that for many of us, our mental commentary can become so ongoing, so loud and so relentless that our actual experience of life itself can start to feel like it's been muted and dulled by the mind's noise. Life can start to lose its vividness, vibrancy, mystery, and joy.

It's a bit like that director's commentary, you know, the voice in our heads could really take the fun out of our actual experience that we're trying to have. It can make it really hard to fully connect. So mindfulness offers us a way to reconnect with the full color, richness, the beauty of our lives again. It allows us, you could say, to kind of turn the volume dial down on the mind as we reclaim more of our attention that was caught up in secondary experience, the thoughts in the mind, and we place it back in our primary experience, our direct experience of what's happening moment to moment in our lives. So today, whenever you find yourself caught up in the director's commentary of your life, that secondary experience, see if you can just notice that and then wherever possible, just practice bringing your focus back to your primary experience, your sense perceptions - what you can feel, see, hear, smell, and taste.

In this way, we get to take a break from that constant scene by scene voiceover. Good, bad, right, wrong, judgments, opinions, and storymaking of all kinds. And we open two rich new vistas of our lives. And as we open our minds and hearts to the beauty, the wonder and the simplicity of the world around us, we simultaneously reconnect with presence and inner peace. So as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us.

Now let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

Life Without a Story

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

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today I'm going to talk about the possibility of living life without a story. So what do I mean by life without a story? Well, have you ever seen a director's commentary of a film? So, this is where the director of a film will comment on what was happening in the making of the movie. So how it works is the original film is playing, but with muted volume, and then you hear the director's voiceover providing their own personal take on what was happening at that point in the making of the movie. So the whole way through the movie, they're speaking over the top and adding their viewpoints, their thoughts, their stories, and their opinions.

Now most people hardly ever watch these to the end because they get a bit boring, but this is a good analogy of what it's like living with a human mind. You know, we constantly have two things happening. We have our direct experience or what we sometimes call our primary experience. And this is the direct experience, the actual experience of our lives - the colors, the shapes, the experiences, our sense perceptions. Then we also have have in any given moment, our secondary experience.

This is all the thoughts we have about primary experience. So we have our viewpoints, our opinions, our judgments, our beliefs, all this mental commentary that we have going on in the mind. Anyone with a normal human mind has this going on, we all do it. But the problem is, that for many of us, our mental commentary can become so ongoing, so loud and so relentless that our actual experience of life itself can start to feel like it's been muted and dulled by the mind's noise. Life can start to lose its vividness, vibrancy, mystery, and joy.

It's a bit like that director's commentary, you know, the voice in our heads could really take the fun out of our actual experience that we're trying to have. It can make it really hard to fully connect. So mindfulness offers us a way to reconnect with the full color, richness, the beauty of our lives again. It allows us, you could say, to kind of turn the volume dial down on the mind as we reclaim more of our attention that was caught up in secondary experience, the thoughts in the mind, and we place it back in our primary experience, our direct experience of what's happening moment to moment in our lives. So today, whenever you find yourself caught up in the director's commentary of your life, that secondary experience, see if you can just notice that and then wherever possible, just practice bringing your focus back to your primary experience, your sense perceptions - what you can feel, see, hear, smell, and taste.

In this way, we get to take a break from that constant scene by scene voiceover. Good, bad, right, wrong, judgments, opinions, and storymaking of all kinds. And we open two rich new vistas of our lives. And as we open our minds and hearts to the beauty, the wonder and the simplicity of the world around us, we simultaneously reconnect with presence and inner peace. So as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us.

Now let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

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