See all Meditation


Top articles

How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners

10 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation

What is Meditation?

Mindful LivingSleep
CommunityFor Work

Life Without a Story

Melli O'Brien



Melli O'Brien



Scan the following QR code with your camera app to open it on your phone

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.

Get Unlimited Access

Start your mindfulness journey today.

A Mindfulness Plus+ subscription gives you unlimited access to a world of premium mindfulness content.

  • Over 1,800 meditations, sleep, calm music, naturescapes and more
  • Daily mindfulness video meditations 365 days a year
  • 100s of courses and tools to help manage anxiety, sleep and stress

Email Missing

We couldn’t detect your email with the SSO provider you have selected.

Mindfulness Guarantee

We are here to make a positive impact on the world. We never want to sell you something that hasn’t helped you live a better life. That’s why if you’re unhappy with any purchase from us, you have 30 days to get a full refund and your money back.

If you subscribed to Mindfulness Plus+ and are unhappy with your purchase, please get in contact with us within the 30-day period and we’ll refund your purchase.

Learn more about our Mindfulness Guarantee.


Bring balance into your everyday life.

We believe in a world where everybody has access to the life-changing skills of mindfulness.

  • 2,000+ Guided Meditations
  • Daily Coaching
  • Sleep Content
  • Mindful Exercises
  • Mindful Radio
  • 10+ Courses from world-class teachers

Private Browsing

Added to your cart!


Claim your free access

Create a mindfulness account and we’ll unlock this premium session in your account forever.

or continue with
By continuing, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

Do you already have an account?

Start a free trial to play this session

7-Days free trial, cancel anytime.

Start 7-Day Free Trial

Finish personalizing your account

Complete a few quick questions to make your own personalized mindfulness plan.