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Melli O'Brien



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The Wishing Game

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 wishing game.

So there's an old story about this.

Five children were

playing the wishing game.

The first child was asked, so if

you had a wish, what would you want?

She replied, "If I had a wish,

I would want an ice cream."

Then the second child who was a few

years older said, "If I had a wish,

I'd wish for an ice cream factory."

and the first child thought, "Oh wow.

That's so clever."

The third child was then asked,.

"You know, what would you wish?"

He said, Well, if I had a wish, it

would be for a billion dollars because

with a billion dollars, I can buy an

ice cream factory, a cookie factory

hamburger shop, and a skateboard shop.

Then I can have whatever

I want whenever I wanted."

Well, the first two kids went, "Oh, wow.

That is the best wish ever.

That's so clever."

They thought this kid is a genius.

Now the next child, when they asked him,

you know, "What would you wish for?"

He said, "Well, if I had a wish, I

would wish that I had three wishes.

So I could wish for an ice cream factory

with my first wish, a billion dollars with

my second wish, and with my third wish

I would wish for another three wishes."

Well, of course all

the kids' jaws dropped.

"Oh wow.

Weeh," they said this, "You've

really cracked the code here.

You're amazing."

So the fable goes, the last

child was the young Buddha.

When it was his turn, he said, "I would

wish that I had no wishes at all so that

I could be happy, fulfilled, and content."

This really sweet story points to a mental

trap that we often get ourselves stuck in.

The trap of always wishing for

this moment to be different and

therefore cultivating a kind of

background sense of dissatisfaction.

So when you're always wishing for

something else, you're never fully

satisfied, never fully allowing yourself

to drop into contentment and never

quite fully present with what is.

Now of course letting go of the

wishing game doesn't mean that we

can never plan for things or make

positive changes in our lives.

It simply means learning to let go of

the continuous mental storylines that

say this moment is not good enough.

I need more.

I need this, that or the

other before I can be happy.

So this is the invitation for

practice today to see if you can

notice when the wishing game arises

in your mind, the stories about what

you need before you can be happy.

And when they do arise, just

letting them go as best you can and

switch your focus to appreciation

and gratitude for something about

the present moment experience.

So you just want to pick one thing or

two things you're really grateful for

and let the energy of gratitude and

contentment fill your body and mind.

By opening to the enoughness and fullness

of our lives, we naturally live with

more presence, contentment and joy.

As the old saying goes, "Happiness

is not having what you want.

It's appreciating what you have."

As always, thank you for your

practice and your presence here.

Let's settle in now

for today's meditation.

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