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  • The chaotic nature and noise of life as a musician – touring from city to city – eventually erodes Andrew Bird's ability to hear the music that is really inside of him. In a courageous effort to understand the faint calling of sound playing in his head, Andrew deserts his Chicago apartment for a rural piece of land where he believes an old farmhouse might unlock his personal renewal as an experimental multi-instrumentalist musician. There inside the reverberating wooden walls of a dilapidated barn, he begins to recalibrate – seeing, sensing, and interpreting the space around him musically. Rather than imposing his vision on the world, Andrew's music becomes a reflection of what the surrounding environment is trying to tell him. He learns that sometimes a sense of connectedness is easier to achieve alone, where you're able to find out what's happening inside you in order to make it sing outwards.

    Each episode of Meditative Story combines the emotional pull of first-person storytelling with immersive music and gentle mindfulness prompts. Read the transcript for this story at: https://meditativestory.com/

    Sign up for the Meditative Story newsletter, to get a timely episode reminder and a mini meditation in your inbox: http://eepurl.com/gyDGgD

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  • Standing at the door of the airplane, a new thing called “snow” swirling around her, Rohan’s mom is about to take a momentous step – making a life change that reverberates down the generations. A meditation about the steps we take when the outcome is uncertain.

    Each episode of Meditative Story combines the emotional pull of first-person storytelling with immersive music and gentle mindfulness prompts. Read the transcript for this story at: https://meditativestory.com/

    Sign up for the Meditative Story newsletter, to get a timely episode reminder and a mini meditation in your inbox: http://eepurl.com/gyDGgD

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  • Before becoming a MacArthur award–winning entomologist, Dr. Marla Spivak is adrift – first as a young woman in search of direction, then deep in the Amazon, severely ill and fearing death. Time and again, it’s the hum of bees that shows her a path forward. Apiculture doesn’t just become her life’s passion, it reveals a deeper truth about the connections that bind us.

    Each episode of Meditative Story combines the emotional pull of first-person storytelling with immersive music and gentle mindfulness prompts. Read the transcript for this story at: https://meditativestory.com/

    Sign up for the Meditative Story newsletter, to get a timely episode reminder and a mini meditation in your inbox: http://eepurl.com/gyDGgD

    NEW: Become a member of Meditative Story to support the show as we move away from a corporate advertising model. Your annual membership supports making the show available for free! More: http://meditativestory.com/membership.

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

  • What do we do with the not-quite-perfect relationships in our lives? Growing up, the comedian and actor Milana Vayntrub adores her father — but all their happy times together end with him getting back on a plane. What does it mean to love someone who insists on living on another continent? And what might it mean to forge a new kind of intimacy?

    Each episode of Meditative Story combines the emotional pull of first-person storytelling with immersive music and gentle mindfulness prompts. Read the transcript for this story at: https://meditativestory.com/

    Sign up for the Meditative Story newsletter, to get a timely episode reminder and a mini meditation in your inbox: http://eepurl.com/gyDGgD

    NEW: Become a member of Meditative Story to support the show as we move away from a corporate advertising model. Your annual membership supports making the show available for free! More: http://meditativestory.com/membership

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

  • You might know actor Michael Imperioli as Christopher Moltisanti from The Sopranos — and now The Many Saints of Newark. But before all that, he was a 17-year-old kid, adrift, curious about acting. His parents are baffled, but they give him an enormous gift: they trust him. As he grows as an artist, Michael realizes the way that the courage to trust – in your instincts, in your teachers, and in one another – is what forms the foundation for a brave, creative life.

    Read the transcript for this story at https://meditativestory.com

    The Many Saints of Newark is available now in theaters and on HBO Max.

    Sign up for the Meditative Story newsletter, to get a timely episode reminder and a mini meditation in your inbox: http://eepurl.com/gyDGgD

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  • Russ Ellis has led the kind of life they write books about. The first full-time Black professor at California’s Claremont Colleges. Acclaimed sociologist. Celebrated sculptor and painter. Even a recording artist. But as he reveals in this episode, even the fullest life can be haunted by a single event half a century earlier.

    Read a transcript of Russ Ellis' story: https://meditativestory.com/russ-ellis/

    Sign up for the Meditative Story newsletter, to get a timely episode reminder and a mini meditation in your inbox: http://eepurl.com/gyDGgD

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  • A street in Honduras. A conference room. The fifth lap of a bike ride. Crisis can descend on you in unexpected places – and so can clarity. All that’s required of you, really, is to be there for it, and to stretch yourself in ways you hadn’t expected. Mariann Budde, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese in Washington, DC, tells of three defining moments of struggle and grace in her life.

    Read a transcript of Mariann Budde's story: https://meditativestory.com/mariann-budde/

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  • The idea of a meditation retreat is deeply romantic. But the reality can be very different. Join our host Rohan Gunatillake on his first retreat, at a monastery in the English countryside, where he locks in to his meditation practice for the first time – and on the same night, almost gives it up altogether.

    Read a transcript for this episode: http://meditativestory.com

    Sign up for the Meditative Story newsletter, to get a timely episode reminder and a mini meditation in your inbox: http://eepurl.com/gyDGgD

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  • Boy meets girl, girl notices boy's squirrel painting, boy and girl fall in love. The plot of a classic Hollywood romcom? Not even close. But when struggling actor Randall Park meets the person of his dreams at an awkward LA art party, it is indeed the start of an epic love story – and a story of self-discovery too.

    Read a transcript for this episode: http://meditativestory.com

    Sign up for the Meditative Story newsletter, to get a timely episode reminder and a mini meditation in your inbox: http://eepurl.com/gyDGgD

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  • Robin Arzón is a star fitness coach at Peloton, beloved for her high-energy coaching with more than a dash of tough love. In this story, join Robin on the longest run of her life: the Florida Keys 100 Ultramarathon. As difficult as it is to run 100 sweaty miles in the South Florida heat, far more challenging is the mental fortitude to keep doubt at bay.

    Read a transcript for this episode: http://meditativestory.com

    Sign up for the Meditative Story newsletter, to get a timely episode reminder and a mini meditation in your inbox: http://eepurl.com/gyDGgD

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  • Arriving in a strange town, disoriented and desperate to crawl into bed, Kaywin Feldman realizes she is just steps from an eight-century-old art treasure: a small chapel covered floor to ceiling with one of Giotto’s most extraordinary frescoes. She wanders inside, and the course of her life abruptly changes.

    Read a transcript for this episode: http://meditativestory.com

    Sign up for the Meditative Story newsletter, to get a timely episode reminder and a mini meditation in your inbox: http://eepurl.com/gyDGgD

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  • Psychology professor Dr. Laurie Santos is the host of The Happiness Lab podcast – and of Yale’s most popular course ever. (More than 3 million people have taken her "Science of Wellbeing" course online.) In this story, journey with Laurie to an island in Puerto Rico where she is one of only a few humans among thousands of monkeys. The company of non-humans, it turns out, can help us better understand ourselves.

    Read a transcript for this episode: http://meditativestory.com

    Sign up for the Meditative Story newsletter, to get a timely episode reminder and a mini meditation in your inbox: http://eepurl.com/gyDGgD

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  • As he sits with his wife in the waiting room of the pediatric cardiology unit, actor Joel McHale is struggling to feel anything but helpless. His infant son has been born with two holes in his heart; an operation is underway to repair them. But waiting in that moment, Joel begins to realize the unpredictable journey of parenthood that lies ahead. Life will happen. You just deal with it as best you can. And you love your kids, endlessly and endlessly and endlessly.

    Read a transcript for this episode: http://meditativestory.com

    Sign up for the Meditative Story newsletter, to get a timely episode reminder and a mini meditation in your inbox: http://eepurl.com/gyDGgD

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  • Before his rise to fame, David Duchovny is a popular kid – charming, funny, bright, and athletic, beloved by friends and teachers alike. But there’s one teacher who puts David off-balance, calling him out for foolishness where others see charm. Years after graduation, struggling to make it as an actor in Hollywood, David finally comes to recognize that what he mistook for dislike was in fact an encouragement to go his own way, in his own time.

    Read a transcript for this episode: http://meditativestory.com

    Sign up for the Meditative Story newsletter, to get a timely episode reminder and a mini meditation in your inbox: http://eepurl.com/gyDGgD

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  • The heart of storytelling is a journey, across time and place. In these four short stories, travel to a remote and lonely farm … a village alive with family … an island teeming with unique life … and a city street that suddenly begins to feel like home. In stories from Andrew Bird, Nadia Owusu, David Whyte, and Pico Iyer, linked and contextualized with meditations from Rohan.

    Listen to Meditative Story episodes featured in this episode:

    Andrew Bird: http://listen.meditativestory.com/AndrewBirdCompilation2

    Nadia Owusu: http://listen.meditativestory.com/NadiaOwusuCompilation2

    David Whyte: http://listen.meditativestory.com/DavidWhyteCompilation2

    Pico Iyer: http://listen.meditativestory.com/PicoIyerCompilation2

    Read a transcript for this episode: http://meditativestory.com

    Sign up for the Meditative Story newsletter, to get a timely episode reminder and a mini meditation in your inbox: http://eepurl.com/gyDGgD

    NEW: Become a member of Meditative Story to support the show as we move away from a corporate advertising model. Your annual membership supports making the show available for free! More: http://meditativestory.com/membership

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  • One summer night Paola Antonelli, now curator and head of R&D at MoMA, sets sail off the coast of Sardinia – snaking through the wavy sea with friends. She jumps off the boat, slides into the water, and makes her way to the rocks as her friends hang back, making dinner aboard. While keeping her eyes on the horizon and the setting sun, her mind wanders to the rockier questions in her life: How will she make the right choice for her future? The answer, she realizes, is right in front of her. Life is just like sailing: Some days there are bright skies, some days rolling waves. She just has to look for the right winds and waves to take her where she wants to go.

    Read a transcript for this episode: http://meditativestory.com

    Sign up for the Meditative Story newsletter, to get a timely episode reminder and a mini meditation in your inbox: http://eepurl.com/gyDGgD

    NEW: Become a member of Meditative Story to support the show as we move away from a corporate advertising model. Your annual membership supports making the show available for free! More: http://meditativestory.com/membership

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  • Loving football – specifically loving England’s team during a cup final – means resigning yourself to heartbreak, over, and over, and over. In this meditation, Rohan Gunatillake explores the singular anguish routinely visited upon dedicated fans of a favorite team. Within a mindful life, that anguish can become its own kind of beauty.

    Read a transcript for this episode: http://meditativestory.com

    Sign up for the Meditative Story newsletter, to get a timely episode reminder and a mini meditation in your inbox: http://eepurl.com/gyDGgD

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  • Best-known for his record-setting streak of 2,632 consecutive games played, Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. is widely regarded as one of Major League Baseball’s greatest all-time players. But for Cal, just showing up is never an end in itself. It’s how he shows up that distinguishes his legacy as an athlete, a lesson Cal learns by observing his father – a baseball legend in his own right – whose dignity on and off the field extends far beyond hard work and fair play alone.

    Read a transcript for this episode: http://meditativestory.com

    Sign up for the Meditative Story newsletter, to get a timely episode reminder and a mini meditation in your inbox: http://eepurl.com/gyDGgD

    NEW: Become a member of Meditative Story to support the show as we move away from a corporate advertising model. Your annual membership supports making the show available for free! More: http://meditativestory.com/membership

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  • All our problems haven’t magically vanished after the dark year gone by, but perhaps we’ve begun a new chapter, a slow re-awakening. In this collection of short stories, Rohan finds moments from four storytellers – Diana Nyad, Nalini Nadkarni, Franklin Leonard, and Florence Williams – that explore the singular moments that set us on a new path. Sometimes, it’s a single, pointed question. Other times, it’s an unexpected invitation. And sometimes, that moment arrives in a full-on blizzard.

    Listen to Meditative Story episodes featured in this episode:

    Diana Nyad: http://listen.meditativestory.com/DianaNyadCompilation

    Nalini Nadkarni: http://listen.meditativestory.com/NaliniNadkarniCompilation

    Franklin Leonard: http://listen.meditativestory.com/FranklinLeonardCompilation

    Florence Williams: http://listen.meditativestory.com/FlorenceWilliamsCompilation

    Read a transcript for this episode: http://meditativestory.com

    Sign up for the Meditative Story newsletter to get a timely episode reminder and a mini meditation in your inbox: http://eepurl.com/gyDGgD

    NEW: Become a member of Meditative Story to support the show as we move away from a corporate advertising model. Your annual membership supports making the show available for free! More: http://meditativestory.com/membership

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

  • Fresh out of nursing school, Wayne Little finds a treasured mentor in his first job – a nurse whose lifelong mission inspires his own. Years later, in the middle of a global pandemic, he calls on those lessons he learned so long ago.

    Read a transcript for this episode: http://meditativestory.com

    Sign up for the Meditative Story newsletter, to get a timely episode reminder and a mini meditation in your inbox: http://eepurl.com/gyDGgD

    Become a member of Meditative Story to support the show as we move away from a corporate advertising model. Your annual membership supports making the show available for free! More: http://meditativestory.com/membership

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.