For many people, meditation can be the toughest new skill to master. “Sit quietly, focus on your breath, calm the mind.” After years of non-stop thinking and constant movement, the practice of getting still can be frustrating, discouraging, and even boring. But thanks to Arianna Huffington and her team at Thrive Global, who have collaborated with WaitWhat to launch an exciting new meditation program, the ancient practice of centering and calming the mind just got a lot more doable.
It’s the Meditative Story podcast, a first-of-its kind listening experience that plays into two irrepressible trends: the surging popularity of intimate, first-person audio storytelling, and of course meditation/mindfulness and science-backed benefits, blending immersive, first-person stories with mindfulness prompts to help you recharge at any moment of the day.
“‘Meditative Story is a great way into meditation because it first draws you in through the power of an intimate, first-person story,” says Huffington, founder of behavior change technology company, Thrive Global.
“The stories, along with music and sound design, create an environment for the listener so that when the meditation prompts come in, the experience is both seamless and transformative,” Huffington explains. “We’ve had amazing feedback, not just from long-time meditation practitioners, but from people who have never tried it before. So it’s perfect for people new to meditation—all you have to do is start listening to a mesmerizing story.”
The latest story takes listeners on a powerful and inspiring journey with writer and amateur boxer Thomas Page McBee, the first transgender man to step into a boxing ring at Madison Square Garden. For McBee, the match isn’t about defeating his opponent, but about facing his own fears of masculinity, aggression, and inadequacy. Having feared men his whole life, and now a man himself for all the world, this moment is really about conquering the blocks to his own freedom.
That’s the brilliance of Meditative Story: Each episode—from believing in the power of manifestation to seeing life and death through the eyes of a child— inspires us to look at our own lives, at our fears and struggles, our hopes and dreams, and brings a sense of light and possibility to it all.
“I didn’t win” the fight, McBee says in his episode, ‘Fight My Fears—And Winning in Spite of Losing.’ “But I won.”
While the experience of McBee’s story feels like an adventurous ride, it’s a process that allows us to do what meditation has always done: anchor the mind to the present moment. The only moment where life is really happening, here and now.
The Meditative Story podcast is available on Apple Podcast, Spotify and other leading podcast platforms.
By Chad Schubert
Photo credit: Thrive Global / WaitWhat
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