Meditative Story

WaitWhat

Meditative Story combines extraordinary human stories with meditation prompts embedded into the storylines — all surrounded by breathtaking music. Think of it as an alternative way into a mindfulness practice, through vivid stories and cinematic music and production values. Meditative Story is an original series produced by WaitWhat and supported by our members. Our community tells us that they listen to the same episodes over and over again, and according to data provided by Apple Podcasts, Meditative Story may have the highest engagement of any podcast in the world. And that makes us proud!

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Our Editor's Take

The Meditative Story podcast blends two popular genres into one podcast. The host of the show is Rohan Gunatillake. His expertise is at the intersection of mindfulness, technology, and design.

In the podcast, each guest tells a story. The account is often from their childhood. They recount moments that encapsulate a truth about who that person is. Sometimes they describe an epiphany. All the memories are in the first person and the present tense, giving them immediacy and vividness. Listeners hear from prominent figures in business and culture. Broadcast journalist Soledad O'Brien talks about her middle school days. Singer Jason Mraz's physical and mental fatigue from a punishing touring schedule made it hard for him to compose music. Comedian Tig Notaro overcame many rejections before becoming famous. Activist Varshini Prakash's village in India flooded when she was a child. She credits this event for her work on climate justice. Each guest tells their story at a measured pace. The background music follows the plot and cadence.

Gunatillake provides the "meditative" part of Meditative Story. At the beginning of each episode, he eases listeners into a state of relaxation. He steps in at key moments of the account. He invites the audience to examine their physical and emotional reactions. In a soothing, velvety voice, he reminds listeners to focus on their breath. He provides tools for managing feelings. After the guest has finished their testimony, Gunatillake brings everything together. He draws connections between the lessons that lie in each story. He also helps with the practice of mindful listening.

Meditative Story might be a good choice for people who struggle with mindfulness. Listening to the storyteller anchors busy minds while providing a restful atmosphere. As a bonus, prominent figures reveal some of their most vulnerable moments. This makes them seem more approachable and more human. People who have difficulty calming their thoughts might consider trying this podcast. However, this show is not a substitute for a medical professional. New episodes debut several times each week.

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Society & CultureSociety & Culture

Episodes

Introducing: Offsite Adventures
Apr 17 2024
Introducing: Offsite Adventures
From the team behind Meditative Story, we're happy to share the first episode of Offsite Adventures, our newest show uncovering the gems, magical moments, and unique learnings in iconic business travel destinations.Three minutes before midnight in Times Square, one of the most trafficked commercial centers in the world momentarily transforms into a vibrant digital art installation, providing a refreshing pause for locals and tourists alike. It’s called the Midnight Moment, and you won’t believe how something so unexpected came together. In this episode, Janet digs into the history of this unique collaboration between the advertising and arts communities before experiencing it herself with innovative, boundary-breaking artist Shahzia Sikander.Offsite Adventures is a Masters of Scale Production presented in alliance with Capital One Business.Special thanks to Jean Cooney and Times Squares Arts and artists featured as part of the Midnight Moment episode:  Artist: Shahzia Sikander | Title: Reckoning | Video by Tatyana Tenenbaum Artist: Nora Maité Nieves | Title: Eyes of the Sea | Video by Tatyana TenenbaumArtist: LuYang | Title: DOKU: Digital Reincarnation | Video by Phatt FeaturesSpecial thanks to composer Du Yun for music featured in this episode.See this story come to life in our video series on YouTube. Click here to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERpUrWKdCjESee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
To do hard things, be adaptable, by Alex Honnold
Mar 26 2024
To do hard things, be adaptable, by Alex Honnold
Alex Honnold, renowned rock climber and the subject of the documentary Free Solo, has always known how to do hard things. Yet he’s also had to learn that his drive to push himself will only take him so far. In today's episode, he tells the story of how he’s come to understand the importance of reading the conditions of the environment, and learning to adapt.Meditative Story has received two nominations for this year's Webby Awards. Please consider voting for both categories:Original Music Score / Best Sound Design: https://vote.webbyawards.com/PublicVoting#/2024/podcasts/features/original-music-score-best-sound-designHealth, Wellness & Lifestyle: https://vote.webbyawards.com/PublicVoting#/2024/podcasts/individual-episodes/health-wellness-lifestyleVisit Alex's website: www.alexhonnold.comFollow Alex on Instagram: https://instagram.com/alexhonnold/Follow Alex on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AlexHonnoldFollow Alex on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlexHonnoldIf this episode resonates with you, we’d love to hear from you. Please take a moment to share your reflections by rating and reviewing Meditative Story in your podcast player. It helps other listeners find their way to the show, and we’d be so grateful.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: meditativestory.comSign up for the Meditative Story newsletter: https://meditativestory.com/subscribeSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
Finding inspiration from strong women, by Rohan Gunatillake
Mar 19 2024
Finding inspiration from strong women, by Rohan Gunatillake
In honor of International Women’s Day, Rohan relates the story of a woman who greatly influenced his journey towards mindfulness and unknowingly helped shape the course of his life — Gaia House co-founder Christina Feldman. As this calming and enlightening anecdote unwinds, Rohan invites you to reflect on the strong women in your own life and examine how they embody the qualities you wish to see in yourself.Meditative Story has received two nominations for this year's Webby Awards. Please consider voting for both categories:Original Music Score / Best Sound Design: https://vote.webbyawards.com/PublicVoting#/2024/podcasts/features/original-music-score-best-sound-designHealth, Wellness & Lifestyle: https://vote.webbyawards.com/PublicVoting#/2024/podcasts/individual-episodes/health-wellness-lifestyleIf this episode resonates with you, we’d love to hear from you. Please take a moment to share your reflections by rating and reviewing Meditative Story in your podcast player. It helps other listeners find their way to the show, and we’d be so grateful.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: meditativestory.comSign up for the Meditative Story newsletter: https://meditativestory.com/subscribeSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.