DiscoverMeditative Story
Meditative Story
Claim Ownership

Meditative Story

Author: WaitWhat + Thrive Global

Subscribed: 219,629Played: 1,525,751


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 produced by WaitWhat in partnership with Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global. 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! Thank you, Salesforce, for sponsoring Meditative Story.

47 Episodes
The strawberry field past the maple tree. A hidden nook beneath the stairs. The magical hour before anyone else is awake. Throughout her life, Angela Ahrendts has sought out sanctuaries – sacred spaces to reconnect and to dream, quiet moments to visualize what her next big decision might lead to, to stay open to the signs that help guide her. Now, after a series of bold career choices, Angela reflects on the decades-long journey that has brought her to this moment, and comes to realize that with each new day she has an opportunity to discover a new sanctuary -- because the truest sanctuary is the one within us all.
As Senior Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Otis Moss carries the torch for generations of church and civil rights leaders, including his own father, a regional director in the SCLC, and a friend of Dr. Martin Luther King. But it is his late sister Daphne whose influence most impacts his ministry and social advocacy. A brilliant young woman who struggled with schizophrenia, Daphne introduced a young Otis to what he calls “the continuum” – a spirituality born of poetry, literature and jazz that has woven its way through our history. Drawing as much from the beats of J Dilla as from the speeches of Dr. King; from the politics of Public Enemy as from the poetry of Langston Hughes; from John Coltrane and Miles Davis as from Reinhold Niebuhr and Abraham Joshua Heschel, Pastor Moss shares a timely, deeply personal story about the American jazz narrative -- how a disparate and diverse people who are not supposed to make music together do – and do so beautifully.Music by Ryan Holladay and Jonathan Mouton. Follow Jonathan on Instagram: @entertainer4lyfeRead the transcript for this story at up for the Meditative Story newsletter, to get a timely episode reminder and a mini meditation in your inbox:
Judith Grisel is an internationally recognized behavioral neuroscientist and professor of psychology known for her research on the role of the brain in drug addiction. She is also a former addict. Years into her sobriety, Judy still labors to escape the painful feelings of loneliness and emptiness that have been with her since childhood. But when a friend presents her with a puzzling gift – an empty bowl – she is finally able to embrace the difficult feelings she’s spent a lifetime evading, and make peace with them.Read the transcript for this story at up for the Meditative Story newsletter, to get a timely episode reminder and a mini meditation in your inbox:
Gretchen Rubin is an expert on happiness, and she's spent her career helping people build the habits to achieve it. But she assumed that if something works for her, it should work for just about anyone. A series of chance encounters, and a healthy helping of curiosity, makes Gretchen realize that maybe there isn't one path to happiness after all. That there's no right or wrong way to build a meaningful life, just the way that works for you. Learn more at the Happier podcast at the transcript for this story at up for the Meditative Story newsletter, to get a timely episode reminder and a mini meditation in your inbox:
For many of us, the days are stretching out, copies, duplicates of one another. But there is change happening around us, time is moving forward. This meditation, led by host Rohan Gunatillake, is about noticing that change – outside and within. Mediation can help you become an expert on your internal seasons and habits. When we begin to notice that we change, that seasons change, we start to disbelieve the story that ‘things are always going to be like this’ – and that is magic.Read the transcript at Sign up for the Meditative Story newsletter, to get an episode reminder and a meditation in your inbox each Saturday:
One icy morning on a Vermont farm, Elizabeth Lesser is witness to a miraculous thing: the birth of a bleary, bleating baby lamb. Years later, as a midwife, she is still filled with this sense of awe and wonder at every birth. It’s through that process of coaching new life into the world, she learns how to sit through the difficult – even the painful – moments in her own: a divorce, a new career, even death. She begins to understand that we must all stay open to the wild pulse of life to give birth to our wiser selves.
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.
Lehua Kamalu captains a vast, double-hulled ocean canoe crafted to the exact specifications of the seafaring vessels used by her ancestors. She and her crew are making a 2,500 mile journey between Tahiti and Hawaii, the same one original settlers of the South Pacific traversed, the same journeys historians once struggled to believe possible without today’s technology. The stakes are high and they sail the way their ancestors sailed, taking their cues from the water and wind. Lehua stays alert and patient hours on end. It’s only by being grounded in the signs that Lehua can anticipate the possibilities. And it’s only by staying present that Lehua can take in the magic of the open water — and draw from that magic to sustain herself when each journey ends, as they inevitably do.
Krista Tippett’s early years aren't what you’d expect knowing who she is today. As a journalist and political aide in divided Berlin in the '80s, she led a life of importance, where she was surrounded by power, where every decision mattered. But when a window opened to step away from that heady life, she found a new space – and time to ask herself what mattered. She shares her story to remind us how we can find meaning in unexpected places.
American cultural critic Thomas Chatterton Williams is deeply in love with his French wife, Valentine. Accustomed to exquisite command over the English language, Thomas loses agency over his life when he and Valentine move to Paris. And when they welcome their first child, Marlow, for the first time in his life he finds he can't disclose himself — not fully — to a person he loves through language. When words fail, it's his six-year-old daughter who builds the bridge to her father and helps expand his own sense of self — in language, in life, and in love.Thomas Chatterton Williams's latest book is Self-Portrait in Black and White: Unlearning Race.Follow him on Twitter at @thomaschattwill Sign up for the Meditative Story newsletter, to get an episode reminder and a meditation in your inbox each Saturday: us on Twitter and Instagram:
Jail has a way of warping time. Changes on the outside world are locked away from those inside. Upon his release after serving 17 locked-up years, Jule recounts the moment he first sets eyes on a smartphone. The prison noises he is escaping — the yelling, the constant blaring of the radio, metal-on-metal echoing of cell bars — are replaced by the incessant pings and notifications of his new iPhone. His novice observations about the technology we wrap our lives around reveal a truth that perhaps we can no longer see ourselves.
We all need to love and be loved, we all want to feel not alone in this world. And this is true for all of the living world, says ecologist and author Carl Safina. Carl has spent his whole life interacting with the wild, from raising pigeons on a Brooklyn rooftop to trekking through the frozen landscape of Antarctica and the vast African savanna. And one thing he’s learned is that humans and animals alike, we’re all striving to connect. We’re all craving to establish bonds, to reach out, and to hold someone close. We all want to be loved – and to love ourselves.
Shea Hembrey is 5 years old, walking along the road to his farmhouse on the edge of the Mississippi River Delta, where the floodplains meet the Ozark Mountain foothills. The undulating hills surrounded by dense rows of oak, sassafras, sugarberry, and persimmon trees. He spots a pale, smooth-polished fleck: an egg! “This is a baby bird,” he tells his parents. “And I’m going to hatch it.” From that point forward, his willingness to be patient – to let what is already there reveal itself – opens up the world to show its goodness. We all possess this kind of wonderful intuition, but you must pay attention to that knowing feeling and start to trust it.Sign up for the Meditative Story newsletter, to get an episode reminder and a meditation in your inbox each Saturday: us on Twitter and Instagram:
None of us has ever faced a moment like this. It is heartbreaking and exhausting and ever changing and yet ... days seem to blur together. In this Meditative Story, there is no storyteller – but there are stories. Host Rohan Gunatillake is here with a meditation that meets the moment, one that invites you to stop. Breathe. Name the difficult. And maybe, just maybe, find some hope in what is happening right now.See a video version of this mediation on IGTV:
In this classic episode, while working on an experiment to measure the age of the universe, astronomer Michelle Thaller is reminded once again about both the impersonal immensity around us, and the deeply personal significance of each one of us.
Jackals and leopards in the fields. The sound of a lion’s roar. Majestic African bush elephants outside the front door. This is childhood for Forrest Galante as a kid growing up on a farm in Zimbabwe. He’s adventurous and instinctive and connected to the living earth. But a sudden move to the U.S. puts him in a completely new territory. In discovering this new urban world in front of him, Forrest learns that the key for all of us, to key to survival, is to adapt.
There he is: pacing around the campfire, contemplating, ruminating. Then, with a crooked, mischievous smile, he begins. “Here’s a story…” This is a memory violinist Lindsey Stirling will always carry of her dad, the tireless storyteller, telling the tallest of tales, dreaming the biggest of dreams. But also a man who couldn't quite see his life-changing impact on others because of the disappointments that befell his own life. In looking back, Lindsey comes to realize that whatever becomes of us, what endures are the stories we create while trying to figure it all out.Sign up for the Meditative Story newsletter, to get an episode reminder and a meditation in your inbox each Saturday: us on Twitter and Instagram:
"Why?” asks an insistent high school art teacher. “Why? Why? Why?” Staring blankly back, a young Jay Shetty has nothing to say. It’s an art project, it's just homework. A collage. It’s just … layers. The next day in a subway station, Jay's chance encounter with an ad peeling off the wall unlocks the truest answer. What he discovers that day about himself carries forward into college, when Jay meets a fellow student who's consumed by negativity and pain. There, the art project from so many years ago comes in handy in ways he never anticipates.Read Jay Shetty's book Think Like a Monk (listen to Think Like a Monk as an audiobook read by Jay).Jay hosts the podcast On Purpose with Jay Shetty.Sign up for the Meditative Story newsletter, to get an episode reminder and a meditation in your inbox each Saturday: us on Twitter and Instagram:
One summer night Paola Antonelli, now curator and head of R&D at the 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.Sign up for the Meditative Story newsletter, to get an episode reminder and a meditation in your inbox each Saturday: us on Twitter and Instagram:
DeRay Mckesson is one of America’s most recognized and admired activists. But before that, he was a magician. Not the kind who pulls a rabbit out of hat, but the kind who makes communities magically appear out of thin air. Every school DeRay ever attends, his name appears on the ballot for president of the student body. Why? Because through something as simple as student government, DeRay is able to bring people together in astonishing ways you just can’t see coming. Through countless elections and one seemingly impossible feat after another, DeRay designs the kind of world we all want to live. There’s no illusion about it. But it is magic.Sign up for the Meditative Story newsletter, to get an episode reminder and a meditation in your inbox each Saturday: us on Twitter and Instagram:
Comments (76)

Emmanuel Garcia

First episode I listen to and I project I will return to listen to many more. I can see the creative love everyone involved pumps into these episodes. They are nurturing. Thank you.

Jul 4th

Authentictalks 2.0

I love this podcast!!

Jul 2nd

SidTheKid 87


Jul 1st

Beatrice Fitzpatrick

so excellent haunting and honest

Jun 21st

Rommel Gatchalian

Thanks you Elizabeth for your wonderfully story. Thank you for helping me to see life in your eyes.

Jun 9th

Mitra Salehreyhani

I love all your stories. I hear those again and again. Thanks so much.

Jun 8th

Vance Lee


May 31st

Authentictalks 2.0


May 30th

Kyndl Holt McGehee

amazing story

May 27th

Hazel Goodwin

Thank You

May 25th

Atinuke Jose

Maybe seek donations AFTER the story and not before.

May 11th


Really enjoyed the episode, but I wish Sales Force doesn't need to be mentioned so many times, especially right after Lucy's story and before the meditation. It really broke the flow and the emotion for me.

May 9th

Chris Klumper

thanks castbox for subscribing me to this without my.knowledge

Apr 29th

Reem A.

Beutiful and calming

Apr 26th


loved the podcast

Apr 19th

Fatimah M Hussain

Could you please remove the background music? It’s really annoying..

Apr 17th

Jack Freeman

awesome podcast!!

Apr 17th

Bonnie Surie

This was an amazing episode!

Apr 16th

Susie Claire PH

Wonderful episode!

Apr 14th
Reply (1)

Thaung Htet Myat Minn


Apr 11th
Download from Google Play
Download from App Store