StoryTell – a mindfulness practice
Get ready to tell a story! You will create the story in your mind with this practice and then can tell it to friends and family, or not. Just the practice will build your skills of concentration, clarity and equanimity. And help to connect with others. Read a few instructions below and then listen to the audio for a guided practice.
This is a story of a minor happening in your day, today if possible. Or recently. It’s short; five sentences or so. The story could be pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. About an outing to the grocery store. Or a walk. Or cooking something. This story has five parts and there’s a mindfulness practice for each part. The idea is to continue to develop skill at being clear and aware of words we say and hear from others and help us connect with all beings.
There’s a character, a person or being in this story. You or someone else. Your pet. A bird or chipmunk or tree in your yard. I’ll lead you to see, hear, feel this character.
There’s a place, a location, a setting. Along a road or in a field, in the car or in your house. I’ll lead you to see, hear, feel this place.
Something happens in this story. There’s a plot. Again, we will experience this happening with the senses.
There’s some kind of struggle or question or puzzle in this story. Maybe a skunk has been digging up your yard. Or the cashier charged you too much for strawberry jam. It doesn’t have to be big. But some opposition of forces. See, hear, feel this struggle.
You learned something in this story. There’s a moral, a theme. Just fill in the blank – I learned ______.
Shinzen talked about this kind of practice as building skill to communicate what we mean, hear what others’ mean and arrive at what we mean together. My interpretation is that since we are all one, we must have common ground on anything and everything. And our differences are minor shadows or clouds over universal reality. StoryTell can help develop skills to find that common ground, no matter what the circumstances. Let’s begin!
I call this mindfulness practice StoryTell, based on a practice and system created by Shinzen Young and presented on a retreat hosted online by the Community of Mindful Living. This is only a portion of a communication system Shinzen is developing and represents my interpretation of that system.