Open access peer-reviewed chapter - ONLINE FIRST

Storytelling Mindfulness: Storytelling Program for Meditations

By José Jesús Vargas Delgado

Submitted: March 4th 2019Reviewed: May 10th 2019Published: June 11th 2019

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.86778

Downloaded: 117

Abstract

Our chapter aims to design an empirical program for the best use of storytelling for construction, verbalization, meditations with different objectives: mindfulness and the art of storytelling. Why storytelling mindfulness? Storytelling is dynamic, imaginative, and interactive. It has a way of reaching a part of the mind and body that integrates us and helps us feel whole. It deepens our understanding of who we are and the skills we already have inside. I truly believe that at our core we are playful, imaginative beings and that this part of ourselves is what allows us to transform, grow and heal.

Keywords

  • storytelling mindfulness
  • meditations
  • mind
  • metaphors
  • storytelling
  • emotional storytelling

1. Introduction

The story is one of the oldest and deepest forms of human communication. Recently, the art of storytelling became a business technique from the Anglo-Saxon concept storytelling. Since the 90s, it has been transferred as a technique, to political, business communication, advertising and other areas of business [1]. Our contribution consists of applying it to mindfulness, and more specifically to the field of formal meditations.

The human being by nature is a great accountant and generator of stories. Since the beginning of time, he has needed and avidly wanted to listen to stories to make sense of his surroundings, of life, of his own identity, and of his emotions. In the words of Antonio Núñez, we are customs of stories. We are all creators and consumers of stories [1].

The great anthropological, religious and mythological narratives have given meaning to the life of the human being for centuries. Today, hundreds of fragmented narratives converge in formats, which continue to feed the need of the human being to create their identity and observation of their conscience.

As Núñez explains, a story is not a mere story for children or a legend. It conveys a universal truth, emotions and sensations. A story is able to give meaning to our lives and shed light on what we do not understand. [1]. And of course it is a great channel for the generation of meditations and to be able to apply it to mindfulness, and more concretely in the formal practices of meditation.

The investigations of Jiménez and Martínez [2] determine that with storytelling, it is about making communication a narrative process. In a world saturated with information, few messages have the opportunity to reach, impact or move into action. If we bring emotion and sincerity, the emotional story multiplies its opportunities. Inserting a story in a message provides emotional, cognitive, sensory and spiritual keys. It transports sensory stimuli, generates understanding, invites reflection and debate. A story brings universal reach, since it facilitates cultural bridges through archetypes and shared myths in common schemes. In the so-called attention economy, where there is a lack of attention and an overabundance of information and stimuli, the transmission of stories can be a formula for effectiveness. What also allows a connection with our being. The stories contain a great emotional charge. A good story, is able to enter through all the senses because it can be loaded with sensations. According to Núñez, a true story pulverizes the resistance of the most cynical and angry citizen of the economy of attention [1].

As Scolari defines, transmedia storytelling is characterized by creating and developing multimodal narrative planets that manifest themselves in many media, languages and communication environments. Through the inclusion of new profiles of characters or scenarios the expansion of the story takes place. In addition, active users participate in the dissemination of these narrative planets creating new content and sharing its essence [3].

2. Mindfulness

We can translate mindfulness of the word sati, and its etymologically comes from the Pali language, and which is one of the languages in which the discourses of the Buddha were written some 2500 years ago. Sati exactly has a complex and broad translation, since in Buddhism it is a broad concept. The idea focuses on the opposite of operating on automatic pilot, recreating our mind daydreaming. The core of its meaning lies in paying attention to what happens right at each moment, in the present moment [4]. In the general field of its current application, the most used translation of mindfulness is “mindfulness,” “clear observation,” or “full consciousness.” But there is also another translation that also has infinite routes and great applications in the field of conscious reading that is “memory.” That is to say that for a phenomenon to be possible to be remembered in samples or in its fullness, or to exist in some way in our mind, it is really necessary to have lived it with full attention or full consciousness [5].

The current investigations of the doctors García Campayo and Demarzo determine that mindfulness would have at least two meanings [5]:

A state of mind: a quality that is somehow present in one way or another in all individuals in different measure, manifestation or intensity and that is probabilistically shown in the population following a normal distribution, a kind of Gaus bell. For all this, doctors García Campayo and Demarzo clearly insist on the idea that mindfulness does not mean meditation at all, given that it is a mistake that is usually made. With an optimally well-guided application and without performing the daily practice of meditation, elevated states of mindfulness can be achieved. If you practice mindfulness in the daily activities of our daily life (taking a shower, taking a car, cleaning, walking, taking the elevator, listening, eating, watching TV, resting, reading…) you can raise the levels of mindfulness. This way of being present fully in everyday life is the practice informs [5]. A way to be present in the activities of daily life from an observation and a full presence. Although it is not common because the way to reach high levels of mindfulness is combining formal practice with informal practice. In our research we will focus on the application of mindfulness and the art of storytelling focused exclusively on formal practices or meditations more than the use we know.

The psychological technique that allows to develop mindfulness: it is important to mean that mindfulness is a third generation psychotherapy [5]. Indeed some of its terms and concepts come from the Eastern religious traditions and more specifically from Buddhism, the essence of mindfulness is a clearly secular technique, of course without any religious or cultural reminiscence, and most importantly with a contrasted, evident and solid base scientific The vital event in the scientific process of mindfulness is at the foundation in 1979 of the Center for mindfulness, at the University of Massachusetts, by Kabat-Zinn, one of the most proven scientific researchers of mindfulness today. In this foundation, the stress reduction technique based on the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) method was studied and experimented [6].

When it comes to finding an optimal definition of mindfulness, we have to focus on the perspective of the state of mind and on the maximum exponent that is Kabat-Zinn, who defines it as consciousness that arises from paying attention, intentionally to experience such and as it is in the present moment, without judging it, without evaluating it and without reacting to it. In a more compressed format the same author reduces to the essence of it through the following definition: “simply stop and be present, that’s all” [6]. Although in this case he disassociates himself from one of the key elements in the process of the application of mindfulness, which is the absence of judgment. Judgment inevitably takes you out of the present, and does not allow you full presence, and exposure to experience as it is. This point is important for our application in storytelling mindfulness, given that the issuance of the judgment does not allow us a full connection with the exposed present, and especially with the next moment in the form of narrative content in meditation. The appearance of the trial connects with the internal dialogue and that disconnects us with the present.

As a natural derivative of the Kabat-Zinn [6] definition, we obtain two characteristics:

  • Self-regulated attention: the application of the same allows us to keep focused in the immediate experience of the present moment, generating high levels of recognition of bodily, sensory, emotional and mental phenomena. The development of self-regulated attention can be considered and conceptually defined as a mental ability, or state, that arises each moment when the individual or subject directs and focuses their attention on the experience and the present moment. Element or vital predisposition in the process of therapeutic narratives.

  • Curiosity, openness and full acceptance: the main derivative of this orientation consists in the ability to recognize and perceive the raw, objective and immaculate reality of the phenomena judgment. Absolutely free of our narrative and cognitive narrative story. In the end this trained predisposition becomes a quality of personality that inevitably arises when we practice mindfulness through formal and informal techniques. It is a courageous way of looking into the eyes of what appears in our meditation.

According to García Campayo and Demarzo, the concepts of mindfulness should include the following aspects [5]:

  • Ability to be attentive: a high development of our attention allows the individual not to be distracted, drowsy or indolent, but attentive and perfectly focused on what he is living. When applied to the keys of an efficient meditation through storytelling mindfulness and guided efficient and conscious practices, it consists that the individual is fully oriented and focused on this purpose. It is not an environmental or atmospheric issue, it is a matter of attentional focus. In fact, the possibility of performing it in environments of noise, interruptions and distractions is a good way to exercise our attention muscle.

  • In the present moment: the subject can focus his attention on the past (for example, to a previous meditation) missing his presence, and merge with that thought of the past. What supposes attention to the past. It is a very common sign that if it arises in certain depression pictures. Or, you can focus on future events that are about to come, which have not happened yet. It is a very common sign that if it arises in certain anxiety pictures. But we insist that attention in storytelling mindfulness should be focused on the present. In mindfulness it is important that the subject focuses exclusively on the present moment, on his current meditation, recorded or guided by a specialist. The mind loves by nature and in a consubstantial way to balance between concern (about future) and judgment of the past (past events). The mind as soon as any fracture arises in the meditation that has a link with the past or the future is going to activate, so it is important to be attentive to return again to the present without anger, again and again to the bodily sensations that irretrievably return us to the present moment.

  • Intentional and deliberate: a training on the will on deliberate and intentional targeting. At the beginning, as in sports training, this exercise of attention will be important. As it is practiced over and over again, and we are aware of the intention in meditation, the process anchors, consolidates, becomes natural and can be achieved in state most of your time. It is a matter of training. If we apply it to formal practices or to meditations at the beginning, the implementation of this deliberate intention, or state in the present, generates a small effort, but little by little it becomes a much more natural attention. And the dispersions are appearing every time with less quantitative and qualitative incidence.

  • Full acceptance: the subject enters a deliberate state of nonjudgment to everything he perceives. The protagonism of the judgment disappears, which is what allows us to deactivate the present, and of course any text. The subject avoids judging the present experience, accepts it in a radical and full way. That is to say that the individual surrenders without criticism to the process that is living in meditation and that is experienced. Because he has intentionally chosen his presence. It is important to delve into the process of storytelling mindfulness, the narrative difference between acceptance and resignation or passivity. If we have opted for this meditation or for this experience mindfulness, we will live it fully while we are in this moment, it is acceptance. But of course, that does not mean that we have to resign ourselves to the experience fully and resign ourselves to it. We can make the decision to deliberately divert our attention and, of course, stop experiencing that meditation or an experience of its process in the story, or stop connecting with that experience, but it is a decision of our own and in an active way [6].

  • Activation-deactivation without complaint: the acceptance allows the complaint not to be presented. Any aspect of nonacceptance that exists in the experience will make us lose the state of mindfulness and take us out of the present. But before resignation there is the decision to change the attentional focus. In this way, the wear of the complaint, which is produced by a waste of energy in a position not present, does not unfold. Activation; if we decide to go deeper into a meditative story, we experience it fully. Deactivation, and if it does not finally convince us, we also leave it fully and consciously.

Within the areas of application of mindfulness and storytelling mindfulness we can identify three main contexts of intervention [7]:

  • Clinical field: the practice is intended for patients, or clients, who present a medical diagnosis, or psychiatric, that heal or improve a specific or specific disease picture. An example of this field of application is found in patients with depression, anxiety, stress, chronic pain. In this type of mindfulness action, it is usually applied following protocols and regulated therapeutic processes and administered by specialized professionals with experience in each type of pathology. In the ONELIFE Clinic (center specialized in the treatment of pain in a multidisciplinary way) we have been applying this methodology in an innovative way with patients who have this diagnosis (https://onelife.es/) [8].

  • Psychoeducational area: in this case, the application of mindfulness practice is aimed at the general population. They are subjects who do not have any clinical diagnosis, and who seek to improve their health in general, their psychological well-being, their levels of happiness, their capacity for attention, concentration, presence…in these cases the application of storytelling mindfulness allows to clearly reduce cognitive ruminations, mental distractions, better deal with conflictive situations, complicated or adverse, regulate intrapersonal and interpersonal emotions in a much healthier way. In these cases, a series of structured guidelines are also established and it is also necessary that they be managed and managed by specialized professionals with experience in this type of psychoeducational field. In this type of setting and contexts mindfulness is usually applied to the content of the mind, especially in the sensations, thoughts, emotions and impulses. From this framework of action we have applied, in previous research, how can be linked mindfulness processes to enhance creativity, which would be framed within this second scope of action [9].

  • Spiritual scope: in this third sphere of application we find ourselves a target of healthy people, or not, who wish to elevate their spiritual development and transcendence. In this case, we must impart spiritual teachers, meditation, references, have experience in formal and informal practice, with values and ethical principles unimpeachable. In this third, and last, area of action of mindfulness, its methodological application does not only apply to the content of the mind, but to the very functioning of it [10].

Next, part of the investigations of García Campayo and Demarzo [8] we have created a series of essential characteristics that we must put into action when it comes to the efficient narration of meditations, or formal practices. The formal practice of storytelling can be recorded or performed live by a specialized professional.

3. Essential ways of storytelling mindfulness

3.1 Clarity in the language

It is important at the time of the creation and guidance of formal meditations the use of an audible language, with an optimal pronunciation, with an intensity and timbre that make it fully understandable and understandable.

3.2 Linguistic precision

The narrative verbalizations of the meditations should express what one really wants to express. As guiders of meditation it is vital not to allow the mind to generate doubt or possibility to ambiguous interpretation.

3.3 Accessible language

It is recommended in the process of storytelling mindfulness to use a language that is not too sophisticated or technical. Ideally, it can be understood by any target. Although it is highly recommended not to flirt with a crude or rudimentary language.

3.4 Characters as basic elements of storytelling mindfulness

When creating a narrative in the form of meditation we must take into account the characters as essential elements for the creation of this narrative process. The characters make us relate to them, with links of identification, opposition or projection. In meditations, or storytelling mindfulness we consider characters to be the manifestation of a conceptual, metaphorical or conscious representation of a sensation, thought or emotion. Some examples would be: a recurrent thought, an expansive emotion, a contractive emotion, a latent feeling in our body, etc. Through storytelling mindfulness we pretend that they acquire a character category so that they can be granted a route and a dramatic curve in the narrative. For all this, a character and its manifestation gives us a series of keys in relation to the environment. The characters can be defined as protagonists. For example, a contractive emotion or an expansive emotion. The presence of both is important in order to obtain the learning processes in each storytelling mindfulness.

3.5 Taxonomy of conflicts in storytelling mindfulness

There are five possible types of conflicts in formal practices.

3.5.1 Self-conflict

A conflict with itself occurs. The narration of meditation has the objective of self-healing and resolution of internal conflicts. An example of this would be guilt, self-imposed, or excessive responsibility.

3.5.2 Conflict with the environment

There is a conflict with a place, a space, a scenario, a city, a village, a neighborhood, a country, a real territory or an imaginary environment. The narration of meditation aims to heal and resolve conflicts manifested through the environment. Storytelling mindfulness has the objective of solving this conflict anchored in the past in order to obtain a healthy relationship with that territory.

3.5.3 Conflict with the past

There is a conflict with a concrete event of the unresolved past that manifests itself in the present recurrently.

3.5.4 Conflict with a specific person

Identification of a conflict with a specific person.

3.5.5 Conflict with the future

There is a conflict in the form of concern about an event in the future. Since it has not happened, it is a conflict focused on suffering, and not on the pain that is a present ailment.

3.6 Archetypes, myths, and rites as elements storytelling mindfulness

Archetypes are the primal models of storytelling mindfulness that are essential for the narration of our meditations established by Kabat-Zinn. Conceptual forms that represent an ideal form and that are shared, in the essential, by all schools of mindfulness and that, in one way or another, must be present in the narrations and in the meditations. They represent ideas or personalize ideals. They have modeling value. They carry symbolic and spiritual charge: not to judge, patience, beginner’s mind, confidence, not to insist on effort, acceptance, release and kindness [6].

Myth: it is an exemplary story. Something that happened in a remote or fictitious time but that can happen again at any time. According to Núñez, a myth is an exemplary, sacred and significant history that has given meaning to the existence of man since the beginning of time [1]. In the narrations of the meditations you can connect with an exemplary story that happened at some point of our existence and that can inspire us to feel one way or another in formal practice. The elements of nature are recurring symbolic elements that allow us to connect with this type of experiences in meditation. An example of this is found in the meditation of the mountain, in which we can experience the seasons and their impact on their different zones and the orography of the same. This type of stories could connect us with the profound wisdom of this type of scenario [11].

Rites: according to the storytelling specialist, Antonio Núñez [1], if you make your story possible a rite, you convert users or recipients into walking stories. It is a way to experience our history and meditation. The return of our focus attention to the sensations of our body through a ritualized history is a wonderful methodology to connect with the present, leave the internal dialogue of our thoughts, getting the meditation to become an assumed and fully liturgical experience. An example of this is the optimal sequence of the meditations that, as a rite, we connect in the first minutes with our body in a holistic way, with the deep sensations in the senses and finally in the attention on breathing (abdomen, chest, mouth and nose). Especially significant is its application on attentional meditations, although it can also be used on generative and deconstructive ones [11].

3.7 Productive economy

The materialisations of the meditations should be focused on a direct and explicit approach, without too many descriptions or too many descriptive nuances. The mind by nature is already scattered with 60,000 thoughts in a day, such as to create ambiguous and scattered storytelling mindfulness. Messages that economize the process of history [10].

3.8 Narrative sensoriality

The processes of storytelling mindfulness must connect mainly with our senses. Each receiver has a predominant channeling of some senses over others. In order to establish connection spaces with all the senses, our mindfulness narrations must contain a direct reference to the senses with the intention of opening stimulation spaces in the different sensory channels. An example of this would be: “feeling our mind,” “listening to our expansive emotion,” “smelling the fragrance of our attention” [11].

3.9 Narrative gerund

It is highly recommended to stimulate the sensoriality of the receptors of storytelling mindfulness the use of verb forms in gerund because it allows a greater stimulation of the senses in a very explicit way, and invites a direct connection without digression. An example of this would be: “Accepting,” “connecting,” “experimenting,” “checking” or “feeling” [11].

3.10 Typology of storytelling mindfulness

The most complete and complex model to apply to our storytelling mindfulness research is that of Dahl and his collaborators [5]. From this perspective types of mindfulness storytelling types are the following: attentional storytelling, constructive or generative storytelling and deconstructive storytelling. They seek to manipulate the orientation and opening of the attention and the narrative, as well as to monitor and detect it, unhooking it from the distractors to reorient it towards the chosen object. These techniques develop metacognition, which would be the cognitive function that allows to be aware of the process of consciousness. In the absence of metacognition, one is fused with experience. It is a way to fuse with the plot of a film and a narrative and an experiential fusion takes place. Next, we show the following subdivision of narrations [7].

3.10.1 Narration of focused attention

It aims to narrow the narrative focus of attention to develop unidirectional concentration in a single object, or meditative element. An example of this would be the creation of a storytelling mindfulness that focuses on a more focused field of attention such as our forehead. All storytelling mindfulness development focuses on that narrative space [11].

3.10.2 Open monitoring narration

It is a kind of storytelling mindfulness in which it consists in directing attention to the thoughts, perceptions and sensations that appear in consciousness as a result of our history. An application that has a direct impact on creativity levels [9].

3.11 Determining and nonpossessive items

Storytelling mindfulness connects with internal spaces of consciousness that should enhance observation without identification. Therefore, we recommend the use of determinant and nonpossessive articles in the creation of meditations. The use of possessive items would clearly generate an identification with the body and a very direct attachment is the body and we would immediately become attached to the thoughts more easily and fluently.

3.12 Metaphors

We use metaphors when we explain a reality with another reality. It is a transfer of meaning. It is probably the rhetorical figure par excellence, and the most used. In storytelling mindfulness is a figure that allows to connect in a subtle way through the representation of forms. The symbolic formalization of emotions through shapes, colors, textures, is a very operative morphology to express and heal emotions [9]. Jenkin’s research in storytelling establishes as a key the process in which we need to create a different metaphor to describe the commitment of the viewer with the narrative complexity [12]. In this way the creation of different metaphors of our emotions is an optimal manifestation of the feelings in the body [22].

3.13 Frequency of acceptance

It is highly recommended that the storytelling mindfulness language suggests acceptance and not fight. When we struggle with a contractive emotion, and we do not accept the presence of emotion, it becomes much stronger in our body and in our being. It is highly recommended that no effort be made about emotion, and of course the attempt to eradicate it. For example, in storytelling mindfulness to release stress it is important to accept the contractionary emotions and not fight with them. An example of this would be: “accept an emotion of grief,” “cradle sadness in your body,” “allow contraction,” “grant love,” “grace the anger in your chest,” “grant the tension in your mind” [13].

3.14 Structure of storytelling mindfulness

It was the Russian Vladimir Propp (1971) who analyzed the folk tales until finding the recurrent and organic structure in all the popular narratives to be able to extend them to other scenarios. He came to define 31 constant points in his structural analysis [23]. A story advances in links. Each link marks a change, it is an event, a “beat.” One of the essential aspects in the storytelling process is the figure of the hero in this type of narrative. Following Núñez and our pragmatic research, this would be the efficient structure of the story of the hero in storytelling mindfulness [1].

We have discovered an inspiring analogy between the conceptual story of the conventional hero and its application in the storytelling mindfulness environment.

3.14.1 The ordinary world

Reflecting the daily life of the character. Storytelling mindfulness shows credible manifestations to solve and heal aspects linked to everyday life. In previous research we have applied it to current conscious leaders [14].

3.14.2 The call to adventure

A signal that leads to change. Mindfulness storytelling linked to meditations connected with courage and internal evolution, to be able to change settled contractive emotions and possible processes of resignation.

3.14.3 The rejection of the call

Doubts when leaving the ordinary world. It is materialized through the internal resistances manifested through thoughts, emotions or sensations that do not allow evolution. It is important the appearance and acceptance of this rejection to be able to heal. The more you fight to make certain broader and more settled thoughts or emotions disappear, you make these emotions. The acceptance of resistances is the first step for healing through meditations.

3.14.4 The meeting with the mentor

Someone who prepares you for adventure. This manifestation after rejection is a way to connect with our healing self, an encounter with our inner teacher. It is a way of looking into the eyes of our most enlightened and conscious self. It is a way of connecting with the observing self.

3.14.5 The crossing of the first threshold

First incident when leaving the everyday. In all the processes of storytelling mindfulness from the perspective of the inevitable processes that we must experience, there is a first barrier to overcome our meditation objectives. An important distraction arises, a first resistance to look at the emotions may arise, a brake appears in the form of attachment to our contractive feelings. The first threshold may appear in the journey through abandonment due to the difficulties to persevere in meditation, either through the appearance of expectations, or through postural discomforts.

3.14.6 The tests, the allies, the enemies

As in any conventional storytelling, in our mindfulness narrative tests appear. For example, it can physically appear in the form of small challenges. These mindfulness storytelling tests appear once the first big threshold has been overcome. An example of this are small itching or bodily discomfort that may arise when connecting with meditation. Internally they can appear through the difficulties of opening to certain healing processes. Small refusals to accept some internal processes. The enemies in the dramatization are manifested through our shadow. Underneath all exaggeration lies our enemies, the “psychological shadow”: fear, lack of confidence. It happens that the natural unconsciousness weaves an emotional carpet of buried and pending issues to be solved. Aspects often derived from childhood wounds that we all go through and which, through awareness, we can accept and integrate. This type of shadow without recognizing does not allow us the fluid connection when communicating. It takes us to the communicative makeup that does not give us the option to communicate in an authentic way. The allies are our experiences of the past that on previous occasions have allowed us to heal, and that can be a column where we can support ourselves to build the cathedral of our emotions. An example of this: “Now your mind is going to bring to the present a memory of affection. An episode of your life in which you have felt total love, your deep mind can do it. And he also wants to collaborate with you” [11].

3.14.7 The approach to the deepest cavern: the great crisis

When we approach the healing and acceptance of our most contractive emotions, an encounter with the last great test is manifested. It is the last resistance of our deep self in meditations. It is time to look into our eyes to our darkest area and embrace it. An example of this is the last sequence in the meditation on self-pity: “and now remember someone with whom you have conflicts. Your mind selects that person. You visualize it in front of you. Now feel like you open your heart more to include this uncomfortable person in your sphere of love, together with other people” [15].

3.14.8 The odyssey or calvary

It is the most complicated area of the cavern. In storytelling mindfulness is focused on the moment we leave the cave. It is a way to deeply accept the great difficulty that we are healing. The frequency of gratitude allows us to overcome the ordeal in order to obtain the travel reward of meditation. An example of this in the last sequence in the meditation on self-pity: “And now remember someone with whom you have conflicts. Accept it deeply. And even if you do not agree with some of your manifestations, you can recognize your true essence, above your relationship” [11].

3.14.9 The reward

Although it is important that we do not look with expectation or conditionings for the physical and psychic effects of meditation, we are aware that any formal practice of mindfulness contains an internal effect that is sometimes more palpable and others less, but it has an extraordinary effect. Overcoming the tests, cavern and odyssey always has healing effects on our being.

3.14.10 The way back

Return to the previous life. Each meditation is a narrative and internal healing journey, but then you have to return to reality in order to continue learning every moment. We must honor the process of returning from everyday life because that is where the understandings and our experiences of storytelling mindfulness are internalized. An example of this is found in the last sequence of inner child meditation: “…now you know that you are able to support and resolve those moments in your life, in which you feel the insecurity and other symptoms derived from confusion and lack of love. When these symptoms reappear in the path of your life, you will activate again the image of your child embraced to you. Breathing in the calm that produces the protection and love that you give” [2].

3.14.11 The resurrection or transformation

A profound change in the values of the character. Each journey of storytelling mindfulness allows us a transformation without expectations that makes us not the same as we started the trip. Each meditation process allows us to become aware of transpersonal micro transformations in each meditation, becoming aware of the fact that we change every moment.

3.14.12 The return with the vital elixir

With what has been learned, discovered. It is the process of returning to daily life with the learning acquired and internalized in the journey of the formal practice of mindfulness. The new vital application obtained in the storytelling mindfulness is already incorporated in the device of our being.

3.15 Field of infinite possibilities

Without sensory determination, or make explicit what the recipient should feel. It is important that we do not condition the receiver in what he will feel, or in what he must experience. We should not provoke expectation or frustration because we do not feel what the script a priori determines. We must allow the receiver to open a field of infinite possibilities. An example of this would be: “Everything you feel is very good,” “Thanks deeply everything that appears before you” [16].

3.16 Morphology, texture, temperature and chromatic use of emotions

The formalization and manifestation of the emotions allows an experiential experimentation of the feelings in our body. The main objective of the narrative recreation of the form of emotions is the increase of consciousness about the emotion to work, through the bodily sensations. If we materialize the emotions and focus our attention on the bodily sensations that these generate in our body, there is an irremediable decrease in the internal dialogue. There is a greater awareness of body processes such as breathing, posture, movement or listening to sounds. As the investigations of García Campayo and Demarzo say, the sounds appear geolocated [5]. What we see and experience appears with a three-dimensionality and a special brightness. An example of this is to perceive an emotion such as fear with a gray color, with the shape of a very heavy anchor, with a cold temperature and with a very rough temperature [11].

3.17 Times storytelling mindfulness

3.17.1 Micro meditations

Three to five minutes. This type of narrative is especially designed for awareness, attention and emotional update, and concentration processes.

3.17.2 Basic meditation

Five to twenty minutes. Complete meditation 20–45 minutes. The objective is the identification and formalization of emotions through compassion. For example, in those used in experiments of MBCP program to the perceptive consciousness, and the comprehensive depth of the art inspired by Cervantes [7].

3.17.3 Extensive meditation

forty five to ninety minutes. The priority objective of formal practice is the complete work of acceptance and emotional healing through compassion.

3.18 Therapeutic process

Therapeutic process of storytelling mindfulness (beginning, development, healing, landing, and epilogue of the story).

3.18.1 Introductory atmosphere

Twenty-five percentage of the contents of storytelling mindfulness. It is an essential phase in the process of introducing our narrative journey. It is a phase in which the receiver is allowed to release the aspects of the discursive mind, and enter the planet of being. An essential example of this phase we have it in a fragment of the meditation of the inner child would be the following: “Situate yourself in a comfortable position, not so much as to fall asleep. Become aware of how you are at this moment. How is your body? How is your mind? How are your emotions? Bring your attention to the breath hour by centering it in the center of the chest. How is your breathing at this time. You watch it” [11].

3.18.2 Narrative development and healing

Sixty percentage of the contents of storytelling mindfulness. It is the vital phase in the storytelling mindfulness process, aimed at healing the processes of meditation and formal practice. It is a phase in which the receiver goes into the deepest rooms of the narrative, allowing to accept with courage all the aspects that are found, holding with temper everything that appears without judgment. An essential example of this phase we have in an excerpt from the meditation of the body scanner: “Invite the focus of your attention now to move towards the part of the feet that is in contact with the ground. Feel that area, do not think about it, just feel it” [22].

3.18.3 Epilogue and narrative landing

Fifteen percentage of the contents of storytelling mindfulness. It is the epilogue of our history and our formal practice. It is important that the surfacing to life be gradual and progressive. It is a phase in which the receiver goes internalizing and becoming aware of everything worked in meditation, and awakening through different anchors the ways of becoming aware that everything he has learned in this process will be transferred to life everyday An essential example of this phase is found in a fragment of the meditation practice of the body scanner: “And now to finish the exercise, a gong will sound, after which I would like to thank you for taking some time for this practice for an attentive and loving journey of the body. total that you are. Every time you encounter a complicated situation you will connect with your deep self and you will remember all this process of self-pity that you have worked on. Recognize in it, the act of love that is” [11].

3.19 Silence in storytelling mindfulness

Studies show that noise has a powerful physical effect on our brains, causing elevated levels of stress hormones. According to the researcher Mónica Esgueva, professional coaching, sound travels to the brain as electrical signals through the ear. Even when we are sleeping, these sound waves cause the body to react and activate the amygdala, the part of the brain associated with memory, emotion and sense of danger, leading to the release of stress hormones. Therefore, living in a noisy environment on a regular basis causes us to experience extremely high levels of these harmful hormones. In the current era of digital overexposure, in which we feel overwhelmed by huge amounts of information, disconnect becomes more relevant than ever. Research has shown that demands constant attention of modern life put a lot of stress in our prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for making decisions, solving problems and stop our harmful impulses, among other tasks. When we spend time alone in silence, our brain is able to relax and free itself. Silence relieves stress and tension in both the brain and the body, helps us replenish and nourishes our cognitive resources. Therefore it is highly recommended is mindfulness storytelling incorporation of silence as a pill break where our attention is connected with emotions that have emerged, it is a way to allow consciousness to rest in the relaxed attention. Silence is confirmed in the celebration of each moment and each frame diffused in our history. Silence is not the opposite of sound, but rather a dimension of consciousness that actually contains all sounds. We need to develop as human beings a certain relationship in silence, to become friends with him, to discover him as the fertile source of all subsequent activity and sound. In fact, we maintain an ambivalent relationship with silence, because we seek serenity and yet drama abounds in our lives, we long for fulfillment and at the same time we fear the unknown terrain that we have to cross to reach them. Silence thus understood is not a denial of life, love, or community, but it teaches us to celebrate the beauty of each moment. Silence makes us truly strong. Living in this new territory is very useful for personal life, for the healthy management of our expansive and contractive emotions, for the relationship with others and for the achievement of our projects in a truly new and creative way. From that perspective we must offer in our way of creating meditations spaces of silence, we should not direct all the time, but spaces of silence, and oxygen should be offered, so that the participant can experience it for himself. Therefore, the language is used economically, simply, without long descriptions. Territories of silence. Storytelling in other topics is not recommended to create too many territories of silence, but meditative narratives should be offered spaces of silence so that the receiver can experience, and feel, those formats of self-inquiry and self-experimentation [14].

3.19.1 Storytelling mindfulness postural

Traditionally, the body has been denied in the West, which has given greater preponderance to the mind. The mind has been considered as the place where the intellectual life and the imaginative life and the narrative life are produced. And of course it has been thought that storytelling has its palace exclusively in mind. And for that reason always in the West it has been thought that the body is simply a vehicle directed by the mind [5]. Oriental culture has always maintained a different position, considering the body as important as the mind for the balance of the individual. Current research by García Campayo and Demarzo supports the hypothesis that guides the importance of the body in our psyche and in our way of integrating and fully listening to stories [5]. It is demonstrated that interoceptive perceptions (bodily sensations) modify our thoughts and emotions in an important way and vice versa. In fact, there are studies that show that, if the habitual posture is modified, simply introducing a pencil in the mouth and introducing the smile, one finds the experiences and storytelling more fun (for example, reading a comic story) than if it is not done this modification [5]. The body, our posture and breathing therefore conforms as an essential variable when it comes to emotion and perception of the stories. Storytelling mindfulness establishes a series of essential postures that allow the effects of the connection of formal practices to be much greater and more fluid. An example of this is found in the stretched back, open and expanding chest, hands in opening, feet comfortably resting on the floor, hand resting comfortably on the legs, face without tensions and half-closed eyes without focusing anything specific [2, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21].

4. Conclusion

We discover the creative and pragmatic essence of the novel concept of mental narration. The fundamental objective is the design of an empirical program for the best use of narration for construction, verbalization, meditation with different objectives: mindfulness and the art of storytelling. The formal practices are a fundamental axis in the processes of full attention and the methodology of the story a way to face them with efficiency.

To carry out a narrative production, the best form of meditations, the form, the series of factors, the way of sharing, the power, the conscience, the keys, the time to share and the power to connect with the receiver.: Clarity in the language, communicative precision, the use of an accessible language, the awareness of the characters and their connotative impact, the conflicts in the story of an activity, the archetypes, myths, rites, productive economy, narrative sensoriality, gerundium employment. Narrative, type of mindfulness of stories, determinant articles, use of metaphors, acceptance, structure, field of possibilities in the receiver of an activity, morphology in the emotions, time of the meditations, therapeutic process in the formal practices, silence and narration.

The main cognitive, sensory and emotional advantages of the use of the mental narrative guidelines that we have developed are the following:

  • Memorize. Because the brain cannot hold much information in the short term. It only collects four or five arguments. In a story, information is related within a story and facilitates meaningful learning. In this way, the use of narrative keys in meditations allows meditation to be remembered in greater depth and breadth.

  • Think about images, meditate on images. The nature of our thoughts and cognitive phenomena have an image form. The experimentation of the senses in images of the meditations allows a very subtle connection much higher. Therefore, the memory and efficiency of meditation are increased through the use of narrative images.

  • Fit a new idea into another already known. Variations on archetypes and myths facilitate the understanding of history, and the internalization of the story in meditation. What connects us in the infinite possibilities that the receiver is at the time of connecting with the essence of each practice and its way of healing.

  • Stimulates the imagination and helps maintain attention. Our method of storytelling mindfulness allows us to open windows to an imaginary, and to a particular planet that encourages the visualization of processes in meditation. To prevent the receiver from entering into internal dialogue mode, it is important that the scenario be subtle within the meditation guide. A conscious accompaniment, but allowing a free recreation of our imagination in each sequence and fragment.

  • We raise the level of acceptance and healing of emotions.

  • Geolocation of sounds and a three-dimensionality vision and a special brightness. The narrative recreation of the form of emotions increases our awareness through bodily sensations, which allows the internal dialogue to descend and increase an experiential way of listening and seeing, an effect that extends from formal to informal practices.

  • Improvement of the therapeutic process in meditations. The use of storytelling mindfulness through the sequentially of the phases: initiation, development, healing, landing, and epilogue of the story, allows an awareness of the place, and the point where we are at the time of surpassing screens in our healing process through narrative meditations.

Throughout our chapter, we have deepened in the extensive options of inquiry of the application of the storytelling mindfulness method. It opens a field of infinite possibilities of application that allows to put the focus of study, in future research, to many other narrative exploration scenarios such as in the methodology of creation of informal practices of mindfulness, the deepening in attentional storytelling, constructive or generative storytelling and deconstructive storytelling.

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José Jesús Vargas Delgado (June 11th 2019). Storytelling Mindfulness: Storytelling Program for Meditations [Online First], IntechOpen, DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.86778. Available from:

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