The Weekly Vlog


Apr 03, 2024

I want to introduce you to a lovely mindfulness meditation practice. I learned it in a training session for leaders by the Xchange Group. This method is called the Unified Mindfulness approach to meditation. It’s very widespread, used by Harvard, Carnegie Mellon, and other universities that do research on the benefits of meditation.

There are many approaches to meditation, but Unified Mindfulness revolutionized my experience. It’s the one and only approach that I find I can use as I move through the day—as I drive my kids around, make my bed, and just experience life.

It was created by a man named Shinzen Young. Here’s what he says about himself: “I’m a Jewish-American Buddhist-informed mindfulness teacher who got turned on to comparative mysticism by an Irish-Catholic priest and who has developed a Burmese-Japanese fusion practice inspired by the spirit of quantified science” I love this guy! He is co-director of the Science Enhanced Mindful Awareness Lab at the University of Arizona. He’s a mathematician and scientist, and, basically, he endeavored to distill mindfulness into its mathematical elements.

Young says there are three units of experience: what we see, what we hear, and what we feel. Each of those three can be outward-oriented or inward-oriented. 

So for example, “see-out” is something you experience visually, like a sunset. “See-in” is when you have an image in your mind, perhaps something you are remembering. You might imagine a beach, for example. 

“Hear-out” is what you hear around you. “Hear-in” is your internal monologue or a conversation you imagine. “Feel-out” is any of the sensations, from a taste on your tongue to the feel of your feet on the floor. “Feel-in” is emotional. Tightness in your belly, joy in your heart—any sort of emotion.

To do the meditation, you notice what happens to you and around you, and label it, as see, hear, or feel. You can also note whether it is inward or outward. In the vlog, I do a brief session to demonstrate, labeling as I go, and then explain what I’m labeling.

For example, as I was staring into the camera, I saw the color of my burgundy jacket in the lens—I labeled that “see-out.” Then I heard the sounds in my room and labeled them “hear-out.” My ankles and feet hurt, so I labeled that “feel-out.” Then I had thoughts of how watchers would respond to this meditation and labeled that as “feel-in.” 

I enjoy this practice immensely. It’s fascinating to be pulled into the present moment, whatever you are doing.

Meditation increases happiness, clarity of thought, sensory awareness, and the ability to be present. If you go to, there’s a free online course you can take on this method. 

Much of what we do in Bright Line Eating is finding new ways to engage with the present moment. When we stop eating sugar and flour and limit eating occasions, we create space between meals where life shows up. How do we engage with those moments? Mindfulness meditation gives you the agency to choose your response to that moment. 

Unified Mindfulness is a lovely way to interact with the present moment. It’s a new tool you can use, if you wish. It’s working for me, and now I’m passing it on to you. 

Click here to listen to this episode on Bright Line Living™ - The Official Bright Line Eating Podcast.

Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D. is a New York Times bestselling author and an expert in the psychology and neuroscience of eating.  Susan is the Founder and CEO of Bright Line Eating®, a scientifically grounded program that teaches you a simple process for getting your brain on board so you can finally find freedom from food.

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