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Struggling to meditate? There's an app for that!

A great too to help beginner meditation students.
Screen capture from IPhone.

Insight Timer app


There are countless benefits to meditation. For thousands of years or more, humans have understood the importance of quieting the mind and practicing stillness. It is not a practice relegated to great spiritual masters but can be the first step for those seeking a spiritual path and who don't know where to start. It can seem intimidating when one thinks of trying to meditate. We live in such a chaotic world where we are bombarded with images, noises, frequencies and smells that can be overwhelming. Not to mention, we are constantly hit with the mud that others sling at us causing doubt, fear, despair and those thoughts inside our head. But if we can learn to calm our thoughts and still our mind, dodging the mud and letting go of the negative energy becomes easier. It doesn't go away but having the skill that allows you to pause before you react and form a thought decreases that stress and keeps our mind clear to make better choices. It is that space between thoughts where the deepest silence is heard.

Even though we can’t find refuge in a cave there are still tools to help make this practice less daunting and help us experience the benefits that keep us coming for more. In meditation less is better especially in the beginning. Taking even just 3-5 minutes can have a positive effect on our mind. What’s more important is the consistency. When one starts meditation there are always the questions of how long do I sit for? How do I know when I have sat that long? Well if we can embrace the technology that sometimes causes our stress and merge it with the practice of mediation which brings peace, BRING IT ON!! There is a great newly discovered app that is awesome to help get you started called Insight Timer. It’s an iPhone meditation timer that allows you to set the duration of time you want to sit, let’s you set timers to go every few minutes during that time frame and lets you set what kind of notifications you need. The notifications come in the firm of Tibetan singing bowls which can be pricey to buy. Here you can choose from different singing bowls to which ones feel good to you. They even have a gong. Though the sounds are recorded, they still resonate within the body and are not as abrupt as a timer on a clock. Plus if you are meditating for 10 minutes you can set a sound to chime at 5 minutes letting you know you are halfway through. For a yoga or meditation teacher this can add a nice touch o your class if you are playing with different durations and are just starting out. It also shows you who is meditating using the app around the world to let you know you are not alone:-) Another nice feature is that it does not go to sleep when your iPhone would normally go into sleep mode. It stays active on your screen. Some other apps don’t have that. And prices at just $1.99 makes it affordable.

So no matter if you are a total newbie meditation student or a seasoned master, this app is a nice tool to add to your little box of healthy lifestyle resources.