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  • Written by  Jerome Stone
  • // Tuesday, 20 December 2011 08:25
Jerome Stone

Using Technology to Help You to Meditate

The topic of how to use and integrate meditation into our lives has been discussed on this site and addressed in a number of great posts.This post answers one question that comes up a lot; "How do I remember to meditate?" "How do I remember to practice, to do short sessions during the day?" Glad you asked.
I constantly have to keep myself reminded to do..pretty much anything in my life these days. In fact, even as I write this post, I have a  notification entered into my iPhone to remind me to feed the parking meter at the right time so that I won't get a ticket!

You'd think that with the great benefits that meditation brings us we'd easily remember to meditate. Maybe you are able to do so. If that's the case, good for you. I celebrate your aware mind! For the rest of us, we need tools to help us to remember. Fortunately, we meditators are very lucky to have so many geeks in our ranks, meditators who actually create tools to help us to remember to meditate.

Here's a short list of some of the great tools that I use to remember to take time, to take even a moment, to engage in a short practice of meditation, mindful, aware and spacious. Check out these applications and their websites. You may find them to be handy. Enjoy!

Insight TimerThe first application is a handy little number from the folks at Spotlight Six Software. This simple application, Insight Timer, is a great tool to use while at work, while cooking, or even driving. It comes with "seven different bells of varying size and metal compositions - from bright and clean to deep and complex with lovely overtones." There are a number of great options, including a log for keeping track of your sessions, a vibrate function (so you can use it during long tedious meetings to bring your mind back!), the option to pause meditation sessions, and the ability to change the time-interval between reminder bells. And, GET THIS, you can even see who else is meditating with you...all over the world! And, this app is just $1.99. It's worth checking out. This app is available for the iPhone, iPad, and Android-based phones.

Meditate appTwo additional applications can be found on the SimpleTouch website. This company seems to make timers for everything; exercise, yoga, meditation...even boxing! The first application, Meditate, is described as being "simple, elegant, beautiful." Indeed, it is. For me, I like having a few more options such as those found in the Insight Timer application, described above. However, this is the first application that I used as a meditation/timing device and I found it effective. This application comes with 3 basic bell sounds, but then you have to purchase additional meditation bowl sounds if you want a wider variety. Use options include a vibrate function, preparation timer, interval chimes and a cool down period. This application sells for $2.99 and is available of iPhone and iPad.

iPad with Meditator AppThe other application from SimpleTouch is Meditator, whose application page looks like an advertisement for Gothic meditation. This application is similar to the Meditate application except that you can choose from 4 "ambient soundscapes" to enhance your meditation. It has the the same options as Meditate does, except that it comes with more sound/chime/bell choices. This application sells for $2.99 and is available for iPhone and iPad.

Besides these portable tools, there are literally hundreds of meditation timers available. These timers come in the form of clock-like gadgets that can be either very simple (like a clock!) or beautifully handcrafted timers like those offered by Now and Zen. Additionally, you  can search online and find numerous web-based timers as well as desktop widgets that you can download and use on your computer.

All of these products are here for one purpose, to help us to become better and more conscientious meditators. Check them out. Use them. Enjoy and have fun in your practice.