Carry your mindfulness with you: digital aids to practice

Photo: a relaxed hand rests on a knee during meditation
Meditation does not always have take place cross-legged in a quiet place.

I am a guy who has woven technology and mindfulness practices together in my life for the past decade. The Web and podcasts have opened the door to scores of dharma talks and guided meditations from some of the greatest teachers in the world: Tara Brach happens to be my favorite. I’ve been intrigued by the prospects of shrinking mindfulness to my smartphone and have added a few apps, but have never been completely satisfied. Carolyn Gregoire has pulled together a nice collections of phone apps and web services to augment your personal practice or take it in a new direction, and some of them look ready to take apps beyond promise and novelty.

These Digital Meditation Tools Can Be Your Gateway To A Calmer, More Effective Life.
Meditation, an ancient practice of calming the mind, would seem to be incompatible with modern technology, with its emphasis on speed and connectivity. But as more and more Americans have embraced meditation as an antidote to hyper-connected lives, the world of technology has joined the movement. The result is a growing field of meditation tools — from apps and podcasts to timers and online classes — and a growing acknowledgment that, paradoxically, technology can help us to turn inward, still our minds, and shut out the many distractions around us.

Most of these services are free or carry a modest charge. It will be interesting to see how these services develop and change because we just at the start-up phase of adapting an ancient discipline to modern means.

Gregoire adds a story about social trends leading towards interest in mindfulness: Why 2014 Will Be The Year Of Mindful Living.