From time to time people ask me if I use guided meditations, meditation timers, and other “brain game” apps. While I don’t use them often, I think they’re super helpful in finding your practice – especially in the beginning. Guided meditations are great for people (like me) that need to be frequently re-directed back to the object of our attention. For these people, there’s not enough stimulation coming in to keep them interested enough to want to stay with the practice – so they give up meditating entirely.
Guided meditations help increase the activity by using thought skillfully (instead of letting the thoughts use you). iTunes has lots of different options available for meditation timers and there are so many free timers. Here are a few apps that I use the most.
ReWire – This is Hayden’s current favorite. I know he likes it because as you can see from the picture, he sat for 15 minutes. It uses a combination of sounds and vibrations to keep you focused. This app allows you to set a timer and choose from three different soundtracks targeted at joy, focus, or calm. You can also use tracks you’ve already purchased on your phone.
Headspace (on-the-go) – This app is pretty cool because it’s 10 minutes each and gives you the ability to schedule your mindfulness sessions ahead of time and download them. There are also 365 days worth of unique 10-minute sessions. I use this when I need the extra stimulation and my meditations are feeling blah.
Insight Timer – I use this all the time as my timer but I don’t log into my account that often. It lets me go deeper into my meditation practice by allowing me to focus on my breath or mantra – instead of constantly thinking about the time. Cool Tibetan singing bowls to bring you in, out, or can guide you along the way. They have a pretty great community – you can see other meditating friends around the world who are meditating with you.
And, if you do log on you can use guided meditations from some of your favorite meditation teachers. (Jon Kabat-Zinn, Sharon Salzberg, and Tara Brach, to name a few).
One of my all time favorite guided meditation CD is by my good friend and teacher, davidji: “Fill What Is Empty; Empty What Is Full.”
These guided meditation’s are perfect for someone just starting a meditation practice. You will feel relaxed, alert, aware, and peaceful.
I hope this helps!