Meditation is defined on Wikipedia thusly:
“[It] is a practice where an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit, or for the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content, or as an end in itself.”
I have only “meditated” a few times, mostly in yoga / meditation mix classes, and always with a physical guide present, but recently, since dealing with some bigger life stresses, I have decided to attempt to make it more of a daily (okay, three times weekly) practice.
We are very lucky at work to have a weekly guided meditation, but I soon realized that I need a little more. After asking around, a friend mentioned that he had heard of smartphone apps that acted like little, pocket meditation guides. As one of those people that is never more than 30 feet from my phone, this seemed like a great solution.
I did a bit of research, ran a few trials, and have fallen in love with Headspace.
Founded in 2010 in London by Andy Puddicombe and Rich Pierson, Headspace is now being used by over 2 million people across the world. Puddicombe is a Brit who, after quitting his studies at 22, decided to travel across Asia for ten years and was ordained at a Tibetan monastery in the Himalayas (why wasn’t I invited?). Something about the fact that this app was created by a person who grew up with a very similar upbringing to mine (comfortable childhood, good education, Western culture), and who then had this very enlightening, long trip that turned his life upside-down, made Headspace just feel like it would be accessible.
I don’t know about you guys, but if I’m going to buy what you’re telling me, then I need to feel like you believe in it. And Andy, whose voice you hear in each course, obviously believes in it.
The app is free for Android and iOS devices, and there are guided meditations from 2 minutes to 10 minutes to longer, with special personalized courses for subscribers who pay a monthly fee.
I’ve only had the app for 10 days, but I am already seeing a change in the way I look at my life, my work, and my relationships. I highly encourage you all to try this out with me, so we can go on a journey together to practice mindfulness and improve our lives just a little bit!