I’ve found that integrating my meditation practice with meditation apps (or mindfulness apps), believe it or not, has really helped me further my practice. There are countless guided meditation apps out in the market. So I won’t attempt to sift through those. Many are useful for the beginner and I think they’re a great way to learn how to properly meditate. That being said, you’ll probably need step away from the guidance to get deeper into your practice at some point. While some of the apps below use guided meditation as a feature, there are a couple here that go an extra step to help you further your practice. Here are a few that you might find useful.
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1. Insight Timer – https://insighttimer.com/ (Free and paid options)
I use this cloud based timer for my meditation practice. If I feel I can spare only a few minutes for a quick meditation session, I can set my timer for a short amount of time. Usually, after my quick session, I decide that I should have set my timer for a longer period of time; I find out what is really important in my day. This app is also great because it keeps track of how many days you’ve been meditating, gives you long and short-term goals and give you access to different messaging groups (although I haven’t used these too much)
2. Lift – https://lift.do/ (Free)
While not a “meditation app” per say, I use this additional app to keep track of the days that I meditate. It will send you push notifications to keep you motivated and remind you to keep track of your habits. Unlike the other apps in this list, you can input whatever habit you’d like to keep track of, and receive motivation from other people that use the app too. You may find its helpful to keep track of your thoughts of loving-kindness throughout the day, or maybe you’d like to keep track of being aware of your breath throughout the day. Name it, you can keep track of it.
3. Buddify – http://buddhify.com/ (Paid)
Taking a modern approach to Buddhism, Buddhify uses guided meditations to help you navigate the modern world with a Buddhist mindset. Great narratives and great for beginners looking into how to approach Buddhism in everyday life.
4. Headspace – http://www.getsomeheadspace.com (Free with Paid options)
Although I’ve never used this app, it seems to be so popular that I couldn’t leave it off the list. It uses animations to help you learn how sit and meditate. Guided meditations are also provided, and like most of the apps above, allows you to keep track of your practice.
5. ReWire – https://www.facebook.com/ReWireApp
Since I’m Canada, I can’t actually download this app (US only store), but the premise seems interesting at least. It aims to cultivate your focused attention by accessing your music and video in your iTunes library and asking you to pay attention to the gaps in the playback. The concept of this app comes from Shinzen Young’s technique using “gone” to note when a sensory input vanishes. While an interesting concept, I’m unsure how much this will differ from the concentration I’m able to cultivate when playing Candy Crush.