Technology and mindfulness seem to be like oil and water; they just don’t mix. I definitely agree that many elements of technology, like social media, can be big distractions from our practice. They can even start to rewire our brains away from being present. However, there is one app that I use to keep me present, and that’s the meditation app Insight Timer. I use this app every single day to keep my meditation practice on track. I want to share some of the features, why it works for me, and if this app is right for you.
The biggest feature that keeps me coming back is the streak tracker. I have meditated with this app for over 1,200 consecutive days, and I would do anything to preserve my streak. I’m not too humble to mention that this streak is much longer than this, but this was when I was last on a meditation retreat and didn’t record my sessions. Anyways! Every ten consecutive days that I meditate, I get a little milestone and a gold star that means more to me than I’d like to admit.
Another cool feature is when you open the app, you can see how many people are currently meditating. It’s often in the tens of thousands! After you finish your meditation, you can see a few pics of people who were meditating at the same time, and you can send them a quick note saying “Thanks for meditating with me”. That’s about all the social interaction I want with my meditation app. No messaging, following, posting, etc.
There is an expansive library of all kinds of live and recorded meditations, yoga classes, Qi Gong, philosophy discussions, journaling guidance, Tarot, music, and I even saw some knitting on there. I have a couple of sleep meditations that I use when I can’t sleep. This library is an underrated and undervalued (by me anyways) part of this app.
The core function of the app is the meditation timer. You input your desired meditation length, which sound you’d like to start and/or end your meditation with, and any ambient sound you’d like in the background. There’s even an optional pop up before you meditate to track how you feel before you meditate, and the option to input how you feel after you finish your session. I appreciate this little check in to help me notice how my meditation changes my mood.
This app works great for me because it is simple to use, it helps me to stay consistent, it’s unobtrusive, and it’s free. I prefer silent unguided meditation without any guidance, so this app is a great option for that. If you would like a meditation app that is more focused on teaching you meditation, maybe Headspace would be better for you. A lot of people rave about Calm as well, but I can’t comment as I’ve never used it.
I hope you are inspired to get consistent in your meditation practice after reading this, maybe using technology to help facilitate if you think it would be helpful. No matter what you do to cultivate peace of mind, I wish you success. Thanks for reading, and see you next time!
PS, in case you’re interested in checking out Insight Timer, here’s the link: https://insighttimer.com/