Why Should We Meditate?

By Ann Shayne
July 1, 2017

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  • I had the app for a year, and didn’t renew because the full price of nearly $100 a year was too much for me. You might want to try it st the reduced price, tho. (Apparently they are fiddling with their pricing structures… I filled out a very detailed survey for them the other day about it.)

    It’s a neat app, with fun animations and guided meditations that you adjust the timing on to meet your needs. There’s lots of “packs” for various needs, like the anxiety pack, or sleep, or sports performance. Each pack builds your skills over a 30-day period. You have to do the meditations in order to unlock each subsequent one. I was a bit irritated that I couldn’t use more than one pack at a time. They may have changed that… I know they just overhauled the app.

    No matter what, anything (affordable) that helps you meditate regularly is a good thing! I like Andy Puddicombe and his goals for teaching the how and why of meditation.

    • I’m intrigued that he is encouraging corporations to help employees develop a habit of meditation. My son’s school did a year-long mindfulness program for the middle school, and while it was spotty in how the kids embraced it, I did think it was a noble effort at getting the children to grow in mindfulness.

  • This is the first time that I had already heard of anything either of you had recommended for listening or watching. There is an email for that video sitting in my inbox. In my way to cool!

    Haven’t tried any app but heard of one that let you know how many other people were meditating at the same time. Alone but not alone. If they can, I can?

  • I just did the first 3 minute guided meditation on Andy’s website. His voice and style are perfect. I used to meditate with a group once a week for an hour; I never could have done it for that long without the group. It does take practice to be able to let go of thinking. In these stressful times I think meditation could help us all. Thank you MDK, you are my go to source for so many wonderful things. I am glad you are out there.

    • Centering prayer for me was all about that group–every Sunday, we’d all sit in a room together and talk or not talk as we felt like it, then we’d all just close our eyes for 20 minutes. A powerful experience.

      • Unprogrammed Quaker meetings are like that.

  • Funnily enough, a friend had just recommended this app on Facebook. I downloaded the free version and did one day. I thought it was very good. Today is day 2.

  • I used it for a couple of years (not consistently). Andy has the perfect voice for it. And I find guided meditation easier because he tells you when to stop – constantly checking my watch doesn’t really work. It’s definitely worth a try. They used to have a free trial – don’t know much about the current pricing structure.

  • ANOTHER APP is not the solution to our “hurry hurry” world. I like your choice so much better…a BOOK…what a concept ! My best friends (no kidding) are in books – they are dependable, faithful, always speak the truth, never judge me because I have stuff to do which I have not done. I enjoy your wisdom and perspective on life in general. Thank you.

  • I use the free app Insight Timer. Many good guided meditations, some option for supportive groups, and a music feature. You can create your own pre-sets. I think it’s a better deal than Headspace. I do admit to having used all the free Headspace sessions offered.

    • Same here. I liked the free trial on Headspace and find Insight Timer useful for yoga practice (which I now do instead of meditation).

  • My meditation is knitting. I knit off and on all day, depending on what else is going on, but the last half hour of the day is always devoted to knitting with nothing else happening. Preferably brainless knitting, like Granito. Everyone else has gone to bed, no screens, no audio, nothing but knitting. It’s a wonderful way to quiet my mind, reflect on the day, and prepare myself for the day to come.

    • Yes! I was just getting my oil changed, and the young woman doing the work saw my knitting and said, “That’s supposed to be really relaxing for people, right?” And we had a talk about slowing down. It was one of those great, unexpected conversations.

    • You reminded me: I used to find knitting an excellent transition activity in the evening, when I always had a long commute home, then animal chores, before I could relax and get quiet. I can’t say it was meditation for me, though, because instead of emptying my mind, my brain tends to zip cheerily along on random paths while I’m knitting 🙂

  • Not generally an app person, I have found “Simple Habit” very helpful. Easy to use, lots of great free content. 5 minutes a day seems to be doable for me, and still leave time for knitting.

    • Will go investigate Simple Habit!

      Thanks y’all for your thoughts!

  • I love Headspace. I’d been using it on and off for a year or two and finally cracked and subscribed on a monthly deal a year and a half ago. I find his voice very calming, the pace is right for me and in each pack he gradually build up your skill by reducing the prompts. Now I meditate before I get out of bed in the morning (husband calls it ‘beditation’) and that has been the key to me doing it every day. That and remembering that I always feel better having done it. Like yoga but with less effort. I’ve done a number of different packs and they introduce a number of different ways of meditating, some I like more than others but my most used is the sleep one, which I use when I wake in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep.

  • Like you Ann, I have done Centering Prayer. I have been doing it on and off for years. They have a free ap you can find in the ap store. Here is the web site for a quick look at the concept: http://bit.ly/2tcOA0b I started with 5 minutes a day and worked up to 20. I still feel better every day I get those minutes in. Which reminds me,..

  • I have a friend who recommended Headspace, which I had forgotten about until seeing it mentioned here. I thought it was free, though. Must investigate further.

    I loved the video of Puddicombe, thanks for sharing it. I do need to make meditation a real practice. I am not sure why I don’t. The one thing that I have found that always brings me a little peace, is a short walk (alone) down my little country road. It takes me to a place of gratitude, easily and simply.

  • Centering prayer and other contemplative practices in Christianity have mostly fallen by the wayside among American Protestants, which is a tragedy – learning to quiet your mind is invaluable, regardless of your faith tradition (or lack thereof). The Jesuits are still pretty good at it; we use an app called Pray As You Go that is a guided prayer/meditation exercise using various techniques to approach a scripture passage each day. It’s so restful, and my husband and I will play it at bedtime – we call is Pray As You Go To Sleep.

  • Was not that thrilled with Headspace, but second the recommendation for Insight Timer. The app we use the most is Stop, Breathe, and Think. Liked the free content enough to subscribe to that one.

  • I love this https://zenhabits.net/the-44/ as a way into meditation that is lovely, easy, and smooth. At the end of FREE 44 days you know if it is for you and why. I tried a different course but it was more like an excuse to ask me to buy more meditations etc…solicitation started in a week and didn’t stop.

    Leo Baubata has a great voice, walks you through it and seems to enjoy doing the talking…try a couple of days…see what you think. His blog is often good reading too.