Mediation is touted as something that promotes inner peace, present-moment awareness, purposeful grounding, and a genuine mind/body connection. Science is investigating the full range of benefits that can be obtained from meditating. But, some studies indicate that meditation practices can help with conditions like insomnia, lower back pain, anxiety, and even hypertension (high blood-pressure).
Ideally, meditation should be undertaken with training to fully appreciate the benefits and nuances. However, having said that I will say that I feel that it is a very forgiving discipline with no cookie-cutter or right/wrong way to do it. It is something that one needs to experience and get-a-feel-of.
So how does one get training when there is usually little time, little money, and not a lot of availability for formal training? Fortunately, there are free meditation apps that are very helpful. These apps run from simple timers, to sources of white-noise/music, to very detailed and very informative.
I downloaded this app about four days ago because I wanted to do another review on a free meditation app. I wanted to wait about two weeks or so before I wrote the review. But, I can clearly see that I love this one a great deal and that I’m going to get a lot out of it. The name of this app is Insight Timer. It is one of the most popular free meditation apps available. And I can clearly see why.
You’re going to find more than four thousand guided meditations and over a thousand different teachers, so it’s very extensive. As soon as you open the app you get a very real community feel. You are going to see displayed all the people that are meditating while you’re on, in real time. You will also see the meditations that individuals are listening to. There are great meditation topics that you can choose from, including stress, self-compassion, nature, self-love, loss, and forgiveness, just to name a few. You are going to find some well-known teachers to choose from on this app. You will find mediations from world-renown experts from the contemplative field, including Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield, and Sharon Salzberg. There are sleep specific meditations and useful stat-tracking that can help you keep abreast of your meditation progress.
You can also find podcasts, talks, and meditation music. But, what I really find useful is a very cool timer that allows you to set specific bell tones to begin, specific bell tones to end, and specific bell tones to sound intermittently throughout your meditation. The timer also includes ambient music that plays throughout your meditation. I have found that I like the timer set for a 12-minute meditation with the Sakya bell tone to start. I continue with the Sakya tone for intervals of every 4 minutes (three interval tones for the entire mediation time) and Zen guitar as the continuous ambient music. I also set the timer to end with the Basu bell tone so there is a distinct end to my practice. The beauty of this timer is that you can tailor these factors to however you like.
I would have to give this app five stars. I am still exploring the full range of benefits that are available from the Insight Timer app. It’s by far, my favorite meditation app. I can see that I’m going to be using it for some time to come. Check it out. Here is the link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.spotlightsix.zentimerlite2