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Many of us are aware of the myriad of benefits associated with a regular meditation practice, among them improved stress management, clearer thinking, and increased capacity to focus. I am well-aware of these benefits myself having attended an 8-week course at the University of Minnesota in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and lectures by the mindfulness guru, Daniel Siegel. I have extolled its virtues in presentations and recommended it to clients. Nothing could be better for the brain.
Have practiced meditation consistently myself? No. Absolutely not. My practice has been scattered at best usually because I think I am going to get around to it during the day but I seldom do. What’s more is I am exactly the kind of person who would benefit from a regular meditation practice- high energy, often overextended, somewhat distractible.
Recently I rediscovered an app I’ve had on my phone for quite some time- the Insight Timer. Like Dorothy’s ruby slippers, I have had the answer to my inconsistent meditation practice all along. Here are the advantages:
1. I can meditate anywhere. At least in the winter, it means another 15-20 minutes in my warm bed. I meditate right when I wake up.
2. The app automatically logs my time so I can see how long I have meditated and on what days.
3. There is a an opportunity to journal a few thoughts afterward. This is a delightful bonus because journaling was also something I intended to do but never did. I can write down a few thoughts usually when I am at the peak of mental clarity.
4. My iPhone is always with me so I have all I need to to meditate at any time- a chiming bell and a way to record my thoughts.
Any meditation is good. Consistent meditation is better. For the first time in my life, I actually know the difference.