11 Aug Find your meditation app
What’s your meditation app? From atheist to energy healers
- I am focused on Google Play Apps. I have never had an iPhone, but hopefully, the app developers made the same version for both Android and iOS.
- I am focused on English content. It is what I have used the most. I know I have Spanish readers (if I find time and motivation, I will do a similar post for Spanish speakers)
- I am not paid by any company or person for doing this post. It is my personal experience and my attempt to make this world a more meditative place.
- I will update the post from time to time with new apps, stay tuned!
I have been asked by different people about how to start with meditation, and I have found myself repeating the same information again and again. Thus, the moment of writing has arrived.
I have divided this post into two categories:
- Skeptic / Atheist: The word “energy” gives you creeps. People keep on repeating that meditation is the best. You are not convinced at all, but you are willing to give it a try.
- Mystic / Experienced: You want to raise your vibration. Your chakras are asking for more. You know many techniques, you love to explore your consciousness, and you want to develop new spiritual super-powers.
I used to be type 1, and little by little, my own experiences are pulling me towards type 2.
Skeptic / Atheist
You have heard thousands of times about the benefits of meditation. Improved mental and physical health, better social relationship, increased productivity at work… The list is so big that it seems that meditation is the ultimate cure for any type of human problem. Well, it may be. Concerning spirituality, your personal subjective experience counts more than what studies may conclude.
However, you haven’t tried because it sounds too weird or esoteric, or because you don’t have time, or because your hyperactive mind will never be able to sit still for 5 minutes. No worries, meditation is not esoteric, it is just training, like doing weightlifting on the gym, but with your mind. And if 5 minutes looks an eternity, there are 3 minutes exercises that you will love to try.
David Cain – Camp Calm – Mindfulness explained – Free blog, paid course
Super summary: Great source of information to learn about meditation, and 30 days course.
Pos aspect: A lot of common sense and easy to understand.
Neg aspect: Silent meditation. Maybe a bit difficult for beginners.
Price: Free for the blog. $97 USD for Camp Calm
5 years ago, I discover this post. I fell in love with the blog and with David. I was just starting my spiritual journey, and this guy seemed to me as an honest conversation explaining clear and simple truths about life. No esoterism, no weird energetic theories. Just reflections about how our minds were defining the experience of being alive, and how we could improve our quality of life by simply paying more attention to the functioning of our inner world.
I read many posts from him until one day he released his course Camp Calm. David is an old school meditator, no sounds, no gongs, no over-complicated instructions. Life is already rich and complicated enough to add some distracting things to your mediation. The exercise is simple, set up an alarm, sit with your back straight, choose the object of your meditation (the breath), and focus on in until the alarm goes off.
He wrote a couple of guides that are included with the purchase of the course: Making Things Clear: A brief guide for people who think meditation is hard, and You Are Here: A modern person’s guide to living in the present. I founded both of them really helpful and revealing. I even used some of its content when I was guiding meditation sessions or teaching to my clients.
The course is not expensive, ($ 97 USD) you get the material forever, and in 30 days, you can go from noticing how your body feels to stay 20 minutes seated still in your room. If you don’t want to spend your money, go to the blog and start reading until you get convinced that this guy is worth the money.
You Productions – YouTube videos – Disappearing gem – Free
Super summary: Wonderful guided meditations to start.
Pos aspect: Practical, serious and really accessible.
Neg aspect: No app, website is not working.
A couple of months ago, the website was working. Today (August 2019), the website doesn’t. You Productions used to be the source of my favorite guided meditations. Back in the days, the app was excellently simple. Just look for your problem of the day (anxiety, depression, concentration), and listen to the recording.
I loved the fact that there were no extra sounds during the exercise (just a hang drum at the beginning and the end). Also, the instructions were really serious, simple and effective, and the information given was high quality. I particularly loved the concentration exercise, where the breath was synchronized with a mental count (one, breath in; two, breath out).
Nowadays, they had some videos on YouTube with concentrations exercises, anxiety, and depression. Although I hadn’t suffered from severe mental illnesses, I listened at the audio on anxiety when I was feeling stressed out, or I needed a break from my destructive thoughts, binge eating, or compulsive procrastination. Even further, I loved to listen to the Three Minutes for YOU because, in no time, I was able to switch the state of my mind.
Give them a try because from my point of view, their material is excellent, and it is all free. If you like the audios, you can always download them from YouTube using a Youtube to Mp3 websites like YtMp3, 2conv.com, or OnlineVideoConverter.
PranaBreath – App – Free – Train your breathing.
Super summary: App to train your breathing
Pos aspect: Use the presets or make your own practice. Super-versatile. Works offline. Has a wiki.
Neg aspect: No guided meditations. Just a breathing timer. A bit complicated at the beginning.
Inspired in pranayama, the different breathing techniques from the yogic tradition, this app simply indicates you when to breath in, hold your breath, breath out, and keep your lungs empty. I love this app for its endless versatility. It may take a bit of time to go around all the features and possibilities, but it is really worthwhile. If you want to stay with the preset, go ahead, they are great as well. You can choose between many possibilities: clear mind, relax, anti-appetite… You can select the length of your practice and how long do you want to breathe or hold your breath. Obviously, you can turn off the sounds if you find them distracting and just use the visual guides. I strongly recommend you to play with it and explore it until you find what you need.
Personally, I think this app is fantastic when you want a quick and efficient mind reboot before an exam, or after a stressful situation. The breath is so connected with our physiology and our mental functioning, that believer or not, if you do these breathing exercises, you will feel the changes instantly.
The developers have even made a wiki for you to take the best of the app and if you want to know more about it and the different breathing techniques.
Smiling mind –App– Kids and workplace meditations
Super summary: Guided meditation from full beginners to more advanced.
Pos aspect: If you plan to teach meditation (kids, workplace), you can get lots of inspiration
Neg aspect: Sometimes it doesn’t work. (It may be my phone).
Price: Free. They are non-profit.
This app is wonderful. It is set up so you do a small test the first time you open it to check what is your level (beginner, some experience, usual meditator) and your intention with the practice (concentration and focus, anxiety, workplace).
You can do programs or individual sessions. A program is a group of sessions with a common goal (help you sleep, improve your relationship). It is a great way to start developing the practice to choose a program and do one session per day.
Also, if you are a teacher or a team leader, you probably want to listen to the meditations together with your students or your colleagues. Browse around and find the sessions that you like the most and share them!
Mystic / Experienced
You are used to meditation. You have a daily practice that works for you but sometimes you want to explore new things, new strategies. You would like to go a step further and practice more mystic and energetic meditations to raise your vibration like visualization or chakras exercises.
A good timer, some acoustic help, or some guided meditations from renown healers and modern masters may be what you need to step up your spiritual life.
Insight Timer – Free Meditation App
Super summary: Very complete app, not only the timer.
Pos aspect: You can find pretty much whatever you look for
Neg aspect: Takes a bit to get around everything.
Price: Free and paid features.
I have mostly used this app as a timer because it is very versatile and it has many possibilities. However, I recently discovered that have many guided meditations and reflections about diverse topics like surrender, acceptance, self-compassion and many other topics that you will surely find compelling.
In the section of meditation and courses, you can find some free trials and also some paid material. Give it a chance, browse around and find what is more suitable in your life at this point.
Jody Hatton’s Binaural beats – Audios for a better life
Super summary: Honest and open guy making wonderful binaural sounds.
Pos aspect: The educational videos are very instructive and clarifying.
Neg aspect: There is only one guided meditation exercise.
Price: Free videos, the possibility of contributing to the creator.
I recently discovered Jody’s videos while searching for a video on YouTube to guide me in and out a power nap. I discovered that he had done several videos of different lengths and also some educational material. I like it so much, that I even tried to do some meditation with the sounds and it turned out fantastic. My focus and conscious state were way deeper while listening to the binaural beats.
Then, I remember that I had tried something in the past but it hadn’t worked out at that time. I found binaural beats a bit aggressive and scary while I was meditating. Clearly, I wasn’t prepared yet for that. During my Vipassana experience, I touch with a part of my mind where I was listening to this type of sounds from inside of my mind. So, who knows? Maybe all those binaural mediations that can be found on YouTube are actually raising our vibration…
If you are willing to explore your consciousness, why not giving them a chance? Seems safer than drugs to me…
Soulvana – Mindvalley – App for energetic work
Super summary: Wide offer of masters and meditation techniques
Pos aspect: You can find lots of spiritual material.
Neg aspect: Free version is limited, sometimes gets a bit too wu-wu.
Price: Free and paid version.
I discovered Mindvalley a few months ago and I have fallen in love with their message, their products, and their vision. I highly identify with all what they do and I would love, at some point in my life, working with them. Apart from the Mindvalley app where you can get their courses and talks, the Soulvana App is full of meditations about pretty much everything. There is a big variety of teachers and masters where there is likely one that resonates with you. The topics covered go from freeing your mind, recharging your energy, manifesting financial abundance, or whatever can cross your mind.
Many of these techniques and exercises can be found too esoteric or wu-wu for people unfamiliar with spirituality. However, if you are willing to give a chance to visualization, energetic work, or similar techniques, this app can really help you to get tons of inspirations and new possibilities to keep on growing on your spiritual development.