Every once and awhile something comes along that changes your life so significantly you feel compelled to share the information with many others.
Here’s my tip for you for today: Download the FREE Insight Timer App. It’s the top free meditation app on both android and iOS stores.
Like many others, I have a checkered history of personal meditation.
I can remember when I took my first of two teacher training workshops with the great yogi Erich Schiffman.
He made the very sensible recommendation that all of us yoga teachers meditate twice a day for 20 minutes.
Sometimes people can give you great advice – like make a habit of meditating every day, twice a day, for 20 minutes – and yet you can’t manage to pull it off consistently. Or at least I couldn’t manage to be consistent. Embarrassed, frustrated, I let it go.
To make things easier for myself and my clients, I created my own guided meditation CD – a 19-minute Loving Kindness Meditation – that I recorded with my client Curt Bush of White Dog Studios.
I keep the recording on my iPhone and especially find this helpful to meditate if I arrive early for an appointment. I always have my phone on hand and have been able to meditate anywhere.
For several years, I attended regular Monday night meditations at the Atlanta Soto Zen Center over off of Zonolite Road.
This was incredibly helpful.
I noticed I would always feel profoundly improved the next morning after meditating in a group for 1 hour – 25 minutes sitting, 5 to 10 minutes of walking meditation followed by another 25 minutes of zazen, then discussion.
However, I was able to go because my neighbor Steve Hart would drive us there. I never felt like driving the 25 minutes to get there on my own. To me it almost seemed to defeat the purpose of navigating the evening traffic before and after finding inner peace.
When Steve stopped leading the Monday night meditations, I invited him to lead a free Monday meditation group at my studio for several more years. Steve would guide us and I would set up the room and then serve tea and chocolate afterwards.
Finally, that felt like more of an obligation than either Steve or I was willing to continue, so we dropped it.
Meanwhile, for the past 20 years teaching yoga, I continued to lead meditation at the end of my yoga classes despite the fact that my own personal meditation practice could best be described as spotty.
I have a room in my home dedicated for my personal meditation, prayer and yoga practice, but on days when I get really busy this beautiful space sits empty.
Then in the past year, I faced a personal challenge so great the only way to manage seemed to be to turn to meditation.
The city of Atlanta has been doing major road construction on Northside Drive in front of my house.
The noise has been so deafening at times that I have tried multiple solutions to cope. Earplugs fall out of my ears at night. A sleep headband with a wire that connected to my iPhone to play sleep music sounded like a good idea but proved a bit cumbersome.
I immediately downloaded the app onto my iPhone and started following the meditations before bed, during the middle of the night when the road noise woke me up and again in the early hours when the clanging and banging gets going again with the traffic.
I can’t say enough good things about the Insight Timer.
There are currently 1,651 published guided meditations on Insight Timer so you can always find something that suits your current circumstances – short ones, long ones, meditations for sleep, compassion, self love and on virtually every spiritual subject you can imagine.
I spent a few extra bucks to purchase extra bells and gongs with the timer to guide me through my personal yoga practice.
You can join any number of meditation groups to join discussions about meditation and other spiritual topics. Here you can ask questions and get advice from fellow meditators.
I joined Women Meditate Worldwide, Global Well-Being Meditations and Mindful Business People.
When you conclude your meditation practice, the app will show you who has been meditating with you all over the world as well as nearby.
This to me is a very cool feature as it dispels the notion that you have been sitting or lying there all by yourself.
In fact, at any moment, the app shows you just how many people are tuned in and meditating, contributing to world peace.
You can connect with friends, receive support, ask questions and know that you are part of a global movement contributing to the well being of the planet.
I highly recommend the Insight Timer app because it makes meditation free, accessible and easy.
And the more you meditate, the happier and healthier you will be!