Using Your Smart Phone in the Journey to Mindfulness
As a self-admitted technology geek, it has been sometimes difficult to balance my spiritual side with my love of technology. Technology is advancing at a dizzying rate. My core beliefs in mindfulness sometimes take a beating during my busy days when deadlines loom and there are clients to placate.
My life moves quickly and my gadgets are a big part of my office-on-the-go lifestyle. But, being a Buddhist for over ten years has taught me that always bringing that mind back to that calm place is critical in this fast paced world. Anyone who knows me has rarely seen me without my trusty smart phone.
Finding a balance is sometimes difficult. But, I’ve managed to find a delicate balance between being a businesswoman and a person who needs to find center more often than not.
I’ve learned to use my smart phone in the journey to mindfulness.
Below are my top five apps that I use. All of the apps listed below are iOS:
>>Bible by Lifechurch.tv, (Free)
Having been raised a Christian, the Bible still plays an important part in my life. The Bible app is a great way to keep up with daily devotionals. It features the entire Bible in multiple versions including KJV, NIV, ASV and more.
If you’re forgetful or just busy like me, the app lets you set daily reminders. If you’re too lazy to read, also like me, you can have selected passages read aloud via a prerecorded audio function. There are a variety of plans as well. Some focus on specific themes; others have the ultimate goal of reading the entire Bible over a specific period of time.
The interface is a little clunky and sometimes it’s a little buggy. For instance, some plans don’t calculate the time accurately. If you’ve already read or listened to the plan for a particular day, the app still reminds you via alerts and pop-ups. It is, however, possible to remove the alerts altogether.
>>DreamKeeper by ScorpionDev, (Free)
It’s said that in our dreams lie the secrets to our subconscious minds. Keeping a dream journal is a great way to get in touch with what takes place when we close our eyes and drift into another world. This lovely app allows you to keep track of your dreams, and has worked nicely for me for the past few months.
It’s fairly straight-forward. Just open the app and start adding your dreams in the provided field. Once your dream has been added, you can password-protect it. In a strange twist, a user has to enter and save a dream before returning to add details like a title, people and themes via the editing process.
Overall, however, the app does what it says quite well. In the future, it would be nice to be able to sort dreams with similar themes and people in them.
>>Gratitude Journal by HappyTapper, ($0.99)
Showing gratitude takes attention away from what you don’t have, to what you do. It’s a great way to begin to heal a fragmented spiritual life. I use it pretty much everyday, and over the past few months it has become one of my favorite apps.
With a beautifully simple, yet elegant interface, this app allows you to give thanks everyday for things great and small. The app is password protected for privacy, and chocked full of features, despite its small price.
A location-based functional adds your location. It’s also possible to customize your entries with pictures from your camera roll, or to take one specifically for your entry. After each day’s entry, the app provides an inspirational quote, too. If you’re so inclined, it also lets you share email, print or PDF your entry. Lastly, a calendar view gives you the opportunity to see which days you made entries and which days you skipped, easily retrieving entries.
Gratitude Journal is a beautifully-designed and well thought out application.
>>Meditate Meditation Timer by Simple Touch Software, ($2.99)
The benefits of meditation are well documented. It calms the mind and brings inner peace to our stressful lives. It reportedly helps with depression and some other mental health issues as well.
As someone who has been practicing meditation for years now, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by this simple, yet effective app. I’ve been using the Meditate Meditation Timer for the past year or so.
It’s a simple app that allows you to time your meditation sessions and set intervals. You control intervals, sounds and the length of time of each session, and the app does the rest. If you like to track progress like me, you can see your statistics over time as well.
Simple as ever. This app takes nothing away from your existing practice, but adds to it simply and effectively.
>>Unique Daily Affirmations by Gopherapps, (Free)
This is the simplest of apps. Not much of an interface, just a sunburst background and a green button. When pressed and held, the affirmation of the day fades into view.
Affirmations are short enough to remember, and the app lets you save your favorites and pull them up at will. This is a great app for busy professionals on the go who don’t have a lot of time. Just press the green button and go!
Editor: Sara McKeown