So, you’re a spiritually-inclined type who just shelled out some major cash for the latest smartphone, and you wouldn’t mind finding some Great Spiritual Justification to rationalize what in a harsher light might be seen as your materialistic, acquisitive side.
You’ve come to the right place. I assure you, you and I are in good company. And what better way to justify your technological habit than to put it to use in your quest to become a more enlightened human being?
So, in no particular order, here are 10 apps in the category of “If the Buddha Had a Droid”:
Okay, so you keep saying you’d like to have a regular meditation practice. You’ve been saying that how many years now? But when push comes to shove, you hate to admit that stillness and silence don’t much appeal to your ADD, Twitter-happy nature. Well, download ConZentrate and let it provide both a visual and aural placeholder to keep your mind still for however many minutes you choose. Now your commute becomes your ashram. Find a breathing rhythm to go with the fabulous sound here and in ten minutes (or twenty, or thirty) you’ll be feeling that “I’m mellow and happy just because” high of meditation. If you’re just getting started with meditation, this is your best bet.
2. Meditation Helper
You’re ready to graduate to the big league? Just a chime at the beginning and another one at the end of your meditation? Go for Meditation helper.
iOS: None that I could find, although I was told a long time ago that ZenClock did the same thing for the iPhone.
3. My Life Organized
When you start meditating regularly your priorities typically start to shift. To keep from reverting to conditioned behaviors, try keeping track of your new priorities. My Life Organized gives you a box where you can dump the your thoughts and projects. Then, at the right time, pick and choose what you’re going to do about them, when and how.
Is My Life Organized too complex-looking for you and you want something simple, but not quite as simple as Do It Tomorrow? beOrganized hits that sweet spot of simplicity and power. Put it on your main screen as a widget and see your to-do list, automatically backed up and synchronized with your Google calendar. Also, try putting the recording widget on your main screen, speak what it is you want to do (“Meditate for another ten minutes today”), and let the program both transcribe and add it to your Google calendar. When you’ve complete the task, check it off, and see it disappear. Best $2.49 I’ve spent.
5. Drinking Water
What does drinking water have to do with your spiritual aspirations? Well, what does yoga? It keeps your body healthy, so you can go on to acquire insights and growth without being held back by body issues. This program is not just a way to check off how much water you’ve consumed; it regularly reminds you throughout the day till you’ve filled your daily quota… and then gives you an ovation when you’ve done it.
Iphone/ipad/iOS: None, but there’s an equivalent free app, Waterlogged.
6. Eckhart Tolle Quotes
Back twenty years ago, I was into the Indian philosopher Krishnamurti. I still am, but I find Eckhart Tolle (of The Power of Now and A New Earth fame) just as profound and far more accessible. A smattering of quotes from him when I’m otherwise less than inspired is just a finger tap away, thanks to this app.
Iphone/ipad/iOS: No free applications available
7. Tao Te Ching
Does this need any description? This Chinese classic is one of the most translated works in world literature and a single phrase can make you ponder for hours. And it’s now in your pocket.
8. Rumi quotes
The 13th-century Persian poet and mystic will remind you, among other things, that “Your task is not to seek love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
9. Hafiz quotes
I’d love to find a Hafiz (also spelled Hafez) app for Android or iPhone, because he has the lyrical quality of Rumi plus Robin Williams thrown in for good measure. Unfortunately, none of the apps for either operating system do justice. The best I can suggest is an instant download of “Hafiz: The Scent of Light” and playing it on your iPhone or Android. It’s miles above anything else I’ve been able to find.
How can an app to facilitate you funding microloans to small, often single-owner businesses in the Third World help you on your spiritual path? The question is, how can it not? Anything that takes you out of your own world and opens you up to altruism and learning about other people’s lives, struggles and successes not only dwindles your perception of your own problems, but increases your humanity and makes the world a much smaller, friendlier place.
So there—you can now feel that the beau coup bucks spent on tech toys are going for a good cause: your self-improvement.
What apps do you think should be on this list? Please share your ideas below.
Photo Credit: Ubermoe
Editor: Kate Bartolotta.