It's spectacular that the world of meditation and mindfulness is exploding, It seems like everyone is into it, getting into it, intrigued by it and even more open to it. If we want to put a dollar value on meditation, in the US alone it is a billion dollar industry and one of the fastest growing trends with nearly 40% of people reporting attending regular meditation sessions. These stats are grand and as a one who is deeply committed to helping people with this powerful practice of a calmer and even better mind (the ultimate outcome of meditation!) it really does fires me up.
Today, if you want to get into meditation there is today no shortage of content to be found in the vast endless sea of apps from Insight Timer, Headspace, Calm, to name just a few. While apps are great and I as a content creator provide content to one of the top apps out there, what I find to be true in my own experience and in listening to and helping others, is that apps and the massive content out there can also overwhelm what is intended to be a very simple practice.
I often hear from people that they use meditation apps regularly or periodically but for some reason fall off track with them. Not everyone of course, but I have heard it often enough and found it to be so in my own personal experience. More content and more meditations to choose from each day as you take the seat does not necessarily lead to a peaceful daily practice, which ultimately serves and supports us in daily life, especially now in these even interesting times.
For new meditators a meditation app with 50,000 meditations to choose from can be almost too much for the human brain to handle and it doesn't really come with the support and human contact that we might need when we begin this practice. Apps are great but they will never replace human to human support and contact, which I truly believe we all need and crave now, even more so.
More content does not always lead to more depth of experience; a sense that you are really able to connect with a deeper part of yourself through this practice. Having a selection of 50,000 meditations and live streams at your finger tips does not always lead to you feeling like you are able to really sink your teeth into something and go deep with something. It can sometimes just add to the fear of missing out or the sense of hurry that the land of more seem so good at amplifying. This ever expanding sea of content is continuously vying for our attentions and diminishing, in many ways, our ability to "pay attention" ~ a core intent behind meditation itself. Interesting don't you think...
I don't know if this is making any sense, for the few who choose to slow down and read these words. I guess I was inspired to write it because I just came off a call, taking a few wonderful humans through a meditation practice to prepare their minds for the day. I felt like what was really there - even through zoom - was this direct human connection and caring that no amount of content on an app can give to truly give to you.
While it might seem like I'm knocking apps this is really not my deepest intention - it is incredible that so much great content is being created, especially in this field. But I guess, it's just something to be mindful of. That more content can overwhelm our already fragile minds.
Maybe today if the practice of meditation speaks to you, if you have been inspired by how it can serve and support you in life or by the science of the mind on meditation (check this out because it's so cool), maybe today, choose one thing, one meditation, one piece of content on an app even, one simple practice to go deeper with and stick with. I find for myself, this really helps, especially now in these non-stop, uncertain times.
Just some thoughts from my own quiet seat...
Meditation Coach & Creator