With its roots tracing back to prehistoric times and many different cultures, meditation has a long and rich history. However, over time, it has spread around the world to people of different cultures and spiritual followings. In 2017, this is still true, as meditation continues to increase in popularity.
One of the ways meditation has been able to grow in popularity is through technology. Both internet and smart tech have paved the way for meditation technology, which has opened the door for younger generations to embrace this practice in a way that is in line with their lifestyles.
However, the use of technology for meditation is new, and it is important to understand exactly how these tools work, how they impact us and whether or not they are helping us to meditate more effectively. Here are a few ways technology interacts with meditation to help better understand its role.
Technology Removes Distractions and Increases Focus
There is a wide array of meditation technology currently being developed and already in use. However, the most popular technology among those who meditate is apps. Applications can be downloaded onto most smart devices, such as phones, tablets, laptops, computers and even TVs. Therefore, we can make use of meditation apps almost everywhere we go.
The purpose of these apps is to make meditation easier for us. Some offer tutorials and techniques, whereas others create an ambiance through music or binaural beats. Using apps that create sounds or give instructions helps us focus our attention and remove distractions from our consciousness in an effective manner.
This can be very helpful because it can be difficult to meditate in our busy environments, even if we’re at home. If kids are playing loudly in the room next to us, or they keep entering and exiting the room, it can alter our consciousness in a way that irritates or unbalances our mood. Even if there are no outer distractions, inner distractions, such as thoughts or physical sensations, may put you off your focus. Though sometimes all of these things can be used as anchors, some people meditate better when their attention is finely tuned to a single focus or point.
Popular apps such as Buddhify are proving to be useful in fighting against this. Buddhify is a meditation and mindfulness application which is built with versatility in mind. It molds itself around the user and his or her specifications. For example, you can tell the app what activity you’re doing, and it will cater a meditation session that is suitable for you and your current environment.
Other apps, such as Omvana, provide access to a variety of guided meditation sessions, audios, videos, methods and techniques for certain activities or goals, such as sleep, stress relief, relaxation and spiritual connectivity.
Technology Produces Faster Results
One of the most difficult parts of meditation is to try and get into a “meditative state.” If we simply sit down with the idea of emptying our minds and entering a blissful state, we may get there, but it could take some time before our thoughts give up and we transcend our experience and consciousness.
Technology helps us reach that level faster, much in the same way as meditation techniques such as Transcendental Meditation do. Technology in the form of binaural beats music and sound tables help us alter our state of consciousness in a way that makes it easier to access deep delta states.
There is a sense of “letting go” when meditating while listening to this type of low-frequency music; it makes you feel as though there’s something else at work helping you reach your desired state of consciousness. When you’re left to your own devices, there’s sometimes a small amount of pressure you put on yourself to have a meaningful session, which is, of course, the ego at work. However, using guided meditation, music or some other aid to help take away that pressure, you’ll be able to fully let go, relax and make the most out of the session.
Technology Improves Peace of Mind
Meditation technology removes the pressure and guesswork, which is helpful to newcomers who often wonder if they’re doing it “properly.” Removing this concern allows us to relax ourselves, calm our mind activity and heighten our awareness.
Also, it’s fair to say that newcomers allow distractions to get to them faster when meditating. Technology, such as guided meditations via YouTube and apps, will help the user focus and concentrate on allowing everything to be just as it is—as though you had a mentor or guru guiding you through the process. However, to access a wider variety of videos on YouTube, a proxy is needed, as some videos are restricted to certain countries.
Overall, we can see technology provides numerous benefits to those practicing meditation. It helps us to focus more by giving us tools to shut out distractions from both our inner and outer environment, and it also helps us set a solid routine of practice.
Perhaps one of the most beneficial attributes technology gives to meditation, though, is its effectiveness in helping us reach a meditative state more quickly. This is especially important for newcomers to meditation since it will help them experience the benefits of this practice in an effective way, encouraging them to return to it for more mental, physical and spiritual nutrition.