Many milions of people worldwide have a meditation app installed on their smartphone or an other device and there is a wide range of meditation apps available.
To begin with the first question, I think an app can help you with meditation. There are a few good apps available with guided meditations, just like you can find those on YouTube. Meditation apps even have advantages like a quick and easy accessibility and because most people have it always with them, you can meditate whenever and wherever you want.
If meditating through an app is as effective as meditating in the presence of an instructor remains to be seen. Even though you have to go out of the comfort of your own home and you have to be there at a certain time, this can have its advantages. When you are in a different place or environment to meditate it can help your meditation. Often the place is more equipped for meditation and also there is not too much else to do for you. There are a lot less distractions than in your home surroundings. You are there just too meditate and the only distractions of that are inside yourself. At home there is always something that can be done like clean something or do a quick chore. Also there are the distractions caused by the other people in the house like a partner, roommate, child or pet.
Also that what guides you is important. The advantage of an instructor is that he or she can apply changes when it is necessary and can adjust to what is needed that day for you. The smartphone or tablet of the app itself is often a source of distractions and can even disturb your meditation. The smartphone even is the cause of most restlessness and distraction nowadays. And even if it is in flight mode, the apps, mails and social media are within reach any time and the temptation to check them before, after or even during the meditation often is big.
Especially because during the meditation it is very well possible that you are faced with restlessness in the mind and things like impatience, boredom and fatigue. The normal ‘cure’ for that is for many people their smartphone or tablet. When there is an alternative to trigger the reward centers in the brain that close, to resist it is often very hard. Meditation through an app takes more self-discipline than in a group or under guidance. An app is also easy to switch off, walking away during a guided meditation is something people less often do.
An app often doesn’t answer your questions directly or indicate where you are heading in a wrong direction. Not like an instructor does at least. A custom made solution is easier available through a live instructor. And maybe he or she even points something out you didn’t notice yourself in your own practice. For example in your posture or a certain restlessness in your meditation. Also an instructor most likely doesn’t read out the meditation and in this way keeps it more ‘fresh’ for you. Next to all of that there is the power of meditating in a group or with an experienced instructor. In that presence often a certain ‘vibe’ arises through which it is easier to point your attention. Everybody that meditates in groups more often will probably recognise this and find that it is easier than meditating by yourself.
Like you can quicker learn how to do a sport, play an instrument or speak a language with a live instructor compared to a guide or book, it is more effective to learn how to meditate under the guidance of a live instructor than an app. But like I think is important for everything, try it yourself and see what works best for you. Meditation apps can be very useful and there are some very good ones out there that benefit a lot of people. Personally I choose more personal guidance, especially with something as meditation that isn’t always easy to learn.
If you want to try it out yourself and live or work in the Amsterdam area, check out what we can do for you. The first session is for free!
Do you have a different question regarding meditation? Send it to me and who knows, it might the subject for my next blogpost!
Meditation trainer and autor of ‘Meditatie, je dagelijkse minivakantie’
More information about meditation you can find here on www.meditatie.amsterdam and our Facebook page
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Beginner or more experienced, I am happy to help you on your way towards more inner peace, balance, energy, clarity and freedom of mind, with methods that can have lifechanging effects within weeks. See you soon!
Roel Wilbers – meditation trainer and author of ‘Meditation, your daily mini holiday’