From Gurus to Apps: 3 things to remember in the new age way of learning meditation
Two developments of current times have come together to provide a very powerful tool to people: First, there is an app for almost everything! And second, the wisdom of meditation has escaped out of the ashrams in India to spread itself in the western world! Both these developments come with the right intentions but there can be hidden pitfalls for the people interested in learning meditation via Apps. As the founder of Meditation Easy, i am personally a big fan of technology as an enabler to lead a smarter life, and welcome the new age ways of leaning meditation via apps. However, if your current meditation app is designed to keep you dependent on the app, I would like to question that. Reason being, making someone dependent is entirely counter to the very essence of teaching meditation. Hence following questions should be asked by anyone while choosing an appropriate app for meditation:
- Is your meditation app trying to make you dependent on it for long?
Every learning process requires guidance over a certain period of time, no doubt about it, but if ‘the teacher’ intends to keep ‘the learner’ dependent on the teacher for more than a necessary period of time, I don’t think it indicates any constructive learning especially in the context of meditation. Several meditation apps come up with auto renewing subscription models to give you a false sense of continuous participation similar to you enrolling into a gym membership. And we all know how much of that really translates into going to the gym regularly. In my opinion, once you have learned the art of meditation, you should be able to leave the app and go into your inner silence alone after some months of practice.
- Content! Are you really learning meditation or hearing ‘Pleasant Gibberish’?
This is a tricky one! If you have really understood the knack of what meditation is, you would also probably laugh at 99% of the content available on internet in the name of guided meditation. Nevertheless, since judging whether a guided meditation in an app is an authentic meditation or merely ’Pleasant Gibberish’ is not straight forward, so you may rely on your gut feeling or examine it more critically. As this subject deserves elaboration, here is my full article on Is my guided meditation authentic or ‘Pleasant Gibberish’?. In short, the key is to focus more on the content of your meditation app rather than its fancy socialising features.
- Are you meditating regularly?
Continuing the gym membership analogy, it is not possible to reach any goal of physical, mental or spiritual transformation without a dedicated regular practise. Even to maintain a certain level of meditativeness in yourself while going through daily activities, requires you to commit a dedicated daily time to your meditation practice. Any app claiming to give you an instant relief is merely cashing on your life’s situation. So an appropriate meditation app builds a journey for you in which you can learn different meditation techniques that can easily be integrated in your daily life until you have grasped the essence of meditation. At a later stage, you should be ready to even drop these techniques and become a silent independent meditator.
For those who are interested in an intensive meditation program to learn authentic meditation rightly, do check out Meditation Easy and start with the first meditation technique ‘Body Centering’ for free.