‘These Digital Meditation Tools Can Be Your Gateway To A Calmer, More Effective Life’ by Carolyn Gregoire

rsz_n-meditation-large570Here’s an interesting blog from the Huffington Post, which also provides summaries on 12 online meditation tools. Here is part of Carolyn’s excellent blog. Check out the rest of her original blog.

‘Meditation, an ancient practice of calming the mind, would seem to be incompatible with modern technology, with its emphasis on speed and connectivity.

But as more and more Americans have embraced meditation as an antidote to hyper-connected lives, the world of technology has joined the movement. The result is a growing field of meditation tools – from apps and podcasts to timers and online classes – and a growing acknowledgment that, paradoxically, technology can help us to turn inward, still our minds, and shut out the many distractions around us.

It’s hard to deny the toll those distractions are taking on our lives and health: Heavy technology use has been linked with stress and depression, and being too plugged in may leave us less focused and productive. A growing body of research has also suggested that many mobile users are developing addictive relationships with their devices.

At the same time, research shows meditation can help us focus, achieve balance and improve our overall well-being. Studies have shown meditation to be effective in lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body, boosting creativity, focus and compassion, and improving emotional well-being and sleep quality, among other mental health benefits.

You don’t have to leave the digital world behind in order to make meditation, and its benefits, a part of your life. Try one of these 12 online meditation tools to help you be more present, more mindful, and more effective.

Former Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe founded Headspace as a way to bring mindfulness meditation to the masses. Headspace’s “Take 10” starter program – 10 days’ worth of 10-minute meditations – is a simple, straightforward introduction to starting a mindfulness practice.

Through short animated videos, the app breaks down the basic principles of meditation and mindfulness, and the recordings take beginners through brief mindfulness practices and guided meditations each day. There is now even a Headspace channel available for passengers on board on Virgin Atlantic flights.

Available for free download for iPhone and Android at getsomeheadspace.com.

Mark Williams’s Mindfulness Meditation Recordings
Mark Williams, professor of clinical psychology and director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre and author of Mindfulness: Finding Peace In A Frantic World, offers a range of free audio meditations for new and experienced meditators, and includes instructions for a number of variations on the practice, including a three-minute mini-break, a meditation for depression, silent meditations with bells, and a fun “chocolate meditation.”

“[We must] get out of our heads and learn to experience the world directly, experientially, without the relentless commentary of our thoughts,” Williams wrote in The Mindful Way Through Depression. “We might just open ourselves up to the limitless possibilities for happiness that life has to offer us.”

Available for free at franticworld.com.’

Check out more of Carolyn’s suggestions of useful online tools.