Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Bells and Whistles

Back on the meditation train, which is good. And I finally have this smartphone, the idea of getting a smartphone at all started with meditation: I wanted to have a timer to count down my fifteen minutes. With my flip phone I had to do math and set an alarm. Which isn't the hugest obstacle; but when I'm shaping a new habit, I really want to sand it down so it's as smooth as possible. Not that I waited to get a smartphone to start meditation, I made do with ol' Flippy. But, smartphone now! And here's how that went.

First, I got an app! Because obviously, there's an app for that. I used the Insight Meditation Timer app, it's a pretty simple timer for unguided meditation, which is what I prefer, and the beginning and ending chime is very nice. Here's what I didn't like, though: I didn't really want it to track when I had meditated or, even worse, for how many days in a row. An unbroken string is not what meditation is about for me—but fine, I can ignore that like I do on 750 Words. Here was the dealbreaker: the second time I used it, it said that I had meditated once. If you're going to count my meditations, you have to count up to two correctly! So I got mad and immediately deleted that app from my phone. I mean, I'm sure they're very nice people.

So then I looked at the Clock app that came with my phone, and sure enough it has the perfectly functional countdown timer of my dreams, and the ending bell is very acceptable and not startling. The only problem was sometimes I inadvertently would touch the screen and stop the timer at like 14:55, and then an unknown amount of time later I'd open one eye like what the hell, dammit.

So now I'm thinking about meditation beads, which is a thing. I can have a string of 36 beads, count four breaths per bead x 2.5 second per breath (I timed it, my phone also has a stopwatch obviously) x 36 beads x 3 repeats = the mystical 108 meditation number. That will be an 18 (woo woo) min meditation, roughly. No more timer. So I either need to order one one of these strings of 108 meditation beads offered on Amazon OR I need to go out and buy beads from Joann and string them OR buy fimo and make cute marbled beads and bake them and string them. Sigh. Order, right? [ETA: I also found loose beads on Amazon but the beads I want come in a pack of 100, which is annoying.]

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