Want connection? There’s an app for that.

I wake up very early every morning so that I have time (and adequate conditions) to meditate.  [Some people wonder why on earth I forgo opportunities for sleep in exchange for the privilege of sitting alone in silence; here’s a blog post I wrote to address that question.]  I use an app on my phone as my meditation timer; I like that it sounds a calm bell at both the beginning and end of my session (as opposed to using a beeping or otherwise jarring electronic device to signal the end of a period of stillness).

I’ve been using this app for over a year now – and as with any good app, the developers continually update and upgrade it.  Recently, I noticed that in addition to providing many different options of sounds and intervals for various bells to ring, there is a new “Connect” feature – which shows the number of people that are using this app at the exact same time.  I.e., here are all of the people that are meditating at precisely the same time I am.  I’m not alone.  How incredibly lovely.

Last night my phone received yet another upgrade, and this morning I noticed that the app now shows not only the number of people that are using the meditation timer, but also the names of these individuals, and where they are physically located.  I was both astounded and delighted to learn that in the wee hours of the still-dark morning, today I was meditating with 16 other amazing souls from:

  • Jersey City, NJ
  • France
  • Oslo, Norway
  • Prague, Czech Replublic
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Melrose, MA
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Springfield, IL
  • Belgium
  • Gestel, Holland
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Virginia
  • Memphis, TN
  • Silver Spring, MD

(And this is on the low side.  Some mornings there can be as many as 60 other people sitting ‘with’ me.)

I’ve always felt comforted to know that even though I am physically alone in my room (one little person sitting by herself on a cushion), I am part of a larger community of people who also value this practice enough to do it by themselves, too.  But now, to be able to associate names and locations with each pin on a map – to transform an anonymous digit into a breathing human – the connection feels even more ‘real’, even more powerful.

I delighted in meeting my virtual sangha this morning.  It was a tremendous way to begin my day.


About Stef

A "serious" gal who is trying to remember to lighten up and smile.
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13 Responses to Want connection? There’s an app for that.

  1. Joceline says:

    how lovely. Just today I was speaking with my coach about wanting to have a daily spiritual practice, of wanting to create a sacred space for myself, a type of altar perhaps. There is no randomness!
    walk in beauty this day.


  2. rutheh says:

    Who knew there was an app like that! Very cool. I am going to tell Matthew in Zagreb.
    Sounds so peaceful.


  3. Wow! 🙂
    They seem to have an App for everything now, huh?


    • Stef says:

      I really think they do! I read earlier this week that there are now close to (or just over) half a *million* apps available in the iTunes store. Totally wild.


  4. Touch2Touch says:

    Dollars will get you donuts that the person in Jersey City belongs to the Morning Star Zendo — so you can add that to your community info —


  5. How exciting! Makes me want to take up yoga. 😉


  6. ElizOF says:

    How lovely is that… There is an app for virtually anything… I like it. 🙂


    • Stef says:

      And there’s not only a single app for pretty much anything-and-everything a person could want, but usually *multiple* options exist! Certainly there are several meditation-related timers available in app-land; but I like this one the best. 🙂


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