“You can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it. ” – Pamela Bruner
I love using the Meditation Timer app on my phone each time I meditate these days. I used to use the regular timer on my phone, which annoyed me because it was like waking up to an alarm. The benefit of using the app is that the alert sounds are very peaceful, and also turn off on their own (as opposed to an alarm that requires you to physically turn it off). The Meditation Timer app allows you to set as few or as many minutes as you would like to spend meditating. I even use it as a timer for daytime naps now too!
I use the timer because it is very easy to fall asleep during meditation, and usually I don’t want to spend more than about 20 minutes meditating. On the other hand, it helps me to know I am getting my 20 minutes in, because it is also easy to feel like 20 minutes of meditation is an eternity. Some days there isn’t a full 20 minutes in sight to lay down and “do nothing”, and the timer comes in handy at these times as well. You can choose to time 5, 10, or any amount of minutes for a meditation session.
Breaking Up a Meditation Session
The way I have come to think of a meditation session is broken into two parts: the first half I spend going through what I am grateful for, and then my core values and any related affirmations/dreams/goals/intentions. Some days I go through everything, and other days I just want to focus on one thing, like “I am living in our new house.”
About halfway through, I recite in my mind “I release my intentions out into the universe. I trust in the infinite organizing power of the universe.” This signifies the start of the second half of my session, which is where I focus on having no thoughts at all, only breathing.
Sometimes I will think the words “in” and “out” corresponding with my breath just to block out other thoughts. I also sometimes substitute other words like “let” (inhale) “go” (exhale), or “peace” (inhale) “love” (exhale). I attempt to have a completely empty mind, but when thoughts inevitably enter, having specific words to focus on really helps.
Using the Interval Chime
There is an interval chime function in the app which I decided to start experimenting with a few weeks ago. There have been many times where I have gone on and on in my mind about what my intentions are (I have a lot!) right through the whole session, never getting to the clearing of my mind portion. Or, I might get to the clear mind stage and just a few minutes later the final chime is going off. Even though it’s really important to just accept every meditation time as good and to not judge it or be disappointed if it wasn’t “good enough”, I am slightly let down when I don’t get away from my thoughts for a least a few minutes each day.
I have started setting the interval chime at 10 minutes for a 20 minute session. There is just one chime that goes off at minute 10. This might seem obvious, but I discovered the other day that if you don’t set the interval chime for exactly half of whatever the total session time is, then it will continue to go off at whatever interval you set. I suppose there could be a use for more intervals, but for me right now one interval to signify the halfway mark is just fine.
Using the interval chime helps me to stay on track. It is a gentle reminder that I have had plenty of time to get clear about my plans for my life, and now it is time to let the magic happen. If it is a day where I can’t seem to find a full 20 minutes, I will simply adjust my overall meditation time and the interval chime accordingly. If I only have 10 minutes, then I set the interval chime at five.
Have you tried the Mediation Timer app? If so, let us know what you think or how you use it below. Namaste!
image credit: VikaPalatova