Mindfulness is “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.” This is a review of the “Ananda Personalized Meditation App” by the Chopra Center.
Being mindful during a transition to nomadic living is challenging. It’s easy to get caught up in the worries of what’s to come. So many unknowns, what will the future hold? While my dog, Mila, and I have the fortunate blessing of landing at my parents during this transition, I still find myself projecting worries of our future and getting caught up on my perceived failures of my past.
I am grateful for the opportunity to stay with my parents for a while. It’s providing me with a temporary respite from some of the financial burdens of life; giving me time to figure out how I’ll move forward as a digital nomad with a dog, establishing this blog, rebuilding my freelance web design business, and exploring my other entrepreneurial endeavors.
And while I share our collective angst over the current political climate in our country, I am consciously trying not to dwell too much on it. Instead, attempting to focus my thoughts on the positive; including, the quality time spent with my family, enjoying trips to the dog park with Mila, occasional travel around California when I can afford to do so, and focusing on my present work.
Meditation has become an integral part of my life. Whenever I’m feeling down, anxious about the future, or depressed about my past, meditation is the best way I’ve learned to get grounded in the present. I started meditating last year with Deepak and Oprah’s 21-day Meditation Challenge and have recently discovered Chopra’s “Ananda – Personalize Meditations” app extremely useful. While the subscription to content costs $8.99/month, the app provides access to thousands of unique combinations of music to choose from and pair with any of meditations by Deepak Chopra and other experts from the Chopra Center.
My preferred time to meditation lately has been at bedtime. I’m not particularly comfortable sitting in a meditation pose for any lengthy period and have found myself far more comfortable laying down. As well, bedtime is an opportunity for me to be alone and have quiet time to myself for meditation.
Once I’ve made myself comfortable, I put on headphones, open up the app on my iPhone, and select my meditation for the evening. The app allows me to set the length of your experience and adjust the audio balance between the ambient music and each meditation.
Recent updates to the app have improved the overall experience. If you’re familiar with the 21-day meditation experience, you’ll be familiar with the Ananda apps experience. Excluding Oprah’s introduction, each meditation follows a very similar format to Deepak’s other meditation.
As well, regardless of the length of the experience you choose, they’ve fixed the app so that it correctly plays the sound of a bell at the beginning and end of the meditation. Finally, a recent update to the app, the volume at the end of each mediation now fades to silence instead of abruptly stopping.
The app allows you to create playlists of your favorite meditation topics. While I find the user experience of the player itself a bit challenging, I’m getting the hang of it. Unfortunately, though each meditation is labeled, the music is not. There are a few music selections I’ve come to enjoy and wish I could find them more easily.
I find abrupt ending at the end of meditation to be quite jolting. But a recent update decreases the volume at the end of the meditation, improving the overall experience.
Finally, because the app is always with you on your smartphone, if possible, you can take your meditation with you anywhere. The Ananda app itself is available for free download. You can try it for one month free then continue with unlimited access to the full library of meditations and music to mix and match for $8.99.