I am in no way affiliated with the Insight Timer app. However, it is a free app that I suggest to anyone interested in starting or maintaining a meditation practice.
When I first began meditating regularly several years ago, I really struggled. I couldn’t sit still. I felt frustrated. Every sitting felt like a failure. I would often get up and feel more anxious and upset than before. So many times I thought meditation just wasn’t for me.
Someone suggested guided meditations as an alternative to trying to calm my own mind. I tried a few on Youtube and eventually stumbled on the Insight Timer app. I liked that it kept track of my sittings and gave little stars for your milestones. It also gave you the opportunity to see all of the people from around the world meditating at the same time. You could connect with them. Meet others with similar meditation habits as you. The library of guided meditations is pretty vast. There are meditations for all kinds of topics. There are also music mediations and talks from teachers around the globe.
I began using the Insight Timer app every day. Gradually I became less fidgety. I started to have moments when it felt like my mind wasn’t racing. Moments when I actually felt calm and relaxed. After some time with the guided mediations, I moved to using only the timer. To sitting with myself in silence for longer and longer periods of time. There were so many times I felt like I was back at square one. Couldn’t sit still. Couldn’t stop looking to see how much time had passed. Couldn’t find that calm peacefulness. Once I stopped beating myself up for these times, they became less and less.
Eventually, I felt confident enough to test myself and my practice. I felt that several months of daily meditation had prepared me for a silent 10 meditation retreat. I found one fairly close to home and embarked on one of the hardest journeys I have ever endured. You can read about my hellish experience here.
I hadn’t used the Insight Timer app for several years. I have been sitting on my own (mostly) daily and feel content in where my practice is now. Mostly productive with a dash of frustrating. However, during the current situation, I not only suggested the app to those in need, I began sitting with the app again myself. Using guided mediations based on conversations I’ve had with others. Some are struggling to feel grounded or connected to others and themselves. Some are afraid of the uncertainty. Some are battling depression. Some are searching for their creativity. So each morning, I sit at 10am CST and listen to a guided meditation. People have begun to sit with me or tell me that seeing that I meditated earlier in the day helped them find the motivation to sit on their own. I’ve made some great connections on the app over the last month. New friends and fellow travelers from all around the world.
I invite you to sit and breathe with me. Let’s connect. Let’s close the distance between us and meet in stillness.
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