written by: Michelle Morgan•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 5/30/2011
Meditation is most often thought of as an exercise involving sitting crossed legged, whilst chanting 'OM'. But can this ancient practice be combined with modern day technology? Can we really meditate with a BlackBerry? The answer, quite simply, is yes.
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In order to learn how to meditate with your BlackBerry, first we must understand meditation. Here are just a few examples of the kinds of meditation we can experience:
Sitting Meditation. Often crossed legged with eyes closed, Sitting Meditation involves clearing your mind of thoughts, and becoming still in your mind and body, experiencing a sense of calm, peace and being 'in the moment'. It can be extremely difficult to quiet the mind in the beginning, but practice is definitely the key to achieving the full effects of this kind of meditation.
Guided Meditation. Sitting or lying with your eyes closed; Guided Meditation is the experience of listening to a script being read which takes you on a 'journey'. For instance, you may be instructed to imagine yourself walking in a field of red poppies; you can feel the breeze on your skin and hear the birds singing overhead. A guided meditation can be long or short and many people find it far easier to relax whilst being 'guided' than sitting in complete silence.
Visualization. This involves gazing at objects such as crystals, waterfalls, flowers, symbols, words or even photographs made up of patterns, colors, or inspiring places. You relax the mind and gaze at the image or object in front of you, noticing the colors, the lines, the texture and the detail. Continue to gaze at the objects/photos and after a few moments close your eyes and visualize the object in front of you. Focusing the mind in such a way can - over time - be very relaxing and beneficial to relaxation.
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Apps for Meditating with a BlackBerry
At the time of writing, there are quite a number of paid-for apps that can be used for meditation on your Blackberry. However, there are very few apps that are free and in fact a quick search on the BlackBerry App World site brings up only two e-books, a Christian prayer and a visualization called 'Waterwheel'.
'Waterwheel' is a excellent meditation app, designed to look like a water wheel being powered at night by a white, milky liquid. The user can either watch the wheel with its flow of water, or can actually touch the screen to move the water manually. Unfortunately that is where there lies a problem, as this application is only designed for BlackBerry Playbook, and will not be compatible with non-touch BlackBerrys such as the Pearl or Bold.
The 'Waterwheel' application is best viewed whilst the device is in the charging stand, as a few minutes of running in battery mode will lead to a dimmed screen. This is a simple application, but one that is relaxing and ideal for visualization. It may not have any sounds at the moment, but the developer does have plans for more effects at a later date, which will only help to enhance the relaxation qualities of this free app.
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Using Your BlackBerry Without Having to Download Apps
If you want to meditate with your BlackBerry using the resources already installed on the phone, there are a variety of ways you can do this:
Sitting Meditation. You can use the clock app on the device to use a timer or set an alarm whilst you relax in a sitting meditation. Remember that as you are meditating, the mind should be clear, so keeping one eye on the time isn't the ideal way of achieving this. By using the alarm or timer, you can set how long you want to sit and completely 'switch off', safe in the knowledge that your BlackBerry will let you know when the time is up. Both the timer and the alarm can be accessed by pressing the BlackBerry button whilst using the Clock app.
Guided Meditation. There is an excellent Voice Notes app that can be successfully used for free guided meditations for BlackBerry. Simply find a script that is to your liking (or make one up of your own) and use the Voice Notes app to record the meditation yourself. Available within the Media section of the phone, the Voice Notes app also has a timer at the bottom to let you know how long your recording is, so that you can ensure the meditation you use is applicable to the time you have available. The script can then be played back whenever you like, by either using your headphones or the speakers on the handset.
Visualization. Also located in the Media section of your BlackBerry is a folder entitled 'Sample Pictures'. The photos within this folder can be fantastic for visualization and include waterfalls, meadows, forests, nature and more. Of course if you are feeling adventurous, you can also use the camera app to take your own photographs and use these for your Meditation practice. Just beware that when using your Blackberry for visualization, you will want to prop up the device on a coffee table or at eye-level, as gazing down at your device will only result in neck ache, which is never relaxing to anyone.
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Photos of BlackBerry Bold by the Author.
Photo of the Waterwheel app courtesy of www.kittylambda.com