I have meditated on and off since 1994.
When I first began meditating in graduate school, I spent hours a day on my cushion and experimented with different styles and teachers.
When I began working in the financial services industry and started my family, my meditation became more erratic and entirely focused on traditional calming meditation.
I had already re-established a regular mediation practice when someone recommended I check out Insight Timer. I have a small altar/cushion arrangement in my home office and I was sitting alone early every morning. But, I had no teaching or guidance. I was relying on memories of past instruction.
Insight Timer gave me access to a very wide variety of teachers and meditation styles and while I still stay pretty traditional in my meditations, I love to experiment with slight variations. And, I have found the post meditation instant message feature to be wonderfully additive to my life.
I now make a practice to say “Thanks for meditating with me” to 5 people every day when I am done with a meditation and through this practice I have met and had conversations with some really amazing people.
Finally, the tracking feature is amazing. If you believe in the benefits of “gamification” (which is an ugly word, but a valuable tool), then I think you will see the benefits of maintaining a record of your meditation right away.
For example, I know that since I started using this app in 2015, I have meditated for over 245 hours. I know that my daily average has been about 24 minutes, but that my recent average has been only 15 minutes. I know why – I have been listening to Stephen Proctor’s MIDL 15 minute sessions – but if I didn’t know, this might tell me something about my practice.
I have tried many different meditation timers and Insight Timer is absolutely my favorite meditation timer ever!
I’m obviously still working on staying in the present moment.