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Do you use a meditation timer?

karastikarasti BreathingMinnesota Moderator

Our group leader has a fabulous pyramid shaped meditation timer that he bought when on a trip to Asia. I love it! The bells on it are lovely. Alas, I do not have one. So I must use my smart phone. I had been happily using Insight Timer, but today in my twitter feed several people had mentioned "Sattva" as a good app. It's free, so I downloaded it and it's pretty loaded with stuff for a free app. There are guided meditations, music, chants, all sorts of settings. The one thing I don't like is they keep a "leaderboard" as if having the most minutes should be a good reason to meditate, but perhaps it doesn't matter what the motivation is because everyone has their own reasons for meditating anyhow.

Do you use a timer or do you just meditate until you feel you are done? I have done the latter as well but find it varies too much. I do better with the timer. There were times I would sit and I couldn't stand it anymore, sure I had been there for over an hour only to find it had been 6 minutes, LOL. This morning I had barely gotten into it before the timer went off, though the Sattva app has an option to continue if you are not ready to stop.

Oh, I have an android phone but I would guess Sattva is available in the Apple store as well.

Comments

  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    Several months ago, @Tosh recommended Insight Timer app here on the forum.

    I have been using it for almost fifty days and feel very satisfied with it.

    It has several options of Tibetan bowl sounds, forums, guided meditations, milestones to be reached, journal.

    I have to check sattva. It sounds similar to Insight Timer.

    Jeffrey
  • Here and there I use a mala, not like a timer, but to know the beginning and end of the session.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I just downloaded 'sattva'. I shall report back with a blow-by-blow account at some point! :D

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    Yes, i quite enjoy Insight Timer as well. The one thing I like about Sattva (today was the first time I used it) is that it has a gauge where you put in how you feel/your state of mind before you meditate and then after where you can put in notes as well. I find that kind of thing useful. I don't type a lot of notes on my phone as I hate using the phone keyboard. I bought myself a nice leather bound journal and I use that to record my morning state of mind. As much as I use my computer and my phone, when I am writing about myself it has to be on paper.

    I also use a mala, but I am working on preliminaries with my teacher so I am using it to keep track of recitations. When he told me it was time to start, I kind of balked. It seemed a bit...cheesy and not really "me" at all. But I have found those things he wants us to recite sneak into my life when I most need them, along with lojong slogans, so it is quite useful. But sometimes the mala is part of my meditation, and sometimes I use it as part of practice outside of meditation.

  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    @karasti said:
    Yes, i quite enjoy Insight Timer as well. The one thing I like about Sattva (today was the first time I used it) is that it has a gauge where you put in how you feel/your state of mind before you meditate and then after where you can put in notes as well.

    An interesting app that has that "feeling" option is Buddhify2, but unfortunately there is no chart tracking for smartphones other than Apple.
    They have an interesting range of meditation for different moods, but I like to keep track of my progress, so in the end it was a no-no.

    Headspace has a cute layout, but much of a hip-lounge feeling to it.
    Besides, it is by subscription after a ten-day trial.
    I also use a mala, but only for mantra recitations.

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran
    edited February 2015

    A stick of incense (8 or 9 inches) lasts about 40 minutes and sounds off with a distinctive smell when it's about to go out.

    Egg timers work pretty well too.

  • I just use a clock which ticks...

  • I don't use a timer anymore, but like Karasti I find that results in a lot of variation. The incense thing sounds interesting! What is the "distinctive smell" that signals the end of 40 minutes...brimstone? :-)

    lobster
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    "Do you use a meditation timer?"

    Well yes & no....I use a biological clock....with a built in timer...

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    my biological clock is a disaster :confounded:

    howlobsterShoshin
  • Do you use a meditation timer?

    Gosh are we on enlightenment peace rates? Who would have guessed, the more we do the greater the payment? I feel my un-meditation timer is more effective . . . :p

  • @karasti said:
    Yes, i quite enjoy Insight Timer as well. The one thing I like about Sattva (today was the first time I used it) is that it has a gauge where you put in how you feel/your state of mind before you meditate and then after where you can put in notes as well. I find that kind of thing useful. I don't type a lot of notes on my phone as I hate using the phone keyboard. I bought myself a nice leather bound journal and I use that to record my morning state of mind. As much as I use my computer and my phone, when I am writing about myself it has to be on paper.

    I also use a mala, but I am working on preliminaries with my teacher so I am using it to keep track of recitations. When he told me it was time to start, I kind of balked. It seemed a bit...cheesy and not really "me" at all. But I have found those things he wants us to recite sneak into my life when I most need them, along with lojong slogans, so it is quite useful. But sometimes the mala is part of my meditation, and sometimes I use it as part of practice outside of meditation.

    On insight timer every session ends with a notice to Ok or journal.

  • When you wake up the meditation has finished. ;)

    Shoshinlobster
  • howhow Veteran

    No timer to stop.

    Stopping is as easy as dining on samsara's pie.

    What I really need is a timer to start back up when I stop.

    lobster
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:
    When you wake up the meditation has finished. ;)

    Never has truer words been spoken :D

  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    I have meditated twice with sattva, but I have to say that Insight Timer's timer is far superior.
    In the latter, we can programme a delay to begin the meditation, interval bells, the session is signalled by a bell, and we can programme a wide range of bell sounds and number to signal the end of the session.
    The choice of guided meditations on sattva is very limited too, and the social forum that we have on Insight is missing.
    For the time being, I'm not that impressed, but I'll give it a couple more days trial...

  • nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran

    When I meditate at home, I use Mindful Bell for Windows, a simple app called Alarm Clock for OS X, or if I'm running Linux I use KTeaTimer. If I'm not in front of a PC, I just use my iPhone's built in timer. I think the extra features in the apps mentioned would just be a distraction for me.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    I don't use the forums at all, so I don't notice the lack of that. Honestly, interval bells and stuff drive me a bit crazy, lol. I prefer just an ending sound (though I know of course you don't have to include them on Insight Timer). I enjoy the music, I haven't checked out the chants yet. I don't do guided meditations so I can't say how those are. I like them both, though I like the design of sattva better, and sadly the icon, LOL. But that wouldn't my choice of what to use. I will likely keep and use them both. Some days I'm more whimsical than others ;)

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited February 2015

    Have you ever written the time you want to wake up on your forehead (with your finger-WARNING ! DO NOT USE A PERMANENT MARKER PEN :D ) just before going to sleep and actually woke up around the time you wrote ?

    Why not give it a try when beginning your meditation practice....

  • @how said:
    What I really need is a timer to start back up when I stop.

    turn your stopwatch on whenever you are mindless . . .
    Every little helps . . . Good plan . . .

    how
  • TalisTalis Explorer

    In daily meditation as "genkaku" I also I use the incense stick method. But I also use a mindfullness timer every 20-30mins on my browser to come back to myself. Available From Plum Village downloads page or direct from FireFox/Chrome addons ect...

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