Welcome to Mondo Samu - Questions and Answers about my self-work.

Mondō: "questions and answers"; a recorded collection of dialogues between a pupil and teacher.
Samu: Work service; meditation in work.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

REVIEW: Meditate - Meditation Timer by SimpleTouch

After my morning Tai Chi, and using LoseIt! to enter my exercise on my iPhone, the next step of my morning routine is to use another iPhone app called Meditate - Meditation Timer by SimpleTouch Software.  As this app is about as close to perfection as I can imagine an app being, this review will be much shorter than some others might.

I settle down for a brief meditation.  Actually, a word on that…If you think that meditation is something you don't have time for, please find a way to fit it in.  It doesn't matter if it's an hour, 30 minutes, 15, 10 or even 1 or 2 minutes!  Even just a few breaths can be a meditation.  If you seriously think that's not possible, then use your Tai Chi or other exercise as moving meditation.  Use your walking as walking meditation.  Just find a way to fit it in, because the benefits are great.  Some might say that meditation has no place in a weight loss program.  I would argue strongly that it does.  It helps you calm yourself, think clearly and especially the quick, three breath re-focusing type, will help you live in the moment and focus when you are about to make a food or exercise decision.  If you do this before you order your lunch, you might find yourself eating much healthier.

Anyhow, I settle down, and relax, then hit the Meditate app icon.  Each time you enter the app, you will find a different lush and vibrant background image of a calming scene.  In the foreground you are shown a VERY slick control panel for the app.  What you see, with this app, is ALL you get.  It's designed to do one thing, VERY simply, and VERY well.  At the top is the time you have allowed for meditation.  Beneath that are six buttons:

Preparation (time)
Mediation (time)
Interval (time)
Cool Down (time)
Minus (-)
Plus (+)

The bottom has the "Meditate" button, which starts your timer.  When you tap that, the control panel flips horizontally, and states the item (preparation, meditation, etc) at the top, has a large countdown timer in the middle and a restart and pause button at the bottom.

That's all, folks!  There's no additional screens for setup, about us, website, nothing!  Meditate - Meditation Timer is perfectly stunning visually, perfectly simple in it's layout and operation, requires virtually NO setup and operates flawlessly.  One job, perfectly performed in a beautiful way.  What more could you possibly want in an app!

I've tried countless other options such as the popular Zazen Suite, and the Equanimity app.  All have their pros and cons.  What makes the Meditate app so special, at least to me, is there ARE NO CONS!  It's all PROS!  Just like the designers.  Speaking of whom, I have communicated with SimpleTouch a few times and have found them to be extremely responsive, professional and friendly.  Their professionalism as a developer seems to match their design aesthetic.  Can't say anything nicer than that about them, if you ask me!

So, bottom line - If meditation is a part of your life, and you're an iPhone user, this app is non-optional.  If there's a better mediation timer app out there, I have not seen it!

Til next time,

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