I’m a practitioner of meditation. After sporadically meditating whenever I was feeling any type of overwhelm, I’ve been applying myself to cultivating a better, healthier, more meaningful practice.

I incorporate meditation into my life where I can, alternating unguided meditation and guided meditation with my favorite app. Lately, I’ve been playing around with the Marina Abramovic Method, which isn’t so much a straight-forward meditation technique as it is something that sits in between meditating and playing.

Why I meditate

  • Improve my concentration
  • Better connect with my inner sense of calm
  • Identify what I’m feeling
  • Look at myself with soft eyes
  • Remind myself of the deep knowing

What I’ve tried so far

Like many others, perhaps you’re one of them, I’ve tried to meditate using a number of apps:

  • Headspace: I love Andy’s calm voice and I appreciate the diversity of guides they’ve added to the app. I’ve always been a fan of both the interaction and visual design of the app. A drawback at some point, however, I found the “I went to live with the monks so you didn’t have to” atmosphere that Andy sometimes exudes
  • Ten Percent Happier: less friendly in its user experience, I love TPH because of its no-nonsense approach to meditation. I don’t have to hear about somebody’s trip to Nepal to know they can help me meditate, and that’s where this app really shines. It’s so unashamed of its coopting of Eastern culture that it doesn’t even feel it has to connect with it in any way. I find that refreshing.
  • Hallow: while technically a prayer app and not a meditation app, this Catholic prayer platform has various beautiful reflections to listen to. I seem to be engaged in a life-long search for the right fit for religious and areligious spirituality in my life, and for a while I user prayer instead of meditation to find calm.
  • Liberate: my favorite guided meditations can be found in this anti-racist, queer-friendly, trauma-informed app that is made by and for people of color. Aside from the fact that I was locked out of the app after I purchased an annual subscription, this app is truly my favorite.

What I’ve learnt

  • Guided meditation in app or podcast form keep me from engaging with actual meditation
  • Prayer doesn’t feel as relevant, healing, and healthy to me as meditation
  • Meditation that does not understand (the) trauma (of being a person of color) makes me feel cut off from a part of my own experience

How I meditate

These days, I practice meditation in sessions of various durations, from five minutes up to an hour.

These are the types of meditation I usually employ:

  • Mindfulness
  • Progressive relaxation
  • Loving-kindness
  • Visualization

What I’m still excited to try

  • Focused meditation
  • Sound bath meditation