As part of a project I’m involved in, I’m learning more about the extent to which meditators are now accustomed to practicing with apps stored on their phones. Apps of nature sounds, apps with guided meditations or visualizations, apps with soft voices and soothing music back in the mix, apps featuring recordings of venerable teachers doing their iconic riffs… all these and more flood a marketplace I hadn’t made myself aware of.
Don’t get me wrong- I’m all for anyone seeking and finding the calm center by any means necessary. I am definitely not worried about the American economy buckling under the weight of a mindfulness glut. But I confess to being saddened by my new knowledge of this particular form of technological remoteness.
The Human Body is the original search engine, virtually made to explore, to experience, to express. Questions around who designed such a magnificent machine, who launched the start-up, who secured intergalactic funding and commenced production, must be left for another discussion. But let’s agree on one fundamental fact: the Human Body is state of the art, as bodies go, what with the seeing, the hearing, the built-in senses of smell, touch and taste, and the whole range of subjectivity enhancements in the mental and emotional arenas.
In addition to its impressive handiness in activities both practical and recreational, it turns out that our biochemical host is also particularly well-suited to the pursuit of self-knowledge via meditation, even without the aid of blinking googaws! When we simply sit this Body down, temporarily suspend visual monitoring and mental scans, turn awareness inward, focus on the sound of the involuntary breath function (a stock feature of the life-support grid), and relax into the primal rhythm and motion of respiration, new clarity and calm are there at our fingertips! No fuss. No muss. No monthly fees.
When we activate the ambulatory program, traversing the original screen (the actual world?…), with a real-time awareness of breath, body in motion, and our earthly surroundings, a similar experience of grounded freedom is available. Just like that.
Transcendence begins with presence. Repetition is the secret of change. Here is there. Sentience is the ultimate app.