Like most celebrities, k.d. lang has thrown herself into non-profit organizations she feels are critical. One of them is Tools For Peace (TFP). While small, this organization has managed to make dramatic impacts on the lives of teens in the Los Angeles area (mostly). But what is more impressive is the meditation app for iOS they have created. With over 200,000 downloads worldwide, this app brings a way for average people to interact with a practice few could access before. The practice of Tibetan meditation is revamped by the Stop Breathe Think App to apply to those of us living in a busy modern world; those of us without the orange robe and bowl!
What is the Stop, Breathe, Think App? It is a free application for your Apple device. If you wish, you can purchase guided meditations led by Executive Director, Jamie Price, or k.d. lang for a nominal fee. The application works great without the added meditation packs, but if you can swing it, the extras are effective too. And who does not want to have k.d. lang talking “personally” to them, eh? Further, TFP is working on making this app available as a web based and Android application as well.
What is the Target Audience of the App? Any person aged 10 and over can benefit. As a teacher for 25 years, it is my opinion that Tools For Peace tends to believe the best age to start this app is a bit older than it could be. The app targets modern people who do not have an established meditation practice, or who are new to the discipline. Thus, anyone aged 10 and over, who is not well versed in the Tibetan meditation tradition, will benefit from this app. For those who are substantially experienced, I recommend Sounds True. You can find items more appropriate for you.
What Does the App Do? You mean besides change your life? OK, maybe that is too strong a statement. (Actually, it does change your life.) Essentially, this app helps you to develop the practice of meditation. Not only will it show you what meditation is, but the “Check In Streak” feature notes how many days in a row you have meditated for at least 1 minute. This is important because you may find that meditating consistently is difficult. Yet, in order for you to get the most out of it, you have to commit. (Sorry, but that is just the way it is folks.) This app “holds your hand” while you develop the discipline needed to meditate everyday. At some point, you will out grow this app, but not for awhile.
Why Would I Want an App That Seems Hard? That is what is so great about this app. Truly, it makes meditating so much easier. It is actually fun to “Check In” (the start of the app process each day) and tell it how you are doing mentally and physically. The icons are non-threatening, fun and actually motivating. Further, the list of “emotions” you can choose from increase your vocabulary and make you even more aware of how you are actually feeling. You will find yourself using these words in your own thoughts and speech after just a few interactions.
What’s In In For Me? Once you let the app work its magic, you will stop asking this question in your life! But for now, what “is in it for you” is a daily practice which will allow you to see the world and your life differently. You will begin to notice an ability to “deal with” events in your life with a sense of calm and fortitude you never knew you even had. Most important, you will begin to see life as a “Whole” instead of a myriad of individual beings unrelated to you. The other “kewl” feature is the “stickers” you can earn. There are about 22 of them in all. After you earn one, the app keeps track, so you can stare at them and gloat if you like! You can also tell all your friends on social media, and that part is fun, really.
It is not often that there are experiences available to you that come with “nothing to lose”. But this is one of them.
You can get the app at http://stopbreathethink.org/