Although it has grown in popularity in recent years, meditation still has a bit of a reputation problem in Western culture. I mean, who has time to meditate? We’ve got work to do, people to see, Netflix to binge. We live in a fast, busy, deadline-obsessed, usually stressed out, hard-pressed culture. Victory belongs to he who hustles. The early bird…well, you get the point.
The last thing many Westerners have time for is getting in touch with their inner Zen.
So a company called Headspace is trying to bring meditation to the masses by changing people’s perceptions; Headspace wants to take meditation out of the Buddhist monastery and bring it right to your smartphone.
They don’t want a seven year vow of silence. They just want ten minutes out of your day. And they don’t require complete and total life devotion. Just $7.99 per month.
Subscribers get access to a huge number of meditation and mindfulness resources accessible through their mobile app. Tools include three foundation level courses and sessions to help with health, personal growth and love life. Sessions range anywhere from 2 minutes to an hour and of course are designed to be “on-the-go”.
The company backs its product with a variety of scientific studies, reminding people that meditation has been shown to reduce stress, promote creativity, strengthen focus, minimize anxiety, and improve romantic relationships.
The company was created back in 2010 by former Buddhist monk Andy Puddincombe and a partner from the advertising industry, Rich Pierson. Initially they started just doing events, teaching large group sessions around London. Quickly demand grew and the duo began creating and selling meditation CD’s. By 2012, the two had launched the beginning of their web service.
Headspace currently boasts over 1 million users and raised $30 million in its most recent round of funding. It’s not hard to understand why; they are helping to bring mindfulness and meditation into the digital age.
They’re also riding the growing alternative medicine wave. As a society, we are more stressed, worried, and anxious than ever. We’re constantly searching for ways to improve our health and infuse more peace and happiness into our existence. Headspace offers a safe, healthy way of dealing with stress – a way that doesn’t involve doctors, medications or very much time.
I think we’ve always had the need as individuals and as groups to step away from the madness and to find some kind of solitude and calm and clarity, I just don’t think in modern time we’ve had the tools we need to do that.
Solitude, calm, and clarity.
Now who wouldn’t want that in an app?
Stephen Altrogge is a freelance writer based in Tallahassee, Florida. He writes about tech, marketing, faith, and lots of other things. He’s married to Jen and has three young girls. Every day he consumes more coffee than the entire population of Colombia. He knows more about Star Wars than any respectable man should, and he runs more than any sane man would. He once attempted to eat a 2 pound hamburger in under an hour. He failed.
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