Here's another entry in our "Five Apps For" series, which identifies five iPhone/iPod touch apps that may be of particular interest to a specific individual or group. Enjoy!
Sure, the historical Buddha lived about 2,500 years ago, but aspects of contemporary Buddhism are just that -- modern and current. I found a slew of Buddhist apps in the store, and most can be divided into two categories: book-style references and lifestyle apps like meditation timers. It gets repetitive and digging through the heap to find the best took some work, but I've come up with a decent list.
If you're looking to add your iPhone or iPod touch to your practice, check out these five apps. No matter which school you subscribe to, you should find something useful (all prices are USD).
I just had to link at least one meditation timer, and this is the best one I could find. A key part of nearly any Buddhist's practice is sitting meditation. Since most modern practitioners (lay ones at least) can't afford to sit for most of the day, a timer is essential. You can certainly set a stopwatch or egg timer, but Equanimity makes it worthwhile to spend US$4.99 on a dedicated app (here's our full review).
Use it to time your sessions with both a prep period and cool down warnings. When you're finished, you can journal about your session and note the number of consecutive sessions you've logged and the total number of hours across weeks and months. Plus, there's no distracting "new-agey" audio to get between you and your practice.
Not ready to commit the five bucks? Here's a free lite version and even a browser-based version.
Click below for the next four apps.