Virtual Reality Meditations
Mindtoon Lab is delighted to be collaborating with Cubicle Ninjas on their Guided Meditation VR apps for Gear VR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive.
Mindtoon Lab adapted four of our original smartphone app meditations for a VR platform and developed six new VR meditations. We are pleased to introduce ten 10-minute VR Mindtoon™ meditations for the Guided Meditation VR platform.
You choose a natural environment. Then you choose a meditation. You are guided through steps involving breath, gentle movement, and attention to relax the body and calm the mind. Each Mindtoon™ supports experiencing and cultivating a particular quality.
Mindtoon™ meditations are not medical interventions. They are potentially helpful tools designed based on Mind-Body Therapy principles, that may or may not be helpful to any particular individual.
- Calming can help calm the mind by giving it something engaging to do. (focusing on breath and movement instead of on your thoughts).
- Stability can help you connect with how you feel when you feel stable.
- Comfort can help you pay attention to what It feels like to experience comfort.
- Clearing can help clear the mind of confusion and ease tension or tightness in the body.
- Releasing can help you release what you are holding onto that you no longer need.
- Nourishing can help you feel less bothered by things, less reactive. More nourished.
- Spaciousness can help you cultivate a sense of space felt inside of yourself and in your interactions so you can be more calm, more balanced, more present.
- Energizing can help activate the body and mind’s natural abilities to feel energized.
- Focusing can help activate the body and mind’s natural abilities to feel focused.
- Clarity can help support mental clarity. We use the metaphor of light to represent clarity.
The Guided Meditation VR app also inspired us to experiment with the relationship between meditation and the sense of presence in virtual worlds. We created the Beach VR Meditation for Embodied Presence, a meditation to enhance the experience of embodied presence in Costa del Sol (one of the Guided Meditation VR immersive beach environments).
You can read our publications here:
Heeter, C., & Allbritton, M. (2015). Playing with Presence: How meditation can increase the experience of embodied presence in a virtual world. In proceedings of Foundations of Digital Games, Asilomar, CA.
Heeter, C., & Allbritton, M. (2015). Being There: Implications of Neuroscience and Meditation for Self-Presence in Virtual Worlds. Journal For Virtual Worlds Research, 8(2).https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283501344_Being_There_Implications_of_Neuroscience_and_Meditation_for_Self-Presence_in_Virtual_Worlds
Mindtoon Lab developed two exploratory Mindtoon™ meditation apps which feature unusual meditation objects (Purring Cat Meditation and Wizards Meditation). Purring Cat Meditation is available for download on the iTunes store and Google Play. Wizards Meditation was developed to exhibit at the Meaningful Play 2014 conference.
Purring Cat Meditation app
Duration: About 12 minutes
Mindtoon™ meditations are tools to help you relax your body, calm your mind, and change how you feel. Cat lovers will appreciate this Purring Cat Mindtoon™ meditation, in which you connect with the presence and qualities of a purring cat.
Mind-Body Therapist Marcel Allbritton guides you through steps involving breath and gentle motion. You are seated comfortably with eyes closed and room to move your arms up in front and out to the side. The meditation design is grounded in principles of mind-body therapy and delivered via the Mindtoon™ framework.
Purring Cats are an unusual object of meditation. The core of every Mindtoon™ experience involves steps designed to help relax the body and calm the mind through attention to breath and gentle movement. These benefits are as likely to happen when connecting with a fun object of meditation (like purring cats) as with a more traditional meditation. And you might be more motivated to do it if you think of meditating as fun.
During the Mindtoon™, you are guided to feel the presence and qualities of a purring cat. Feeling the presence of a purring cat gives you an experience with whatever that feeling is for you. It can be an interesting, appealing exploration. And you may find you can remember and call up that feeling again throughout the day.
If you take delight in purring cats, then this Mindtoon™ may be for you. (If you don’t like cats, this Mindtoon™ is not for you.)
Wizards Meditation was developed to exhibit at the international academic Meaningful Play 2014 conference. It was intended as a way to introduce academics studying games and game design professionals to the experience of cybermeditation. We used a playful object (your favorite wizard) to appeal to the audience and conference theme as a way of starting a conversation about meditation as meaningful play.
Do Mindtoons™ about playful meditation objects (like wizards and purring cats) still have the benefits of meditation?
The core of every Mindtoon™ experience includes relaxing the body and calming the mind through attention to breath and gentle movement. Attention to internal sensations such as quality of breath and activity of the mind may gradually change your awareness of feelings or sensations in your body during the Mindtoon™ and in general.
It is possible these benefits could happen when linking with a fun object of meditation. And you might be more motivated if you think of meditating as fun.
What if I’m allergic to cats (or wizards)?
If you are allergic to cats, you may find that the Mindtoon™ meditation gives you an opportunity you’ve never had to enjoy cats. If you start feeling allergic, stop playing.
If you experience any discomfort or resistance during a Mindtoon™, stop playing. It is best to play Mindtoons™ that appeal to you and feel good.