Peace in Your Pocket

As finals approach, free your mind, Oprah-style

Earlier this month, Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra joined forces once again to bring us an all new cycle of their mega successful 21 Day meditation challenge, “Energy of Attraction: Manifesting Your Best Life.” This free 3-week guided meditation features the voices of both Winfry and Chopra posing thought provoking questions meant to help quiet the mind and support the alignment of your deepest desires and life’s purpose.

Over 3.2 million people in 200 countries have participated in past 21 day challenges. Meditation seems to have surged, which may be the result of its current popularity among celebs like comedian Russell Brand, Jennifer Aniston, Ellen DeGeneres, Russell Simmons and Katy Perry, who said during an interview with Rolling Stone “I start the day with Transcendental Meditation. It puts me in the best mood. I wake up and just prop myself up in bed for 20 minutes. It’s the only time my mind gets absolute rest.”

While meditation has long been revered and a necessary component of eastern religions like Buddhism and Hinduism. It wasn’t until the 70s that transcendental meditation, a meditation that requires participants close their eyes and repeat a mantra, was introduced to the west.

Physicians and health professions nationwide have recognized secular meditation or meditation devoid of religious context, as an acceptable alternative treatment for patients who suffer from tension headaches, Insomnia, stress, anxiety, and high blood pressure. A study done by John Hopkins University found that “meditation appeared to provide as much relief from some anxiety and depression symptoms as what other studies have found from antidepressants,” said Madhav Goyal, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine.

Many students have already jumped on the mindfulness bandwagon and have even incorporated meditation into their daily life, Stan Knight a marketing major at CCNY said, ”My whole family meditates. It’s a health requirement. If you’re healthy you meditate at least once in a while.”

Despite its many health benefits, many CCNY students balancing class, work and internships say they just don’t have the time. “I’m just too lazy and I think I need to get into the mind space,” said Susan Akinyi, an Ad/PR major. “I feel like once I have everything organized. Then maybe I could try it.” Although the amount of time spent meditating may vary, most practitioners recommend beginners dedicate 15 minutes to meditation to experience its many physical and mental benefits.

But how does one achieve mindfulness in a tech and mobile dominated world? By using technology to help not hinder their practice. Here, a list of the best iPhone and android meditation apps to be enjoyed while on the train, between classes or in the comforts of your living room.

The Mindfulness App ($1.99) – has been described as straightforward, with guided meditations last from 3 minutes to 30.

Simply Being ($0.99)a calming voice from the app guides you through meditation.

Meditate ($2.49) – Let the sound of Tibetan singing bowls and pre-recorded meditations help you find your center.

Mindfulness Meditation (Iphone $1.99) (Andriod, Free)designed to introduced beginners to the basics of meditation using an eight-week program.

Omvana (Free)allows users to customize the meditation experience.

Take a Break! (Free)Offer 2 meditation sessions (one is 7 minutes the other is 13) for anyone in need of a mental break.