Now I’ve never been a fan of meditation apps. The only one that I every installed on my phone that lasted for more than 10 minutes was the Plum Village app because it has a few cool features like a gong and mindfulness-bell.
But recently I became aware of the work of Mel Slater of the University of Barcelona, a pioneer in the use of Virtual Embodiment and how this affects our mind. It is a fascinating topic and Mel raises questions about the nature of ‘self’ due to this work. He for instance says that he has come to the conclusion that the body is not the self, and neither are our attitudes, actions, cognition and intentions as they are all changed using virtual embodiment. In fact, it only takes the mind 30 seconds to be able to feel that the new (virtual) body is it’s own and to start acting according to pre-conceived ideas regarding this new body, which raises a lot of questions about our internalized patriarchy. They have had a lot of succes for instance with putting male domestic abusers into the body of a woman and undergoing the abuse from the side of the victim. This experience seems to have a great effect on the mind of the abuser to change his behavior in real life.
Now coming back to meditation apps. What I hear about Tripp (on Oculus Quest, not the mobile app), in cooperation with Jack Kornfield, is that it raises meditation apps to a whole new level of experience as it immerses the mind into the experience. So I was wondering if there is anybody on this forum who has tried this app and if so, what do you think about it?
In any case, this is a very interesting field of study and although VR is still very much associated with gaming, there is obviously a lot more possible. This technology is already being used to bring students in Berlin back to Berlin in 1945 and experience what it was like to be in between the rubble of the bombed city while cars and tanks drive past.
Of course there is also the added convenience of eliminating the need for huge big screens on your desk because you can simply change your workspace environment to have as many massive virtual screens you want while sitting under the (virtual) Bodhi tree at Bodhgaya at sunset and all that with just your small laptop and a headset. Enjoy!