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Project Glass as a tool for Awakening

glass_photos3As you probably know, I’m keen on seeing how technology can be harnessed to enhance spiritual practice in the modern world. Wildmind was the first website, as far as I’m aware, to attempt to offer a systematic and comprehensive guide to meditation. We also were ahead of the game in offering online courses in meditation, way back in 2002. And our Google+ Community is an outstanding example of how the internet can be used to create a supportive and encouraging spiritual community.

So I was very interested to hear that Google was looking for people to explore their new virtual reality glasses, Project Glass. Here’s the gist:

We’re looking for bold, creative individuals who want to join us and be a part of shaping the future of Glass. We’d love to make everyone an Explorer, but we’re starting off a bit smaller. We’re still in the early stages, and while we can’t promise everything will be perfect, we can promise it will be exciting.

Using Google+ or Twitter, tell us what you would do if you had Glass, starting with the hashtag #ifihadglass.

  • Your application must be 50 words or less
  • You must include #ifihadglass in your application

And here’s Google’s video, so you can get a taste of Glass.

This offer came out just before I went on retreat, but I gave it some thought and came to the conclusion that Glass could be a valuable tool for spiritual practice

And, last night I posted three #ifihadglass posts, in an effort to be selected for the trials. Here are the three posts (the maximum you were allowed to submit). I’m not entirely happy about the third one. It should really be about spiritual community (sangha) but it’s hard to pitch that in a way that’s accessible:

#ifihadglass I would explore how to use it as a mindfulness tool — a way of being intensely in the moment. I would explore ways, in my capacity as a meditation teacher, to harness this new technology to create a more mindful, compassionate, and joyful world.

#ifihadglass it would be to use it as a mindfulness teaching tool, plucking moments of beauty from ordinary life, creating full-immersion audiovisual haikus to share with the world, showing how every moment is a opportunity for experiencing appreciation and wonder.

#ifihadglass I would help create a future where friends and families can be apart and yet together. I would help bring about a new kind of world where geography is overcome by the electronic telepathy of Glass.

I can imagine Glass being a way to bring a mindfulness, metta, and insight program into daily consciousness. It would function as a mindfulness trigger, but with the added bonus that it would deliver practice suggestions (“Notice the change that’s going on in your experience right now” for example). I can imagine an app that would allow you to focus mainly on one particular area (say, mindfulness of feelings) for a period of time as you work through a program that covered many different aspects of spiritual practice.

You know how you read all these great articles and books on spiritual practice, but don’t remember to bring what you’ve learned into daily life? Project Glass could be the answer to that problem. I envisage an app that would not only let you follow a program, but would let you input reminders from books and articles you’d read, or from talks you’d heard.

The chances of my being successful are slim, but on the other hand Google has an interest in mindfulness practice and my suggestions (well, the first two, anyway) may be unusual enough to catch their attention.

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About Bodhipaksa

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Bodhipaksa is a Buddhist practitioner and teacher, a member of the Triratna Buddhist Order, and a published author. He founded Wildmind in 2001. Bodhipaksa has published many guided meditation CDs and guided meditation MP3s.

He teaches at Aryaloka Buddhist Center in Newmarket, New Hampshire. You can follow Bodhipaksa on Twitter, join him on Facebook, or hang out with him on .

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Comments

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Comment from Upekshadaka
Time: February 27, 2013, 10:45 am

good luck with this good idea!

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Comment from Bodhipaksa
Time: February 27, 2013, 10:48 am

Thank you.

One of the questions that’s been percolating through my mind for a while is, “What would an app aimed at helping people get enlightened look like?”

Answers on a postcard, please…

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Pingback from Buddha’s Middle Way on Technology
Time: February 27, 2013, 6:52 pm

[...] one of my early teachers, has recently suggested that Google Glass could be a tool for Awakening. Specifically, he has contacted Google with three proposals in the hope of getting an early trial [...]

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