The Glass Buddha Project: an update

glass buddha projectWow! Our Glass Buddha Project fundraiser is now 118% funded in just three days. Originally I’d allowed 21 days for the fundraising, and aimed to bring in $1633, but we currently have $1933 donated, and 18 days to go. Wow!

I’d never have dreamed that we would exceed our fundraising goal in such a short period of time. Being over-funded is actually really great, because I’d forgotten to factor in Indiegogo’s fees, and I also have to make a trip to NYC to pick up glass. All those expenses are now covered, and since Wildmind is only just scraping by financially at the moment I’m relieved that I don’t have to put anything on our credit cards.

In case you missed it, the purpose is to buy Google Glass for Wildmind. Glass is a computer that’s worn like a pair of glasses. It has a built-in screen, a camera, a microphone, and a bone-conducting speaker that sends sound directly into your skull, and it can be controlled by voice or by touching the “arm” of the glasses.

I wanted to purchase Glass for Wildmind for two reasons:

  • To explore Glass as a tool for teaching meditation, mindfulness, and Buddhist practice generally.
  • To explore the potential for an app for Glass that would be a kind of digital “mindfulness bell,” allowing you to set goals for your practice and reminding you of those goals at various points during the day. Imagine for example that you’re in a meeting and a small, discrete reminder pops up reminding you to be compassionate toward the other people you’re working with.

Now the advantage of this is that messages delivered to Glass are immediate. You don’t need to hear a notification chime, pull out your cellphone, and stare at the screen. The notification is just there, hovering in space. To glance at it would take a half-second of your time, but could change your entire day, and thus shape the course of your entire life. I believe that this could be life-changing.

The latest article I read on Glass estimated that 21 million people would buy glass when it launches commercially (at which point it’ll likely be as affordable as a smartphone).

Many of those people will be in technical or creative fields, and they’ll be using Glass because of the hands-free nature of the display (imagine if your doctor could call up your medical records just by asking for them).

So this is huge number of people to reach, and they’re a demographic that’s likely to be interested in meditation and mindfulness practice — and to have a need for it.

While most people see technology as something that disturbs the mind, I see it as a tool that can help us develop mindfulness and compassion.

So thank you to everyone who has to make this happen. (And further contributions are welcome!)

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