I came up with a simple idea for timing my meditation. At the beginning I used a stick of incense, but I had to look at it to check whether it is burnt out already or not and I found that distracting. I prefer the way it is done in the zendo, with a bell being struck at the beginning and end of each session. However, at home I don’t have anyone to do this for me and it would be impractical even if I had.

Then I heard of meditation clocks like this one, which I think are a great idea but are not available here and I would like to see and hear it personally before buying. But, I thought, I could use my computer for this, if only I had an appropriate program and upon searching the web I found some. But they were either old or not free or not for my operating system, but I realized I already have the program I need – the mp3 player.

So, I downloaded a recording of a zendo bell, processed it some and created an mp3 with the sound of a bell being struck once and another with the sound of the bell being struck three times. I also generated three mp3 files with just silence – 5, 10 and 15 minutes of it. Now by arranging them in a playlist I can have as long a meditation as I wish. And it works very well for me.

I use my laptop to play it, as the desktop is too noisy. I think I could eliminate the noise altogether if I had a portable mp3 player connected to a pair of speakers. In fact even with headphones it could act effectively as a portable meditation clock.

I decided to share this, maybe you would find it useful too. You can download the set of mp3 files and a sample playlist by clicking here (it’s 7 megs approx). It’s also available in BitTorrent, click here for the torrent file.