October 8, 2010

Review: Labyrinth App (iPause)

Our Music Director, Rob Passow (@Rob_Mus) virtually walks a virtual labyrinth on his iPhone and reports back to us.

The practice of labyrinth walking as a form of prayer and meditation surged in popularity at the end of the 20th century, even though labyrinths in some form or another, have been around for thousands of years.

At first glance, it looks like a maze but there's only one path leading from entrance to center and then back out again. Many find that walking this path in silence or with music allows them to step away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and enjoy a few minutes of calm reflection.

Finding a full-sized, walk-able labyrinth, however, can sometimes be a challenge, so many people use a hand-held labyrinth of wood, stone or metal. Now, there's an app for that: iPause.

iPause contains six electronic labyrinths. As with analog hand-held labyrinths, you can trace the path with your finger (with the help of a green marble) through labyrinth.

The marble can also be set to move by itself. Initially I questioned the usefulness of this feature, but I have since realized it is nearly as effective, though less interactive, to let the app do the walking.

Of the six labyrinth patterns, a few are a bit tiny for more “mature” eyes, but there is sure to be more than one you'll find suitable. I noticed a veiled promise that more patterns will be offered in a subsequent update. The app can be viewed horizontally, which can be handy; however an aspect lock (as with Kindle for iPhone) would be nice.

iPause has its own (rather uninspiring) music, but offers a feature I particularly like. With the recent update you can also choose music from your own iPod library. When you open the app, your musical selection starts immediately.

This little iPhone app, which is also available for iPad, is a gem, and is possibly the best two bucks I have ever spent. It’s perfect for quiet times of meditation and prayer; anytime you need a break from the world.


Mark G aka The Modern Monk said...

I have been using iPause for about 2 months now, and I have to say as a lover of Labytinths (I have recently convinced my wife to let me make one in our front yard!) this is a next-best. To be able to "walk" the Labyrinth on a plane during my currently busy travel schedule is a blessing. The Modern Monk agrees with Rob Passow that iPause is a well spent 2 bucks that will be a blessing to your prayer life to boot!

Mark G aka The Modern Monk

Anonymous said...

I must admit that the first time that I say a labyrinth, I thought,'What's the big deal with this? It's just a path'. And then when I walked it, and experienced it, it taught me so much, especially about myself. It is no wonder that they have been around for such a long time and are such a wonderful gift. There is much to learn while on the labyrinth path.