I nabbed the screenshot above from the Muse™ video on YouTube. I haven’t been this excited about a new toy on a long time and friends have gifted me a Muse 2 for my birthday. I’m so excited! The Muse headband is a tech device designed to assist with meditation which covers real time EEG (Original Muse) and the updated version (Muse 2) provides real time feedback from multiple sensors including EEG, Movement, Breathe and Heartbeat.
Think of the Muse™ as a fitness device that’s an informative companion assisting you in your practice and training. But where a fitness device gathers data and informs you about your physical fitness training, such as calories burned and routes travelled, this is a device dedicated to mental training. The device has been designed to assist you in developing your mental focus, commonly referred to as meditation. People practice meditation for different reasons but the most common is perhaps to develop your mental focus and attentional awareness of the inner working of your own body or interoception. This is accomplished by focusing the minds attention on the breathe or heartbeat and then bringing the wandering mind back to that focus whenever it goes wandering off. I know it sounds simple but in our overstimulated world this is not easy!
There are enormous benefits to getting ‘fitter’ at mental focus and self awareness. (There is a great blog post by Muse explaining interoception.) And both the real time feedback during meditation and the data recorded by the Muse really helps with this.
The Muse app includes a number of meditations including Mind, Heart, Body and Breath. So far I’ve completed the introductory meditation which is a Mind Meditation and received the feedback after the session in the screenshot below. During this meditation the active mind state gave rain as audio feedback, while neutral was rain free and quiet, and calm included some chirping birds. Overall the Muse really helped with attention awareness with the practice quite different to trying to meditate without immediate feedback.