Today I’m announcing a new meditation app called Oak.
In building Oak, I wanted an app for the self-experimenter, one that would blend technology and meditation in a thoughtful and useful way.
It will be a great addition to the many other meditation apps you might be using today. I’ve learned through my studies of Zen, Vipassana, and Transcendental Meditation that it’s best to try different methods and choose the one that works best at that moment in time.
Community-driven guided meditation app
Our foundation is built on basic guided mindfulness training and does not focus on prescriptive meditation (e.g., for anxiety, stress, sleep, etc.). Oak teaches proven traditional meditation techniques that have been practiced for centuries.
Our guided meditation was the result of a lot of input from our beta testers. We started with an initial recording in a beta build of the app and gathered in-app feedback from beta testers as they completed their sessions (or ended them early). Reviewing this feedback individually and in aggregate (looking for larger themes) led to adjustments in pace, tone, and verbiage. We made hundreds of refinements to the final guided sessions before launch.
Oak beta by the numbers: App testers = 4,273, Community Members = 17,457, Total meditation time = 163,326.34 minutes/2,722 hours
Monks don’t use meditation apps
Our intention with Oak is to teach our users the fundamentals needed to practice app-free traditional meditation. That is, unguided, without instruction, and on their own. When our users are ready to move on from guided meditations, they can transition to using Oak as an unguided meditation timer.
Oak’s unguided mode is perfect for the experienced meditator. You can set starting, interval, and ending bells, as well as background sounds recorded in nature (no synthetic sounds).
Technology to track your progress
We’re geeks. One of the things I’m most excited about is our upcoming device integrations. At launch, we support Apple Healthkit for tracking “mindful minutes.” Very soon we will begin work on device integration for heart rate (and variability) tracking. This will allow you to compare pre and post-meditation as well as breathing exercise results. We’re currently looking into the APIs provided by Oura, Fitbit, and the Apple Watch.
Also, make sure to check out your Oak user profile. It’s filled with detailed analytics including your minutes meditated, number of breaths you’ve taken (guided breathing), and community statistics like who’s meditating now.
We’re launching with mindfulness meditation training to start. Next up on our list is loving-kindness meditation and mantra (similar to Transcendental Meditation).
No time for meditation, take a deep breath
It can be discouraging when we can’t find time for a proper seated meditation. To help with those times, we’ve added very powerful yogic breathing exercises to Oak. These are guided breathing exercises that can be used for energy or relaxation. If I’m too busy to meditate, I always find time for a Deep Calm (4–7–8) breath.
How much does all this cost?
We’re free to all. No monthly fee or ads.
A big thank you to our 17,000+ community of testers. Without your surveys, comments, and emails, we couldn’t have built this app. Also, huge thanks to Taylor, Caleb, Eli, Dawid, Monica, and my slack meditation advisory crew for your help.