Most of our lives are becoming more and more busy and complex. Our senses are constantly bombarded with new input and our minds rarely find the time to just be still – to be right here right now. At the same time our thoughts are racing back and forth between past events and the future. Everybody knows those revolving thought cycles and patterns. Being fully immersed in the moment becomes a rare but mostly delightful occasion. You might be surprised how many little secrets of the world pass you by every second just because you don’t pay attention.

So how could an app help? Isn’t your phone just another distraction?
In the 60s Aldous Huxley wrote a novel called ‘Island’. In this utopian place the people have trained Mynah Birds all around the island to shout ‘Attention! Attention!’ every now and then to pull you back into the ‘here and now’. This is exactly what my app is supposed to do. It randomly sends you short awareness exercises that involve different senses and intend to shift your focus (just for a few seconds or for as long as you like) into a certain direction.

It’s perfect for every creative to examine the world around them in a playful way, but also useful for any other person who wishes to be more present but needs a little kickstart into awareness.
All exercises are just a starting point, an inspiration for you to play with. Some might be hard to imagine at first, but you’ll get into the groove.

The App knows what time of day it is and where you are so it can select the appropriate exercise for your situation. Some examples might be:

»Pay attention to only light and shadow as a subject. Look for the shapes they make and try to imagine interesting compositions. Any actual objects don’t matter. In this exercise it’s all about experiencing the play between light and shadow.«

»Mentally deconstruct something natural into all its main parts and contemplate how it forms a whole. Where are the boundaries? Notice the constant exchange with its environment. Imagine these exchanges on a microscopic level.«

»Imagine your current environment not as something put in front of you but as something your mind is projecting outward. Imagine all that you can see as a spherical 3D bubble created by yourself.«

You can save your favorites, put them back into the cycle and even send in your own Mynah Bird exercises to be part of the community.

by Christopher Luehning