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Elisa Goldstein, Ph.D.Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.
A blog about mindfulness, stress-reduction, psychotherapy and mental health.

A Virtual Mindfulness World in the Making

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. Updated: May 2nd 2013

virtualTo make the changes we want to make in life, we need some guidance, a practice and community. While there’s a plethora of guidance and examples for practice, the latter part seems to evade us. When it comes to meditation, it’s not so different and having a community or people to interact with is enormously beneficial for driving motivation to practice. One company is trying to make that community accessible anywhere. 

The company Wild Divine has been around for a while creating games for people to meditate with that has a biofeedback component to it. They recently released a social world for people to interact with that surrounds itself around meditation. They call this Wild Divine Online

I was intrigued by it and went through the regular hoops of signing up. They have you create an avatar and then enter into the world. You can enter for free and they have perks for paying an annual fee. 

After creating my avatar I found myself in an empty area alone not actually sure what to do. I went into a house, but there was no one there. My avatar could meditate but there was no instruction all I saw was him sitting closing his eyes. 

I got up and left and then finally found someone in a city area. I tried to talk to her but she didn’t respond. 

Each time I left an area it took a good 30 seconds to a minute to load the next scene. 

I finally just left without a whole lot of motivation to go back. 

Perhaps this will be a virtual world for people to grow into, but right now without people to interact with or regular instruction around the meditation, I’m not sure of the benefit. 

Mindfulness meditation has been shown to be helpful for everything from stress-reduction, to chronic, pain, to depression, to stress-related chronic illness. There’s a big need for something to facilitate community around it. 

Maybe the idea, besides selling they're products (which could be helpful, I've never tried them), is for teachers to get online, like a second life, and lead groups. I'm not sure. I hope this grows into something that can be a support to many people, the world needs it. 

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

 

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles and is author of the upcoming book The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations.

Check out Dr. Goldstein's acclaimed CD's on Mindful Solutions for Stress, Anxiety, and Depression, Mindful Solutions for Addiction and RelapsePrevention, and Mindful Solutions for Success and Stress Reduction at Work. -- "They are so relevant, I have marked them as one of my favorites on a handout I give to all new clients" ~ Psychiatrist.

If you're wanting to integrate more mindfulness into your daily life, sign up for his Mindful Living Twitter Feed. Dr. Goldstein is also available for private psychotherapy.

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