Mac App Review: Zazen Suite – Mindfulness 2.0

First – we’d like to start off with a little announcement: starting today, we’re excited to launch “StackSocial App Reviews”.  StackSocial Reviews will be a series of weekly Mac app reviews dedicated to helping our readers uncover some hidden (and not-so-hidden) gems out there.  If you have any requests, feel free to send us an email or hit the “Ask us Anything” button on our blog.  So, without further adieu: 

I’m a busy guy. Some (if not all) would say too busy. I am very structured and often get lost in all of the “doing”. But I’m getting better at not just keeping my head above water, but fostering a “mind like water” state thanks to Zazen Suite.

Zazen Suite is, at its root, a simple mediation app. There are version for the Mac platform via the Mac App Store and one for iOS devices as well. Zazen Sutie can set random chimes that can occur throughout your day (kind of a “head check” to get you grounded again at any given time), or can be set to go off at specific times each day. There are a variety of sounds offered for each version of the app, all of which definitely lean towards a “zen effect” of sorts.

I tend to schedule an alarm to go off every 30 minutes or so, kind of a reminder to step back from the computer screen and just breathe. Developer Nathan Hangen has really thought this app through, and the simplicity of it is what makes it worth picking up. It doesn’t have a ton of bells and whistles (other than the sounds of bells and whistles, that is), but that’s the point. It does what it is meant to do very well. The ease of use caters to the zen mentality, allowing users to set up the app and go.

One thing I’d really like to see is some sort of syncing function between the two versions, allowing users of both to set up their particulars on one platform and have them seamlessly transfer to the other one. That’d be really zen.

How does Zazen Suite stack up (no pun intended) to other apps of its type?

There are more feature-rich iOS apps that are designed to help with meditation and mindfulness, such as Meditator and Pure Meditation Premium, but the former is laden with in-app purchases that complicates things (as well as add up in your pocketbook over time) and the latter is more of a subliminal audio program that also isn’t very simple to use. There are a few apps (like Insight Timer, for example) that are comparable to Zazen Suite, but lack the cross-platform appeal as they don’t have a Mac version available.

If you’re looking for a featured mediation app that stays out of your way without causing you to lose your way, give Zazen Suite a look. There is a feature-limited “lite” version for iOS devices, but the pricing for the full-featured one is reasonable at $1.99. The Mac version is $4.99 and is a perfect complement to your workflow routine.

(You do have one of those, right?)

Zazen Suite really puts the “suite” into the app with its cross-platform approach, and the simple interface has found just the right amount of “zen” for my liking.

Rating: 4/5 stacks

—StackSocial Editorial Team—

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