Tracking meditation quality

I’m interested in increasing the length of time I can go until a distracting thought occurs. Does anyone know of any tools I can use to help track this?

It could be as simple as a large button that I click every time I notice myself drifting, and then export timestamps as CSV.

I have done this and it’s exciting that you are interested! I thought it was a lonely question. I’m unable to reply in detail now but later today I’ll outline the approach I used.

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Hi Yaroslav,

Some background about my tracking project is here: 1-Button Test: "Returning" During Meditation. The summary is that I decided to track “returning” instead of drifting. Since returning is a conscious action, it’s easier to notice than drifting. The instrument I used is the 1-Button tracker invented by @tblomseth and @jakobeglarsen. (This is not a commercial product, but a research prototype associated with our interest in understanding self-tracking at a fine level of detail.) If you want to try something similar, I have two options to recommend:

  1. I have an extra 1-Button I’m not using, I’d be glad to loan it to you. The 1-Button looks like this:

1-Button Tracker

You press the blue button, which gives slight haptic feedback in the form of a vibration. Data is accessed by connecting via USB to a computer. The 1-Button appears as a drive, and the data file is data.csv. It will show a column of date/time records with each record formatted like this: 20200325T162232Z. The one I’m not using is an earlier version that has to be charged every few days. The current one I have going for my arrhythmia project is more efficient with energy use, but if you meditate once or twice a day the earlier version is perfectly adequate. Anyway, glad to figure out a way to get it to you if you want to go that route.

  1. Another possibility is using the puck.js along with @gedankenstuecke’s script that gives it similar behavior as the Totti Labs 1-Button. Bastian has a good description of the project here: Puck.js One-Button Tracker



Thanks for tagging me @Agaricus! I know two people at my research institute have just started using the Puck.js this week for a similar purpose (trying to record mind wandering and ‘getting distracted’)!

It’s too early to tell if the Puck works well for it, but happy to keep you posted here (and of course to help if there’s any interest in using the Puck).

In my case I just started with the puck.js, via Bastian’s code, trying to track some sort of very simple version of “anywhere / ninja” meditation :slight_smile: I keep the button pressed while deep breathing, around 27 times, eyes closed visualizing the countdown. With the simplicity of the button (concretely the fingers pressing it) as the main focus of “physical” attention.

Hi Enric, This is very interesting because I found that my button presses became a useful part of my meditation routine, providing a physical gesture to go along with “return of attention.” So much so that I miss it, having repurposed the button for several other projects since. I’ve been meaning to get the puck.js going for a dedicated meditation tracker. Let me know how it goes!

Break open a video game controller and attach an arduino or something. It would be bulky but cheap and many buttons.

Thanks for the tips, I got puck.js and it works perfectly for this along with !