08/11/2014 11:59 am ET

Buddhist-Ish Apps Promote 'Mindfulness Via Thoughtlessness'

Jordan Siemens via Getty Images

'Mindfulness' is officially a buzzword again, which means it’s already close to becoming last week’s fad. But a small group of entrepreneurs is working to ensure the trend stays fresh by thrusting mindfulness into the “quantified self” movement. Think FitBit for the Buddhist tech crowd.

Last month, I attended the product launch of Muse, a “brain fitness tool” that claims to improve your physical and mental wellbeing by reducing stress. I was invited because of my academic and professional work with Buddhism, which nowadays is often branded for mass consumption as “mindfulness” and hailed as a cure-all for anxiety, depression, and high blood pressure, among other things. New meditation products are popping up every day, but this was the first time I’d heard of such a foray into wearable technology.

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