If you had told me in my early twenties that I would be spending my early thirties practicing yoga and meditating, I would have never believed you. However, I have found that it has vastly improved my mental health as well as having a positive impact on my sleep. So, when the Kasina MindPlace landed in my hands, it seemed well up my street!
Kasina gets its names from a Pali term that refers to an ancient system of meditation that uses visual objects to focus the mind. The Kasina MindPlace uses similar techniques to induce positive mood-shifting effects. Unlike the meditation apps and devices I have used in the past, the MindPlace engages both the audio and visual sense via headphones and the Ganzframes (or disco glasses as I like to think of them), you then select a session and the glasses will create a colour-light display that works in sync with the audio session.
The range of sessions include: Meditate, Focus Energy, Night Voyage, Trance, and Mind-Art, which can provide a range of benefits included clearing extraneous thought, improving focus, breaking undesirable states like anger or stress, helping to facilitate accelerated learning, changing your mind and mood, and access altered states of consciousness. You also have the option of creating your own sessions, and copying your own music in MP3 or Wave - the MP3 player has pre-programmed sessions ready to use straight out of the box and an included 8GB microSD card.
The Ganzframes have six coloured LEDs per eye and produce 255 shades of colour. The MP3 player has a coloured LCD display, obviously designed to look similar to an iPod, it is bulky and charmless with a cheap finish. The protective case is about as useful as a chocolate teapot, in fact the build quality of all the components is really poor when you consider the asking price is just shy of £300! The headphones look like something you would get handed on a plane, but the audio quality is acceptable and they are lightweight which makes them comfortable to wear for long sessions. If you attempt to create your own sessions, you may find yourself undoing all the good work meditating has done for you: it is incredibly un-user friendly and you will need both patience and computer skills. I also found linking the glasses to your own music a bit hit and miss - some songs it paired beautifully with, while others were just disjointed, distracting flashes, but you have fun playing around with it.
The pre-programmed sessions were wonderful, however, and it feels like this is what you are paying for; I found I brought a whole new level to my meditation I hadn’t experienced before. However, I feel like the dated design, poor build quality and cheap components have a long way to go before that price tag is justified. RRP £295.00
3.8 out of 5
Pre-programmed sessions with glasses are wonderfully immersive
Easy to use out of the box
Glasses and headphones comfortable
Creating your own sessions is difficult
Hit and miss with own music
“Protective” case cheap and nasty