CNET, July 2017

July 27th, 2017

how i learned to stop worrying and love high-tech meditation

"I lean back against the gray, microfiber-lined cushions inside an egg-shaped pod, and prop my feet on the matching footrest. Black headphones fit snugly over my ears as a spa concierge taps on a Samsung tablet mounted beside me.

"This meditation dome is your personal retreat," the screen reads. "It is a space to calm your senses, relieve stress and align your mind and body."

Exactly what I need.

The concierge lowers an illuminated white dome over my body, making me feel like I'm inside a cocoon. I can see my feet peeking out from under the pod, warding off any sense of claustrophobia. The dome is bathed in a soft light from the LEDs, which glow bright green (a color that "stimulates inner peace," according to the brochure).

A woman's soothing voice tells me to close my eyes. "Take the brief pause we all need to live our most meaningful lives," the voice says through my headphones. "Your body and mind need different things every day, and that undefinable part of yourself will respond in turn. So take this time, just for you, and breathe. Welcome to your journey to the present."

For the next 20 minutes, all I have to do is relax. This may be the best assignment I've ever had.

I'm at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, about 33 miles from Santa Barbara, California, and I'm sitting in a Somadome....

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