Author Topic: ENSO Timer: A Review  (Read 1917 times)


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ENSO Timer: A Review
« on: September 29, 2010, 08:42:08 am »
For some years now I've used one of those cheap, digital kitchen timers you can get at places like the dollar store as a meditation timer.  That has served me well, except for the fact that it isn't very versatile and the single, built-in timer alarm is really annoying and a bit loud in the context of a practice session.

I had a little extra money a while back and decided to try out the "ENSO" timer by Salubrion.

The ENSO is a purpose-built meditation/yoga timer. While a bit pricey ($99) when compared to my trusty kitchen timer, the ENSO boasted some features that I found very appealing. 

One feature is four different alarm tones - a singing bowl (struck), 2 different ting-sha chimes, a wood block roll-down (Moktok) and a basic wake-up alarm.  You can choose your preferred tone and adjust volumn.

The timer has three different timing modes:  Hours/Minutes, Intervals in Minutes/Seconds and a Loop function.

It also functions as an alarm clock.

I recieved my ENSO just before going on retreat and, of course, took it with me.  I set up a basic practice interval to use for private practice sessions - a 10- second period to get settled after starting the timer and a 30 minute section for practice.  I chose the singing bowl for my alarm tome.  The idea was I would have 10 seconds to settle on the cusion, take off my eye glasses, etc. after which a single gong would sound. After the 30 minute interval the gond would sound twice - a built in feature for the end of a set of intervals.  I would then get up, stretch a little and do whatever before returning for another session.  I chose the lowest volume setting so as not to disturb other retreatants in the rooms next door or across the hall.  It performed beautifully in this application.

The timer's alarm clock functions also served well, helping me to get up on time (5 am) each morning and to get me up from an afternoon nap.

It's not a hard tool to learn, seems very durable and is very well-suited to the intended task.

It comes with a built in stand, and nice travel carrying case, good instructions, runs on 2 AAA batteries.  According to instructions it's best to replace the included batteries as soon as possible, but those batteries have enough juice in them for you to work with the timer for at least a day or two.

While a bit pricey at nearly $100, I find it a very useful tool for a serious practitioner and ideal for use on retreat.  It smaller and more portable than competing products.  It has a number of features (such as alarm clock and stopwatch functions) that make it useful for other applications in addition to study, meditation and yoga practice.  While perhaps not for everyone, it will be a welcome addition to any practitioner's wish list or practice kit. 

I highly recommend this tool.

DISCLAIMER:  I am not employed by the manufacturer, its distributors or retailers and have not been compensated in any way for this review by any party associated with this product.


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