On Float Tanks and Biblical Meditation

By Jon Roig via Creative Commons Flickr view photo here http://www.flickr.com/photos/runnr_az/5840856909/in/photolist-7UVMq1-6vWW9Z-hVoeu-9U8WRx-9U8Vgt-e65zwD-pmHn7g

By Jon Roig via Creative Commons Flickr view page here

I hadn’t really understood the appeal of a deprivation tank until I crawled into a small hiding hole on the playground the other day.

I let the peace take me as I stayed tucked inside the enclosure longer than what’s probably socially acceptable.

Maybe it’s taken me the chaos of the last year to appreciate the longing to hide myself away in total serenity.

And I only just realized people are floating inside those coffin-like tanks. Apparently, it’s a big thing.

High-end “float spas” are sprouting up as folks clamor to pay mucho dinero for the opportunity to unwind in total sensory deprivation.

The goal is to float your cares away. Proponents say it’s a meditation tool.

Maybe I’m a sucker for fads, but where do I sign up?

In an isolation tank no phone incessantly beeps. There are no pressing emails to return. I could easily float an hour by in one. What about you?

I’ve tried locking myself away in the pantry but my kids always find me and usually accuse me of sneaking chocolate. (Guilty).

The playground and the seriously cool fad have me thinking about biblical meditation.

I’m not talking about the Eastern or mystical kinds of meditation. In today’s harried world I understand the temptation to empty our minds. And most of us need to unplug more.

 But when I say biblical meditation I’m thinking more about the quiet filling our minds with God’s truth until joy spills into our lives.

Something along the lines of this, “Meditate in your own hearts upon your bed, and be still. Selah” (Psalms 4:4).

“Of the glorious majesty of your honor, of your wondrous works, I will meditate,” (Psalms 145:5).

“I remember my music in the night, with my heart I meditate, and my spirit doth search diligently” (Psalms 77:6).

The Bible’s filled with the idea of meditation. But few people I know do this. The biblical sense of the word has grown a little stale.

Mention “meditate” at a Bible study and you could get some sideways looks. Newer Bible translations don’t even bother using the word, choosing to use “think” instead.

So, I want to know what you all think. What does meditation mean to you?

From what I can gather Christian meditation doesn’t get much attention as far as spiritual disciplines go. I can barely find a recent book involving the practice that doesn’t have the word “Yoga” in the title.

I think there’s something to this ancient practice. Do you?


9 thoughts on “On Float Tanks and Biblical Meditation

  1. “The goal is to float your cares away. Proponents say it’s a meditation tool.”

    When I was in college I used to go to the women’s intramural building at 6 am. Swimming laps with the lights down low against a backdrop of soothing music was an incredibly relaxing and splendid way to start the day.

    I meditate by thinking about God and listening to Him (throughout the day). Sometimes its reading the Bible, pondering what I read, praying what I just read for myself or someone else – healing, peace, strength, favor, wisdom, etc. Sometimes it means laying in bed at night and debriefing with Him. He seems to speak to me most often when I am in the shower and when I am drying my hair…

  2. Biblical meditation is a great thing. Yoga, is the practice of eastern religion, which the Christian does not need.
    Biblical/Christian meditation takes the word of God, and ruminates on it, as a cow chews her cud, and does that to produce milk. This form of meditation gives the Christian continued peace and assurance with God; and one’s own mind, and heart.
    If we are emptying our selves of anything would be of ourselves. We need more of God and His word permeating our lives. I know I do.

  3. We have to shut the flesh up to hear what the spirit has to say. It is a discipline. Music helps me to be able to be still and concentrate .

  4. I think meditation is imperative to the Christian walk….however, I’m very guilty of not practicing it much. I do see the real value in being STILL before the Lord. I don’t think many of us know how to do much of that these days.

    The Middle Eastern practice of mediation seems to have taken over everyone’s idea of what meditation is these days. Mentioning it in a bible study will def get you some sideways glances, though it shouldn’t.

  5. Trisha, I’m delighted by the idea of you nestling into that playground space longer than what was probably socially acceptable! Sounds like you need some solitude! Have you heard of Playdates with God by Laura Boggess? Your moments hidden on the playground remind me a little of her wild abandon on a trampoline. Either way, you both seem to be seeking God through a sweet, childlike heart’s desire.

    I hope you find some quiet places, quiet moments, all by yourself, when you can pray and read Scripture and re-read it, and memorize it, and ask God how to apply it. I hope you find deeper levels of intimacy with God as a result, and find true refreshment.

  6. First, you would never catch me in one of those tanks. Just looking at it reminds me of an MRI, and my last experience with one of those was traumatic enough. If nothing else, the ringing in my ears caused by too many years of heavy metal Southern Gospel would require me to have some form of white noise or I’d go crazy.

    With regards to meditation, I can barely touch my toes, much less do Yoga. My meditation time – my alone time with God – is either in my study flipping through pages of multiple books (I’m a skimmer), or walking around inside the auditorium of my church, alone, praying. Doing either of those things will make the time fly by.

  7. I find I am the closest to God when I am close to nature. It can be a walk, listening to the birds sing, watching butterflies or working with my plants. As my girls got old enough to start having a potted plant or to put bird food out I was able to introduce them to short bouts of quiet time & learning about Time with nature & God. They did not know it at the time but they were being introduced to meditation. As always thank you for your wonderful blog. Happy New Year Trisha & your family as well.

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