Meditation has become somewhat of a buzzword, conjuring up images of yoga and Zen. It’s understood by most as an Eastern religious practice repackaged for the enlightened of the West. Within the Church, meditation has often been ignored or feared, considered to be the domain of New Age spirituality.
I was surprised to discover that the two Hebrew words for meditation occur 58 times in the Old Testament. The Psalmist penned, “Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day (Psalm 119:97 NIV). Christian meditation is not about emptying our minds, but rather filling them up with God’s truths. It is not about performing mental gymnastics to induce a trance-like state, or to acquire superpowers like Doctor Strange or Kung Fu Panda. Put simply, it is about growing in obedience and faithfulness to God.
But here’s my confession: as a visually-geared Christian I find it hard to close my eyes and meditate. Images flood into my mind and distract me. Among fellow artists, I am not alone, and the majority of Millennials and Gen Z’ers can also relate. I think it’s safe to say that meditation needs to be aided visually for a lot of people. As a professional artist, I interact with many in the field and often hear statements like, “art is very meditative for me.” I find myself resonating with this, yet it can come across as merely an ‘art speak’ platitude.
Read the full essay in Ekstasis Magazine here