In my article last week titled “The Best Cure for Stress and Anxiety” I spoke briefly about the folly of the eastern and new age practice of meditation. Now I am fully aware that the eastern concept of mediation has become highly popularized in the western world, and many think the practice to be helpful and valid because of its endorsements by counterfeit spirituality teachers such as Oprah, Deepak Chopra and Eckhart Tolle. (I highly recommend everyone read the links to learn the depth of the dangerous false teachings of the fore mentioned people.)
I want to expand on the statement I made in last week’s blog to explain why eastern mediation is not only counter productive but also dangerous. I will to my best to do this using simple logic and reasoning, as well as philosophical and spiritual viewpoints.
In the context of meditation and its benefits for reducing stress and anxiety I stated previously that “the deceptive practice of eastern-meditation and its illogical fallacy of trying to use your own thinking and reasoning to temporarily suspend your thinking and reasoning certainly won’t help either.” Hopefully if you stop and think about that you can clearly see the basic premise of eastern meditation that has become highly popularized in western culture is very illogical. The basic idea is to be able to temporarily stop our thoughts to transcend our self-created suffering and achieve union with the divine energy of the universe, or Brahman as it’s called in Hinduism.
Now there are many different metaphysical concepts thrown around in the new age world of meditation, but basically they view god as an energy or life force that we can tap into and that we are all essentially a part of.
Understand that Buddhism is a non-theistic (no belief in God) religion, and is an offshoot of Hinduism, which can be either polytheistic (many gods) or pantheistic (all is god) depending on the person’s specific beliefs. Generally I would say the idea of pantheism, that everything is god or divine, is the most mainstream view held by people who practice meditation in our culture today. The main goal of meditation is the emptying of the mind–or a contentless meditation. Mahesh Yogi, who popularized Transcendental Meditation (TM) in the 60s believed that the clutter of the human mind is what came into the way of our knowledge of the infinite. The Beatles adoption and promotion of this teaching into pop culture is one of the main reasons it gained so much ground in the U.S.
J. Krishnamurti was another teacher who professed similar ideas that “freedom from thoughts” was the means for liberation from the human problem. Interestingly, if you study the life of Krishnamurti you’ll find he was influenced and recruited by the Theosophical Society (a satanic organization started by Helena Blavatzky). He was even to be trained by Annie Besant and other theosophists to be the New World Teacher. (Who is in their own definition the same as the antichrist mentioned in 1 John 2:22, 1 John 4:2-3, & 2 John 1:7) Besides the disturbing facts of his association with occult practitioners, one should really consider the logical and philosophical issues with these practices.
“Our minds are designed to think, and even to transcend (or get rid of) thinking we have to think! The guru who tells us that our thoughts are the problem has reached this conclusion and communicates it to us only by use of the very faculties that he decries. We are caught in a web of contradiction from which is no escape.” – L.T. Jeyachandran
When you really stop to think about this it’s comical how delusional the idea really is. I spent most of my adult life studying new age spirituality and experimenting with all kinds of different practices, but inevitably every time I tried to meditate and shut down my mental faculties I was left disappointed and annoyed. Other groups such as the Hare Krishnas employ repetitious chants or mantras to attempt to gain spiritual benefit, however one employing such techniques could benefit from God’s advice on this matter:
“And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.” – Matthew 6:7
Stopping and trying to take a break and slow our pace for several minutes a day, inevitably can have it’s physical and mental benefits, however trying to empty one’s mind not only is an attempt in futility, but could dangerously open us up to the demonic. When one is not seeking after the God of truth and is in denial of truth being objective they are dangerously open to oppression and even possession by the devil. If you look deeper into various practices held in Hinduism and Buddhism you can quickly see the disturbingly dark substance their beliefs really are at the core. For example, look at the practice of Chöd in Tibetan Buddhism. Here is what is said of Chod practioners or “mad saints” as they are also called:
“The Chödpa’s very lifestyle on the fringe of society – dwelling in the solitude of burial grounds and haunted places, added to the mad behavior and contact with the world of darkness and mystery – was enough for credulous people to view the Chödpa in a role usually attributed to shamans and other exorcists, an assimilation which also happened to medieval European shepherds. Only someone who has visited one of Tibet’s charnel fields and witnessed the offering of a corpse to the vultures may be able to understand the full impact of what the Chöd tradition refers to as places that inspire terror.”
Or see the words sang in this evocation by Jetsun Milarepa:
“External chod is to wander in fearful places where there are deities and demons. Internal chod is to offer one’s own body as food to the deities and demons. Ultimate chod is to realize the true nature of the mind and cut through the fine strand of hair of subtle ignorance. I am the yogi who has these three kinds of chod practice.”
These are all things that I would simply call a RED FLAG. Any discerning person should realize that anyone truly pursing a life of love and compassion and nobility of any sort, should not logically or spiritually expect to gain anything from consorting with the darkness of the demonic realm. As is says in 1 John 1:5 “God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.”
We must simply remember that there is only one way to truly grow spiritually, and that is not by looking inward toward self, but outward toward God. God created us with the ability to think and to speak. The mental faculties of logic and reasoning are precisely what makes us such vastly different beings than everything else in creation. To make thinking the enemy and to thus try to transcend it in meditation is to simply deny a part of ourself and to despise our unique creation.
What one must understand is that while there are countless variations of wrong meditation, there is also right meditation. The true meditation that can bring spiritual growth is not to attempt to empty the mind, but instead to purposefully fill it with truth. To mediate on God’s word (Psalm 1:2) so we can have God’s word in our heart (Psalm 119:11) and also to mentally dwell on good and noble things (Philippians 4:8) so we can live out our faith with grace and truth.
“Neglecting proper biblical nourishment spoils the spiritual appetite, and the result is theological malnutrition.” – Alistair Begg
As with all false spiritual teachings and psuedo-spiritual counterfeits, the mystics and new agers professing that our thought life can be problematic did at least gain a partial element of truth. However the solution to the challenge of a painful mindset is not to vainly attempt to move beyond it, but to simply submit to the God who created it and bring it in obedience to Him. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)
Have you ever experimented with eastern-meditation? What was your experience? Who do you know that is engaged is this harmful practice that could benefit from this information? How can the knowledge of the truth of a better way help to set the captives free?