New Age guru / consultant, Deepak Chopra, recently received this note from a concerned admirer:
Dear Dr. Chopra, I have been meditating for a little more than 5 years now. Sometimes, when I go to bed after meditation, from somewhere within the body, there is a pulsating, vibrating feeling. It usually happens when I’m just about to fall asleep. I feel like I’m getting sucked into a whirlpool and have no way of stopping myself. I am thrilled and scared at the same time, but mostly scared. I probably should relax, but cannot, and almost automatically start praying that it stops. It lasts for maybe 20 secs, and then passes away. I would be grateful if you let me know what this could mean, and if there is anything I should or should not be doing. Thanks in advance.
As you might expect, Deepak gave him a response that minimized the seriousness of this man’s spiritual danger.
It is ironic that this man’s natural instinct is to pray. Prayer is indeed the instant reflex of fallen man when he gets into trouble. Intellectually people reject the notion of a Creator to whom they are accountable, but in times of crisis, there they turn.
When the Bible uses the term “meditate” it is encouraging the focusing of the mind ON something specific, not the emptying of the mind.
Traditional Yoga and Eastern Meditation invites the involvement of the demonic “Spirit Guides” into your life.
Here is a great explanation of the dangers of Yoga by Dr. Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary:
Should Christians Practice Yoga? Albert Mohler, Sep. 20, 2010
“The nation of India is almost manically syncretistic, blending worldviews over and over again. But, in more recent times, America has developed its own obsession with syncretism, mixing elements of worldviews with little or no attention to what each mix means. Americans have turned yoga into an exercise ritual, a means of focusing attention, and an avenue to longer life and greater health. Many Americans attempt to deny or minimize the spiritual aspects of yoga — to the great consternation of many in India.
“When Christians practice yoga, they must either deny the reality of what yoga represents or fail to see the contradictions between their Christian commitments and their embrace of yoga. The contradictions are not few, nor are they peripheral. The bare fact is that yoga is a spiritual discipline by which the adherent is trained to use the body as a vehicle for achieving consciousness of the divine. Christians are called to look to Christ for all that we need and to obey Christ through obeying his Word. We are not called to escape the consciousness of this world by achieving an elevated state of consciousness, but to follow Christ in the way of faithfulness.”
We need to meditate ON God and His perfect word, not to empty our minds. We are to love God with all of our minds and worship Him alone, not to embrace practices that deny His existence and promote joining our spirits with unholy spirits.
There is nothing wrong with stretching, breathing, or relaxing. All of these actions have known benefits for our physical body (and even our mind). But what a Christian says that he or she is practicing Yoga, they are using a term that is far more than those action. Eastern Yoga is a worldview. It is a complete packge, and that worldview of emptying yourself to acheive Nirvana (a blissful state of nothingness), is not at all Biblical. I would suggest that “Holy Yoga,” is not holy at all, but is, instead, Sycretism (the mixture of the holy and the unholy). I strongly encourage Christians not to practice Yoga, and not to call their relaxation techniques that do not include Transcendental Meditation, “Yoga.”
To me, it’s like saying, “I practice Islam without all of the Allah stuff.” Words have meaning.
For further study:
https://www.jashow.org/articles/uncategorized/yoga-part-2/ — The Dangers of Yoga
http://bible.org/article/biblical-meditation -Biblical Meditation
Israel Wayne is an Author and Conference Speaker and Director of Family Renewal. He is also the Site Editor for www.ChristianWorldview.net.
Amen! I am so glad to see a post like this one. I have met several Christians that they value yoga even more than prayer, and I think that is sad and dangerous. I understand we live in the world and I do not advocate that everything of the world is bad, but I do think we, contemporary Christians, mix a little too much with the world and its practices, and we often overlook the dangers and the negative effect some of these practices have on our relationship with the Lord and our faith. I wish sometimes we could promote a little more separation from the worldly lifestyle, without meaning becoming an extremist and a hermit. Separation of the church and state should be in a way the separation of the church from any worldly practices or lifestyle that doesn’t honor our Lord and/or jeopardizes or contradicts our Christian values and beliefs.