Meditation: Should Christians Practice Eastern Meditation and Yoga?

***A MUST READ***
Many Christians ask what is the difference between Eastern meditation and Biblical meditation. Well, it is a major difference. Over the last few months, I have done much study and reading on this topic. So please take heed if you are practicing Eastern meditation and yoga as a Christian believer of Christ. The word yoga is from the origin Sanskrit from the Hindu religion in India which literally means yoking, bind, union, unite or connection of another god. Yoga means “union” and the goal is to unite one’s self with the infinite Brahman, the Hindu concept of “God”. There is only one God Almighty and that is Jehovah. Yoga makes no distinction between man and God, because it teaches you that everything is God and we are equal to God, while Eastern meditation coupled with yoga teaches you to empty your mind of thought and images (2 Cor. 10:4-5). Christianity teaches us to take our thoughts captive and to make it obedient to Christ. How then do we do this? By meditating on the word of God, speaking God’s word, reading the word and resting in his presence by praise, worship and prayer.

Yoga and Eastern meditation teaches that one can escape his lower or illusory self and experience liberation by uniting with the divine by higher or alter state of consciousness. This is in fact contradictory to the word of God, according to Matthew 11:28-30 where Jesus tells us to “take my yoke upon you…his burden is light.” We can rest in Christ and not have to labor for what he has already done for us on the cross and by setting us free from bondage.

By practicing yoga and Eastern meditation (to manipulate the life energy of your breath) you are yoking (being accepted by other “gods”) with the Hindu deities in worship, postures (which are offerings to Hindu “gods”), and chanting “Om” (vain and empty repetitions Matt. 6-7) to find enlightenment which has spiritual powers that are not of the Lord our God, Almighty. We are to present ourselves (bodies) to God as a living sacrifice which is our reasonable act of worship (Romans 12:1-2). The bible explicitly states to worship or bow to no other gods, the sun, moon or the universe (Exodus 20:3-5, 34:14, Deuteronomy 12:4, 27:3; Psalms 95:1-7, 115:4-8). Satan is a deceiver and disguises himself as an angel of light because he does not want you to know the truth of Christ (2 Cor. 11:14). Unfortunately. many churches have introduced Praise Yoga in the church by playing Christian music as an alternative to Yoga. Christians beware. Don’t be fooled or misled. Yoga is yoga no matter what form movement of music you are playing.

The goal of Christian meditation is to draw man closer to God. Instead of emptying the mind, believers pour-in God’s truth by renewing our minds through the word of God (Romans 12:2, 2 Cor. 10:3-5, Col. 3:2, Philip. 4:8). Reaching “higher levels of consciousness” is powerless absent from the presence of God. Biblical meditation strengthens the heart with confidence and faith, producing faith-filled words, thoughts and actions, focusing on God’s love and promises, communing and hearing God’s voice.

Eastern meditation:
• Eastern religious poses were held to offer worship to many ancient Hindu gods.
• Chanting a single word (Om) over and over, to empty the mind of conscious thought.
• It Implies that you are one with God and therefore can control your destiny.
• Is promoted as a means to get what you want simply by visualizing what you desire (New Age thought and metaphysics).
• Ultimately seeks the resources that lie within a person.

Meditation on Scripture:
• Pondering the Scriptures allows for one-on-one communication with the Almighty.
• We don’t have to manipulate or conjure up His presence, we can simply come boldly before the throne of grace.
• A continual focus on God’s unchangeable truths.
• It recognizes that God alone possesses ultimate power.
• It acknowledges and rejoices in God’s sovereignty, love, and mercy.
• Biblical meditation on God’s word gives you access to God’s wisdom and guides you to reject the wickedness that lies within you naturally.

Avoid the deception and destruction that Eastern meditation/yoga brings. Instead, be blessed by the rich rewards that accompany scripture meditation. As you meditate on the Word of God and obey it, God will cause you to prosper in all your ways. (Joshua 1:8).

One form of Christian meditation that has been used by believers since at least the fourth century AD is the lectio divina. Lectio divina means “sacred reading” and has four stages: lectio (reading), meditatio (discursive meditation), oratio (affective prayer), and contemplatio (contemplation). In the lectio (reading) stage, one finds a passage and reads it deliberately. The next stage, meditatio (discursive meditation), is where one ponders the biblical text. In the oratio (effective prayer) stage, one talks to God about the reading, asking Him to reveal the truth. In the final, contemplatio (contemplation) stage, one simply rests in the Lord’s presence.

If for any reason you are still in doubt, unsure or uncertain, please take a journey and do your own research, and allow the Holy Spirit to lead, guide and direct you in all truth. The bible tells us in 1 John 4:1 and 1 Thess. 5:21-24 to test the spirit and all things.

God’s Word on Meditation:
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
Joshua 1:8 KJV

Peace and Blessings!
Rhonda Johnson

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