Oriental meditation in general is an attempt to empty the mind, while Christian meditation fills the mind. The first looks within (to gain access to the “higher self”) or seeks “mindfulness” of the around (“mother earth” or the “cosmos”) while God’s way is to look up in worship and submission (to know and obey God). Eastern contemplation is trance-like de tachment, while Christian contemplation is attachment —to God.
The blanking of the mind to achieve “enlightenment” includes “transcendental meditation” (TM), the fad started in 1956 by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Many followers believe in the power of “collective thought”—often called the “Maharishi effect”—whereby many people merely thinking the same thing make something happen! It’s essentially saying, “Who needs God or prayer when we can rely on our minds?”
Satan continues to deceive the world with promises “to make one wise”—”your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5-6 Genesis 3:5-6 5 For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also to her husband with her; and he did eat.
American King James Version×). He claims to be “an angel of light,” but in reality only blinds people so they are in spiritual darkness (2 Corinthians 11:14 2 Corinthians 11:14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
American King James Version×; 4:4).
Secular meditation is commonly recommended for therapeutic relaxation for the mind and body. This can be helpful and harmless, but usually the practitioners are naively tempted to “advance” into the more spiritual philosophies and practices. Before long they may be chanting a mantra and studying Zen mysticism. There are plenty of good ways to relax that have no connection with such Eastern religions as Buddhism, Hinduism or Taoism.
Oriental-type meditation is dangerous. First, it is involvement with false religion, which alienates us from God (see Deuteronomy 12:29-32 Deuteronomy 12:29-32 29 When the LORD your God shall cut off the nations from before you, where you go to possess them, and you succeed them, and dwell in their land;
30 Take heed to yourself that you be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before you; and that you inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.
31 You shall not do so to the LORD your God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hates, have they done to their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.
32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: you shall not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
American King James Version×; 18:9-14). Secondly, any attempt to empty the mind in hopes of some telepathic enlightenment is unwittingly inviting demonic influence (compare Luke 11:24-26 Luke 11:24-26 24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walks through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he said, I will return to my house from where I came out. 25 And when he comes, he finds it swept and garnished. 26 Then goes he, and takes to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.
American King James Version×).
The current widespread fascination with oriental religion is “nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9 Ecclesiastes 1:9The thing that has been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
American King James Version×). Speaking through Isaiah to His people who should have known better, God said, “They are full of superstitions from the East; they practice divination like the Philistines and clasp hands with pagans” (Isaiah 2:6 Isaiah 2:6Therefore you have forsaken your people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers.
American King James Version×, NIV). GN