Mantra Meditation: A Warning! by Chris Lawson
Mantra meditation is a dangerous game, even when it is “Christianized.” New Ager’s and occult practitioners that have become “unhinged” through this practice rightly resist the urge to go back to it. Unfortunately, many undiscerning Christians today see no problem engaging in it.
If Bible believers today only knew the occult and Hindu/Buddhist roots of this practice, perhaps they would not be so careless as to bring it into their Christian lifestyle and church setting. Just because spiritual practices are popular and seem “to work” (pragmatism) does not necessarily make them right and healthy. Repetitious prayer methods, such as mantra meditation, are condemned in Scripture by Jesus Christ:
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. (Matthew 5:6-8)
Mantra meditation extraordinaire John Main, whose works and practices greatly influenced the beginnings of the modern-day Contemplative Centering Prayer movement and its leaders, was the forerunner of many today who practice this occult technique.
A website fully devoted to the person and teachings of John Main, called The Christian Meditation of John Main, defines "the mantra and the practice of meditation" this way:
The mantra and the practice of meditation
There are various mantras which are possible for a beginner, but if you have no teacher to help you, you should choose a word that has been hallowed over the centuries by our Christian tradition. Some of these words were first taken over as mantras for prayer by the Church in its earliest days.
One of these words is 'MARANATHA'. This Aramaic word means, 'Come Lord, Come Lord Jesus'. It is the mantra recommended by Dom John Main (1926-1982), a Benedictine monk who has put into contemporary language this ancient teaching of prayer. It is the word which St. Paul uses to end his first letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 16:22), and the word with which St. John ends the book of Revelation (Rev. 22:20). It also has a place in some of the earliest Christian liturgies. This Aramaic word is preferred because it has no visual or emotional connotations and its continuous repetition will lead us over time to a deeper and deeper silence.
The focus of repeating the mantra is Christocentric. This means that it is centred on the prayer of Christ, which is continuously poured forth in the Holy Spirit in the depth of each human being. Thus, in this way of ‘pure prayer’ we leave all thoughts, words and images behind in order to 'set our minds on the kingdom of God before all else'. In this way we leave our egotistical self behind to die and rise to our true self in Christ.
Meditation therefore is an inner journey of silence, stillness and simplicity, and is the missing contemplative dimension of much Christian life today.”
- Source: Christian Meditation of John Main, “Be Still and Know”, The mantra and the practice of meditation
- Link: http://christianmeditationnorthwest.org/mantra.html
If one understands clearly what Hindu, Budddhist, Jain and other occult mantra meditation forms comprise, one can see very clearly how John Main's "method" is virtually identical to these other forms of meditation. Main has simply turned biblical prayer into a vortex of confusing Christianized occultism. Simply put, we don’t need John Main’s mantras and his unbiblical prayer techniques.
Mantra meditation is just one more dangerous practice entering the church today. Christians would do well to see it for what it is, by definition and in context, and reject it! If people who claim to be Christians are not content praying to the God of the Bible through the Lord Jesus Christ, perhaps they are not Christians at all, but mere counterfeits. What kind of Christian adds occult meditation techniques to their prayer life? Compromised Christians and counterfeit Christians!
The quote below is from my friend Ray Yungen. Ray is an author of several books that expose and biblically refute New Age and occult practices and we have both made it clear in our writings that mantra meditation is a dangerous occult practice. I wholeheartedly agree with what Ray has written and we both believe that mantra meditation is not only very dangerous, it is an open doorway to spirit contact. That is, spirit contact with baleful entities that seek to destroy the human soul.
If people want to play with fire they will eventually get burned. So too, if people want to engage in mantra meditation, its only a matter of time before they experience dangerous occult forces. What’s more, it is only a matter of time before they experience the deluding influence(s) that these forces (demons) bring.
Mantra Meditation by Ray Yungen, from A Time of Departing
"The meditation most of us are familiar with involves a deep, continuous thinking about something. But New Age meditation does just the opposite. It involves ridding oneself of all thoughts in order to still the mind by putting it in the equivalent of pause or neutral. A comparison would be that of turning a fast-moving stream into a still pond. When meditation is employed by damming the free flow of thinking, it holds back active thought and causes a shift in consciousness. This condition is not to be confused with daydreaming, where the mind dwells on a subject. New Age meditation works as a holding mechanism until the mind becomes thoughtless, empty and silent.
The two most common methods used to induce this thoughtless state are breathing exercises, where attention is focused on the breath, and a mantra, which is a repeated word or phrase. The basic process is to focus and maintain concentration without thinking about what you are focusing on. Repetition on the focused object is what triggers the blank mind.
Since mantras are central to New Age meditation, it is important to understand a proper definition of the word. The translation from Sanskrit is man, meaning to thinkand tra, meaning to be liberated from. Thus, the word literally means to escape from thought. By repeating the mantra, either out loud or silently, the word or phrase begins to lose any meaning it once had. The conscious thinking process is gradually tuned out until an altered state of consciousness is achieved. But this silence is not the final objective; its attainment is only a means to an end. What that end entails was aptly described by English artist Vanora Goodhart after she embarked on the practice of zen meditation. She recounted:
[A] light began seeping through my closed eyelids, bright and gentle at first, but growing more and more intense … there was a great power and strength in this Light … I felt I was being drawn upwards and in a great and wonderful rush of power that rose eventually to a crescendo and bathed me through and through with glorious, burning, embracing Light.
Such dynamic experiences as this are what New Age mysticism is really all about … not just believing in some doctrine or a faith that is supported by some creed but rather a close personal contact with a powerful Presence. The renowned occultist Dion Fortune acknowledged: 'shifting the consciousness is the key to all occult training.' In other words, meditation is the gateway to the 'light' Goodhart experienced.The ultimate objective of the meditation effort lies in the concept called the higher self. This is thought to be the part of the individual linked to the divine essence of the Universe, the God part of man. The goal is to become attuned with the higher self, thus facilitating the higher self's emergence into the physical realm bringing the practitioner under the guidance and direction of God. This connection is referred to in New Age circles as: awakening, transformation, enlightenment, self-realization, cosmic consciousness and superconsciousness. This is also why an interchangeable term for New Age is metaphysics. Metaphysics means that which is beyond the physical realm (the unseen realm) and being intimately connected to those powers not perceived by the normal five senses.”
—Ray Yungen, A Time of Departing
- Source: Mantra Meditation by Ray Yungen, from A Time of Departing
- Link: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/meditationexcerptbyray.htm