They still discourage the kind of meditation described below but have been promoting "meditation" as a way of thinking about things JWs have read.
*** w03 9/15 p. 11 Spiritual Conversations Build Up ***Purposeful meditation is another way to improve the quality of what we say. If we consciously make an effort to think about spiritual matters, we will find that spiritual conversation comes naturally
*** New School Book p. 27 Study Is Rewarding ***
TO REAP THE GREATEST REWARDS
· Prepare your heart
· Preview the study material
· Isolate important facts
· Consider how the scriptures provide reasons for statements made
· Review the main points
· Meditate on how your own life should be influenced by what you study
· Seek opportunities to use the material to help others
*** g74 1/8 p. 17 Is Buddhism the Way to Enlightenment? ***
The kind of meditation that he advocated involves concentrating all of one?s attention on a single object, a certain part of the body or perhaps on a phrase or riddle. In time, the mind empties of all other thoughts, feelings and imagination. Through such meditation some have even developed "superhuman qualities" or abilities, including levitation, ability to project an image of themselves to a distant place and mental telepathy. It is said that one meditating can get to a point in which he is indifferent to pain or pleasure and no longer desires life or any of the pleasures associated with it. At this point he is said to become free of the necessity of rebirth. He has reached Nirvana.
In the case of those who practice the Buddhist type of meditation, it is especially easy for Satan and his demons to further the lie of survival after death that came from Babylon. By emptying their minds of all conscious thoughts, these individuals open themselves up to demon influence. Thus, at times, such individuals display supernatural mental and physical abilities. But do they really benefit themselves by laying themselves open to demon influence? (Note for yourself the principle stated at Matthew 12:43-45.)
*** g75 11/8 p. 11 Hinduism?Can It Meet Your Spiritual Needs? ***
The Scriptures warn of the existence of "wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places," and urge people to resist them by putting on "the complete suit of armor from God." (Eph. 6:11, 12) To succeed in that type of warfare requires that one serve God with one?s "whole mind" and with one?s "power of reason." (Matt. 22:37; Rom. 12:1) Could you heed that counsel by engaging in a practice that represses normal consciousness? Might not that open you up to possible influence by demonic forces? Under hypnosis, for example, an individual becomes subject to the control of another intelligent person, the hypnotist. And, according to the Encyclopædia Britannica (1974 edition), the initial step toward being hypnotized is for a person "to relax in comfort and to fix his gaze on some object." Is that not the same as the initial stages of Hindu meditation?
As to biofeedback, it is a toss up
*** g94 6/22 p. 9 Progress in Treating Pain ***
Among the treatments Linda received were acupuncture and TENS, which stands for transcutaneous (across the skin) electrical nerve stimulation. She received electrical stimulation treatments at the clinic and was provided a small TENS unit to use at home. Biofeedback?a procedure in which the patient is taught to monitor his body responses and modify them to reduce the impact of pain?was also employed.
*** g94 3/8 p. 9 What Is the New Age Movement? ***
"Another Drug in a Drug-Ridden Society"?
"THE New Age movement?the latest contribution to our long history of bizarre spiritual fads and panaceas?invites a mixture of ridicule and indignant alarm. Not just the degradation of piety but its blatant commercialization prompts the suspicion of large-scale religious fraud. . . .
"The New Age movement tries to combine meditation, positive thinking, faith healing, . . . mysticism, yoga, water cures, acupuncture, incense, astrology, Jungian psychology, biofeedback, extrasensory perception, spiritualism, . . . the theory of evolution, Reichian sex therapy, ancient mythologies, . . . hypnosis, and any number of other techniques designed to heighten awareness, including elements borrowed from the major religious traditions. . . .
"The New Age replacements for religion soothe the conscience instead of rubbing it the wrong way. Their central teaching is that it doesn?t matter what you believe as long as it works for you. ?It?s true if you believe it?: slogan of the New Age. . . .
"The question is not whether New Age therapies really work but whether religion ought to be reduced to therapy. If it offers nothing more than a spiritual high, religion becomes another drug in a drug-ridden society."?"The New Age Movement: No Effort, No Truth, No Solutions, Notes on Gnosticism?Part V," by Christopher Lasch, Watson Professor of History at the University of Rochester, New York, U.S.A.
*** g84 2/22 p. 4 The Quest for Relaxation ***
Biofeedback, for example, is a technique used to manipulate heartbeat or brain waves by conscious mental control. As long as physical relaxation is the intent, there may be nothing objectionable to some of these methods.
But what if doctors recommend, as a help to relaxation, certain TM (transcendental meditation) techniques and also Yoga or Zen? More and more of them are doing so. In 1978, for example, over 5,000 doctors formed groups in some 20 countries to encourage the medical use of TM. Another meditation technique that is particularly popular in some European countries and that is gaining interest in other lands is what is called autogenic training. But before accepting any such treatment a person should certainly know the facts.
Meditation basically means to turn a subject over in one?s mind, to give it continuous thought, to contemplate it. But meditation techniques are frequently something else.
A former Indian guru, now converted to Protestantism, recently explained the difference to a group of German churchmen. The goal of Eastern meditation techniques, he pointed out, is to separate oneself from the world of reality and conscious thought, oftentimes by inducing a trancelike condition. In this way, as it were, a person "finds himself," comes to grips with his problems and, with the help of "his inner self," is able to solve them.
German doctor and author Gisela Eberlein explained it in these words: "Common to all meditation techniques is that they lead inward, [resulting in] relaxation in deep tranquillity. Yoga, transcendental meditation or autogenic training, as different as they are, still have a common goal?self-realization."
Some of the meditation techniques designed to lead to "self-realization" have been discussed in previous issues of Awake! Another method not yet dealt with, but one that is known to many of our readers, especially those living in German-speaking countries, is called autogenic training. A brief discussion of it will help us to understand better how certain meditation techniques differ from "normal" meditation. This should help the reader to draw correct conclusions about similar techniques that may be advocated by doctors in his own country.