Meditation still evil?

by Bryan 12 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Bryan

    I remember, it seems, years ago the society inc. taught that meditating allowed satan into your mind. Yoga was bad!

    I learned after a fall in '92, with the help of a Bio Feedback Dr., that with meditation I could adjust my body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure. Later I also learned that regular meditation brought calm, positive outlook and more joy to my life.

    The September issue of News Week has several facinating articles about how science now understands that body health and mind are connected. How meditation makes for healthier organs and body.

    So, the question is....

    Will the society inc. now say they have been given "New Light" from Jehovah about how the body and mind are connected and meditation does not allow satan a free ride into our mind? Or will they say, once again, that science is bunk? Or will they admit it was stupid to think that relaxing your mind did anything but lower stress; that they were wrong. Doubt it.

    I recomend everyone read this issue of News Week. It's a great read and very informative.


  • blondie

    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 ***



    · 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? ***


    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 Techniques

    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.

  • ezekiel3

    At the 2004 District Convention kinesiology was discussed as being related to "uncanny power" (Isa 1:13)

    "Uncanny power" was defined as anything eerie, weird or mysterious by the talk outline.

    Trust me, most JWs have mental vice on their viewpoint of holistic medicine and especially mediation techniques.

  • poppers

    "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."

    Whoever said that has no grasp of what real meditation is. You can't separate yourself from reality to 'find' yourself. Most people who talk about or teach meditation have no idea what they are doing, and often rely on so called 'experts and gurus' who are equally ignorant. I will grant that meditation is beyond conscious thought, but nothing needs to be done to achieve it because meditation is simply one's natural state of awareness. There is every possibility of being in meditation (consciously) at all times by simply resting in one's natural state of awareness - no techniques required. A whole slew of techniques has grown around the idea of getting there, but they only keep it at arm's length. Techniques may lead to altered states of awareness but these are not meditation. These techniques may have beneficial health effects but they don't reveal reality, which is what meditation does. Real meditation is simply seeing what is, as it is, without the distorting influence of the mind or through the filter of the ego. Nothing needs to be done to see what is.

  • Elsewhere

    A lot of JWs don't really understand what meditation is. One elder once said: In the morning I meditate about which tie I will put on.

  • Devils Advocate
    Devils Advocate

    My brother (the biggest jerk alive) is an elder and he uses bio-feedback to control his asthma. But I don't know if the lowly rank and file are allowed this luxury.

  • Markfromcali

    Clearly this view goes along with fear, but more specifically it is fear of the self without conditioning - including the religious conditioning of the JWs. In a general sense we can say it is fear of the unknown, but that is only the case because one has lost touch with and does not know the real self, having been under the delusion that the complex of religious conditioning is self. As one might expect if you take that set of conditioning to be self then you will naturally want to defend, reinforce and protect it - but of course what I am saying is that actually amounts to an aversion toward the real self.

  • Bryan

    If the inspired word says our body is a temple, and we are to do what we can to keep it healthy, shouldn't the WB&TS encourage the pubs to meditate?

    Not only does meditation help physical body health, it also encourages mental health.

    News Week:

    "...research at Harvard suggests that the "relaxation response"-the deep sense of calm we can achieve through yoga, prayer or simple deep-breathing exercises-can help counter the effects of chronic stress."

    "Viewed through the lens of 21st-century science, anxiety, alienation and hopelessness are not just feelings. Neither are love, serenity and optimism. All are physiological states that affect our health just as clearly as obesity or physical fitness. And the brain, as the source of such states, offers a potential gateway to countless other tissue and organs - from heart and blood vessels to the gut and the immune system."


  • Markfromcali

    That kind of 'meditation' can be done by anyone including JWs, as Devil's Adv. pointed out. However when meditation is taken as a thing to do the effects only last so long. The point about self realization is, on one level an integration of the self, of mind with body - and only then will there be deep long lasting peace. In contrast, applied as a technique to achieve a certain state (as all states are temporary) it is essentially compartmentalized which allows any unhealthy thinking to come right back. Meditation in the traditional spiritual context is thorough and does not allow for this kind of fragmented mind.

  • Satanus
    If the inspired word says our body is a temple, and we are to do what we can to keep it healthy, shouldn't the WB&TS encourage the pubs to meditate?

    Well no, because you see, the temple is hopelessly profaned by a treacherous and desperate heart. Also, it harbors powerful engines called 'the works of the flesh'. Meditation could unleash these satanic, fleshly, antigod forces, causing the man of god's new [wt] personality to be shattered, thus loosing the good name that he has been building in god's mind. All godly hopes would be burned up in firey gehenna. Only by browbeating this temple can a jehovah's christian witness steer it safely on the narrow path leading to life.

    Not to be ignored are those pesky demons. They are powerfuly slick at their task of misleading people. They target jws above all. Any chink in the dub spiritual armor is an entry port for them to invade. Meditation provides a wide open door, a welcome mat, if you will. Ever see lights while you were meditating? Those were demons.


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