(Reference: Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs)
“New Age meditation is derived from Eastern or occult methods, which seek a radical transformation of the consciousness. This altered state of consciousness leads to an alleged “self realization” or spiritual “enlightenment,”which has as its final goal union with ultimate reality and the resulting dissolution of the individual personality. Meditation is one of the most popular of all modern religious practices. Meditation techniques have assumed a prominent place in a large numbers of physical, spiritual, and health therapies where relaxation is a primary goal. A major study on meditation asked respondents to check characteristics of their meditative experience. One description was: “I felt a great surge of energy whither me or around me.” This was a dominant characteristic of the meditative experience. This is related to the occult prana or kundalini serpent power (the serpent represents satan in the Bible!) of Hinduism. Millions of people today do not realize that most meditation is occult in nature The (demonic) spirits themselves endorse New Age meditation. The books the spirits dictate through their human mediums enthusiastically recommend meditative practices as a means to contact them. Meditation is one of the common methods available for becoming possessed by spirits. Endless numbers of gurus, psychics, mediums, other occultists, and even scholarly authorities testify to this. One researcher did a background of over 20 different Hindu and Buddhist gurus, and every one had been spirit-influenced or possessed, apparently during meditative practices.”
Meditation – The Possibility of Spirit Possession
One problem with ASCs and psychic abilities is not only the false ideas that they produce, but that they can easily lead to demonic influence or possession. Even advanced meditators freely confess this. For example, Rolling Thunder, a shaman leader in the Shoshone and Cherokee tribes, states, “If it is not done correctly, evil spirits can get into people while they are meditating.”
But the problem is that when meditation is done correctly, ASCs foster spiritistic influence or possession. Channeler Laeh Garfield writes in Companion in Spirit: A Guide to Working with Your Spirit Helpers, “Meditation simultaneously calms you down, uplifts you and sharpens your awareness, so that discarnate teachers can come through to you with the messages they convey.”
Because of modern reluctance to deal forthrightly and responsibly with the category of the demonic, meditation is one of the common methods available for becoming possessed by spirits who are really demons. Endless numbers of gurus, psychics, mediums, other occultists, and even scholarly authorities testify to this. For example, Dr. Weldon’s Ph.D. dissertation researched over 30 different Hindu and Buddhist gurus, and every one had been spirit-influenced or possessed, apparently during their meditative practices.
Should we believe that the spirits’ will not make use of meditative practices that alter people’s consciousness? Should we believe that this will not facilitate the spirits’ ability to possess individuals, when this is what serves their purposes? Indeed, the very nature and goals of meditation suggest the probability of spiritistic involvement. In Spirit Communication for the Millions, Doris H. Buckley correctly observes that through meditation “greater power [becomes available] so that the [mediumistic] channel develops more quickly.”
Furthermore, the spirits themselves endorse New Age meditation. The books the spirits dictate through their human mediums enthusiastically recommend meditative practices as a means to contact them. For example, Ruth Montgomery, a former hard-nosed, skeptical newspaper reporter who eventually became a medium, has single-handedly interested millions of people in the spirit world through more than a dozen books inspired or dictated by her spirit guides. In one of her books, A World Beyond, the alleged spirit of a famous trance medium, Arthur Ford, endorses New Age meditation; “Now let’s speak of the value of meditation…. Remember in meditation to breathe deeply at first… use the mantra … and feel yourself melding with the universal whole…. [S]pend at least fifteen or twenty minutes each day in this stillness.”
Here we cite several authorities to show that meditation can and does lead to demon possession. India-born Douglas Shah, the grandson of Yogi Ishwar Dayal, observes, “I have watched Hindu worshipers by the scores chanting for hours before idols during a special Puja (worship) Season, and I have literally felt the supernatural presence of the gods they were invoking.” He comments that “being taken over by an evil spirit… is a very real possibility” in meditation. British scholar Os Guinness states: “Many… who practice yoga or Zen Meditation have found they have opened their minds to blackness and spiritism, seeing themselves as mediums and describing themselves as possessed.”
Consider an experience of Swami Muktananda, who describes the results of his meditation. In his spiritual autobiography he writes that “when I sat for meditation [my] own body acted as if [it] were possessed by a god or a bad spirit.” Muktananda details an entire chapter of such experiences, including more bizarre encounters than we list below. We quote at length to give the reader an accurate feel for the potential consequences of meditation:
- I was assailed by all sorts of perverse and defiling emotions. My body started to move, and went on like this in a confused sort of way…. After a time, my breathing changed, becoming disturbed. Sometimes my abdomen would swell with air, after which I would exhale it with great force. Often the breath that I took in would be held inside me. I became more and more frightened.
- My mind was sick with fear. I called Babu Rao and said to him, “Babu, go home now. The rhythm of my heart and the state of my mind are not good. I feel sure that I am going to die tonight of heart failure…. I don’t think I shall live through this night, and if I do, it will be to go mad. I am losing my mind….”
- My thoughts became confused, meaningless. My limbs and body got hotter and hotter. My head felt heavy, and every pore in me began to ache. When I breathed out, my breath stopped outside. When I breathed in, it stopped inside. This was terribly painful, and I lost my courage. Something told me that I would die at any moment.
- By now it was after 9:00. Someone had seated himself in my eyes and was making me see things. It seemed that I was being controlled by some power which made me do all these things. I no longer had a will of my own. My madness was growing all the time. My intellect was completely unstable.
- My fear increased every second. I heard hordes of people screaming frightfully, as if it were the end of the world. I looked out of the small window of my hut and saw strange creatures from six to fifty feet tall, neither demons nor demigods, but human in form, dancing naked, their mouths gaping open. The screeching was horrible and apocalyptic. I was completely conscious, but was watching my madness, which appeared to be real.
- Then, from over the water, a moonlike sphere about four feet in diameter came floating in. It stopped in front of me. This radiant, white ball struck against my eyes and then passed inside me. I am writing this just as I saw it. It is not a dream or an allegory, but a scene which actually happened—that sphere came down from the sky and entered me. A second later the bright light penetrated into my nadis [psychic channels]. My tongue curled up against my palate, and my eyes closed. I saw a dazzling light in my forehead and I was terrified. I was still locked up in the lotus posture, and then my head was forced down and glued to the ground…. Afterward I sat down in the lotus posture and once again started to meditate on the Guru. As soon as I sat down, my mind became completely indrawn. My body, fixed in lotus posture, began to sway…. This Meditation went on for an hour and a half, and then a new process began.
- I started to make a sound like a camel, which alternated with the roaring of a tiger. I must have roared very loudly, for the people around actually thought that a tiger had gotten into the sugarcane field.
- I am in a terrible state. I have gone completely insane…. My body began to twist. Now, it was not I who meditated; Meditation forced itself on me. It came spontaneously; it was in all the joints of my body. All the blood cells in my body were spinning, and prana flowed through the nadis at an astounding speed. Then, suddenly, a red light came before me with such force that it seemed to have been living inside me. It was two feet tall and shone brightly. I clearly saw myself burning, but I did not feel the heart of the fire on the outside. Every part of my body was emitting loud crackling and popping sounds.
After it was all over, Muktananda concluded that he had been spiritually enlightened. Like endless gurus with similar experiences, he teaches his students that while following the meditative path, they too will experience what he did. But, he tells them, they should not worry, for it is all part of the normal results of meditation leading to spiritual enlightenment. He also observes how easily their meditation will lead them to spirit contact: “They talk to and receive instruction from gods and goddesses.”
Da (Bubba) Free John (Franklin Jones) also illustrates various kinds of possession, in particular being possessed by the “spiritual form” of the guru or master. His book Garbage and the Goddess describes the experiences he and his disciples underwent at his Persimmon, New York, ashram from March to July, 1974. While Free John describes normal everyday living as being “possessed by the most insidious demonic force in the universe,” one would hardly suspect it from the descriptions of, as he calls it, “life in God.” In light of the experiences described, perhaps Free John is correct: “True wisdom is the capacity for perfect madness.” We cite several examples by different individuals who encountered this phenomenon of mass possession, as given in Free John’s Garbage and the Goddess. The descriptions are reminiscent of the mass Shaker possessions in the 1840s and related spiritistic incidents:
- The most significant thing about this event is that contrary to the usual beliefs, even of traditional spirituality, the Guru literally enters and transforms. It is a kind of possession. It is God-Possession. Bubba animates this body.
- People were screaming and howling and weeping, emitting strange grunts and snarls, their bodies jerking, writhing, and assuming yogic mudras….
- I felt utterly possessed, my body was possessed, and my hands started to move, and I couldn’t control them. I had no control at all. My face started taking on expressions.
- My body wasn’t mine. I didn’t even feel my body as mine. There was only this sensation I’ve had before in Bubba’s Presence, the feeling that this body is being used…. I went in and at first I was totally out of my mind. I was screaming for a long time…. I was making very strange sounds…. It is God-Possession. It is God totally taking over your form.
- I was so insane I didn’t know what was happening at all….
- … Last night I was led to this spontaneous experience of conducting the Force, and I felt possessed, really possessed. Then suddenly I wasn’t my body any more.
Muktananda’s and Free John’s experiences and teachings are not unique; they are the norm among gurus and their followers. Consider several other examples:
Slowly Swami Nityananda [in spirit form] came toward me and entered into my physical body. For three hours I felt nothing of myself but that the saint had possessed me. It was a terrifying experience and it required all my faith not to fight it.
I felt myself fall into a sort of trance…. I was overjoyed with the feeling that my Master [Sivananda] had entered into my own system [body].
…There are times when the psychic system of the teacher will seem to control the student. He will feel possessed by his teacher. There is nothing to fear from this. It is only a stage of growth through which he [the student] is passing.
…If you remain calm and quiet and allow your spiritual Guide to enter into you, you will become flooded with Peace. This kind of tuning in is not only a valid and correct practice, but is essential for one who has placed himself under the guidance of a spiritual Master.
Whenever a master wants to help you, cleanse your energy channels, your passage [kundalini spinal passage], if it is blocked, he simply possesses you. He simply descends into you…. If the disciple is really surrendered, the master can possess him immediately.
From all of the above, we conclude that New Age meditation is generally occult in nature because it cultivates altered states of consciousness, psychic abilities, and fosters demonic influence and possession.
Meditation, The Occult Nature of Meditation
Millions of people today do not realize that most meditation is occult in nature. The practices (some form of daily meditative discipline), results (altered states of consciousness, psychic powers, kundalini arousal, spirit contact), and goals (some form of cosmic consciousness, enlightenment, or development of the “higher self”) may all be classified within the sphere of the practices, results, and goals of the occult world in general. In this section, we will document the occult nature of the vast majority of the forms of meditation practiced in America today.
Occult Phenomena in Meditation
Almost all forms of meditation involve three similar occult phenomena: 1) the cultivation of altered states of consciousness; 2) the eventual development of psychic powers; 3) The possibility of spirit possession. We will look at each of these following.
The Cultivation of Altered States of Consciousness
Meditation-induced altered states of consciousness are our first illustration of the occult nature of meditation. Following we will note the research of parapsychologist Dr. Karlis Osis and others which reveals that the most central factor in meditation is an altered state of consciousness (ASC), Parapsychologist Dr. Gertrude Schmeidler, former president of the Parapsychological Association, stales “Trance shows many similarities to meditation….”
Trance states and ASCs have been traditionally associated with the occult world, demonism, and other forms of spirit contact, such as shamanism, witchcraft, neo-paganism, magic ritual, Satanism, mediumism, and yogic disciplines). Whether one is a short- or long- term practitioner, meditation is designed to change one’s view of “self” and the world by altering one’s consciousness. Noted parapsychologist Karlis Osis and others observe in “Dimensions of the Meditative Experience” that their own research reveals that “the most central and complex factor” of the meditative experience is an “intensification and change of consciousness”’ that is, an altered state of consciousness. They also write:
- In spite of the almost universal claim that the meditation experience is ineffable [indescribable], clear dimensionalities [characteristics] emerge. Even more, these dimensions seem not to express everyday states of consciousness: The way of experiencing [reality] definitely changed…. The subject’s free comments support the view that successful meditation leads to altered states of consciousness.
They conclude, “Effective meditation induces radical changes in a meditator’s way of experiencing [reality].
Further, additional studies prove that meditation induces ASCs:
- Ludwig (1966) pointed out that ASCs have both maladaptive expressions (for example, acute psychotic reactions and manifestations of organic lesions) and adaptive expressions (for example, the shamanic trance for healing purposes and new experiences of knowledge and growth in mystical states)…. Meditation of any denomination or persuasion has been the religiously sanctioned method for the induction of the highest state of consciousness or Meditative ASC. A review of the psychological and philosophical analyses provided by many authors (James, 1902; Susuki, 1952; Stace 1961; Deikman, 1966; Prince & Savage, 1972) revealed a commonality of features..
These experiential characteristics permitted the categorization of meditative experiences as ASCs.
The ASCs that meditation typically develops tend to result in a radically restructured, and false, view of self and society. Characteristically, one ends up thinking that the material universe is a dream or an illusion and that one’s true nature is one essence with God. Haridas Chaudhuri writes in his Philosophy of Meditations, “On attaining cosmic consciousness a person’s world view undergoes a radical transformation. The consensus of all mystics and sages. is that the world of normal experience is now revealed as unreal, as phenomenal, as a mere appearance, as a bad dream from which one wakes up with a sigh of relief..” Another authority correctly points out, ‘“Decisive behavior changes follow from this state of consciousness, and the full realization of nirvana actuates a permanent alteration of the mediator’s consciousness per se. With the meditator’s realization of nirvana, aspects of his ego and of his normal consciousness are abandoned, never to arise again.” In other words, the individual person is radically affected, and aspects of his being are destroyed, “never to rise again.”
Dr. Jack Kornfield trained for six years in Southeast Asia and teaches Buddhist vipassana meditation. As a result of his experiences, he eventually became a Theravadin Buddhist monk. He also has a doctorate in psychology and is the author of Living Buddhist Masters. He states, “One articulation of the purpose of spiritual practice and a viewpoint that is a product of it as well is to come to understand that we don’t exist.” In other words, our body and personality are illusions and the goal of meditation is to escape from or “transcend” them in order to discover our “true” inner nature, which is supposedly one essence with God or ultimate reality.
There are many personal and social consequences to such a view. In the words of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the guru of transcendental meditation, the true self of the enlightened meditator “is uninvolved with activity. and it is uninvolved with the selves of individual beings.” For the meditator, the entire world and all its activities is “like a world of dolls and toys” which he long ago discarded as an adult.
Gurus and meditators often think that they are one nature with God as a result of their meditation practices. Muktananda says, “The Guru is God Himself.”; Sai Baba tells his followers, “You are the God of this universe”; and “You are God in reality”; Rajneesh says, “As you are, you are God.”
Since the result of New Age meditation is a reinterpretation of reality as an “illusion,” such meditation perceives normal consciousness itself as maya(illusion), that is, as a “trap” to be escaped if one is to find true liberation and spiritual enlightenment. Dr. Walsh states:
- …To date, I have seen no explanations other than the almost universal ones among the meditative-yogic traditions that normal man is an automaton, more asleep than awake, etc.
- …A remarkably wide range of meditation and yogic disciplines… assert that whether we know it or not, untrained individuals are prisoners of their own minds, totally and unwittingly trapped by a continuous inner fantasy-dialog which creates an all-consuming illusion or maya.. “Normal” man is thus seen as asleep or dreaming.. When the individual permanently disidentifies from or eradicates this dream he is said to have awakened and can now recognize the true nature of his former state and that of the population. This awakening or enlightenment is the aim of the meditative-yogic disciplines ….
Thus New Age meditation is properly classified as an occult practice because it induces ASCs that support occult philosophies and goals.
The Eventual Development of Psychic Powers
Almost all forms of meditation lead to the development of psychic abilities. This is acknowledged by researchers and practitioners alike. Psychology Today associate editor and psychologist Daniel Goleman has the Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Harvard and is an authority on Buddhist vipassana [mindfulness] meditation. In his article “The Buddha on Meditation and States of Consciousness,” Goleman observes that “every school of meditation acknowledges them [psychic powers] as by-products of advanced stages of mastery….”
A popular teacher of meditation says:
- …Psychic power expresses itself in many forms. It is known as intuition, clairvoyance, clairaudience, precognition, mental telepathy, telekinesis, cosmic perception and spiritism. The techniques for developing all these various forms of psychism are the same. Mystic meditation is the means by which you may reach into the higher psychic centers of consciousness and channel the tremendous forces that await your joyous discovery.
Leading consciousness researcher John White acknowledges that “psychic development is likely in the course of one’s [meditative’ practice.” Television personality and para-psychologist Patricia Mischell says that “one of the unforeseen bonuses of meditation is that many people experience an increasing or unfolding of their mental-telepathy abilities, clairaudience, and clairvoyance through meditation.”
Several experimental studies concluded, “Meditation is an effective means of producing controlled psi [psychic] interactions.” And a three-year study by Karlis Osis and Edwin Bokert also revealed a correlation between meditation and psychic ability. One writer explained the ability of meditation to induce astral projection and spirit contact:
- Transcendental meditation is used as a means for releasing the soul from the physical body and projecting it into the astral realms. While you are out in the astral [plane], your soul may acquire knowledge from [dead] ancient masters. You may become instructed in the arts, music, languages, history or the mystical secrets back of the cosmos. When you enter that mysterious fourth dimensional world of spirit, you can tap unlimited powers and soar to mystical realms where the immortals dwell.
But psychic powers, however they are mediated in men, are spiritistically induced and not the result of some allegedly “divine” human potential. Whenever spiritism is found, psychic powers are also found (904). The individual who develops psychic powers invariably involves himself in the world of spiritism, knowingly or unknowingly. Because New Age meditation develops psychic powers, it is proper to classify New Age meditation as a form of occult practice.
If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you can receive Him into your heart and He can deliver you from darkness and sin and have your name written in His Book of Life.
If you are sincere you can say this simple prayer to the Father (it doesn’t have to be word for word):
“God, I recognize that I have not lived my life for You up until now. I have been living for myself and that is wrong. Please forgive me of all of my sins just as I forgive others. I need You in my life; I want You in my life. I acknowledge the completed work of Your only begotten Son Jesus Christ in giving His life for me on the cross, I believe in my heart Jesus is Lord and was raised from the dead and I long to receive the forgiveness you have made freely available to me through this sacrifice. Come into my life now, Lord. Take up residence in my heart and be my king, my Lord, and my Savior. From this day forward, I will no longer be controlled by sin, or the desire to please myself, but I will follow You all the days of my life. Those days are in Your hands. I ask this in the Lord and GOD Jesus’ precious and holy name. Amen.”