6 Reasons to Reject Eastern Meditation and Yoga

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We live in a very stressed-out culture that is constantly looking for ways to unwind and destress. Just about any doctor or health expert will tell you to do one thing: Meditate.

By meditate they mean an Eastern form of meditation: Zen meditation, transcendental meditation, yoga, Chinese or Hindu meditation, guided meditation: all of which have their origins in new age and Easter religions.

The meditation God was talking about in Joshua 1:8 differs greatly from Eastern meditation. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that participating in any form of meditation, apart from biblical meditation, is opening the door wide to the enemy.

I shared a little about this in my earlier post: Should Christians Color Mandalas?, when we looked at the adult coloring books with Mandalas and why this is a dangerous practice for Christians.

Any time we mix Christian discipline with any other religious practice we anger God.

In the Old Testament God said this:

When the LORD your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it. Deuteronomy 12:29-32

Throughout the Bible He calls himself Jealous.

He has commanded us to keep our worship pure and undefiled by the worship of other gods. You may argue, “But I’m not using these other forms of meditation for worship”. However, as Christians whatever we do in our life should be to glorify God, and if anything we’re doing does not glorify God – but, in fact, is used to glorify another god – we should immediately reject it and eliminate it from our lives!

This includes yoga, which many Christians engage in as a stress-relieving form of exercise. When you examine its origins and meaning, you can easily see why yoga has no place in the life of the believer.

However, like any other Christian discipline, biblical meditation should be part of our daily practice: speaking the Word, muttering it to ourselves, mulling over it, and imagining how our lives should fit in its context.

This takes the Word to a much deeper level than reading, studying, praying and even memorizing as we contemplate deeply what each passage actually means for us personally and speaking it over and over to ourselves.

6 Reasons to Reject Eastern Meditation and Yoga

1. Eastern meditation empties the mind. Biblical meditation fills the mind and spirit with God’s Word. Emptying our mind is actually a very dangerous thing because it gives the enemy room to fill it with his deception. However the Hebrew word for meditation actually means to speak or mutter, a practice that actually does the opposite of Eastern meditation. It fills our mind with God’s Word and builds our spirit.

2. Eastern meditation focuses on self: centering yourself, your inner self, self actualization, your breathing, physical feelings, and emotions. The enemy will do anything to get us to stop focusing on Christ. Furthermore, his ultimate deception is pride or elevation of self. Biblical meditation takes our focus off of ourselves and places our focus on Jesus Christ.

3. Eastern meditation seeks to relieve stress. The problem with our culture isn’t stress. Stress is only a symptom of a deeper problem: pride. Worry, fear, perfectionism…these all have their root in pride and all result in stress. But God wants us to daily walk in faith that brings us peace no matter our circumstance. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27

Learn more about the amazing benefits of Christian meditation in this post

Christians absolutely shouldn’t turn to anything other than Jesus Christ for the peace that will help to ease whatever it is that has brought stress on in their lives!

4. Eastern meditation focuses on man being in control. Eastern meditation practices rely on self as the agent to bring peace, tranquility, and oneness with deity – the original lie: “You can become like God”.  Biblical meditation reminds us God is Almighty and when He is in control we can be a complete peace knowing that His purposes will prevail. Eastern meditation dethrones God and puts fallen man in His place.

5. Eastern meditation is only escapism. By seeking higher levels of consciousness or altered states of consciousness you can escape your stress and enter new realms of oneness with deity. But the fact remains that once we have returned to our usual state of consciousness whatever it was that brought on the stress is still there. Biblical meditation doesn’t give us an escape from reality, it gives us supernatural strength through the Holy Spirit to walk through the “fire and flood” at peace knowing that God is in control of every situation. We don’t need to escape our troubles, by faith we walk through them , counting it all joy, “knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.”

6. Eastern meditation manipulates circumstances to bring peace. By using atmosphere, objects, silence, breathing techniques and more, people are able to enter a meditative state. It’s a manipulation of circumstances and atmosphere. However, the child of God can meditate on God’s Word whenever, wherever, no matter the situation or circumstance because we have direct access to the throne of God. Indeed, we are the temple of God and His Holy Spirit dwells within us. We never need to manipulate any situation to experience peace; we simply recall the precious promises of the Word of God and place our faith and trust in Him!

How to engage in biblical meditation

The Lord spoke to Joshua and said this:

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:8-9

The Hebrew word for meditate used here is hagah, meaning to speak, mutter, muse, imagine or plot.

Biblical meditation is the repeated speaking of the Word of God. It also involves imagining and using the mind to plan ways that we can implement the Word of God in our lives.

You do this by taking a passage of the Word and repeating it over to yourself, examining each word and imagining how it applies to your personal life.

As we begin to make biblical meditation a part of our daily Christian discipline; speaking, muttering the Word of God and imagining how we can mold our lives in concordance with it, we will see our lives transformed and the Lord promises that our “way will prosperous” and that we will “have good success”.

Do we believe the Word in this?

More Resources on memorizing, meditation on Scripture and Fasting:

Grab this scripture memorization Challenge printable pack today and begin hiding God's Word in your heart and renewing your mind. #alittlerandr #memorzing #Bible #jesus #God
Layout of Bible verses from Psalm 119
Layout of Romans 7 Bible verses
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  1. Rosilind,
    I loved this post. Saying that, I am not sure how to write the rest.
    I haven’t tried yoga but I do read and think about trying it.
    Not getting deep into in but seeing if the simple poses help. My body hurts and I want the pain to ease. I honestly, don’t see how that can be worshipping anyone.
    If I let it totally take over my life…then I would be guilty of it. SAME IF I LET ANYTHING TAKE OVER. FOOD. DRINK.
    I love reading about Eastern Meditations. I don’t agree with much of it.
    I just don’t believe it is all bad. I believe we can learn from the good and the bad.
    Just like there are a lot of Religions And Beliefs. Not everyone who goes to church is a true Christian.
    Yet, we can learn from each other. I am a Lutheran. I believe in Most of what the Lutherans believe. I am also a person who won’t believe everything I am told just because it is Lutheran.

    I have listened to some of the videos. What is wrong with hearing a gentle voice talk about relaxing ? Thinking about what is good in your life?
    I have found after a video that my time with God is better . I was more relaxed.
    I could have taken a shower. That relaxes me. Certain music relaxes me while others don’t.
    I don’t know if I am making any sense here.
    I love reading everything you write. I am now more careful about which Adult Coloring Books I look at. I think about it whereas before I just thought they were all coloring books. I also think about what you say and believe when I read about Easter Meditation. So thank you.
    Hugs Sarah

    1. God designed biblical meditation as a disciple for His people in order to fill their minds and spirits with His Word as a way to protect them from the deception of the enemy. Eastern meditation is a distortion of God’s design. In Deuteronomy God clearly commands the Israelites NOT to worship Him with the same practices as the nations around them. I believe this command stands for today.

      All forms of Eastern meditation are inseparably linked to Eastern religions, and to engage in those practices is not pleasing to God.

      It is dangerous for us to begin thinking we can engage in something that displeases God thinking that it isn’t very wrong…because it opens the door for the enemy to whisper in our ear that other things are not wrong either. Sadly, I have watched this happen more times than I can count…and the end has always been shipwreck. That is why I have been writing this series…because there is so much deception out there and we MUST immerse ourselves in God’s Word so that we don’t fall for the enemy’s tricks. He is crafty and he knows how to package his lies really well. Only God’s Word can expose his lies.

      1. My SON in LAW IS From INDIA. And Bec A Born Again Christian 11 Years Ago . EVERY Yoga pose is TO A HINDU GOD(Like Bowing DOWN in HONOR To THEM??????)SOOO MANY Christians DONT Realize this Or THINK it’s HARMLESS ???!!!! IT IS VERY PAGAN ????????

    2. Sarah,
      You should try PraiseMoves. It’s a christian alternative to Yoga. Go to PraiseMoves.com and check it out. I am a certified PraiseMoves instructor and it has made a great difference in my spiritual and physical life.

  2. Love the thoughts this offers and how deeply this digs into this topic and what meditation really is, a really good resource to share

    1. Hi Ifeoma! That’s crazy that FB didn’t show up as one of the shares. It must have been a glitch that day. LOL! Thank you so much for sharing it!

  3. Browse 20+ years of magazine archives and web exclusives. Subscribers receive full access to the archives. Many Eastern religions teach that the source of salvation is found within, and that the fundamental human problem is not sin against a holy God but ignorance of our true condition. These worldviews advocate meditation and “higher forms of consciousness” as a way to discover a secret inner divinity.

  4. Rosilind,

    I like this topic as some of my friends are practicing Yoga and I feel it is not proper but I don’t know how to convince them. They claims that the Yoga they practice doesn’t involve the meditation and even no music, so it is just like exercise. What’s your opinion on this?


    1. Sadly, I don’t think there is a way we will ever convince people of the dangers of Yoga. I believe the Holy Spirit must convict them and they must have the desire to follow His conviction. Many people simply choose to walk in deception and there is nothing we can do to help that. As for practicing Yoga simply for exercise, I believe most people do Yoga to relax and relieve stress….and like I shared in the article, this is a false sense of relaxation. It’s escapism. As with anything, we need to go back to the origins of a thing and ask ourselves why it was created and if its origins are in pagan worship we should reject it entirely.

  5. Hello, I enjoyed your article. I am an artist and enjoy beING creative. I did invest in the latest christian coloring journaling bibles. And they now have meditative coloring books for christians where you are coloring scriptures . what is your take on those ?

  6. I’m so glad for this post! I have struggled with the idea of meditation because before Christ, I was involved with occult practices. When you do the research on meditation (and yoga, for that matter), well, it isn’t of God. I mean, godly Christians have suggested meditation to me, but my concept of it has been a bit warped, haha! I’ve just completely dismissed the idea. I really love that you’ve explained the difference, however, and I”m going to … mediate on this…

    1. It grieves me very much that Evangelical Christianity has become so open to Eastern Religious and New Age practices in recent years. It never used to be so. It used to be assumed that yoga and eastern meditation and so forth were not of God and were not acceptable Christian practice, but the further we drift from our belief that God’s Word is the final authority for Christian living, the more we embrace those practices of other religions.

      1. Profound truth –> the further we drift from the Authority of God’s Word as final the more we’ll embrace the practices of those religions.<–
        and that's sad ? the

  7. Hi Rosalind,

    I have read lots of your posts and I agree with this one. I had done some yoga in the past but not the meditative part. I do it to stretch my muscles and I accompany it with audio bible reading or worship music. Rather than focus on other things, I focus on stretching and God. Keeping our temples healthy is mandatory and exercise and stretching is a good way to do that.
    Thank you Rosalind!

    1. I do believe there is a big difference between yoga poses/stretching and exercising. The danger with yoga poses (even without the meditation) is that the poses themselves are directly linked to Hinduism. The poses themselves are acts of worship to Hindu gods.

      1. Hi Rosilin,
        Do you recommend any sites for exercise and/or stretching that don’t use the moves that are involved in Yoga?
        Thank you.

  8. I cant sleep at night. Is it wrong to do a form of meditation where i focus on my breath to empty my mind while im trying to sleep? Or does that open up a doorway for the enemy… Ive been trying to do christian based meditations but as far as helping me go to sleep they dont have the same affect. I’m having a hard time differentiating what is okay When it comes to that and what is witchcraft.

  9. I simply do not believe this. I was raised in a Christian house, went to church, youth group, prayed all the time and read the Bible. Despite all of this I struggled to feel my connection to God. A couple of years ago I became interested in meditation after searching outside of the Bible for answers. Many believe that these meditations are wrong but Hebrews have been meditating for thousands of years and not just muttering scripture to themselves. Many disciples had meditated and prayed and heard god speaking to them, and not through a storm or earthquake but in the silence of their mind. Meditation has brought many Christians, including myself closer to God. God does not care how you find him, only that you find him and believe in him. Jesus Christ taught us how we can recognize that God is within each of us, if each of us are God’s children, made after his own image, than we are God himself, living and breathing in his own creation of the universe. The ones who do not follow him (which is your true self) are twisted because they deny who they truly are, once you realize this you can do amazing things, that is why many of the disciples could do miracles like Jesus, he taught them who they truly are. And if you really want to know anything about where prayer really comes from, do research on the missing years of Jesus Christ. The Bible misses almost 2 decades of time for Jesus Christ, so where did he go? There are many tales and historical stories that he made travels out of the Middle East and to India and Asia and learned the ways of the Buddha and Hindus. God created everything in existence, he has shown himself to many others in many other cultures despite their practices differing from Christianity. To blindly believe there is only one way to God is foolish, because he would not have made it so, he would lose too many of his children who he so deeply cares and loves. The God of the Creation does not care how you find him, only that you do. If you live you’re entire life meditating and doing yoga but you still prayed, did good works, loved everybody and spread peace and joy, God would be more than happy.

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