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Living in the Meaning

In sports training, there is a time when you hit a plateau. Your muscles get used to the routine and growth stalls. This is a time to change up the routine, introduce new techniques and bring variety to “surprise” the muscles through the plateau.

None of us like roadblocks or stalled routines. In our Christian life, we can also go through the motions and miss out on experiencing God. The common vernacular today is to “fake it ’till you make it.” This doesn’t always work; let’s talk about a better way.

Our actions reveal our heart. But when we do things without thinking and with no heart of passion, we need to put the brakes on and consider the “why” behind “what” we are doing.

Jesus made you with a free will. He wants us to follow Him because of love, not like robots. A personal walk with God precedes power with God. What is not personal to us we will one day forsake. We follow a personal redeemer.

Think about it: if we were the only ones on the earth, Christ would have still come for us! That is personal love!

In Song of Solomon 1:4-8, we see a picture of how a person can be drawn to God in a personal, real way and then drift away. It is easy to “take care of other vineyards and ‘people’s stuff’ but our own heart or vineyard we have not kept.”

This self-sacrificing mission isn’t God’s mission. When our output is more than our input, we are in danger of burning out. Intimacy happens when we are touched personally with God’s plan of redemption. We begin to understand His heart behind His action.

Going through the motions is when we do what we are “supposed to do,” but we do it without a personal touch from the Lord. On this platform, at best, we are people-pleasers. The question begs to be asked: How much is good enough and by whose standards? We will not always “feel God” but, as we “practice His presence,” we become more aware of His visitation. God wants us to walk with Him moment by moment more than doing great work for Him.

The great work will come as an overflow of fellowship with our great big God.

Need can only drive you so far; it can’t sustain you.

What touches God’s heart must touch our heart; this is the why behind the what that we do. How does this happen? Being honest and transparent with God is the beginning to going beyond mere knowledge and entering real fellowship. We draw near to Him by faith, and as we “hide His word in our heart,” we are changed into His likeness.

Live in the Meaning

In our secular age, the original meanings of many words have been lost. Preference and liberalism are the flavors of the day. Many of us want our faith on “our terms.” This can be very turbulent and deceptive. How we define the things we hear and see is paramount.

In our relationships, our intrinsic dictionaries define things based upon our understanding of the facts and our experience, rather than objective truth. Misunderstanding and confusion can reign in these environments. We have all accumulated knowledge through education, our upbringing and other life experiences. Though this knowledge is valuable, it is limited.

We must go deeper. This is where we need the guidance of the Holy Spirit, for “deeper” is not a place we can find on our own.

Jesus wants us to go beyond what we think and know and enter a mystery.

This may sound cryptic, but here is where God shows up! Life limited to definitions is not enough! It is easy to spout off words and give the appearance we know what we are talking about.

It is living in the meaning that causes the power of what I know to be governed by who I know.

God is always speaking in a still, small voice. As we quiet ourselves, we hear more clearly the personal word He has prepared for us, the Word beyond all the superfluous words.

Worship

I believe this is one of the greatest struggles in the Christian life–experiencing what we know.

The practice of worship and meditation prepares our hearts to hear and experience God. Worship moves us into the power of what we know. I Corinthians 8:2 reminds us, “If any man thinketh that he knoweth anything, he knoweth not yet as he ought to know;”

Worship is translating knowledge to power as we give authority to the presence of God in our lives.  To amplify this awareness, we must ask this question: “Where is Christ honored?” We see throughout the Bible, His presence rests where there is humility, purity, and faith. As we build on these foundations, the kingdom of God becomes tangible.

Worship brings our attention to our Savior and we learn to recognize His personal word for our lives; “rhema” replaces mere knowledge.

Rhema speaks of the moments when the veil comes off our eyes and we see a personal glimpse of the meaning of truth in 2 Corinthians 3:14. It is one thing to read something from an author and quite another when you know the Author and He addresses you by name. These personal words strengthen and inspire great motive, energy and drive to pursue God and His purpose. We discover His devotion to us, and it inspires us.

Revelation

In our deductive and inductive reasoning, we not only have our focus on what God said but also, what does He mean?  We can answer this question two ways:

  • General revelation is what we see and perceive. This information establishes logical and natural understanding.
  • Secondly, personal revelation is when what we hear and see touches our hearts through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

Both are valuable but personal revelation is what transforms our hearts.

To illustrate this point: we could look at the ingredients of spaghetti sauce and know what is in the sauce. But when we taste it, we enter understanding of the sauce—delicious!

Understanding happens as we pass through knowledge and live in the meaning.

The more attention we give personal revelation, the more we catch a clear glimpse of what the Author is saying and the more we discover His heart. Often, we remember what is personal; it touches our hearts. When Jesus said Mary’s name at the tomb, that is when she knew it was Jesus and she called Him Lord! She was comforted and strengthened.

Meditation

Meditation brings resident knowledge of absolute truth or promises to the forefront of our minds. We begin to fellowship with the Promiser. Here comes the revelation of the building blocks of why we believe what we believe. We ponder and muse and enter the mood of what we know and possess. We become possessors rather than mere professors. It is easy to talk a good game, but when the rubber meets the road what we really possess will be made evident.

As meditation progresses, reflection is produced, and we begin to examine and learn personally what we have stored in our hearts. We begin to scrutinize and examine knowledge as though our life depended on it. This, in turn, creates rhema—a personal revelation from God for our lives. Doubt and questions are okay if it takes us on a pursuit to deeper living.

To the measure that we “unpack” and relearn truth, that will be the measure our recall will release power. Reflection brings us into the image of what we are meditating upon. God is faithful to show personal wisdom to the student who takes the time to seek Him.

The longevity of our ministry and our faith is caused by our state of wonder and amazement toward Christ. This personal revelation will be fresh in us and our life will not only be changed but exchanged into something brand new! We will leave simple conformity and enter transformation. What’s happening? Our inner life is being poured out and affecting our outer life with a personal word from God for those we connect with.

Living in Rest

Rest happens in what we are doing; not away from the action. Personal rest comes to us during our ministry. We are given inner strength. This strength upholds us; not in the absence of activity but through engaging us in what we are called to do. Often, when we think of rest, vacation comes to mind. A retreat is another way to look at it.

Resting in fellowship with our Absolute brings our renewal and refreshment. We are strengthened as we function. There is an exchange.

The work we do has a source outside us, where we are operating and being renewed at once. The completion of the task is not as important as the journey of getting to know God along the way.

This determines the way we interpret what is happening around us. A sound mind is not the absence of bad thoughts; it is holding on to the right ones. Right thoughts are those that produce life and capacity—they are building blocks. Even in the most trying situations, we can tower with right thinking rather than cower in fear.

If we are drinking from the right source, we will be sustained in hope and Christ will replace our guiding fictions.

The inner stability produced by right-thinking affects every aspect of our lives. Our decisions and conversations are transformed into spheres of expectation and confidence.

How we interpret information is important; to organize our knowledge into a proper inventory reduces clutter in our souls.

“What we know” is organized through meditation and becomes active as a guard at our heart’s door. We pass from knowledge to life. We live in the meaning rather than just the forms.

Trials are designed to bring us over this threshold. However, our flesh often fights God and the process takes longer. God’s plan is that we experience what we know. Even the simple words, “I love you,” heard deep in our heart, could chase fear and produce tremendous inner strength.

Worship + Meditation = Communion

Communion is the consequence of worship and meditation. As we break the bread and drink the wine, figuratively speaking, we enter His life (John 6:63). We believe and trust in the provision of Jesus and His broken body becomes our food and we are fulfilled and satisfied with new identity. The wine is significant, representing the blood which washed away our sins.

As we receive Christ’s new life as our sustenance, we are converted. We believe in the Absolute, despite what evidence we see; we begin to take on the identity of the Absolute, by faith, and live in the effects of a new life produced beyond ourselves.

Through communing with God, our communication is transformed and there is a radical change.

This change can be seen because we are thinking about and interpreting the things we see differently, rather than just by sight. There is now a new dimension, one that is objective. This exchange of life teaches how to delight in grace.

Make Communion Your Purpose and Priority

Often, we battle with stewarding our time. Our schedules are packed with demands, but the value of the treasure cannot be told as we invest in reflecting upon God’s personal word. Inner stability and navigation of life decisions are found here.

Time is precious; we can never really manage it, but we can recognize priorities. Priorities are like maps, enabling us to choose the best way to use this gift of time.

For instance, the archeologist carefully removes the dirt to unveil buried treasures. There is no hurry, lest they damage or disturb the relic. It takes finesse to preserve the mystery and lead us into true discovery and true meaning.

As meaning is discovered, we honor the knowledge we have received and we recognize it for what it truly is. In reflection, we learn to slow down and let the words sink deep into us rather than rushing through to complete a task.

Saturate yourself in the majesty of God and discover the truth of Who He is that defines what He does.

Set aside time for God on purpose, He wants to unfold to you His heart. Let go of the methodology and technique to find God and just sit and be loved by Him. He will make Himself known and inspire you with His passion.

He is closer to you than the air you breathe.


Passionate about reaching people from all walks of life, Jason Moore has been involved in worldwide mission work and discipleship since the age of sixteen. While living in Ukraine, he completed his internship in church planting, resulting in three new churches that continue to thrive today. As a graduate of Maryland Bible College and Seminary with a Bachelor’s in Biblical Studies, he leads the Pastoral Care team of Greater Grace Church in Baltimore, MD. He serves as a guest speaker in churches throughout the United States and overseas. With his wife, Leah, and son, Carson, he is dedicated to guiding people in discovering the riches of God’s grace. He may be reached through www.jasonfmoore.com.

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John 1

Is the Bible the Sole Authority for God’s Word?

Our conversation around yoga and Christianity continues. What do you believe and why do you believe it?

[Paul D] What are you ultimately seeking? Yoga and Christianity are completely different. You may find some commonalities in all religions but that does not mean they are all the same ultimately. 1) does Sadhguru believe in God? Yes or No. I suspect that one of the reasons you are leaning heavily towards Sadhguru has to do with his doctrine that does not believe in Sin. Is that seductive to you?

[Matt S] I’m seeking Christ’s path. Yoga and Christianity ARE completely different, yes; one is an internal practice, one is a religious belief. I think that’s where many Christians get stuck; they think yoga is a religion! It’s not. Yes, Sadhguru believes in God. Sin is anything that moves us away from God. Sin is originally an archery term which means ‘off the mark’. So, when we are in sin, we are off the mark–off the path toward God.

[Paul D] But you definitely do not seem to believe in the bible as the ultimate word of God. You say you are seeking Christ’s path? How will you know when you find it? What does the bible say about that?

[Matt S] Should I choose a single book as my only input from God? Would an infinite being choose to express all their wisdom through the pages of a single book and disregard all other channels for teaching their children? That is certainly not my experience of God. My God uses people and circumstances and events and all manner of being to express teaching, make us malleable, create growth, and illustrate glory. Over and over, I have seen God’s thumbprint on my life, in good times and in bad. No, I don’t believe God said all He needed to say to us once and stuck it into the Bible; not when He has the entire cosmos as a palette.

And when it comes to following Christ’s path, the Bible is incomplete–again, two decades of Christ’s journey missing from the Good Book. That can’t even be argued, right? How will I know when I find Christ’s path? I don’t know, Paul. That’s my struggle. If you know of any scripture that applies here, please share. Matt

[Paul D] If you don’t know what a path looks like or what it is…how will you know when you find it!? Why do you say you struggle finding a path when you can’t even define what you seek? Where was Christ’s life and talks published? Clearly the Bible. In other words you do not believe it is the sole authority clearly by your answers. Do you believe in absolute truth? That is a yes or no. You also do not believe in the ten commandments as it seems very clear that Sadhguru fashions IDOLS etc..

[Matt S] ??

Again, the Bible is missing about 20 years of Christ’s life. Do you acknowledge this?

So, if I HAVE defined what I seek (to follow Christ’s example), there’s a lot missing from the Bible.

What did Christians do before the Bible was completely pieced together? (http://www.truthnet.org/Bible-Origins/7_The_New_Testament_Canon/index.htm)

Which version of the Bible is considered the ‘sole authority’? Which version do you place your faith in? There are over 50 different translations in English alone (http://www.compassdistributors.ca/topics/compare.htm). Some additional interesting conversation on versions/translations here (https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090320135025AAAOGvd).

If you were new to the Bible and standing in the book store, which Bible would you choose? What if you picked up a copy of the New World Translation? Would that version be ‘absolute truth’ and ‘sole authority’?

As for idolatry, yes, I see it in Sadhguru and it gives me pause. It was only in recent years that I realized how steeped in idolatry the Catholic Church is. I was raised Catholic, so you can imagine my surprise when a book explaining spiritual warfare listed Catholicism as something to be protected against.


This post is part of an ongoing discussion around the practice of yogic meditation. To see more of the discussion, go here.

C.S. Lewis quote


UPDATE 02/26/2016

Well, I certainly didn’t understand the Bible at the time of this post, did I? As I hope is evident in my post What Accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior Means to Me, I’m beginning to understand a little more clearly about how grossly I’ve been off in the bushes. Specifically:

That sermon brought out in me a hunger to know Jesus–to study his example. As I reacquainted myself with Scripture, it became painfully obvious there was a huge gap in the account of Christ’s life in the Bible. Only now do I realize this is by design. (Matthew 24:35 is proof of this.) If we could follow Christ’s path step-by-step, we would continue to chase him under our own power instead of allowing ourselves to be shaped by God through faith. This is why so many other methods or false religions for reaching God lead to destruction.

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is meditation satanic demonic evil

Is Yoga Demonic, Evil or Satanic? Part 2

Alright, you know I’ve been dealing with the big question as to whether or not yoga and the meditation work that I’ve been doing is going to lead me to hell; the whole “Am I going to get attacked by demons because I’m practicing yoga?” question.

Well, I’ve spoken with several folks, I’ve polled people, I’ve talked to Isha Foundation, I’ve talked to several Christian friends of mine, I have done a lot of research online to look at both sides of the argument, and here’s where I’m landing. I don’t know that I’ve necessarily 100% landed yet but I’ve certainly feel better about the course that I’m on.

It seems that the deep literal Christian slant is misinformed. For the most part, many dissenters don’t seem to have a good understanding of what meditation is about, and I think that due to some of that ignorance comes the fear.

Now, that doesn’t negate the fact that people have had negative experiences and so we still have to answer that question.

Malpractice

If folks are heading down the path and they’re hurting themselves—maybe they’re diving into advanced practices and they’re messing up their back—whatever; I did that, too. I messed up my back during some of the asanas because I was ambitious and I was thinking I was more flexible than I was. I didn’t take into account that I sit in front of a computer all day.

Once I messed up my back, I stopped doing the asanas. I continue to do the meditation, but I stopped doing the asanas (the stretches, the postures. Asana means “posture”.) I stopped doing the stretches which led up to the meditation. I still did the meditation but I discarded the asanas for a short time while I healed from my over-exuberance. That wasn’t any kind of demonic attack; that was me not knowing what my physical limitations at the time and not working up into it.

Since then, I’m now doing the asanas again in my meditation and (well, most times I’m doing the asanas) and I’m much more conservative about my range of motion and the zeal with which I do the bouncing and twisting and turning. Again, that wasn’t the demonic; that was me not knowing my limitations.

All the Wrong Reasons

I think some of the other research I’ve done has pointed to this: Listen, if you were into the yoga meditation work and it’s your goal to go walk on water or heal people or see into the future, mind control, whatever—all of this stuff the gurus say lay further down the line—if that’s the reason you’re getting involved, if that’s the reason why you’re diving into Kriya yoga or meditation—you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. If you’re doing it for the wrong reasons, you’re going to run into trouble.

I liken this to, if you know you’ve got to go to the next town and there’s a couple paths to get there but you’re taking the shortest route, watch out because there used to be bandits and robbers along those paths. If you stray from the path too much or if you dawdle…

I don’t know. Maybe it’s a bad analogy.

Are there negative experiences on the way to enlightenment or deeper understanding of God and God realization? Yes, probably. However in my case, if I pin my practice on Christ and the cross, I feel safe the entire time. I feel like I am in the right frame of mind and that’s something that I’ve seen over and over again in both my reading and the watching that I’ve been doing is that…

You Have to Have Your Heart Right

If you are in this for superhuman powers or to evolve and grow past those around you in order to manipulate them better, you are already not of pure heart and you are setting yourself up for massive failure.

That’s where I’m landing. There has to be a pureness in your heart; it’s not just about good intent, although that helps. There has to be pureness. I guess that’s the best word I’m coming up with. There has to be an intention of clarity. There has to be an intention for purity. There has to be an intention purely for driving at God. Don’t worry about any of the external benefits that may come from the practice. That’s not why you’re there. If you take your eyes off the prize, if you take your eyes off the top off the mountain, off of God, then you will run astray.

That’s again where I’m landing. I don’t know that this helps anybody (other than maybe myself.) It’s been, like I said, a lot of research. At some point, I will get more clear in my documentation on the fallacies in Christian argument against yoga.

For instance, I’ve heard it said that, “Oh, you’re just trying to be God.” No, no, no. That’s not it. Many of the arguments didn’t really make sense. There was one video that likened Kundalini energy to charismatic Christians and showed how these Christians were writhing all over the place and how that’s of demon activity.

I don’t know. Maybe it is, maybe it’s not. It seem like a lot of psychosis to me. It just seems like people getting wrapped up and dramatizing and amplifying. I don’t that anybody was particularly healed or reached any greater depth in their relationship with God after that experience. It looked like it was people falling prey to a mental desire to play the role, to play the act.

Afterglow

So, that’s where I’m arriving is after my research and after the reading and the watching that I’ve been doing, I’m at a place of greater clarity or greater ease in my heart that as long as I keep Christ at the center of it, I won’t be off in the bushes. I am now more at peace and my faith continues to grow and my relationship with God continues to grow and my understanding of scriptures continues to grow. I guess I’m feeling at peace with it.


This post is part of an ongoing discussion around the practice of yogic meditation. To see more of the discussion, go here.


UPDATE 01/17/2016

As of the past couple weeks, I have ultimately arrived at a place where I HAVE RENOUNCED MY YOGIC PRACTICE. God has found it in His heart to place in my path not just one but TWO individuals who are able to witness God’s supernatural love as uncovered by confessing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Here is the story: https://levaire.com/my-salvation-experience/

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Christ in yogic meditation

Is Yoga Demonic, Evil or Satanic? A Christian Concern

As you know, I’ve been studying meditation and moving down that path. It comes from a place where I want to know what Jesus knew, and I think that’s a question we should all be asking ourselves as Christians. How do we close the gap between us and our Creator? Christ has said He is the way. So if Christ way is the way, what steps did He take in His life?

I don’t think it’s just as simple as, “I’m going to be a nice person”. I don’t think it’s as simple as you follow the 10 commandments and you have nothing else to worry about. I think there’s more to spiritual evolution than following a couple good guidelines for behavior, right?

If Christ has said His example is the example to follow, then how do we follow that example? Through my research, some clues point to the possibility that Christ went to India. Again, I don’t know how viable this is and maybe that’s part of my problem, but there’s a big gap in the Bible where Christ is a child and then He disappears for what? A couple decades? Then He comes back and He’s baptized by John the Baptist and moves in to this life of leadership and sacrifice.

(Note: Further research has pointed out that this time is referred to as the “Lost Years of Jesus”. There have been numerous stories about Jesus traveling far and wide, but most seem to have been dismissed by contemporary religious scholars. Curious? Read “Unknown Years of Jesus” at Wikipedia.)

Somebody asked me recently, “Matt, are you a Christian? I see that you’re studying under Sadhguru.” I said “Yes, I am a Christian” or at least I wear the Christian label. I hail from Roman Catholic roots and—in me trying to follow Christ example—I’m exploring meditation right now. If prayer is us communicating to God, meditation is us listening to God, right? That’s how I’ve got it sorted in my mind.

Then they asked “Since when do you have to have spend money for enlightenment?” When you go to a conference, it costs money to put on a conference. I’m okay paying a $250 ticket for a conference; that’s not out of bounds at all. Compare that with a Tony Robbins event! How much are you spending there? $1,200+ for the same weekend? So, this question, we’ll throw out.

Now, back to the question about being a Christian and studying under Sadhguru. I feel like my belief has grown. I sit through church now and I feel I’ve got a whole new dimension of understanding about the Scriptures. I feel like I’m even more clear as a result of having studied meditation.

But then they volleyed with some links from folks who had also studied yoga and ended up opening themselves to demonic possession and all sorts of evil?

I’ll admit! My faith is shaken in the yogic path now, so I’m trying to get clarity. If any of you guys have any insight, please sound off.

I’m asking the question now. I’m asking “All right, is there more to this further on down the road?” No, I’m not detecting any kind of evil intent from any of the Sadhguru teachings. I’ve vetted him against other gurus and—some of the other gurus—they don’t feel right. They feel like they’re off in the bushes. They feel like they’re making up certain things. Do a search on human levitation. That’ll open up some weird stuff. (People hopping and calling it levitation.)

I did that vetting process and I’ve been praying all along, right? I’ve been praying all along, “Lord, if I am on the wrong path, please correct me. I don’t want to spend a minute on the wrong path. If I am not intended to be studying Kriya yoga or following Christ in this manner, then correct me, please!”

And, so far, nothing’s come.

In fact, the only thing that’s come from this has been a greater understanding or a greater depth experienced in Scripture, so when I go sit in church on Sunday, I feel like I have even more clarity than I’ve ever had in the past. I understand (or I feel like I understand.)

Who knows?

Maybe I’m going crazy.

But I feel like I understand when Christ says “It’s all through me,” he’s not talking about Jesus of Nazareth (which is always where I got stuck. “Really? Okay, it’s all through you.”) In my mind now, it’s Christ Consciousness. It’s this evolution towards Divinity. Christ has even said in the Book of John, “These things and greater, you can do if you’re in the faith.” That tells me we’ve got a huge responsibility to study and follow his path and see what it is we can see.

How do you take that? I think most Christians don’t take the responsibility, and so they stop seeking and they just show up to church and maybe they say prayers over their meals and whatever. I think most folks stop way before taking this responsibility. And I don’t think Christ was lying and I don’t think Christ was crazy, so must be that this is the truth, right? If Christ has said we can do even larger miracles than He did, why is nobody doing it? Why is nobody doing it?

Answer that question.

That’s where I’m at. I’ll admit to getting blown out of the water by some of these YouTube videos that were then sent to me by this guy talking to me on Facebook, Paul. (Hey Paul!) In the videos he sent, again, “demonic possession yoga” by folks who have become born-again Christians, several of whom say that they had this Christ experience where Christ came and whispered in their ear or shocked them with light. They felt this massive boost of love and then they had a course correction. That kind of thing blows me out of the water too. These folks are speaking with conviction; they are coming from a sense of their own clarity.

I don’t think their making up their experiences, so is it truly that yoga is the wrong path or is it that these veins of yoga—just like veins of Christianity—seem to be off in the bushes?

Is it that these certain gurus are off in the bushes, and maybe Sadhguru is on the right path? (But then I find a video where somebody actually studied under the Isha Foundation and had a demonic experience.)

So is it that these folks are not conducting themselves properly in the yogic arts?

I don’t know.

I don’t know. I don’t know what I don’t know, so not knowing what I don’t know, if you know or if you feel you know, please sound off on this video down in the comments below.

I need help. I need some guidance. I’ve reached out to Christian friends of mine. I’m blowing them out of the water with these questions. I have reached out to Isha Foundation. Here’s my note to them:

Recently, someone approached me on Facebook and asked if I was a Christian. I affirmed I was and now they have sent me a number of YouTube videos where folks are reporting demonic possession or attack as a result of their involvement with yoga. One testimonial even cites Isha.

I’ll admit; my faith that I’m on the right path with Kriya yoga has been shaken.

Has Sadhguru addressed this in video? Any insight?

Thank you in advance.
Matt

And their response:

Dear Matt,
Sadhguru has spoken about yoga extensively.

You can find more information here:

Well. That helped a little, but it doesn’t really answer the demonic possession issue.

Guys, I don’t know. This is where I’m at, I’m in a very questioning place, I thought I was moving down the right path and it was feeling good. People talk about “Oh yeah, it felt good, but then I got possessed.”

I don’t want to be possessed. That’s not a goal of mine.

If you got any insight, please share. As I continue to collect data and pray and seek revelation, I will report out and we’ll just move through this journey together, okay? All right guys, this has been Matt Schoenherr. Good luck to us all.


This post is part of an ongoing discussion around the practice of yogic meditation. To see more of the discussion, go here.


UPDATE 01/17/2016

As of the past couple weeks, I have ultimately arrived at a place where I HAVE RENOUNCED MY YOGIC PRACTICE. God has found it in His heart to place in my path not just one but TWO individuals who are able to witness God’s supernatural love as uncovered by confessing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Here is the story: https://levaire.com/my-salvation-experience/

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seeking spiritual truth

Seeking Spiritual Truth: Check Your Sources

From the Levaire Facebook page, a reader (Paul D) writes:

Are you a Christian?
I ask because you went to a Sadhguru event.
Since when does one pay money to be liberated?
Why is it secret?


My response:

Paul, I carry a Christian label, yes. However just because I vote Christian does not mean I have stopped seeking. I don’t think just because I believe in Christ’s resurrection and divinity and teachings I’ve somehow arrived and I’m simply “saved” so therefore I’m done trying to follow Christ’s example. I know many Christians that rest on the fact that they’re baptized, or the fact that they announced they are followers, and now they’ve stalled their spiritual development and reaching toward God. I am quite hungry to know what Christ knew, to follow His teachings, to follow His footsteps, to dive in and learn more and more and more.

Sadhguru teaches the science of meditation, which I believe Christ used and taught. If prayer is communicating to God, meditation is learning to quiet the mind’s worldly chatter and listen to God. I have asked and continually prayed for correction if I am on the wrong path and all that seems to come from my current path is a continual unveiling of deeper and deeper meaning in the Bible and Christ’s path. Much of that unveiling has been coming from a deeper understanding about this life experience, as brought to me by Sadhguru and the writings of Paramahansa Yogananda (“The Yoga of Jesus” is a great place to start, but I started with “Autobiography of a Yogi” which was introduced to me by a Christian friend.) Unfortunately, many Christians have become rooted in Christian dogma and I feel like their understanding of scripture becomes capped; mine certainly was.

I’m not sure what to make of your question, “Since when does one pay money to be liberated?” When there is a large event in a metropolitan conference center, where the hosts feed you two of your meals, rent a large room for two days, including audio/video equipment, and support a small army of volunteers, including likely putting them up in hotels, there is a cost. Printing name tags, handouts, etc.; these things cost. So, if I paid $250 for a day and a half of sitting and studying and being taught tools by which I can gain greater clarity in my relationship with God, it is a pittance, in my book. Compare this with any Tony Robbins event or that of any other western “guru” and I think the ticket price was actually quite low.

Another thought: It costs money to keep a church going. Most Christians tithe at least 10% if they’re following Christ’s teachings, right? The question about paying money seems ill-placed here. Let’s set it aside.

Regarding the ‘secret’ of the Shambhavi work (I’m assuming you’re referring to my video review on YouTube now DELETED 10/2/18), Sadhguru explained people have to be taught for 12-15 years in order to pass the Shambhavi practice on, as it is more than just a few different poses, stretches and breathing exercises. If you let it, the practice will have a steady and deepening impact on your approach to life, your sense of peace and well-being, and your relationships with others, including God. So it’s not that it’s top secret, but there is a normal course of study that comes before it in order to set a proper foundation (see innerengineering.com). If we run out and begin teaching others what we learned, we likely lose some of the translation and energy of the true practice. (We can actually do more harm than good, both to them and to ourselves.) There’s more to the ‘why’ than this, but I think this should hopefully help shed some light.

I really appreciate that you took time to write and ask these questions. It tells me you’re actively seeking answers as well. All I can do is share my experience and some of my thinking behind my steps. Take what resonates with you and leave the rest. As I’ve told others who have asked, I’m just a beggar showing other beggars where the crumbs are. I was born and raised Catholic, fell away from the church towards confused agnosticism, and have gradually snapped back to a more non-denominational flavor of Christianity. I think our priests and pastors do their best to relay their interpretation of the Bible and Christ’s teachings, however I’ve heard and seen things of church leadership that occasionally miss the mark (which is what ‘sin’ actually meant before it came to mean wickedness.. it was an archery term that meant you missed the center of the target); none of us are infallible.

I believe that fallibility we share places the responsibility for our relationship with God squarely into our individual laps. Same as we have to take control of our own healthcare and occasionally defy the advice of medical professionals who mean well, I believe we must also take responsibility for our relationship with God; church leadership cannot be our only source of guidance. To be a good student then would mean to dive into the Bible and other supporting sources to gather information and insight from other seekers. Check that info in prayer and by stacking it up against scripture. That’s the thing: I haven’t found anything yet from Sadhguru and Yogananda that conflict with Christian scripture. In fact, their work tends to support Christ’s teachings.

Hopefully this helps. Thank you again for reaching out!

In support of your efforts,
Matt


[Paul D] Thank you for your reply Matt..

And do you believe Christ from the bible?(as in he did what he said he set out to do and Rose from the Dead? Or are you blending it with other gurus who claimed to be godmen like Sai Baba!
I thought as a Christian you would not need more as it was all spelled out in the Bible as the only authority needed.

You say…”Unfortunately, many Christians have become rooted in Christian dogma and I feel like their understanding of scripture becomes capped; mine certainly was.”
How do you even know you have a better understanding of scripture and that it is Dogma?How do you know that your not being sucked into the Dogman of Sadhguru. I can find all there is to know about Christ for free and not pay even 10%. WIth todays technology the information can be given away for free! And its not like shhhhh a secret that takes you decades to obtain only if you join a religion or cult..? Are you allowed to share that information or did you have to sign a disclosure agreement?:) think about it!

Have you ever looked into what there beliefs are?
Do they believe in possession or spirits and demons?
Or is it “really just” meditation..

Dr. Ravi Zacharias – Warning: Yoga & Meditation
(Video is no longer available.)

Kundalini Yoga

Former Kundalini Yoga Teacher Turns to Christianity – Part 1/8


[Matt] Paul, thank you for this! I have begun viewing the 8-part series and will do my best to absorb all of this. Would you be open to moving this discussion to my blog at Levaire.com I think this is conversation many could benefit from. Please copy your responses there (or I can). You’ve given me much to think about here. I am definitely questioning my stance. On the way home tonight, I saw a bumper sticker that simply said, “Pray”. I intend to do more of that tonight. Thank you!


[Several days later, Matt] Paul! You’ve opened up a can of worms for me, to be sure! Thank you for testing my beliefs. I have gone through the videos you sent and have found them to be compelling. I still haven’t landed on one side or the other, but here’s where I’m at so far: https://youtu.be/SFaUEfcDgqo


[Paul D] Hi Levaire. Sorry it took so long to respond to your latest. Not ignoring you.I have been going through a lot in the last while including an ill parent I’m struggling to deal with. I’m curious about your beliefs in Christianity. Do you believe in the Christ of the bible or the Christ that Indians claim? Are you struggling with Jesus and his lost years? Are you seeking to be “happy” all the time or “enlightened” Why do you seek God more through Sadhguru and not the bible? If I may ask do you have lots of personal close relationships in your life? Close to your parents and siblings? Married? Belong to any supportive Christian groups? Why do I ask? If your too busy “in your head,” looking for happiness or meaning out there and not filling your life serving others or feeling like you belong to a family here and now perhaps that may be something to consider but I do not know your circumstances. Did you have to keep your paid teachings from Sadhguru a secret or Dangerous? Did Jesus Christ charge or keep things a secret?

kundalini yoga is dangerous


[Paul D] I came across Sadhguru by chance last year when I saw a very very short tv clip on him and it got my curiosity. Actually he did not even say much!I He has some charm factor about him. At the same time I was cautioned by the information I had come across on yoga by reading about the Occult through Walter Vieth and from finding out about agenda 21 the United Nations and the connection with ascended masters through Lucius Trust. Lots of what Sadhguu has to say I admit seduces me as well however my senses are saying caution something does not seem right on one hand from a christian perspective.


[Paul D] I wonder if you have actually spoken to Sadhguru and asked him some serious questions about Jesus or Christianity while you were at his course.


[Matt] Paul, still working through a response. Just wanted to sound off. Didn’t forget about this thread. Hopefully will get a response back to you this weekend.


[Paul D] No problem Levaire 🙂


[Matt] In the meantime, here are some comments from Sadhguru, which I find to be timely and relevant to our discussion. Thoughts?

https://www.facebook.com/IshaUSA/videos/988924371152925/


[Paul D] Minute 4:40 take heed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZsqcKLOCDk


[Paul D] Are you aware of how seduction works? Pace Pace Pace lead… truth truth truth truth then slip in falsehood. Become mysterious, offer solution to pain. Condition with basic simple truths and blend in Jesus. After you have fully committed one will trust and will not believe they could have been sucked in. The Kundalini Serpent will seduce you.. so will the entities

http://www.ishafoundation.org/blog/sadhguru/spot/devi-is-a-living-entity/


[Paul D] minute 1:19 True or False ? Sorry … this is a lie.. Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.


[Matt] Some more resources for our discussion. I am placing them here. Near daily research going on with me. This last video you shared definitely had an impact. I think you’ll find this thread interesting. http://shalomplace.org/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/19110765/m/286304744

 

 


This post is part of an ongoing discussion around the practice of yogic meditation. To see more of the discussion, go here.

 


UPDATE 01/17/2016

As of the past couple weeks, I have ultimately arrived at a place where I HAVE RENOUNCED MY YOGIC PRACTICE. God has found it in His heart to place in my path not just one but TWO individuals who are able to witness God’s supernatural love as uncovered by confessing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Here is the story: https://levaire.com/my-salvation-experience/

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