Rajiv Malhotra interviews “Holy Yoga” founder Brooke Boon – Updated

If one wants an excellent example of the syncretizing of the Christian faith and the Eastern religious worldview, one just needs to watch the rather remarkable interview linked below between Brooke Boone and Hindu scholar Rajiv Malhotra.  If you listen to the timeline of Ms. Boon’s engagement in Yoga and then Christianity, you will see someone who didn’t give herself much time to learn, comprehend or receive discipleship in either spiritual discipline.  It appears that she became a yoga teacher and book author on Hindu yoga within just a couple years of starting the practice.  It doesn’t appear that she ever really submitted to the teaching of a guru after she gave her life to yoga let alone contemplate the warnings of some of the Christian voices that she heard after she gave her life to Christ.  The admonition that she did not comprehend, or chose to reject, is that as a Christian, “no one can serve two masters.”   You cannot fully give your life to Christ without renouncing the former life she gave to yoga.  What we hear in this interview is a deeply commingled and confused understanding of the Christian faith and a supreme lack of understanding of Eastern religion.

Boone shows this confusion during her discussion with Malhotra of differences in the Hindu doctrine of karma and reincarnation and the Judaeo-Christian view of original sin.  She states that “guilt, shame, and sin are an alternate, inferior reality.”   This statement seems to imply that sin, guilt, and shame must be transcended through spiritual practices rather than having been crucified with Christ. She also seems to be totally surprised that Hindus might be offended by the Christianizing of yoga and the use of Holy Yoga for Christian evangelism in India.  Her understanding of Christian holiness is also very confused.  She states that “everything is spiritual” and since she refuses to acknowledge the reality of “false gods” then it follows that everything must be ”of God” and therefore divine.

Interestingly, the Twin Cities of Minnesota is ground zero for the Holy Yoga movement. Some of the more traditionally conservative evangelical churches are now opening their doors and rolling out their mats for Holy Yoga.  There is a stunning level of naïveté regarding how Eastern religious spirituality can affect and confuse Christians.  There is obviously more “FOMO” (fear of missing out) in these churches than fear of the Lord.

There is also little acknowledgment in the Holy Yoga Churches of the offensiveness of so-called “Christian yoga” in the growing Hindu community in the Twin Cities.  The founder of the Hindu American Foundation started the organization while in Minnesota and the organization started a campaign several years ago called, “Take back Yoga” to restore yoga to its original Hindu roots.  One of the largest Hindu temples in North America is located in the Minneapolis suburb of Maple Grove.

Lastly, what I find most appalling is that Brooke Boon who self-canonized her version of “Christian yoga” by calling it “Holy Yoga,” then says that she cannot speak for the movement she founded (34:59).

Quotes worth noting from the interview:

“Jesus really is our guru”

“We don’t use the word Namaste but there is nothing inherently wrong with it”

(34:59) –  Brooke Boon Founder of Holy Yoga tells Rajiv Malhotra that she can’t speak for Holy Yoga but only for herself when it comes to understanding the difference between karmic theory and the Judaeo-Christian concept of Original Sin.

“Guilt, shame, and sin are an alternate, inferior reality”

“A river is scared because it is an emulation of the creator god.

“Holy Yoga there is no recitation (of Bible verses), you come in and get centered.  It is great yoga…  The breath can do the work of creating space on the interior and the mind can slow down, the body can actualize that we are the incarnate, the divine is with us. …  pranayama is incredibly important, yoga is breath, meditation, and movement.  Those are the three pillars.  We are not afraid of pranayama.  We teach advanced pranayama in our teachers …  Pranayama is a distribution method for spirit.”

(57:25) – “( Holy Yoga) Is an opportunity to actualize their (i.e. Christians) own faith, to be intersected by their own diety..”

(Updated, June 25, 2017)

Holy Flying Yoga?

From the holyyoga.net web page announcing “Aerial Holy Yoga” training.

 

I visited the market-leading “Holy Yoga” website today and discovered yet another Holy Yoga variant, “Aerial Holy Yoga.”    I am not sure if the folks at Holy Yoga are now teaching the “Siddhis,” or supernatural powers of Rāja Yoga or advanced acrobatics.  Perhaps, it is just a Photoshop class.   Regardless, the idea that we can worship the Lord in “spirit and truth” when we are suspended upside down with all of our blood rushing to our brains escapes me.

The self-focus that is involved in all yoga practice is in total contrast to Christian spirituality.  The idea that we have to do progressively more difficult physical practices to become closer to God and to be “more” spiritual is the antithesis to Christianity.  Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” (Mark 10:15)

What next, a “Holy Yoga” version of the Bible?

Note to pastors:  You may want to have someone on your board check to see if your church’s insurance policy covers this kind of activity.

A Review: “The Healing Gods: Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Christian America” by Dr. Candy Gunther Brown

 

Dr. Candy Gunther Brown’s book,  “The Healing Gods – Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Christian America,” is essential reading for those trying to understand how evangelicals have come to adopt so many Eastern healing and religious practices from acupuncture to the practice of Yoga.  It is also essential reading for those in Christian academia who are attempting to merge or “integrate” the New Age and Eastern religious based techniques into psychological therapies and wellness programs.

Dr. Brown’s scholarly book dives deeply into the philosophical and spiritual roots of many popular Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) techniques.   She also analyzes the logical and spiritual dimensions of whether  CAM  practices can ever be truly separated from their spiritual origins.  She also documents how science has been used to develop the “evidence base” for these practices and logical fallacies and lack of scientific understanding associated with the adoption of CAM practices by Christians.

As “evidence-based” practices begin to dominate school curricula and the therapeutic community, one would do well to study this book and question the explosion of “mindfulness” based techniques and their grounding in Buddhist philosophy.  To that end, Dr. Brown explores the public policy and First Amendment issues of the integration of spiritually based philosophies and techniques into public schools.

Dr. Brown is a Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University.  She is the author of “Global Pentecostal and Charismatic Healing,” (Oxford University Press, 2011), and “Testing Prayer:  Science and Healing,” (Harvard University Press, 2012).  She has maintained blogs for the Huffington Post and Psychology Today.

Yoga and the Occult – A Former Witch Speaks Out

Yoga students doing the Shiva Pose – Shiva is the Hindu god of Yoga and the god of destruction

 

 

Below is a link to a great article on yoga by Beth Eckert on her website The Other Side of Darkness.  Her blog piece was just featured on the Charisma magazine website.  Beth not only has intimate knowledge and experience with yoga, but she also understands the relationship of yogic spirituality to witchcraft and the occult.

When will Church leaders begin to take the spiritual origins of yoga seriously!  If they don’t, they will have great difficulty reaching those involved in the New Age and yoga (Hinduism). The Church is so concerned about being “relevant”  that they cannot see idolatry when it is staring them in the face.  Meanwhile, young believers are getting confused as the Trojan horse of “evidence-based” research into yoga and “mindfulness” meditation is seen as scientific support for these practices.

Conducting a randomly-controlled scientific study on the effects of an occult practice does not cleanse it of its spiritual dimensions. Furthermore, most of the research on yoga and “mindfulness meditation” is poorly controlled and fraught with expectation bias effects.   Most studies do not have meaningful controls comparing yoga and meditation to other exercise or cognitive interventions.   However, in a quest not to appear to be anti-science and in some cases “spiritually correct,” many Christian institutions use this research to justify the adoption of the highly questionable spiritual practices and syncretize the Christian faith.  Christian leaders would do well by reading Candy Gunther Brown’s, “Healing Gods: Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Christian America,” and Farias and Wikholm’s “The Buddha Pill” to understand the theological implications and the state of scientific research into the practice of yoga and eastern meditation.

Beth’s blog post can be found here.  Yoga and the Occult

The Lord of Yoga prominently featured at the Ghost Ship Warehouse in Oakland

shiva-hell-house-best

 

My heart grieves for all of those who lost loved ones at the warehouse fire in Oakland.  However, I can’t help but wonder about the prominence of Lord Shiva, the Lord of Yoga, at the Warehouse.  With the association of Shiva, the destroyer god, with so many other symbols of death and destruction at the Warehouse, is it a wonder the fate of honoring these idols would bring?

For more photos of the “Ghost Ship” warehouse see: “Hell House: Dancing with the Devil in Oakland.”

Bob Larson warns mindful meditation is mindless

mindful

From Bob Larson’s Blog:

It’s the new buzz-word of spiritually minded millennials – MINDFULNESS. It can mean almost anything to anyone. The concept was borrowed from yoga, TM, and, of course, Buddhism. Some psychologists have gotten into the act, thinking it’s a drug-free way to reduce stress and become more focused. Spiritually, it’s supposed to be the ultimate path to avoiding suffering and gaining intuitive insight. It also may induce altered states of consciousness. Proponents tout its ability to get us “into the moment,” unconditionally accepting what “is.” There’s no effort to change the way things are, just be “wakeful,” “mindful” and be present with the self. The result is, whether twisted into a yoga position or seated in a Zen posture, transcendence to a place of implicit knowledge and wisdom, of “being alive” to universal consciousness.

If all that sounds to you like New Age psycho-babble, you’re right. It is ultimately based on the lie of Buddhism, that the source of suffering is desire and therefore one needs to escape desire through direct experience of the inner-divine. So much is wrong with this assumption, I hardly know where to start. (For a detailed explanation of the dangers of Eastern Meditation read LARSON’S BOOK OF WORLD RELIGIONS, the section on “meditation.” To order CLICK HERE.) Mindfulness is based on explicit anti-biblical premises. First, to the mindful meditator there is no such thing as objective, immoral conduct known as sin; second there is no devil; third, there is no transcendent moral code; no Decalogue. Even the respected journal “Psychology Today” recommends meditating before an altar with “sacred objects” of one’s own religious tradition. If that’s not idolatry, what is?

Mindfulness usually involves breathing techniques, akin to cultivating chi in Taoism or prana in Hinduism. Stilling one’s thoughts is also crucial, shutting down the mind, and thus the cognitive will. It is in this state of acute awareness of the “now” that Christian precepts are discarded in favor of the energy of the present. In contrast, God has given us our minds and intellects that we might rationally know that He is God. In contrast to the emptiness of mindfulness, Hebrews 11:6 tells us that “He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” That requires concentrative, directive thought, not a mind adrift in the senses of the moment. As Psalm 25:4 says, “Show me Your ways, O Lord, Teach me Your paths.” Don’t discard the intelligent pursuit of truth and exchange it for the awareness of inner self. That self may be demonized by generational curses, or possessed by spirits that entered through personal iniquities. Don’t mindfully feed your inner demons. Expel them in the name of Jesus!

 

“Chilling Human Sacrifice Video” before Statue of Shiva at CERN Lab

Mystery-satanic-human-sacrifice-video-spooks-scientists-working-at-worlds-biggest-particle-collider-CERN

From the article on the Mirror via Drudge.

My question is whether the people performing the Satanic human sacrifice are honoring Lord Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction, or are they mocking it?  This question would be easy to answer if they were performing it before a Crucifix of Christ or in front of a Church.  However, in the case of the Satanic ritual at CERN, the intent is not so clear.  Regardless, why are Christians participating in yoga where they do asanas (poses) that honor the destroyer god Shiva?

Minneapolis Church shares Yoga, not Jesus, during Mission Trips to Guatemala

San Juan La Laguna, Guatemala By Jaime - Biblioteca Comunitaria Rija'tzuul Na'ooj, Wikipedia, Creative Commons

San Juan La Laguna, Guatemala
By Jaime – Biblioteca Comunitaria Rija’tzuul Na’ooj, Wikipedia, Creative Commons

After 26 years of missions to Guatemala, “emerging” church leader Doug Pagitt’s church, Solomon’s Porch, is now promoting a mission trip to “share yoga, share life and share peace on and off the yoga mat!”  These “service” trips are being co-sponsored by Solomon’s Porch and the “Yoga Sanctuary.”   In years past, the church sponsored these trips to “support the global church” and to build homes “to follow in the example of Jesus” to reach out to the poor.

Shelley Pagitt, Doug’s wife, is the “curator” and an instructor at the Yoga Sanctuary. In describing her first encounter with yoga, she states:  “I cautiously walked into my first yoga class in 1999. I walked out with a sense of curiosity about the awakening I felt in my body and in my mind and spirit.”  It appears that this awakening has slowly led Shelley and Solomon Porch’s outreach efforts down a different path.  Now, in addition to the Yoga Sanctuary, Solomon’s Porch also has a “Wellness” ministry where acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, and “ShiatsuEnergy Work” are available.

Bob Larson’s Blog: “Yoga for Peace”

Yoga devotees seeking world peace in the Netherlands.

Yoga devotees seeking world peace in the Netherlands.

 

Bombings in Belgium. Carnage in Paris. A massacre in Orlando. What is the world to do? Some Dutch citizens in the Netherlands think the answer is yoga. Tuesday, this past week, hundreds of them gathered on a beach in Zandvoort to mark the International Day of Yoga. They meditated, performed asanas (bodily positions of yoga), and welcomed peace to the world with the assembled form of a peace sign. Coincidentally, that same day marked a rare summer solstice with a full moon, highly prized by pagan, witches, and Satanists.

Yoga, in Sanskrit, the ancient language of Hinduism, means “union with god,” small “g.” Its purpose is to bend the body into many forms to master the mind and soul of the practitioner. Quite literally, yoga’s goal is to tune the body to the Universal Mind and thereby achieve god-consciousness and attain oneness with the universe. At least that’s what they’ve been doing for thousands of years in India, no matter what some ignorant Christians in American may call their brand of Holy Yoga.

Some years ago, the secular magazine “Time” described yoga this way: “Enlightenment and good health require the free flow of the life force (prana) and the proper balance between the seven major energy hubs (chakras). (An eighth chakra, or aura, surrounds the body and encompasses the other seven.) The three lower chakras serve the body’s physical needs, while the five upper chakras are associated with the spiritual realm.”

Swami Vishnudevananda, a famous Hindu guru and worldwide advocate of yoga, once said, “The aim of all yoga practice is to achieve truth wherein the individual soul identifies itself with the supreme soul of God.” How? Vishnudevananda declared that “the supreme power of nature” was a coiled serpent lying at the base of the spine, the goddess Shakti, “the giver of immortality and eternal happiness.” But Shakti can only fulfill her promise by achieving union with Shiva, her consort. (Shiva is one member of the Hindu Trinitarian godhead, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva.) Shiva is said to reside at the center of the forehead between the eyebrows. The purpose of yoga is to arouse the serpent powers of Shakti (sometimes called kundalini) so that she passes through six chakras, spiritual energy centers. The seventh chakra, her destination, is Shiva. Once Shakti merges with Shiva, union, or yoga, is achieved. The next goal is permanent union to become a liberated soul and be unlimited by time and space – at one with god.

This is the way to world peace? I think not. I KNOW not, after decades of casting out yoga demons from hundreds of people. Christians, stay as far as you can from yoga in any format, even so-called Christian transmutations. And stay off the beach in the Netherlands if they gather again.

conta.cc/28UsVy9 pic.twitter.com/IcimesqfmH

Reprinted with permission