Hindus Invented Meditation?

side-by-side images of Buddha statue and Bible[I’m sharing here an e-mail letter I’d written to Pray.com in April 2023. You’ll soon see why. My subject line said, “trying to help/sent in love.” As of January 2024, the material in question is still on their site; and no reply has come. Maybe this letter will provide ideas for helping people you’re concerned about.]


Can you please share this with all the Pray.com leaders? (I’m not selling anything.)

Because I appreciate your wanting to help people know the Lord and because I assume your motives are pure, I’m compelled to caution you. This is about any theology that comes through your platform that reflects what’s in your article “A Christian’s First Guide to Meditation.”

(Let’s get my creds out of the way: I’ve studied the cults, occult, Eastern religions, and New Age for 50+ years. I’m a Bible college grad and perpetual student of theology and apologetics. I lived in Buddhist/Shinto Japan for 10 years. And what follows here would be thumbs-upped by any former occultist/Buddhist/Hindu who is now Christian.)

Christian leaders/influencers have a responsibility for conveying the Lord’s truth. With the above article, we’re off to a bad start at first glance because that article’s title next to a photo of someone in the lotus position is a false, apples-and-oranges mismatch.

The lotus position is a Hindu worship pose. (It’s important to know what Hindu authorities say, not just what our own friend thinks it is—or what misguided Christian writers have decided it is.) And in Buddhist mantras, the “om mani ___” mantra means “the jewel is in the lotus.” The “namu myoho ___” mantra means, roughly, “devotion/glory to the teaching of the Lotus Sutra.”

The lotus word and symbol show up all over the place in Eastern teaching… not unlike the cross showing up with Christian stuff. Christian endorsement (or trendy use) of lotus is at odds with the Lord Almighty.

Moving into that article itself, there’s confusion about:

1—meditation. The Bible’s meaning involves thinking deeply. We read the Lord’s Word, think about it, embrace it, live it. It’s a filling of the mind. The pagan view is about emptying the mind (though some people create their own version of the practice). A Buddhist or Hindu is “meditating” when chanting a mantra until an altered state is reached. And the result feels like some sort of connection to “the divine.” (Think of a drug high.)

Your article says: “Although meditation has its origins in Hinduism, we can view prayer as a kind of Christian meditation.” No. True, biblical meditation has its origin with the Lord Almighty. (And true meditation on the Bible, while legit, is not the same thing as true prayer.) Pagan meditation is manmade nothingness that has perverted the original. Though the article makes some true statements about meditation, the idea that paganism created legit spiritual practices that Christians should imitate is an unintended enticement for naïve people to look to Eastern religions for other “spiritual secrets.” (It would be more helpful for people to understand what paganism really is: with things like skull bowls, temple prostitutes, drinking of menstrual blood, burdensome karma …)

2—mindfulness. When the average person talks of being mindful in the Webster’s dictionary sense, it just means “being aware.” (As in: She was mindful of his allergies and prepared lunch accordingly.) The Eastern religion mindfulness isn’t that; it relates to detachment. The person is to be aware of his situation but without any emotion/evaluation of either righteousness or evil, or of any plan of action. Almost as if looking from a distance and not caring. (An Eastern religion guy on TV said Jesus on the cross pictures passion while the lotus position pictures detachment. And he indicated that detachment was superior.)

Your article says: “Jesus was also a huge proponent of mindfulness.” This makes it sound like what Jesus did matches what Buddhist mindfulness is. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Throughout the article is a jumble of Christian and pagan ways… and a lack of clarity about definitions.

The dark side is always trying to tangle or replace the true. Deuteronomy 12:30, 31 is super strong that paganism is “detestable” and we’re to be neither influenced by it nor imitate it. The Lord’s way is right and totally sufficient. And his way is not formulaic like sorcery (that is, doesn’t require “sacred” postures, formulaic breathing, etc.). Many other Scriptures could be cited about staying on track. For example, 1 Timothy 6:20, 21. Or Acts 20:27-31, which is Paul’s wild warning that even men within the church will distort the truth. My husband on his deathbed was reading the blood-curdling Ezekiel 8–10 (about Israel’s way-off-trackness). And my husband’s last words echoed what Ezekiel must have been feeling: “Love. God. More.”

If none of you were experts in Eastern religion before, it’s OK. Even though I’ve got some experience and speak the lingo, as it were, this new wave that began sneaking into Christian practice several years back slipped past me (how embarrassing!) because of the clever wording and the deliberate, secret changing of definitions. Added to the deception is the fact that multiple Christian books and famous ministers promote such things; that makes it seem uncool/old-fashioned not to get on board. I get it! The fact is, we may not be responsible for things we didn’t know. But now… now you do know.

There are several pieces on my site that relate to the general topic. To save your time, here’s a sort of crash course in just these few short items:

I truly hope my sincere intentions have come across, and I hope this info helps!


Tagged , , ,

1 thought on “Hindus Invented Meditation?

  1. What a concise and great explanation and comparison of these methods, Lynn! I am keeping this in order to share it with anyone who might need clarity about these things. I hope the leaders at pray.com responded well. I personally avoid all such sites because of all the mixture there is now. 🙁 God bless you …. Dianne in PA

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *