Recently, Loma Linda University published an article on the news section of their website entitled: Mindfulness and meditation: Key to a healthier brain and body. This begs the question what is “Mindfulness” and should it be included in our unique SDA health message?
Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one's attention to experiences occurring in the present moment, which can be developed through the practice of meditation and other training. The term "mindfulness” correlates with the Pali term sati, which is a significant element of Buddhist traditions. In Buddhist teachings, mindfulness is utilized to develop self-knowledge and wisdom that gradually lead to what is described as enlightenment or the complete freedom from suffering. The recent popularity of mindfulness in the modern context is generally considered to have been initiated by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn is attributed as the developer/founder of Mindfulness. Kabat-Zinn not only practiced but taught Hatha Yoga and studied meditation with renowned Buddhist and Zen masters. He was a student of Buddhist teachers including Thich Nhat Hanh and Zen Master Seung Sahn, a founding member of Cambridge Zen Center. His practice of yoga and studies with Buddhist teachers led him to integrate their teachings with those of science.
In Kabat-Zinn’s own words,
“For a number of years in the late 1970s, Larry Rosenberg and I taught back-to-back evening classes in a church in Harvard Square. He would teach vipassana meditation (a Buddhist practice of mindfulness), and I followed with mindful hatha yoga.”
Both Yoga and Buddhist meditators experience “Samadhi”, which is described as the discovering of the union with “God” already vested from birth. This experience is “arrived at by inference” as the sensing of their “I-Am-Ness”, when one is, in a moment, both the “Highest, Lord of Reality” and also the lowest of being. In the Yoga tradition, this is the eighth, final limb and the ultimate destination of Yoga. Samadhi is the realization of the true Self, or Atman (the in-born, inner divine in all man), and unity with Brahman (God, the Hindu Concept of Ultimate Reality). The foundation of this spiritualism is found in the Serpent’s seductive lie in Eden to humanity, “ye shall not surely die“, “ ye shall be as gods.” Virtually all forms of eastern meditation including Zen and Yoga are built upon the lie of the immortal soul as the “bridge of love” given by God, which is the Divinity within each person from conception. Eastern meditation and Yoga are the methods by which this “immortal divine” is to be discovered, thus these spiritualistic practices turn the Serpent’s lie into experiential “truth”.
When Dr Andrew Newberg, the leading researcher of neural phenomena associated with meditation, scanned the brains of nuns and Buddhists undergoing mystical experiences, they reported feelings of timelessness, spacelessness, and self-transcendence. Newberg believes a cause of these feelings is the reduced activity he saw in their parietal lobes, the orientation area of the brain responsible for perceiving three-dimensional objects in space. A meditator may experience a sense of oneness with all living things or unity because the reduced activity blurs the perceived lines between the meditator and other objects--source. It is from this neural phenomena that meditators draw and infer their panentheistic beliefs and worldview.
Other neuroscientific research reveal neural inducements which usher meditators into increasingly more meditation leading to reduced activity of the parietal lobe. This leads to:
1] More sleep waves (alpha and theta) than alert fast beta waves, hence tranquility
2] More endogenous dopamine in the brain, hence addiction to meditation
3] Calmed amygdala, hence bliss
4] Reduced cerebral blood flow to the frontal cortex, hence sleep-like relaxation
The meditative processes that initiate the above experiences are many, but their singular objective is to empty the mind to achieve “silence” and “nothingness” through mantras, breath, meditating on the flame of a candle, a spot of light, etc. All of this narrows one’s attention to virtually nothing to the exclusion of everything else with the result that the frontal lobe is denied and starved of all incoming information. This deprivation takes the frontal lobe offline and the parietal lobe is deactivated.
Columbia University reports that in successful hypnosis, subjects have their anterior cingulate cortex (their will) and lateral frontal cortex (their reality) de-coupled. When the frontal lobe is taken offline in meditation, both the will and reality functions in the frontal lobe are also deactivated. Many scientists state that meditation is self-hypnosis. The suggestions inferred in meditative self-hypnosis are the many versions of the panentheistic worldview, which include: Nirvana (Hinduism/Yoga), Liberation (Buddhism), and being in the Presence of God, or union with God (Christian).
The “union” with “God” offered by Yoga, Zen, and other mystical forms of eastern meditational are not just theological or conceptual constructs, but neurally experiential. Neuroscience reveals that the collective impact of many unnatural brain phenomena, for example, the deactivation of the parietal lobe (per Newberg), alters the mind with mystical “experiences” which causes the meditator to “derive, sense or infer” that in one moment he is EVERYTHING, THE ULTIMATE REALITY OF BEING GOD AND MAN. This is the stuff of pantheism and extreme panentheism, where “God” so saturates and penetrates everything in His creation that He is embodied in the substance of all things, nothing excluded, and hence the lie that “God” is in every man from birth is experienced and inferred.
The lie of the immortal soul has become the common denominator of virtually all religions. Eastern meditative and mystical Christian contemplation has historically penetrated past the obstacles of time, diverse geography, language, and barriers of religious dogma, and through altered-reality, the mind is induced to INFER the discovery of in-born divinity.
The big question is: “Can Mindfulness, which uses identical meditative techniques of Zen and Yoga, thus bringing with it the same neural phenomena that infers the in-born inner divinity akin to the seductive lie of the immortal soul, strip away these deceptively dangerous occurrences in the mind for a healthier brain and body--as suggested by Loma Linda Health News?”
In The Tree of Yoga, Iyengar (a renowned master Yogi) puts forward a developmental model, according to which, ‘the mastery of asanas (physical posture) and pranayama [breathing exercises] leads automatically towards concentration and meditation’ (1988: 8, as quoted in De Michelis 2004: 242). Equally, samadhi (union with “God” ), the ultimate state of liberation that can be achieved through yoga, is considered by Iyengar to be an ‘effect’ (by automatic sensory inference) of asana (physical posture) practice (1988: 8, as quoted in De Michelis 2004: 242).
Silvia Prescott, a senior yoga teacher, argues that if the teacher gives ‘“spiritual teaching” people can delude themselves and almost hypnotize themselves into thinking they’re having a spiritual experience. Whereas if [the teacher] leaves it undefined they’ll find something real for themselves – they won’t put it in terms somebody else has given them’ (Maimaris 2006: 28). Prescott’s opinion reveals two important notions that underlie the practice of modern postural Yoga. First of all, the practice favours personal experience over dogmatic tenets, and second, it demonstrates a belief in the person’s ability to attain spirituality by herself, that is without any form of spiritual guidance and outside, or independently of, a particular group and environment. Modern postural yoga, therefore, is vehemently presented as a form of spiritual practice, but spirituality is left undefined with equal fervour.
Hence, according to Iyengar and Silvia Prescott, yoga, or any other psychophysical discipline which engages the body, have cognitive, mental, and emotional implications and have a spiritual character. In fact, these seemingly physical practices from which Mindfulness is derived, prepare, induce and lead automatically towards meditation (7th limb of Yoga), which, through sensory phenomena, lead to union with “God” (the 8th and final limb of Yoga).
Christianity and most religions, along with Yoga and Zen, accept the wholistic unity of the physical, mental, and spiritual as central to their belief. But Christians who want to do Yoga will insist that they can compartmentalize their being and perform just the physical part of yoga, erasing the fundamentals of their own renowned Yoga masters and their own Christianity.
Mindfulness is derived from Hinduism’s panentheistic Yoga and Buddhism’s pantheistic Zen. “Pan” means “all”, “theism” means “God” and “en” means within. In summary they mean virtually the same thing – All is God, and God in all.
Professor Carsten Johnsen states - “Now, what all those pan-isms (pantheism, panentheism) actually say is very much the same thing. It could be epitomized in one sentence once more: "It makes no virtual difference." What makes no difference? "It makes no difference whether or not there is sin in your life." Why does that make no difference? "Because with God and with the entire material world nothing makes any difference. For God is the world, and the world is God. The holy is profane and the profane is holy. It is all one huge mass (or mess). There is no distinction anywhere worth mentioning…“
“So just as the holiness of the Sabbath has automatically 'spilt over' into all the other days, so God's general holiness has 'spilt over' into the material world, making it all 'holy.' Hence sin and profanity are non existent. Personal responsibility and personal guilt are evils of a diseased imagination. Such taboos have been luckily overcome in the blessed kingdom of pan-holy-ism."! This is largely the message all varieties of the "all-god" theory endeavor to inculcate on our minds. Small wonder that it was Seventh-day Adventism that was destined to unmask the bastard daughters of spiritualism as they had never been unmasked before.” - To read more of Professor Carsten's seminal work, view the pdf.
Admittedly, a few minutes of Mindfulness is just “Meditation Lite”,… but it’s the sweet end, the entering wedge, the beginning of the slippery slope. Shamefully, it is Loma Linda Health News that offers “Mindfulness and meditation as the key to a healthier brain and body”, when it is in fact the key to pantheistic Spiritualism’s overmastering deception.
Seventh-day Adventism has had the experience of defeating the pantheism of Dr Kellogg’s alpha heresy in the late 1800s and we shall surely have the privilege of defeating the omega heresy of the end-time. Let Professor Johnsen’s expectation also ring true, that it will be “Seventh-day Adventism that was destined to unmask the bastard daughters of spiritualism as they had never been unmasked before.”
Kok Tho ( Mr) Yip ( email@example.com) is a SDA international speaker and researcher of eastern meditation and their Christianized hybrids. He has spoken at Dr Nedley's EQ Summit, 3ABN Australia and 3ABN USA and plans to be in US again next year, June to Aug 2019. Visit his website Meditation-mindyourbrain.com.