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  #46  
Old May 28, '07, 10:11 am
Ahimsa Ahimsa is offline
 
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Default Re: Catholic faith and yoga - Two views in the news

Actually, Jesus talks about Yoga in the New Testament. "Yoga" is cognate with the English word "Yoke", and means the same thing: "union". Thus, the Christian idea of "theosis", or "union with God by grace", can be seen as a Christian "Yoga".

Matthew 11:28-30 can then be read thus:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christ
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my Yoga upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my Yoga is easy and my burden is light.
Instead of "Hot Yoga", or "Power Yoga", what we have here is "Easy Yoga".
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  #47  
Old May 28, '07, 10:36 am
Bennie P Bennie P is offline
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Default Re: Catholic faith and yoga - Two views in the news

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarabande View Post
There are many different practices of Yoga, so you have to know which ones are harmless and "secular". Many classes are just offered as a physical exercise. I have taken a couple classes and use a tape at home that just focuses on the physical aspects of it. I don't think of anything when I'm doing it. I just do it for flexibility and physical strength. It's the same when I'm jogging or walking for exercise. The same kind of breathing, focus and concentration as well as when I used to take ballet.

I also understand concern that it could lead someone down the wrong path. If someone who is not confident or strong in her/his faith beliefs, attends a class that focuses on a more spiritual aspect of the exercise, then they probably should stop that class and go somewhere else that offers it solely as a physical exercise. In the two cities that I live close by to, classes are offered in almost any kind of Yoga, so you do have to know which ones are the secular ones mainly for physical health and which ones are the spiritual ones. You just have to be aware of it.

Regarding the articles. If the instructor was teaching it mainly as a physical exercise and stress it as mainly that, I find nothing wrong with it. It probably should have been held in different setting until the "chapel" was fully converted into a parish activity center. Since it was still considered a chapel, it probably shouldn't have been held there.

If the instructor was trying to sneak in eastern spiritual philosophies, then the Church should have something to be concerned about and should have stopped it.
OK, lets do a what if?.
One day after mass you are overheard by a group of young people talking to a friend about your yoga classes. Now one of the young people had been expirementing with Eastern Religions and had been trying to convince some of her/his friends about checking out a local class on yoga offered by some Hindu guru. As they walked out the Church, the one youth exclaims, "See I told it was cool, so and so is a leader in the parish and they do yoga, so why not us?' Then the next week, five of them sign up for the classes and within a year they all decide they don't need the Church anymore. Whose fault would it be?

Budhist and Hindus don't seperate the spiritual from the excercise, how is it as Westerners and Catholics do we think that we can?

Like I said earlier I'm glad we have Bishops that are willing to take a stand and try to give guidance to thier flocks.
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  #48  
Old May 28, '07, 11:21 am
Ahimsa Ahimsa is offline
 
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Default Re: Catholic faith and yoga - Two views in the news

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bennie P View Post
Then the next week, five of them sign up for the classes and within a year they all decide they don't need the Church anymore.
And a few years later, all five return to the Church, armed with a better, more mature, understanding of their own faith, and the faith of others.
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  #49  
Old May 28, '07, 11:21 am
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Default Re: Catholic faith and yoga - Two views in the news

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bennie P View Post
Budhist and Hindus don't seperate the spiritual from the excercise, how is it as Westerners and Catholics do we think that we can?
.
Because our spiritualty is based on Jesus Christ. We are Christians, not Buddhist or Hindu. We practice Christianity, as taught by the Catholic Church.

I fail to understand your problem with this?

Jim
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  #50  
Old May 28, '07, 1:22 pm
Bennie P Bennie P is offline
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Default Re: Catholic faith and yoga - Two views in the news

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Originally Posted by JimR-OCDS View Post
I fail to understand your problem with this?

Jim
I fail to understand what you have against Church teachings on the matter and why Catholics having the fullness of the faith in Christ need to look East instead to Rome? And using technics that originated with Budhism and Hindism, how can be they centered on Christ? And if there is anyway other Christians can misinterpret those technics as a go ahead to use the spirituality which those technics orginated, how someone cannot see the danger in that?

The Church went through a period where many searched outside Her teachings and it has had a terrible effect on the overall effectivness of evangalizing. How is the Church going to reach out to those outside of the Church if members of the faithful put a rubber stamp on teachings of other religions?

If you read the articles with an open mind, you should be able to see what was being taught was not just excercise. And even if you can, which I have doubts, are able to separate the different aspects of yoga it still has the potential to lead others into dangerous areas. Yoga was meant to be excercise to relax your mind and body inorder for you to do the spiritual excercises associated with the practice and I don't see those technics taught in the bible nor by the magesterium in Rome. JPII was a very active and sport mindied, but I never heard of him promoting yoga, but during his pontifcate warnings of Catholics using Eastern spiritual techincs were given.

If you can show me documents on the Vatican Web site that approves of yoga, then you may be able to change my ideas concerning it.

The Bishop of Venice is a good man and I hope we have more appointed to the empty Sees around the US and the rest of the world like him.

I appoligize if this upsets you, but I have seen too many people lead astray to agree with you.

To sum it up I leave you this quote by Thomas Merton, “to become as good a Buddhist as I can”

I have no more to say.
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  #51  
Old May 28, '07, 2:16 pm
JCPhoenix JCPhoenix is offline
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Default Re: Catholic faith and yoga - Two views in the news

I didn't see this addressed so please forgive me if I just missed it.

Centering Prayer and Contemplative Prayer are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS.

Centering Prayer seeks a certain experience and seeks to have CONTROL over that experience. It is not Catholic in any way, although Keating and Pennington try to dress it up as such. Centering prayer is about emptying oneself, and opening onself up and to seeking to transcend...it is a New Age pagan practice. Indeed, the evil one is very deceptive and likes to twist words to make it seem legitimate.



CONTEMPLATIVE Prayer, which was explained by St. John of the Cross and St. Therese of Avila, is a GIFT from God. We cannot bring ourselves there through any trite "mantras" or by trying to Christianize a process that is not Christian. It may also be known as "Infused" prayer. Prayer, by definition, is a conversation with God. The Rosary is known as a meditative prayer, which can lead to infused or contemplative prayer should God choose to carry the soul in that direction. "Distractions" in prayer can sometimes be the leading of the Holy Spirit, so it is not appropriate to empty one's mind when one is having an conversation with God. Do you empty your mind when you converse with your friends or your parents? Does your mind sometimes wander, and then ...oops! You remember someone who gave you a message for the person your speaking with.

That can be the action of the Holy Spirit in prayer. It is completely unChristian to seek to "empty" ourselves. We should pray for protection from USELESS distractions in prayer, however many times God brings things to mind for us in order to address them, heal the situation, provide the answer to an argment, etc.


Why, then, would people be seeking a cheap version of a "spiritual" experience marketed at times as "Contemplative Prayer"?

We have St. John of the Cross and St. Therese of Avila, CONFIRMED SAINTS and their instructions. Why would we seek out dissident theologians for their insights (or lack thereof?)

For more information, I do encourage everyone to read Fr. Thomas Dubay. He is not only a solid priest and prolific author, but he is Spiritual Director to true contemplatives, both men and women, in cloisters in monasteries.

There's your answer...follow the Holy Spirit, not the pagans.
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  #52  
Old May 28, '07, 3:23 pm
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JimR-OCDS JimR-OCDS is online now
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Default Re: Catholic faith and yoga - Two views in the news

Bennie P
Quote:
I fail to understand what you have against Church teachings on the matter and why Catholics having the fullness of the faith in Christ need to look East instead to Rome? .

I have nothing against what the Church actually teaches on this subject which is actually, nothing. The Church teaching which you continue to post all over the forum, has to do with New Ageism, not doing yoga for physical exercise.


Quote:
To sum it up I leave you this quote by Thomas Merton, “to become as good a Buddhist as I can”
As usually taken out of context. You'd have to read the book to understand what he was talking about.

Also, why do you attack people like Thomas Merton and Fr. Thomas Keating, when it was the Vatican who instructed the religious orders to dialog and learn about Eastern religions, and share what we have in common?

Jim
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  #53  
Old May 28, '07, 3:26 pm
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Default Re: Catholic faith and yoga - Two views in the news

JCPhoenixI didn't see this addressed so please forgive me if I just missed it.
Quote:
Centering Prayer seeks a certain experience and seeks to have CONTROL over that experience. It is not Catholic in any way, although Keating and Pennington try to dress it up as such. Centering prayer is about emptying oneself, and opening onself up and to seeking to transcend...it is a New Age pagan practice. Indeed, the evil one is very deceptive and likes to twist words to make it seem legitimate.
This is a distortion of what Centering Prayer is.

Go here and read what Fr Keating, one of the originators of CP, teaches about it. Its nothing what you're stating above.

Quote:
What Centering Prayer Is and Is Not
It is not a technique but a way of cultivating a relationship with God.

1. It is not a relaxation exercise but it may be refreshing.

2. It is not a form of self-hypnosis but a way to quiet the mind while maintaining its alertness.

3. It is not a charismatic gift but a path of transformation.

4. It is not a para-psychological experience but an exercise of faith, hope and selfless love.

5. It is not limited to the “felt” presence of God but is rather a deepening of faith in God’s abiding presence.

6.It is not reflective or spontaneous prayer, but simply resting in God.

http://www.centeringprayer.com/cntrgpryr.htm

BTW this is off topic, but I had to respond to the distortion outlined in this thread.


Jim
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  #54  
Old May 28, '07, 5:09 pm
dwc dwc is offline
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Default Re: Catholic faith and yoga - Two views in the news

Quote:
May I ask why those that are convinced that activities that have thier birth with Eastern Religions how are you able to see were the line between the activity and the spirtuality lies? And why the Church warns us to avoid mixing those practices with our Catholic faith? If there is no danger of crossing the line?
Well, because I have actually participated in and experienced the activity, and being an adult of normal intelligence, sound mind and proper Catholic education, I can discern whether I am having a religious or spiritual experience or whether I am just exercising. I am able to compare my yoga experience to my weight lifting experience, my kickboxing experience, my running experience, etc, and I am able to see that my yoga exercise inspires no more spiritual, meditative or emotional aspect than does any other type of exercise.

You keep going on about how the church warns against it ... yes, everyone agrees that it would be a bad idea for a Catholic to take part in the mystical, spiritual forms of yoga. That's what I believe the church is warning against. In fact, some yoginis would state that the type of yoga I engage in doesn't even count as yoga because the spiritual aspects are removed. Whatever.
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  #55  
Old May 28, '07, 7:14 pm
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Sarabande Sarabande is offline
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Default Re: Catholic faith and yoga - Two views in the news

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bennie P View Post
OK, lets do a what if?.
One day after mass you are overheard by a group of young people talking to a friend about your yoga classes. Now one of the young people had been expirementing with Eastern Religions and had been trying to convince some of her/his friends about checking out a local class on yoga offered by some Hindu guru. As they walked out the Church, the one youth exclaims, "See I told it was cool, so and so is a leader in the parish and they do yoga, so why not us?' Then the next week, five of them sign up for the classes and within a year they all decide they don't need the Church anymore. Whose fault would it be?
Hypothetically, it could probably happen, but in reality (at least with me) this is not a subject I would even talk about after church with anyone. The form of yoga that I have done is just an exercise. Why in the world would I be talking to someone else after mass about that anyway? I might say to my parents and grandmother, "Hi Grandmom! How are you? Are you staying for dinner?" or "Father, thank you so much for your homily." (We fortunately have very good priests who give great homilies most of the time.) Anyway, that's the extent of conversation after mass for me, so that what-if wouldn't even occur with me. I don't even talk about my exercise routines with anyone else. I can count on one hand the number of people I've actually told people in person that I have done yoga. I don't even work it out all the time. My major form of exercise is actually hiking or walking. This is also the first time I've even discussed it on a forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bennie P View Post
Budhist and Hindus don't seperate the spiritual from the excercise, how is it as Westerners and Catholics do we think that we can?
Well, as someone else mentioned, I'm not Hindu or Budhist. I'm a Christian. I don't pray the same way as them. Their way of prayer is foreign to me, even though I do know a little about it and I'm not interested in practicing it. I'm very strong in my faith and spirituality as a Catholic and I think I'm smart enough to know when I'm engaging in something wrong or starting to engage in something that is contradictory. Also, I know someone who is a practicing Hindu, and she has told me that the yoga I exercise isn't even "real" yoga. It's apparently "fake" because it has nothing to do with a spiritual way of life. It's just all about the physical exercise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bennie P View Post
Like I said earlier I'm glad we have Bishops that are willing to take a stand and try to give guidance to thier flocks.
As I have said in my previous post, I do not have anything against the Bishop or the Church warning against following different spiritual practices or certain kinds of yoga which focus on eastern spirituality. It's their responsibility to make sure that Her flock is going the right direction. I'm not in disagreement at all about what you say regarding that. What I also said in my previous post is that one should be aware of the different kinds of yoga before partaking in it so that they wouldn't be engaging in anything contradictory to Catholic teaching. And if I did find out that my church had someone teaching yoga with eastern spirituality, then I'd be right there with the Bishop trying to put a stop to it. So, I think we are on the same page here.
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  #56  
Old Jul 16, '07, 3:28 pm
Cephas1229 Cephas1229 is offline
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Default Re: Catholic faith and yoga - Two views in the news

I'm in agreement with BennieP on this one. I have read a great deal on Yoga and Catholicism. The most balanced view that I read said that if it is approached merely as exercise, it still should be approached with caution. It is based in things Hindu. There are many ways to exercise, and there is no need to go to something like Yoga. Many people say that you can divorce the religion from the exercise, but one is based on the other. There are a few good articles on this site that give very good reasons for steering clear of Yoga.

http://prayeroffire.blogspot.com/
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  #57  
Old Jul 17, '07, 8:30 am
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Default Re: Catholic faith and yoga - Two views in the news

OK, I have come to understand the problem. In fact, I just recently read an article in a Catholic Publicantion(sorry I don't rememer the name) on the issue.

Anyway, essentially what the article said made all the sense in the world to me, and why this thread has caused so much debate, and I'm one who is part of the blame here.

First off, "yoga," as many of us Catholics know it, is not probably "yoga" by definition. Its exercise. In fact, the article points out that if you take a yoga class at a YMCA, or from a TV or video program, you are most likely not doing "yoga," that is known as "yoga," in the "yoga" world. You're doing exercise and that's it. In true "yoga," the spiritual and the physical are melded together and they can not be separated, and still be considered "yoga."

So, what we Catholics are doing, is exercise that looks like exercise done in yoga, but is missing much of what true practitioners of yoga, do.


Jim
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  #58  
Old Jul 17, '07, 8:36 am
rlg94086 rlg94086 is offline
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Default Re: Catholic faith and yoga - Two views in the news

Absolutely. No argument here...except...

The point of approaching it with "caution," as I and others have pointed out, is that taking "yoga," even if it is just the exercise form, can lead someone to seek a deeper understanding of yoga. This will lead them to the spiritual path. That's all.

As has been mentioned, there are plenty of other exercise programs that incorporate yoga moves/stretches into them, such as Pilates. It just makes more sense to offer something that is further away from yoga, if you are going to have it at a Church...especially in a former (not totally converted) chapel - was that this thread, or another thread?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimR-OCDS View Post
OK, I have come to understand the problem. In fact, I just recently read an article in a Catholic Publicantion(sorry I don't rememer the name) on the issue.

Anyway, essentially what the article said made all the sense in the world to me, and why this thread has caused so much debate, and I'm one who is part of the blame here.

First off, "yoga," as many of us Catholics know it, is not probably "yoga" by definition. Its exercise. In fact, the article points out that if you take a yoga class at a YMCA, or from a TV or video program, you are most likely not doing "yoga," that is known as "yoga," in the "yoga" world. You're doing exercise and that's it. In true "yoga," the spiritual and the physical are melded together and they can not be separated, and still be considered "yoga."

So, what we Catholics are doing, is exercise that looks like exercise done in yoga, but is missing much of what true practitioners of yoga, do.


Jim
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  #59  
Old Aug 17, '07, 8:19 am
Bennie P Bennie P is offline
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Default Re: Catholic faith and yoga - Two views in the news

A view from our Orthodox Brethren in the East

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Anyone who understands the nature of prelest or spiritual deception will recognize in this description of "Christian Yoga" precisely the characteristics of those who have gone spiritually astray, whether into pagan religious experiences or sectarian "Christian" experiences. The same striving for "holy and divine feelings," the same openness and willingness to be "seized" by a spirit, the same seeking not for God but for "spiritual consolations," the same self-intoxication which is mistaken for a "state of grace," the same incredible ease with which one becomes "contemplative" or "mystical," the same "mystical revelations" and pseudospiritual states. These are the common characteristics of all who are in this particular state of spiritual deception. But the author of Christian Yoga, being a Benedictine monk, adds some particular "meditations" which reveal him as fully in the spirit of the Roman Catholic "meditation" of recent centuries, with its free play of fantasies on Christian themes.
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  #60  
Old Aug 17, '07, 10:39 am
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Default Re: Catholic faith and yoga - Two views in the news

[quote=Bennie P;2595176]A view from our Orthodox Brethren in the East


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Originally Posted by Bennie P View Post
A view from our Orthodox Brethren in the East

There are many different styles of Yoga, some are based on Hindu spiritualism, some are not based on anything other than physical exercise. The author, not only doesn't make the distinction of what style of yoga he's talking about, but calls it Hindu Yoga, which is a misnomer, because there are many different sects of Hinduism and far more different styles of yoga.

For Americans, most of us take a yoga class from the YMCA, or from a video, or even from the latest PBS series, "Yoga for the Back." These are nothing more than physical exercises and have nothing to do with Hindu mysticism or spirituality. The exercises have great physical benefits and Catholics should not be afraid of doing this form of exercise.


Jim
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