FR JOE PEREIRA-KRIPA FOUNDATION-WORLD COMMUNITY FOR CHRISTIAN MEDITATION: PART 3



NEW WEBSITE: www.ephesians-511.net OCTOBER 2005/SEP 2007/AUGUST 2009/JULY/OCT 2012

 

CONTINUED FROM

 

FR JOE PEREIRA-KRIPA FOUNDATION-WORLD COMMUNITY FOR CHRISTIAN MEDITATION: PART 1

 

FR JOE PEREIRA-KRIPA FOUNDATION-WORLD COMMUNITY FOR CHRISTIAN MEDITATION: PART 2

 

    
 

NEW AGE:FR.JOE PEREIRA,KRIPA FOUNDATION,

HEADQUARTERS: MOUNT CARMEL CHURCH, BANDRA, BOMBAY CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE.

IMPORTANT SUB-CENTRES: VASAI DIOCESE AND [ANJUNA AND MAPUSA] GOA CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE

ALSO OPERATING IN BAREILLY, BARODA, DARJEELING, KOHIMA, MANGALORE AND PUNE CATHOLIC DIOCESES,

AND IN CALCUTTA, DELHI, GUWAHATI, IMPHAL, RANCHI AND SHILLONG CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESES

And more INSTITUTIONALISED NEW AGE: The WCCM,

THE WORLD COMMUNITY FOR CHRISTIAN MEDITATION

 

NOTE: SEE INDEX [LIST OF CONTENTS] ON PAGE NUMBERED AS 106*

INTRODUCTION: This report on KRIPA Foundation and Fr. Joe Pereira was prepared in three stages. At first, it was the last ten pages in the ninety-six page New Age in the Catholic Ashrams report published in October 2005.

The report is at
http://ephesians-511.net/articles_doc/CATHOLIC%20ASHRAMS.doc

The Kripa report was updated in September 2007, but not published, and the current updating was done again in May 2009.

After my visit to some Catholic Ashrams, I could boldly accuse the movement of “New Age, heresy, blasphemy and sacrilege”. In that initial report, I showed that Kripa Foundation is loosely linked with the Ashrams movement.

The initial report provided enough evidence that Kripa Foundation is New Age, no matter that its founder is a priest of the Archdiocese of Bombay. The Catholic Ashrams report with the Kripa report appended to it was sent to most of the Bishops who possess email ids, commencing the first week of October 2005. To a number of them it was sent twice, even thrice. To the Cardinals and some Bishops and the Nuncio, a hardcopy was posted, again twice in a few cases including the Nuncio.

The list of Bishops and Commissions who did not even acknowledge receipt is too lengthy to reproduce. About 40 did.

The Apostolic Nuncio to India, who asked for the report as early as January 2005 in response to my pilot letter informing him about the problems at the Ashrams, has steadfastly refused to acknowledge receipt of it despite 10 reminders and follow-ups. The office of Cardinal Toppo of Ranchi finally acknowledged receipt only after the 10th reminder.

The offices of Cardinals Toppo and Vithayathil assured this ministry that the Cardinals were not in India and that the report would be placed before the Cardinals on their return. The third Cardinal, Ivan Dias, like the other two, did not respond.

Even among the many Bishops’ reponses, there was no firm commitment to do anything about the very serious issues that I brought to their notice. Some of the assurance turned out to be empty promises. As time passed, the report has been completely forgotten and I have watched the Catholic Ashrams continue their campaign to destroy the Church from within.

A follow-up report on the Catholic Ashrams movement is under preparation.

I have also watched Kripa Foundation and Fr. Joe Pereira grow from strength to strength, receiving prestigious Church as well as National awards, enjoying the patronage of more Archbishops and Bishops, and expanding their operations into new archdioceses and dioceses. It is well known that this priest and his Foundation have received the equivalent of crores of rupees in aids and grants from foreign associates. Money and power buy silence and compromise. It cannot be disputed that Kripa Foundation is doing a great humanitarian service “weaning people away from chemical dependency on alcohol, tobacco and other narcotics, and rehabilitating people affected with HIV and AIDS”. But does the end justify the means?

This priest is the diehard devotee of a Hindu yogi who practices the occult forms of Kundalini and Tantra Yoga. What the disciple learned from his guru and Master, philosophically and practically, he teaches and applies in his programmes.

The priest admits that he “follows the 8-fold path set down in the yoga sutra of Patanjali.”

I have completed two intensively researched reports of around 100 pages each that show conclusively that yoga is a Hindu religious practice and there can be no “Christian yoga”. See:
http://www.ephesians-511.net/documents/YOGA.doc and http://www.ephesians-511.net/documents/SURYA NAMASKAR AND YOGA.doc.

As if the above were not serious enough, “Kripa blends Western techniques [not only] with Indian yoga, [but also with] Buddhist vipassana meditation, Chinese Tai Chi martial arts and Japanese Shiatsu massage”.

There is also another “blend with Western techniques”. Kripa has linked with the WCCM or World Community for Christian Meditation, London-based, founded by two Benedictine priests, the late John Main and the current head, Laurence Freeman.

*NOTE: THIS PAGE IS NOT NUMBERED. THE NUMBERING COMMENCES FROM THE FOLLOWING PAGE WHICH IS PAGE 1

 

 

 

In this report, I provide ample evidence that the “Christian Meditation” that they promote is not really Christian at all.

They use a “mantra”-based meditation technique which was taught by a Hindu Swami to Fr. John Main OSB. They also incorporate the enneagram personality-typing tool which the Vatican has warned Catholics about in a Document.

The WCCM website FAQ admits that there is an “essential harmony” between Centering Prayer and their “Christian Meditation”. Centering Prayer is not Christian. They hold joint seminars and workshops with New Age personalities who use “tai chi, chi gung and Iyengar yoga”. Theirs is an “ecumenical” meditation, Fr. Freeman finally admits, pages 61- 63, 90.

Kripa Foundation advertises itself as
a project of the Catholic Archdiocese of Bombay. His Eminence, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Mumbai, heads its Board of Trustees. Fr. Joe states that Mumbai’s Cardinal Ivan Dias, who was in 2006 appointed Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelization of People, strongly backs him. Thomas Dabre, Bishop of Vasai and Chairman, Doctrinal Commission of the CBCI blessed the Kripa Vasai centre. He felicitated the priest at a special Holy Mass on April 2, 2009. Bombay Bishops Agnelo Gracias and Bosco Penha celebrate Masses for the WCCM.

And, The Examiner, the Archdiocesan weekly is a platform for the promotion of both the WCCM and Kripa Foundation.

 

PART 3

 

 

MORE ON THE WORLD COMMUNITY FOR CHRISTIAN MEDITATION

1. CHRISTIANS AND BUDDHISTS FROM FIVE CONTINENTS MEDITATE TOGETHER

http://www.ucanews.com/search/show.php?q=yoga&page=archives/english/1990/05/w4/tue/th0291.txt 22 May 1990

UCAN
BANGKOK Sixty-two Christians and Buddhists from African, American, Asian, Australian and European countries joined in a silent meditation retreat at the Suan Mokkh Buddhist sanctuary in Chaiya, southwest of Bangkok. The April 21-28 retreat was organized by Benedictine Father Lawrence Freeman of the Benedictine Priory in Montreal, Canada, and the Venerable Santikaro Bhikkhu of Suan Mokkh.

Exercises included meditation sessions, Masses, instruction and discussion on meditation, yoga and two talks each day — one from a Christian and the other from a Buddhist perspective.

Jesuit Father Vichai Phokothave from Xavier Hall Catholic Student Center in Bangkok, one of five priests attending, said, “Ordinary people, who care about the world, their loved ones, humanity, themselves and truth, have been asking more of religion than ever before. The challenge is immense.” To meet it, Father Freeman said, “Many see that we must go to the source of religion, whatever tradition each of us may follow; hence meditation.” Doctrine, ritual have their role but … no more powerful and meaningful means to dialogue than to sit in silent meditation together has been found.”

2. CHRISTIAN CONTEMPLATIVES FINDING SPIRITUAL TREASURES IN ASIA

http://www.ucanews.com/search/show.php?q=yoga&page=archives/english/1992/11/w2/mon/as6062.txt 09 Nov 1992

UCAN
TAGAYTAY CITY, Philippines “Silence will be the language of the next century and meditation is learning this language.” Sacred Heart Sister Vandana Mataji from India made the statement as the five-day First Asian Conference on Contemplative Christianity ended Nov. 3 in Tagaytay City, 60 kilometers south of Manila. “If we are to have peace in the world it must start with religions,” Sister Vandana said. “Religions divide, spirituality unites. If meditators do not bring peace to the world, who will do it?”

She said Asia is the continent of the third millennium and it is fitting to hold a conference on Christian meditation in the Philippines, the only predominantly Catholic country in Asia. About 200 participants from Australia, Canada, England, Hong Kong, India, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the United States joined the conference which explored the spiritual needs of modern people in light of a Christian contemplative tradition.

The Manila chapter of the World Community for Christian Meditation sponsored the conference. The meditation community is a London-based network with 700 meditation groups in 30 countries and 16 meditation centers worldwide.

Benedictine Father Laurence Freeman, who heads the meditation community, opened the conference by stressing that meditation is a response to the timeless experience of God although it is conditioned by culture and history. “The interest in meditation is a remarkable phenomenon today in Australia, Europe, and North America,” said Canadian Paul Harris, an authority on the late Benedictine Father John Main, founder of the worldwide meditation network. “The tragedy is that Western people are going to Eastern gurus for something that is already part of the Christian tradition,” Harris said.

Jesuit Father William Johnston, former director of the Institute of Oriental Studies at Sophia University in Japan, said, “Christianity is now facing Asia and finding tremendous treasures there. “Just as when the early Church dialogued with the Greek world something new was born,” he said, “the same is happening now in the dialogue with Asia and with modern science.” Father Johnston, an Irish-American, is known as an expert on relations between
Zen meditation
and the Church. He spoke of the rediscovery of the body as important in Christian prayer. “From the spirituality of China and Japan, we can discern ascetical practices that are designed not to punish but to harmonize and fulfill body, mind and spirit,” he said.

The conference included workshops on Christian Zen, Muslims and Christians, yoga, and Filipino roots of contemplative prayer.

Redemptorist Father Gerry Pierse, who led a workshop on “Culture and Meditation,” said that “In mainland Asia, when you are in silence you are with nature and with God.” “Silent prayer is necessary to experience that God need not be feared,” said Father Pierse, parish priest at Dumaguete City, 625 kilometers southeast of Manila. He said meditation is a logical follow up on the Basic Ecclesial Community movement in the Philippines.

A “statement of vision” issued after the conference said meditation leads to maturity and wholeness for the individual that can “lead us to a deeper and more inclusive Christian community.” Meditation can open hearts to the suffering of the poor, and uprooting the causes of injustice is “a fruit of full Christian maturity,” the statement said. Meditation also leads to individual and social healing, and can be a bridge to other religions, the statement said

3. CHILDREN TAP INTO DIVINE CONSCIOUSNESS, MEDITATION GURU SAYS
April 30, 2007
http://www.cathnews.com/news/704/142.php
Children live in states of divine consciousness and bliss and should be taught meditation from as early as five, visiting Benedictine monk Fr Laurence Freeman says – and teachers confirm that the practice reduces aggression among students. Schoolchildren should be taught the ancient spiritual practice of meditation alongside religious doctrine, Fr Freeman told the Sydney Morning Herald during a visit to Sydney.
Meditation is one way to tap into children’s innate sense of the divine and could lay the spiritual foundations for an enduring religious life that outlasts parent-organised Sunday worship, Fr Freeman said.
For the past 20 years the World Movement for Christian Meditation, of which Fr Freeman is founder, has been bringing the contemplative experience out of the monasteries into the wider community.
Fr Freeman calls his ecumenical movement a monastery without walls, and its growth has been particularly strong among Christians in Australia, where there are now more than 335 meditation groups, said to be the largest number per capita in the world. Now this visiting British Benedictine monk wants to introduce it to children, who, he says, are particularly receptive to meditative practices. 61.

 

“I remember as a child of three or four waking up in bed and I was filled with the most exciting, overwhelming and frightening degree of love and joy. I didn’t know what it was and ran into the sitting room and threw myself into my mother’s lap. Children live in states of divine consciousness and bliss … We shouldn’t be surprised when children give up on God in adolescence because the religion doesn’t bear much similarity to their experience. If relationships are only based on Sunday churchgoing and don’t have a deeper experiential level, then the children as young adults will lose the connection.”
Meditation has already been tried in Catholic schools in Townsville. So successful was the pilot project that mandatory meditation classes have been introduced to all 31 schools in the diocese, and the program is being used as a model for other dioceses.
Ernie Christie, the deputy director of Townsville’s Catholic Education Office, said meditation was taught as prayer three times a week from kindergarten to year 12. Sessions are accompanied by gentle music and a candle. “It’s a skilled discipline, and the earlier we get them the more they see it is a natural part of their being. Anecdotally, the feedback has been nothing but positive. The kids are calmer, more open to doing school work, and in secondary school they are asking to do meditation sessions prior to exam time. The teachers are saying kids are not as aggressive after meditation. There has not been one negative comment from any of our parents across all our 31 schools, and that’s remarkable.”
MY COMMENTS:

1.Kripa plans to take its message to schools through meditation and yoga,” see pages 13, 20, 22. Well, the WCCM has already done that in Australia. When will your child be exposed to New Age though Kripa and the WCCM?

2. Fr. Laurence Freeman admits that his “Christian Meditation” is really an inclusive “ecumenical movement“. In other words, it is meant to attract participants of other faiths such as Hinduism and Buddhism. That can be the case only if the meditation is not truly “Christian” in nature. If it were, it would be exclusive of non-Christian meditators. [pages 39, 53, 60]

3. If already “children live in states of divine consciousness and bliss” according to Fr. Freeman, why should they “be taught meditation“? I thought they maintained that “Christian Meditation” was meant “to achieve liberation of self and union with a higher power through intense concentration” [page 1], “opening up pathways to those parts of the brain that deal with spirituality” [pages 3, 15] for those who found it difficult to connect with the “God of one’s understanding or the Higher Power“? [pages 17, 57]

4. I see here, once again, a subtle attack on the centrality of the Eucharist, in Fr. Freeman’s claim that a training in his “Christian Meditation” would “outlast parent-organised Sunday worship“. See pages 16, 47, 48, 71, 72, 102-103.

5. “Religions divide, spirituality unites.A seemingly innocuous statement from Vandana Mataji at the WCCM Manila Conference.
But it is loaded with New Age. New Age is about “spirituality”. New Age abhors “religion, organized, ritualized religion. I have discussed this issue in my Catholic Ashrams report. The Eucharist is “religious”. It divides, separates, non-Catholics cannot participate in it, receiving Holy Communion. Meditation on the other hand is “spiritual” and inclusive. Anyone can meditate, praying to a God of their understanding or choosing a mantra from their own religious tradition. So, according to Fr. Laurence Freeman of the WCCM, Fr. Joe Pereira of Kripa and all ashramite leaders like Vandana Mataji, meditation unites. So, meditation is their preferred choice. And, we have seen that WCCM’s inclusive “Christian Meditation” accommodates Zen, which really is Buddhist and not Christian in the least, Hindu yoga, Tai Chi, etc. “Christian Meditation” is syncretism at its best.

6. “Christian Meditation” is inter-faith dialogue. The venue, therefore, can even be a Buddhist temple. What better way to dialogue than to sit in silent meditation, says Fr. Freeman. And I thought that his meditation, as taught by Fr. Joe Pereira, was to connect with a “higher power, evidently God”? Can we be clear? Are we talking to God or to one another?

7. Who is Paul Harris? In this report, he is mentioned on page 61 in the UCAN report on the WCCM’s First Asian Conference, and on page 44, we see that The Examiner of October 20, 2007 publishes his article “The Meditation Saga of John Main”
in which he eulogises the inventor of “Christian Meditation” and also the enneagram propagator Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM who himself had his article published in The Examiner, December 17, 2005.

Paul Harris is the editor of John Main by Those Who Knew Him, which is available from: John Main Centre, PO Box 56131, Ottawa, Ontario K1R 7ZO, Canada. He also edited Silence and Stillness in Every Season: Daily Readings with John Main. Continuum, 1998. Below, we have Paul Harris defending John Main’s “Christian Meditation”, pages 66, 67.

I copy here a rather long [pages 62 through 69] discussion on John Main’s “Christian Meditation”:

 

CRITICAL QUESTIONS IN CHRISTIAN CONTEMPLATIVE PRACTICE: WCCM

http://www.innerexplorations.com/catchspmys/Critical.htm

Edited by James Arraj and Philip St. Romain

The material here came originally from www.shalomplace.com and www.innerexplorations.com  
PART I: Renewing the Christian Contemplative Life  

Chapter 1. John Main’s Christian Meditation

http://www.innerexplorations.com/catchspmys/Critical_1.htm or http://www.innerexplorations.com/chmystext/john.htm

Phil St. Romain: John Main OSB (1926-1982) was a Catholic priest whose travels took him to Malaysia, where he met Swami Satyananda who taught him a simple method of meditation using a mantra (a word or phrase repeated in the mind). He began to use this method in his own spiritual practice, using the phrase maranatha (Aramaic for “Come, Lord”) and meditating with it for two 30-minute periods each day. He found deep peace and awareness from this discipline and was eventually led to embrace the contemplative life of a Benedictine monk.

62.

 

When he described his practice and how he had learned of it to his novice master, he was ordered to stop doing it.

He complied, but found the more traditional, intellectual forms of meditation emphasized in the Church to be unsatisfying.

During the course of his later studies of the Christian mystical tradition, he came upon the writings of John Cassian, whom he found to be teaching a meditation form similar to what he had learned from Swami Satyananda. He resumed his meditation practice and, around 1976, began to teach the method to others. The method is simple:

“Sit down. Sit still. Close your eyes lightly. Sit relaxed but alert. Silently, interiorly begin to say a single word (“maranatha” is recommended.) Recite it as four syllables of equal length. Listen to it as you say it, gently but continuously. Do not think or imagine anything — spiritual or otherwise. If thoughts or images come, these are distractions at the time of meditation, so keep returning to the simple work of saying the word. Meditate each morning and evening between twenty and thirty minutes.” (Light Within: The Inner Path of Meditation. Laurence Freeman. 1987. NY: Crossroad, p. xii.)

In 1991, The World Community for Christian Meditation was founded to continue the work of Fr. Main. Directed by Laurence Freeman OSB, the WCCM sponsors seminars and retreats to teach John Main’s Christian Meditation throughout the world.

Questions from James Arraj, Editor, Christian Prayer and Contemplation Forum arraj@innerexplorations.com

The Christian Meditation movement, begun by John Main, OSB, is spreading around the world and doing great good by introducing people to the life of prayer.

In the spirit of gentle inquiry, however, it is possible to address some questions to its practitioners in the hope that any ensuing dialogue would only strengthen this movement.

1a. John Main learned to meditate using a mantra from his Hindu teacher, but what goal was his teacher aiming at? Was it the same goal as that of the Christian life of prayer?

b. If not, does this mantra meditation become Christian just because a Christian uses it?

c. Did John Main consider this mantra meditation of his teacher identical with the teaching of John Cassian, and The Cloud of Unknowing?

2a. In the terminology of John of the Cross, is this mantra meditation meditation or contemplation?

b. If it is meditation, why does John Main seem to insist that we must continue using the mantra?

c. What happens when we reach a point when meditation begins to fail?

d. Can this insistence on the mantra be reconciled with the teaching of centering prayer?

e. If this mantra prayer is a very simple form of meditation, should beginners be introduced to it indiscriminately before they have gained experience in more discursive forms of meditation?

f. If it is contemplation in the sense of John of the Cross, how can it be recommended to everyone?

3. It would seem that the deliberate simplification of discursive activity that takes place in this kind of meditation would have the psychological result of excluding energy from consciousness, and thus activating the unconscious. Does the Christian meditation movement make any provision for this activation?

Visit the World Community for Christian Meditation website http://www.wccm.org/ and the Unitas
website
http://www.totalnet/~unitas.

Now it is your turn to contribute to this discussion. Send us your questions and comments:

Reply from Unitas:

In response to the questions posted here concerning John Main’s Christian meditation teaching, sixteen people met at Unitas and spent a day in discussion and reflection.

Unitas is an ecumenical centre for spirituality and Christian meditation, formerly the Benedictine Priory of Montreal founded by John Main.

The sixteen people referred to are those who continue at Unitas John Main’s practice of giving short talks to meditators on Monday and Tuesday evenings throughout the year. The questions provided a stimulating framework for our sharing, and we are grateful to the editor of the Christian Prayer and Contemplation Forum for his invitation to respond to the questions below. We do not purport to speak for the worldwide network of Christian meditation groups and practitioners, only to offer the fruit of our own discussion and reflection in the interest of understanding through dialogue.

The discussion is an organic one, and we welcome its continuance.

1a.
John Main learned to meditate using a mantra from his Hindu teacher, but what goal was his teacher aiming at? Was it the same goal as the Christian life of prayer?

In Christian Meditation (published by the Benedictine Priory of Montreal, 1977) John Main explains the following concerning of his teacher, Swami Satyananda:

For the swami, the aim of meditation was the coming to awareness of the Spirit of the universe who dwells in our hearts, and he recited these verses from the Upanishads: “He contains all things, all works and desires and all perfumes and tastes. And he enfolds the whole universe and, in silence, is loving to all. This is the Spirit that is in my heart. This is Brahman.” (p. 11) It should be noted that while Swami Satyananda was a Hindu monk, he was educated at a Roman Catholic school and had considered becoming a Christian. Although he studied Raja yoga, Sanskrit and Eastern disciplines, his awareness of and love for the Christian tradition should not be overlooked. Perhaps the fact of speaking to a Christian audience determined both the swami’s choice of Hindu Scripture above, and John Main’s reiteration of the same, placing emphasis on a concept that is comprehensible in Christian terms. It is clear, whatever the case may be, that Swami Satyananda’s understanding of the goal of meditation coincides with the Christian concept of the aim of contemplative prayer as conscious union with the Indwelling Spirit of God. The parallel deepens when the Swami explains the general goal of his life as the restoration of the consciousness of the Kingdom of God among his fellow men (Neil McKenty. In The Stillness Dancing. London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1986. p. 50). 63.

 

 

1b. If not, does this mantra meditation become Christian just because a Christian uses it?

While in the case of Swami Satyananda and John Main obvious parallels may be drawn between mantra meditation and the Christian goal of prayer, the fact remains that at the time the Swami transmitted the teaching to John Main, the technique involved was one of Hindu meditation, not Christian prayer. Only later did John Main discover similar practices within the history of the Christian tradition. Therefore, the question remains valid: what makes mantra meditation – a practice transmitted out of the Hindu tradition – specifically “Christian”?

The “Christian-ness” of the prayer is contained in the intention of the meditator.

This intention of opening oneself to the triune God revealed to us in Jesus may also be reiterated at the beginning of each period of meditation. This intention, while not consciously dwelt upon during the period of meditation itself, is formulated in the meditator’s daily life which grows out of lived awareness of the Christian tradition and its fruits. It is a question of context, wherein the Christian’s whole life, through intention, becomes “Christian” and this necessarily extends to whatever mode of prayer the meditator practices, including mantra meditation.

1c. Did John Main consider this mantra meditation of his teacher identical with the teaching of John Cassian, and
The Cloud of Unknowing?

Having discarded mantra meditation on the advice of his novice master when he entered the Benedictine order, John Main resumed the practice when he found in the Conferences of John Cassian what he took to be a definite Christian parallel with mantra meditation. It might be argued that John Main placed undue emphasis on those aspects of Cassian’s writings that synchronized with his understanding of mantra meditation – the suppression of thought and image, the repetition of a short phrase to facilitate this letting go, the concept of the poverty of spirit of this type of prayer – while not dwelling on aspects that differ : Cassian’s understanding that the meaning of the phrase is of great import, for instance. Whether or not John Main’s choice of emphasis constitutes putting his own “spin” on Cassian, he clearly understood his own interpretation of Cassian as coinciding with mantra meditation: “In reading these words of Cassian and Chapter X of the same [10th] Conference on the method of continual prayer, I was arrived home once more and returned to the practice of the mantra.” (Christian Meditation, p. 17)

While John Main reclaimed mantra meditation for himself (and for Christians as a whole) via the writings of John Cassian, he also cited the 14th century The Cloud of Unknowing as corresponding in form and intention to mantra meditation. He pointed out (see his Word into Silence. NY: Paulist Press, 1980) the Cloud’s use of a single repeated word to overcome thought (p. 51), the concept of prayer as listening and being rather than speaking and thinking (p. 10), and the fixing of the word in the heart (p. 52). In fact he characterizes The Cloud‘s teaching on the use of the prayer-word as “say your mantra” (p. 52).

However, John Main chose not to underline The Cloud‘s cautioning that the practice was not for everyone or even for many (see The Cloud‘s “Forward”), offering the teaching of mantra meditation to all. Further, his insistence on staying with the mantra faithfully throughout the prayer period does not dovetail with The Cloud‘s “If you do not feel inclined to pray with words, then forget even these words [recommended by The Cloud‘s author].(Ch. 39).

Whether or not John Main understood mantra meditation to be identical to prayer as taught in the writings of Cassian and The Cloud of Unknowing, he certainly interpreted both works to be congruent in form and intention: imageless prayer through repetition of a word or short phrase with the aim of union with/awareness of the Indwelling Spirit was to be found not only in the spiritual disciplines of the East but also in the Christian tradition. He did also apparently feel that the similarities were enough to justify his own experience with mantra meditation and his return to the practice, as well as his passing the practice on to others, all within the Christian context. Distinctions are not hard to find among the various teachings, and John Main did not dwell on the distinctions. However it might be over-scrupulous to allow these differences to overshadow the deep correspondence that also exists among Eastern mantra meditation, Cassian’s prayer, and the teachings of The Cloud of Unknowing. The intuiting of this correspondence and the handing back to Christians of a valuable but neglected practice not foreign to their tradition was a gift of great genius on the part of John Main.

2a. In the terminology of John of the Cross, is this mantra meditation meditation or contemplation?

Among Carmelites, meditation usually means all that we do to establish communion with God in interior prayer. Contemplation is what God does in us, the inflow of divine loving knowledge into our very being.

Meditation, however, can be either discursive or non-discursive.

Discursive meditation involves thinking, reasoning, imagining, remembering, and feeling.

St. John of the Cross calls this discursive process “meditation”.

Ernest Larkin, O.Carm., recognizes in his article in Review for Religious (January/February 1998) that there can be an unnamed middle step or bridge between discursive meditation and infused contemplation. Infused contemplation, defined strictly as gift, goes beyond words, thoughts, feelings. This “middle step” aids in the movement beyond the faculties and fosters the disposition of openness and surrender. This middle-step is appropriately named non-discursive meditation. It seeks to quiet these mental activities in order to be silent and passive before God, receptive to whatever God wishes to communicate to us. Non-discursive meditation usually involves four basic elements: a suitable place, a proper posture, a mental instrument or object of focus, and a receptive attitude.

In the terminology of John of the Cross, the word “contemplation” would be used only to refer to God’s direct self-communication to a person disposed through self-emptying in faith and love to receive this intimate revelation. It is not our activity, but God’s. It is not something we do to ourselves, but something that God does in us. We dispose ourselves in non-discursive meditation to receive this grace, but ultimately contemplation is God’s free gift to us.

Meditation as practiced in the tradition of John Main would fall into this middle-step category of non-discursive meditation.

 

 

2b. If it is meditation, why does John Main seem to insist that we must continue using the mantra?

The greatest problem in meditation is the wandering mind. It takes years of practice before the mind will respond obediently to the commands of the will. Providing the mind with an object of focus is very helpful in developing concentration. Thus John Main’s constant counsel was to “say your mantra” and not to let go of it too soon. “Too soon” is if you can still repeat it or be with it.

For example, when concentration is focused and there is a pleasing experience, there can be a temptation to let go of the mantra because it seems to put some distance between oneself and the delight. One may want to let oneself become absorbed in the agreeable feelings with a resultant lulling of mental clarity. While unclear absorption may feel very good, one is no longer meditating when sharp clarity of mind is lost. Meditation requires keeping high clarity in deep concentration. Repetition of the prayer word keeps attention bright and alert.

2c. What happens when we reach a point where meditation begins to fail?

If “fail” means no longer be able to say the mantra, then we are describing an experience in which God’s activity has overtaken our own, i.e. contemplation. As this is what non-discursive meditation is oriented to, it could hardly be described as failure. John Main spoke out of the tradition of Cassian in which the emphasis is on the absolute simplicity of ceaselessly revolving the prayer formula in one’s heart as a way of ridding oneself of all kinds of other thoughts and keeping one’s mind fixed on the continual recollection of God. One says the mantra until one can no longer say it. And one does not choose when to stop saying it. As soon as one realizes one has stopped saying it, one starts again.

2d. Can this insistence on the mantra be reconciled with the teaching of Centering prayer?

There is a difference in the two schools in that Centering prayer puts less emphasis upon the continual recitation of the word. People in both schools of practice experience the fruits of the Holy Spirit in their lives as a result of their practice. In every tradition of spirituality there is an understanding that it is best to find your path and remain with it.

What the two schools of teaching clearly share is the work of restoring the contemplative dimension of faith and prayer to the life of ordinary Christians, common ground in the roots of Christian contemplative prayer in the monastic tradition, and the conviction that the monastic tradition has relevance to the whole church today.

2e. If this mantra prayer is a very simple form of meditation, should beginners be introduced to it indiscriminately before they have gained experience in more discursive forms of meditation?

John of the Cross counsels discursive meditation for beginners to deepen their knowledge and love of Jesus Christ.

John maintains that leaving discursive meditation before this knowledge and love is established in their souls can be as detrimental as continuing discursive meditation when God clearly is leading them into contemplation.

However, many Christians report never being able to pray discursively. They indicate that from the very beginning of their spiritual journey, they have practiced some form of non-discursive meditation. As their meditation has deepened, their knowledge and love of God has also grown.

It would seem that Christians can begin interior prayer with non-discursive meditation, provided their knowledge and love of God is being nourished through other sources, such as spiritual reading or liturgical worship. When knowledge and love of God deepen through other sources, insisting on discursive prayer is not necessary (Perhaps this is the reason why they deceptively claim that the reciting of mantra is non-discursive prayer). Simply doing the meditation practice, continually opening oneself to God’s purifying action, is itself an ongoing act of love for God.

2f. If it is contemplation in the sense of John of the Cross, how can it be recommended to everyone?

Christian meditation in the tradition of John Main is not understood as contemplation in the sense of John of the Cross. However, as a way of disposing oneself to receive the gift of loving communion that God wants to give, it can be recommended to all.

3. It would seem that the deliberate simplification of discursive activity that takes place in this kind of meditation would have the psychological result of excluding energy from consciousness, and thus activating the unconscious.

Does the Christian meditation movement make any provision for this activation?

John Main obtained permission from his abbot late in 1974 to establish a small lay community in a former novitiate house at Ealing Abbey in England, primarily devoted to the practice of meditation. The tradition out of which he would teach was that of Western monasticism from its beginnings. He gradually developed, from his opening talks, a theology of meditation based on the “secret” of St. Paul’s letters: the real presence of the risen Christ in the human heart. John Main’s understanding of prayer was simple, basic, and deeply grounded in Scripture and tradition (In The Stillness Dancing: The Journey of John Main, pp. 82-84).

In 1977 he moved to Montreal to open a house of prayer. He died in 1982. In those few intervening years, his teaching consisted of talks given to lay meditators or monastics, which talks were later transcribed and published as books. He never wrote a book as such on meditation. One might say he never had the time. He found himself on the front end of a burgeoning renewal of Christian meditative prayer and much taken up with the founding of a new Benedictine Priory in Montreal which soon began to receive novices, guests and retreatants from around the world.

There is very little in his teaching that addresses the psychological effects of meditation. Several things might be said about this. It could be said that neither the format of his teaching—fifteen minute talks to beginning meditators—nor the fact that, in those days, most everyone was a beginner, favoured delving into that subject. It could be said that he would have been content to stay within the framework of the bible
and the history of Christian spirituality in speaking about meditation. It could be said that had he been given more than 56 years to live he would have been invited to address this aspect of the meditative experience as the renewal movement developed, and to enter into dialogue on this point with its leaders in other places. In the end, however, it is a moot point. The fact is his teaching does not address it at any length.
65.

 

 

With the help of others doing work on questions relating to the psychological effects of meditation, those of us engaged in handing on the practice of Christian meditation are in the process of developing our appreciation of these dynamics in the practice of meditative prayer. While not being our central preoccupation, we recognize that it is something we should be aware of both in our own practice and in our efforts to serve as guides to other meditators.

On behalf of those giving talks on Christian meditation at Unitas, Thomas Ryan, csp, and Sara Terreault
Response from James Arraj
I was impressed with the thoughtfulness and lack of defensiveness with which the Unitas meditation teachers approached these questions. I would like to try to respond in the same spirit.

I don’t deny that there is a theistic dimension to Hinduism and other Eastern religions, or further, that supernatural mystical graces might not be found among Hindu meditators. At the same time, Hindu meditation is often geared to a nondual religious experience which is then expressed in some sort of nondual philosophy. Both the experience and the post-experience reflection can be difficult to reconcile with Christianity as witnessed, for example, by the struggles of Henri Le Saux (Abishiktananda)*. *see my report on Catholic Ashrams- Michael
So the issue that I am trying to get at here is whether the same exercise of mantra meditation can serve as a vehicle for either nondual experience such as is found among the Hindu Advaitans, and for loving union with God, which is the goal of Christian prayer. The answer given is that the intention of the meditator is paramount. I agree that this is a vital consideration. But doesn’t the meditation exercise, itself, have some kind of interior finality by which it aims at a particular goal?

Does intention totally transform the nature and finality of the kind of meditation we are using?

Let me use an example from another tradition without claiming that it forms an exact parallel with mantra meditation.

Suppose as a Christian I decide to do zazen, and I have the intention that it will somehow bring me closer to God. Does this transform zazen into Christian prayer, or does zazen still maintain its interior goal of enlightenment?**
**see this report, page 49. I have made the same arguments as James Arraj- Michael

It is certainly not my intention to claim that the manifold spiritual traditions of the Church need to be expressed in the terminology of John of the Cross. However, I do find that John of the Cross has played a critical role in the formation of the modern Western Christian mystical tradition, and he gives us the basic principles by which we can focus on the nature of contemplation and its relationship to meditation.

I am afraid that I would have to disagree with the Unitas meditation teachers when they call mantra meditation a nondiscursive meditation between meditation and contemplation.

For John of the Cross there is no such state. Either we work with the faculties, or God works in us in a special way by giving us contemplation in the depths of the soul.

I leave it to Fr. Larkin to respond, himself, as to whether he believes there is such a middle state in John of the Cross, but I refer you to his remarks in the discussion of centering prayer in this same section of the website. There are certainly simplified forms of meditation or what could be called affective prayer, or exercises in the practice of the presence of God. And it is fair to distinguish these states from formal discursive meditation, if we mean by that imagining a scene from the Gospels, making considerations following through affective dialogue, etc., etc. But when John of the Cross is talking about meditation, he means all the kinds of prayer that we can do by our own effort by using the faculties of the soul. Thus, the various forms of affective prayer and John Main’s mantra meditation would fall under St. John’s heading of meditation, and it is entirely possible that someone beginning the life of prayer might derive more benefit from these kinds of meditation than from formal discursive meditation in the narrow sense of the term. These kinds of meditation can dispose one to the graces of infused contemplation.

The key here, however, is that we are still using our faculties in these kinds of prayer, however simplified this activity is. I am not sure we should say that we are silent and passive before God without qualifying that statement. We need to clearly distinguish between any disagreements which are only rooted in terminology, and the deeper issue of whether it is correct to talk about a nondiscursive state of prayer that transcends the faculties and yet is not infused contemplation. This brings us back to my original consideration because various forms of Eastern meditation are aiming to go beyond the discursive activity of the intellect, and yet they are not aiming at infused contemplation. I am not sure, either, how valid it is to say that such a nondiscursive kind of meditation is what is found in Cassian and the author of The Cloud of Unknowing.

Is it wrong to call John Main’s Christian meditation a form of meditation that we can do whenever we desire and which makes use of the faculties in a very simplified fashion and which can dispose us for infused contemplation?
James Arraj

A Response from Paul Harris Meditation, known also as contemplative prayer, is the prayer of silence, the place where direct contact with Christ can occur, once the never-ceasing activity of the mind has been stilled. In meditation we go beyond words, thoughts and images into the presence of God within.

The goal of meditation, as Swami Satayanda expressed it, was to “restore the consciousness of the kingdom of God among his fellow men (women)”. It seems to me this was also the purpose of the teaching of Jesus. For the swami the aim of meditation “was the coming to awareness of the Spirit of the Universe who dwells in our hearts and in silence is loving to all” (a verse from the Upanishads). 66.

 

 

The swami insisted it was necessary to meditate twice a day, morning and evening, and being very enlightened he gave John Main a Christian mantra. He said to John Main “and during the time of your meditation there must be in your mind, no thoughts, no words, no images. The sole sound will be the sound of your mantra, your word. The mantra is like a harmonic. And as we sound the harmonic within ourselves we begin to build up a resonance. That resonance then leads us forward to our own wholeness … We begin to experience the deep unity we all possess in our own being. And then the harmonic begins to build up a resonance between you and all creatures and all creation and unity between you and your Creator.”

This was the teaching, a way to an authentic interior life, to ‘the cave of the heart’ that John Main had long been seeking. What makes this teaching a path of contemplative prayer for us is simply the Christian faith we bring to the practice of this daily spiritual discipline. If one reads the teaching of John Main on Cassian and the Cloud of Unknowing one comes to the realization that John Main is simply reiterating the exact same teaching but putting the teaching in 20th century contemporary language. In #2 John Main teaches that one says the mantra until one cannot say it, in other words, until one has come to complete stillness of body, mind and spirit, the contemplative moment. However once one is aware of the silence, the silence is lost and one must come back to the recitation of the mantra. Regarding Centering Prayer and Christian Meditation, both are in the apophatic tradition of prayer.

Experience shows us that God leads many people to contemplative prayer without any prior knowledge or practice of discursive meditation. I have personally seen this many times myself. God often gives a person the gift of this prayer at a time of crisis or a time of personal illness and pain in an individual’s life. The idea that contemplative prayer is not for everyone was beautifully answered by Thomas Merton who says every Christian is called to the heights of Christian prayer simply because of their Baptism. The Cloud says contemplative prayer is simply the development of the ordinary Christian life. No big deal! The release of the unconscious through the practice of Christian Meditation does start a healing process in the practitioner. Paul Harris

A Response from Tom
[Fr. Thomas Ryan, csp]
tom@c-zone.net;

First of all, I’d like to thank you for this site. It’s the only place I’ve found where John of the Cross, John Cassian, Christian Meditation and Centering Prayer come together…kind of the “Super Bowl of Silence. “I have been practicing Christian Meditation for a year…thirty minutes, twice a day, saying the mantra from beginning to end. All I have to offer is my own experience. I’ll try to keep my opinions out of it and I hope this adds to rather than subtracts from the spirit of this site. As a Catholic, at the outset, I had many questions and fears… My biggest question:”Should I practice a discipline that in part, stems from a non-Christian tradition…even though it comes from a man (John Main) whose teachings speak simply and eloquently of a Christ I’ve always sought but could never find?”

My biggest fear:” What if I free fall into this silence and I land in the arms of the Buddha instead of Christ… or even scarier, into the arms of my own illusions?” (this is where I was starting from but didn’t know it at the time)

I was in the middle of a contradiction that I could not resolve. The courage to proceed came from the words of a Catholic priest and a Yogi.

The Catholic priest: Fr. Lewis a.k.a. Thomas Merton “Contradictions have always existed in the soul of man. But it is only when we prefer analysis to silence that they become a constant and insoluble problem. We are not meant to resolve all contradictions but to live with them and rise above them…” The Yogi: Yogi Berra (ex-catcher for the NY Yankees.) “If you come to a fork in the road, take it”

In a sense, I had nothing to lose. I was at the point in my Christianity where I had to REALLY seek Christ or go crazy, and I figured I’d either find Him everywhere or nowhere at all. So I began. It’s been quite an experience so far… I seem to live in this constant state of being lost and found at the same time…but truly Loved through it all. I would have to say that while the actual times of meditation so far have been mostly distractions, the fruits have been amazing. The most pronounced has been compassion, both for others and myself. Out of this compassion somehow, came more freedom, freedom to look for Christ in the most “taboo” and threatening places..i.e., in the depths of my own humanity. Thomas Merton in a letter to the lay community said (of his solitude) ” …I have been summoned to explore a desert area of man’s heart in which explanations no longer suffice, and in which one finds that only experience counts, and arid, rocky, dark land of the soul, sometimes illuminated by strange fires which men fear and peopled by specters which men studiously avoid except in their nightmares” Fr. Freeman, in one of the archive writings at wccm, said “His descent into hell and His ascent into heaven means that there is no shadow we can encounter that has not been graced by His Light…in the worst shadows we meet the crucified and risen one” This dovetails with Jung’s findings that we need discover, explore and incorporate our shadows so that we might become whole. Wholeness is what Christ is about to me…to recognize me in Him and Him in me in the fullness of His humanity and divinity. Being free to explore and incorporate Carl Jung’s wisdom was another fruit of my meditation. Jung helped me find Sophia, God’s feminine nature. As a man, I was able to feel truly loved by God for real and for the first time. Perhaps more importantly, I was able to stop demanding from others (my wife in particular) a love they were incapable of giving, and became humble and receptive enough to be content to live each day in reverential hope…which I believe is the attitude I must have in meditation. I can’t tell you what an unexpected joy it has been, though sometimes it scares the pants off me, to have found the freedom to simply “let myself be”, in whatever season of the heart God grants. And the freedom to look where ever I need to look to see the Truth. Where ever I go and in whoever I “meet” along this silent journey…be they Christians, non -Christians, believers, non-believers. Wherever the Truth or seeking of truth is evident, I find Christ, with His arms around us all. God bless! pax, Tom


67.

 

 

A [Catholic] Response from Sam Murray
majiksam@zerocave.fsnet.co.uk

Here are some thoughts about John Main’s Christian Meditation..

In Christian Meditation: Contemplative Prayer for a New Generation, Paul Harris states:

In all essential aspects, with the exception of the Mantra itself, the similarities between Cassian’s ‘formula’, the Jesus prayer, and the ‘mantra’ of John Main are expressions of the deeper practice of prayer in the Christian tradition..

The anonymous English classic The Cloud of Unknowing is important because we see continuity in the teaching on silent prayer of John Cassian (4th century), the Cloud of Unknowing (14th century) and John Main (20th century). All three teachers offer the same essential teaching. (Harris 1996:31).

I believe that these three types of apophatic prayer techniques cited by Harris above are unique in a number of significant ways.

The Formula of John Cassian:

John Cassian, a 4th century spiritual seeker with one of the early desert fathers Abbot Isaac, who instructed him on a method of continuous prayer. The Abbot states: And what follows now is the model to teach you, the prayer formula for which you are searching. Every monk who wants to think continuously about God should get accustomed to meditating enlessly on it and to banish all other thoughts for its sake. But he will not hold on to it unless he breaks completely free from all bodily concerns and cares. This is something which has been handed on to us by some of the oldest of the fathers and it is something which we hand on to only a very small number of the souls eager to know it: To keep the thought of God always in your mind you must cling totally to this formula for piety: ‘Come to my help, O God; Lord, hurry to my rescue’ (Luibheid. 1985, Conference 10:10. page 132). Here we see that the old Abbot recommends his prayer method as a constant practice, breaking free from all bodily concerns and cares. It was considered to be such a powerful practice that it was only handed on to a ‘very small number of souls eager to know it’.

The aim of the formula was to bring the practitioner to a point where they think continuously about God.

In contrast, the WCCM recommend meditation for 20-30 minutes a day, rather than constant prayer.

They often combine meditation with such practices as Rolfing and Hatha Yoga, rather than abandoning all bodily concerns and cares. And rather than teaching only a very small number of eager souls the WCCM very publicly recommend their practice to anyone who comes across their literature or attends their meetings.

Abbot Isaac continues:

It is not without good reason that this verse-(Psalm 69:2) has been chosen from the whole of scripture as a device. It carries within it all the feelings of which human nature is capable. It can be adapted to every condition and can be usefully deployed against every temptation. It carries within it a cry of help to God in the face of every danger. It expresses the humility of a pious confession. It conveys a sense of our frailty, the assurance of being heard, the confidence in help that is always and everywhere present. (Lubheid, 1985. Conference 10:10. page 133).

Clearly the meaning of the formula is a very important part of saying the formula in contrast to the attitude of WCCM meditators. It is hard to escape from the feeling that what the Abbot is recommending is
an ejaculatory prayer, rather than a Mantra, where the meaning of the phrase is unimportant. For example Paul Harris states:

In meditation we are attempting to enter a silence, beyond thinking about Jesus; a silence where our union with Jesus can be fully realised. This is why Father John Main recommended the mantra Maranatha in Aramaic, a language that would not conjure up any thoughts or images. (Harris. 1996:30).

The Cloud of Unknowing:

The 14th century spiritual Classic, ‘The Cloud of Unknowing’ is cited by the WCCM as recommending the same essential practice as John Main’s mantra meditation. Laurence Freeman writes in the introduction to Evelyn Underhill’s translation of the work that “John Cassian’s formula and John Main’s Mantra, is the ‘one little word’ of the Cloud”. (Underhill 1997:19).

Yet the author of the Cloud gives a different impression:

A man or woman with any sudden chance of fire or of man’s death or what else that it be, suddenly in the height of his spirit, he is driven upon haste and upon need for to cry or for to pray after help. Yea how? Surely, not in many words, nor yet in one word of two syllables. And why is that? For him thinketh it over long tarrying for to declare the need and work of the spirit. And therefore he bursteth up hideously with a great spirit, and cryeth a little word, but of one syllable: as is this word ‘fire’, or this word ‘out’. (Underhill 1997:121).

Here we have a specific recommendation to use
only one syllable not four as in the word Maranatha
. There is the same ejaculatory sense of urgency we get with Abbot Isaacs teachings. The analogy is of a person who is in great danger who needs to pray for help, rather than the calm gentle repetition that the WCCM recommends. There is also the sense in the Cloud that this technique is not for everyone:

Fleshly janglers, open praisers and blamers of themselves or of any other, tellers of trifles, ronners and tattlers of tales, and all manner of pinchers, cared I never that they saw this book. (Underhill 1997:34).

The author is clear that it is not a practice for everyone but only for those with a high degree of purity and maturity in the Christian life.

Again specific words are used and close attention is paid to their meaning. One of the aims of the practice is to get good and remove evil and to obtain forgiveness of sins.

It is understandable that in the face of an intolerant religious heirarchy, John Main prefered to emphasise the similarity of his mantra meditation to forms of prayer in the Christian tradition rather than the South Asian mantra meditation of his original teacher, Swami Satyananda. 68.

 

 

I feel it is important for the WCCM to acknowledge that its methods have much more in common with Eastern techniques than traditional Christian ones. Given the degree of involvement that the Community has in the process of Inter-Religious dialogue, particularly with the diaspora Tibetan tradition, I think it is important that the WCCM fully acknowledges that it practices a hybrid of Hindu and Christian meditation techniques, rather than meditation in the Christian tradition. Sam Murray, Derby, U.K.

Bibliography:

Harris, P. (1996) Christian Meditation: Contemplative Prayer
for a New Generation. London. Darton Longman & Todd
Luibheid, C. (1985). John Cassian – Conferences: New York. Paulist Press

Underhill, E. (1912/1997). The Cloud of Unknowing: Rockport. Element

Phil St. Romain:
Already in this early chapter, we are encountering questions and themes that will run throughout this book. For example, there is the issue of the relationship between a method of prayer and the goal of the Christian life. Does it make any difference whether one uses a method taken from another religious tradition whose mystical tradition seems to lead in a different direction from that of Christianity? There is also the question of whether all states of consciousness beyond thought and concept are experiences of God. Might there be other explanations, other states of silence? Also, is it not possible that there are different kinds of experiences of God? We will be revisiting these themes again and again, with the hope of coming to a deeper understanding of Christian spirituality and spiritual practice. 

Another thought I had as I read through this exchange is that the issues at stake are similar to those pertaining to Christians practicing Transcendental Meditation®. Indeed, the only formal distinction between Christian Meditation as taught by John Main and TM as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is the wording of the mantra itself. There is also the matter of the strong Hindu flavor of the TM initiation process, but setting that aside, once one begins the practice on one’s own, it is structurally identical to Christian Meditation. Where Christian Meditators repeat maranatha, a TM meditator is given a Sanskrit phrase. In both cases, the manner in which the mantrum is repeated does not engage the will in a relational orientation to God. Rather, any such intention is to be made before or after the meditation, and that is what Christian TM meditators say they do. In both cases, too, the ensuing state of silence is interpreted as direct contact with the divine.

We will reflect more on TM and Christian practice in a later chapter, but I just wanted to point out the similarities at this point. 

Now it is your turn to contribute to this discussion. Send us your questions and comments: arraj@innerexplorations.com

MY COMMENTS:

1. Despite the best defensive arguments of the WCCM [Paul Harris, Fr. Thomas Ryan, CSP., and Sara Terreault of UNITAS/WCCM], the CATHOLIC VERDICT [James Arraj, Phil St. Romain, Sam Murray] of their “Christian Meditation” is that it is Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Hindu Transcendental Meditation with a different name, that it is NOT IN THE CHRISTIAN TRADITION, but a hybrid of Hindu and Christian meditation techniques, that it is tool for inter-religious dialogue more than Christian prayer to God, that it is used in combination with New Age techniques [mentioned are hatha yoga and Rolfing. Yoga is named in the Vatican Document on the New Age. So is Rolfing, #2.2.3], all of which is exactly what I have been saying all along. John Main might well have used a Hindu mantra instead of Maranatha if not for the Church’s intolerance to such things when he formulated his recipe for meditation over three decades ago. Today, he might have got away with it.

2. Fr. Thomas Ryan wrote that some of Laurence Freeman’s writings dovetail wth C.G. Jung’s and “Jung helped me find Sophia, God’s feminine nature. As a man, I was able to feel truly loved by God for real and for the first time.” Who is Jung? See Catholic Ashrams report pages 39 through 41. EXTRACT:

In THE DECLARATION ON THE ‘NEW AGE‘, His Eminence Cardinal Georges Cottier OP, at the International Theological Video Conference, 27 February 2004, General Topic: The Church, New Age and Sects, said, Two psychologists have exercised their fundamental influence [on the New Age]; the first is William James who reduces religion to religious experience, the second is Carl Gustav Jung, who introduced the idea of the collective unconscious – but above all sacralized psychology adding contents involving esoteric thoughts.

Father Paolo Scarafoni of the Academy of Theology and Rector of the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum, one of the speakers at the same worldwide videoconference organized by the Congregation for Clergy, commented,

New Age is nourished by Jung’s psychology, whose approach is clearly anti-Christian: ZENIT 04030220

The February 3, 2003 Vatican Document on the New Age has much to say about the propositions of Jung [see
pages 16, 33, 39-41 etc. of the Ashrams report]: in the section on Notes, nos. 24 and 34, on “left brain” rational thinking vs. “right brain” intuitive thinking, # 2.1 and # 2.5; on “the god within”… we are gods, # 3.5, # 2.3.2;

A Select Glossary: Androgyny, # 7.2; Depth Psychology, # 7.2; and, notes 24 and 34. For Christian Reading, the Document also recommends ex-New Ager Jesuit Fr. Mitch Pacwa’s Catholics and the New Age : How Good People are being drawn into Jungian Psychology, the Enneagram and the New Age of Aquarius, 1992, # 8.

So, Fr. Thomas Ryan of UNITAS, defender of the WCCM, is quite clearly into New Age.

3.
New Age guru Marilyn Ferguson found the French Jesuit priest/paleontologist

Teilhard de Chardin [see next page] to be the single most influential individual in the thinking of 185 New Agers
who she surveyed when writing ‘The Aquarian Conspiracy‘, [see Ashrams report pages 34, 54] a manifesto on the New Age Movement. Most named in order of frequency was

de Chardin, with psychologist
C. G. Jung
at number 2.

69.

 

 

In the report on the Catholic Ashrams, I had written in great detail about Fr. Bede Griffiths OSB., the Benedictine yogi-priest of Shantivanam, Saccidananda Ashram, in Tamil Nadu where I had stayed for a week in December 2004 to do my research on the Catholic Ashrams movement before writing my Oct. 2005 report.

In 1979, Bede and some brothers went to Rome “to propose affiliating Shantivanam with the Holy Hermitage of Camaldoli” which is in Italy. Since 1980, the ashram has been “part of the Benedictine Order as a Community of the Camaldolese Benedictine Congregation” who are a reformed movement in the Benedictine tradition. When I discussed the proposed Ashrams report with an Italian friend, explaining that I had sent a brief letter by post as well as by e-mail in January 2005 to the Superior General of the Camaldolese concerning the experiences I had during my visit to their Ashram, and that I had followed it up several times without any response, he told me that he was not surprised and that I could not expect a response because
Camaldoli too is afflicted with New Age! I then examined the Camaldoli website. The details are in the Ashrams report, but I must reproduce here some information that is connected with the Kripa and the WCCM.

 

THE CAMALDOLI BENEDICTINES’ WEBSITE, THE WCCM, AND THE KRIPA CONNECTION

[FR. BEDE GRIFFITHS & THE PRIESTS OF SHANTIVANAM ARE CAMALDOLI BENEDICTINES]

FROM THE CAMALDOLI WEBSITE www.camaldoli.it
AND ITS LINKS:

1. Welcome To Fr. Bill Whittier's Global Website

A Tribute to Bede Griffiths

I write this to share in the 10th anniversary of Bede Griffiths’ death as celebrated by the World Community for Christian Meditation at the University of Reading, England this August 2003.

http://www.wccm.org/BedeGriffiths.html 
BEDE GRIFFITHS AND MY LIFE JOURNEY
 

EXTRACT: Forty five years ago Bede Griffiths touched my life when I was a young seminarian at the St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. I read and reread his autobiography, THE GOLDEN STRING. Little did I know or he know that my life journey would take me from his inspiration to being open to Gandhi, Thich Nhat Hanh, Teilhard de Chardin, John Main, Thomas Merton, Bill W. and AA Spirituality, Drs. Hal and Sidra Stone and many others of this caliber.

His broadness of vision opened me to the essential core of all world religions and to see the unity at that core, a God who is love poured forth in the Cave of our Heart by the Holy Spirit as Paul teaches in Romans 5. I put this truth in different terms coming from the Hindu tradition. In the Upanishads they speak of the spirit of the One who created the universe as dwelling in our heart. This same spirit is the One who in silence is loving us all…

Fr. Bill Whittier, Written at Assumption College, Manila, Philippines, April 24, 2003

2.
MAN, MONK, MYSTIC
by Pascaline Coff, OSB

EXTRACT: On January 25, 1990 Bede Griffiths suffered a first stroke in his hut at Shantivanam. One month to the day in February, he was cured in a struggle with death and divine love. He later described this as an intense mystical experience. By May of that same year he was in the USA. Among many other lectures and conferences he gave the
John Main Lectures at New Harmony, Indiana, now published as The New Creation in Christ.

3.
“Monastery and Convent accommodation all around Italy.” / “Help yourself and others be healthy in body, mind & spirit.” / “Free e-course explaining Buddhist ways and beliefs.” / “Four steps to meditation and The Three Deep Breath Method.” / “Online Meditation Classes Meditation, Yoga, Pranayama, Forum. etc. etc.

MY COMMENTS:

1. Fr. Bill Whittier:
see page 56. “He had given a 5-Day Intensive Voice Dialogue training program at Kripa Foundation – Vasai from 5th to 9th May 2008 at their
Guruji B.K. Iyengar Hall, Kripa Foundation. The program was based on the teachings of Hal Stone Ph.D. and Sidra L. Stone Ph.D., U.S.A and touched upon the different personalities that rule a person’s life. The participants were the Counselors and Staff of Kripa Foundation centres in the Western Region (Pune, Andheri, Bandra, Vasai, Mangalore and Goa), Delhi and Imphal. A similar program was held in Imphal in the month of April 2008, and attended by staff from North-Eastern region.”

Now, we know. Fr. Bill Whittier is part of the WCCM organization, a “Christian Meditator”, a disciple not only of John Main and Bede Griffiths, but also influenced by the teachings of the Zen Buddhist
Thich Nhat Hanh, the world’s leading New Ager Pierre Teilhard de Chardin [page 69],
Trappist monk

Thomas Merton
who was actually a proponent and Master of Zen
meditation,

[pages 67, 72], etc.

2. Benedictine Sr. Pascaline Coff further confirms the closeness of Fr. Bede to the John Main organization.

[New Harmony sounds suspiciously New Age to me.]

3. The links on the Camaldoli site are apparently to Buddhism and Hinduism unless I got it wrong. “The Forum”: could it be Erhard Seminars Training also called “The Forum”, another New Age group?

 

THE BEDE GRIFFITHS SANGHA & CHARITABLE TRUST: WCCM-ASHRAMS CONNECTION

Email: bg.sangha@btinternet.com Website: http://www.bedegriffiths.com/

Information copied from a Newsletter of the Bede Griffiths Sangha:

The Bede Griffiths Sangha
[Sangha = a Buddhist community of believers] located in Kent, England, describes itself as a loose community of men and women whose lives have been inspired by the life and work of Father Bede Griffiths, OSB.

70.

 

 

 

 

During the summer of 1994, Ria Weyens, then at the Christian Meditation Centre in London, gathered together about 15 people for a weekend retreat at the Rowan Tree Centre, to see whether there was enough interest to establish a Sangha dedicated to the vision of Father Bede. The weekend was spent mostly in silence with meditation, chanting bhajans and structuring the day around the rhythm of life at Shantivanam, greeting the sun in the morning with the Gayatri Mantra and closing the day with namajapa… The mornings were dedicated to a period of work (karma yoga), food preparation, and to an activity such as
yoga
. Out of this sharing came the vision of the Shantivanam Sangham as a broad contemplative community, seeking to live the experience of Shantivanam and Father Bede’s wisdom and compassion, and to support the renewal of contemplative inter-faith life in the United Kingdom.

In 1996 the Sangham renamed itself The Bede Griffiths Sangha. A summer retreat is held at Park Place Pastoral Centre in Hampshire, where the Indian order of sisters is delighted at the celebration of their Indian spirituality to enrich their vocation as Christian nuns. A winter retreat… has been held at St. Peter’s Grange, Prinknash Abbey, where Bede started his monastic career. At many of these retreats they celebrate mass in the Indian style, and in their worship include Indian music and readings from all the religious traditions.

The Sangha, of which many members are Christians, publishes a quarterly Newsletter of the same name.

Adrian Rance [see pages 14, 20, 26 of the Catholic Ashrams report] is the editor.

A perusal of the 12-page September 2004 issue of the Sangha Newsletter is revealing. The Sangha is in close association with the KALAI KAVERI
Dance and Music College in Trichy which is a Catholic diocesan institution, and they arrange for the dance troupe to visit the UK to dance in liturgies [at] several cathedrals. Kalai Kaveri was started in Trichy by the late Fr. S.M. George in 1978. One of the main dance forms used is Bharatanatyam. Kalai Kaveri started a dance school called Kalai Kaveri Natyapalli in October 1983 offering diploma courses in Bharatanatyam and Mohini Attam. [A report on Kalai Kaveri and Bharatanatyam is being prepared by this writer].

The Sangha in Scotland provided a photograph of its members relaxing in a yoga sessionfor the newsletter.

After listening to audio tapes Bro. Martin Sahajananda OSB., the de facto head of Shantivanam, the Dorset group wrote that they delved into the Upanishads, performed in our chapel some of the rituals used at Shantivanamand found that the Bluffers Guide to Hinduism proved useful.Advertisements offer a South India Easter ’05 Retreat including a two-week course in Indian Spirituality in Bangalore [at the CBCI’s
National Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre which is always the focal point of the Hindu-isation of the Indian Church?] and an India Body and Soul Tour ’06; a Meditation in London which would look at Father Bede’s injunction to develop the intuitive mind; and a session titled ‘Tomorrow’s Christian’ by Adrian Smith, a leading advocate of the need to find radical new expressions of traditional faith.

A report on the Sangha’s annual meeting at Park Place Pastoral Centre, Hampshire to celebrate Shantivanam’s founder Abhishiktananda: Shirley du Boulay, biographer of Bede, gave insights on Advaita.

Murray Rogers
[see pages 29, 33 of the Catholic Ashrams report] founder of
Jyoti Niketan Ashram

a small religious community in North India spoke of [Bede’s] words making him lose sight of his own personality and merging with that of Swamiji; a photograph of Rogers, an Anglican priest, celebrating mass
using the liturgy of Jyotiniketan is included. Among the spiritual gems quoted from his homily: If you do something stupid, God will understand. It’s alright to take risks; Jesus is first in the procession, our older brother: we are born to be That.

In the Newsletter, a Swami Nityamuktananda bemoans the transition of contemplative God-experience by the founders of religions into religion that bound by words and concepts, it turns to rites, laws and dogmas, and advises: For this we need constant alertness; to cultivate this is spiritual discipline, is the path of Yoga…. Hence Buddha, Swami Vivekananda and Jesus call ‘Awake, awake’.

Ken Knight uses an entire page
of the Newsletter
to explaining the intricacies of the meaning and proper intonation of the word OM: “It may mean ‘Peace, man’… [or] ‘The whole vibrating universe’.” “For those interested in advaita, he suggests a reading of some Upanishads to learn the different qualities of consciouness relating to the sounds from ‘waking sleep’ to ‘samadhi’. The brochure too has a picture of Bede
on the front page, and a bold OM on its last page.

There is a contribution by one Jackie, a black belt and expert in judo, aikido and tai chi, on the martial arts.

The Bede Griffiths Sangha, Beech Tree Cottage, Gushmere, Selling, Kent, ME13 9RH, UK. Phone: +44 (0) 1227 752871 Fax :+44 (0) 1227 750082

MY COMMENTS:

1. The purpose of my providing these details seemingly irrelevant to this report, is to emphasize that there is NOTHING remotely Catholic or Christian being experienced at Sangha gatherings or promoted by this fans-of-Fr. Bede Griffiths organization.

And to demonstrate that ALL the players – the Sangha, the WCCM, the Kripa Foundation, the Catholic Ashrams movement — are interconnected and interdependent.

2. In fact, a study of the related sections of my Catholic Ashrams report will provide preponderous evidence that the whole lot of them are ANTI-CATHOLIC. Just one example, one extract from that report:

The Bede Griffiths Sangha Newsletter http://www.bedegriffiths.com/sangha/san_9.htm carries an article The Ashram and the Eucharist by Fr. Bede saccidananda@hotmail.com in which he presents his theological arguments on the ‘real’ meaning of the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, and for the primacy of yoga and meditation over the Eucharist. [pp. 16, 47]

71.

 

 

God is not confined to the Eucharist or to the Church or to Jesus in his human existence. He transcends all words and thoughts and signs… The Vatican Council said that the Eucharist is the source and summit of the activity of the Church. I have always found difficulty with this, and “Meditation is an art whereby we seek to go beyond the body and the senses. We try to calm the body, by the practice of yoga if necessary, and then to calm the senses… often by using a mantraIn meditation we directly experience the divine. For support Bede refers to Trappist monk Thomas Merton who was actually a proponent and Master of Zen
meditation. It is suggested that the good Bishops read this and other writings of Bede including the series on The Church [the same Newsletter] in which, among other things, he rejects the Church’s claims to being ‘One’ and ‘Apostolic’. One quote, There’s no evidence that Peter founded the Roman church. In fact, there’s very positive evidence that he did not.

3. Adrian Rance, editor of the Sangha Newsletter,
and
Jill Hemmings [see Catholic Ashrams report pages 20, 26] from Kent, England, who were at Shantivanam at the time of my visit in December 2004, are leading members of the Sangha, probably its co-founders, and among the staunchest supporters and benefactors of Bro. John Martin Sahajananda OSB, de facto head of Shantivanam and successor of Fr. Bede, who had reportedly performed the “marriage service” of these already-married individuals who had both divorced their spouses. I was informed by other ashramites that Bro. Martin conducted their marriage service as they could not get married in a regular church.They were living together in sin, but receiving Holy Communion at the “Indian-rite” Mass every day, even though the Benedictine priests of Shantivanam Ashram were aware of their illicit relationship. Bro. Martin is the author of Marriage- A Divine or a Human Institution?, 2004, which says, “This article on marriage is based on a homily given by Sahajananda at the marriage of Jill [Hemmings] and Adrian [Rance] in June 2003 at U.K.”
In his book, Bro. Martin attacks the Biblical institution of marriage and the Sacrament of Matrimony.
“If two persons really love each other then marriage is not an absolute necessary,” [sic] he says. He is the author of eight other anti-Catholic Church books. See Ashrams report.

4. The meditations that the Bede Griffiths Sangha use are the very same as those promoted by the
World Community for Christian Meditation [WCCM] and Kripa Foundation [see Catholic Ashrams report pages 87, 90].

The Sangha website says,
Father Bede referred to
John Main
as ‘the most important spiritual guide in the Church today’.[see also page 44]

Fr. Bede wrote a lot about John Main.
An example:

The Church (Part 1)
by Bede Griffiths, OSB., Cam.
[THE BEDE GRIFFITHS SANGHA NEWSLETTER]

Fr. John Main had a beautiful expression…”

This article is a transcription of a talk given by Fr. Bede at Osage Monastery, Oklahoma, USA, in June 1992.

When he wrote on meditation, he always recommended John Main’s mantra method exclusively:

THE NEW CREATION IN CHRIST: CHRISTIAN MEDITATION AND COMMUNITY, Bede Griffiths OSB,
(Springfield, IL, 1994) To enter deeply into meditation is to enter into the mystery of suffering love. It is to encounter the wounded-ness of our human nature. We are all deeply wounded from our infancy and bear these wounds in the unconscious. The repetition
of the mantra is a way of opening these depths of the unconsciousness and exposing them to light.

In Griffiths’ book Return to the Centre,
the Sangha’s London address is the very same as that of the WCCM.

You will recall that on page 5 of this report, I quoted Fr. Joe Pereira of Kripa Foundation recommending the WCCM, “[John Main’s] abbot allowed him to go to Montreal where he started his first monastery of Christian meditation… and it has spread to 60 nations. You can also access it on the Net. It is very easy to remember: World Community of Christian Meditators.org… You get meditations there. You get books of early Christian mystics and of contemplative prayer. This is something which the Cardinal [His Eminence, Ivan Dias]
is very keen on starting all over the diocese, because as he said, there is too much of noise in the Church.

5. Bede Griffiths and John Main are very often grouped together with other yoga-priests. An example:

YOGA – A PATH TO GOD? by Louis Hughes, OP., Mercier Press, 1997 http://www.bodymindmeditation.ie/yoga.htm

What is yoga? Is it safe to practise yoga? Can yoga help one to pray as a Christian?The book describes in detail a range of New Religious Movements which use spiritual practices that can be termed “yogic”. These include popular yoga movements such as that run by Tony Quinn, classical hatha yoga schools and Kundalini yogas, as well as groups such as Transcendental Meditation, the Hare Krishnas, Eckankar, Brahma Kumaris and Ananda Marg. In addition there are detailed studies on the use of yogic techniques in the work of Dechanet, Bede Griffiths, John Main, Anthony de Mello and other pioneers of the dialogue between Christianity and Hinduism during the second half of the twentieth century.

 

FR. JOHN MAIN, FR. LAURENCE FREEMAN, THE WCCM, AND FR. BEDE GRIFFITHS. AGAIN

EDDIE RUSSELL, AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC EVANGELIST, LABELS THE WCCM AS “NEW AGE”

The Marriage of East and West
[with a number of supporting photographs] http://www.flameministries.org

by Catholic Evangelist Eddie Russell, Sep. 23, 1998,
Blaze Magazine Online, Flame Ministries International, [FMI] A Neo-Pentecostal Catholic Organisation of Lay Evangelists/Preachers, Western Australia [see Catholic Ashrams pp. 6, 39, 40]:

Many years ago I came across The Marriage of East and West, a book written by Bede Griffiths OSB. When I began to read, it didn’t take long to confirm my suspicion of the title. The late Fr. Bede believed that Christianity [West] was incomplete until it is fully synchronised [married] [see Catholic Ashrams page 48] with Hinduism [East]. He seemed to believe that Christianity needed feminising. The way to accomplish this is to marry Christianity with Eastern spirituality, practice and thought with a balance of left brain and right brain functions; male-female. 72.

 

 

Whilst Fr. Bede firmly claimed that he was a Christian, he included the Hindu
scriptures in his Mass. Not only that, his altar displayed a great deal of Hindu paraphernalia… It seems to me that he [like so many] spent more time preaching the virtues of Hinduism rather than of Christianity. I wonder if he, and many like him, consider that this might be a serious offense to Hindus too?

The John Main/Freeman WCCM are closely associated with Griffith’s and his spiritual adultery and recommend his works to their members. Not only that, both Griffiths and Freeman are real pals with the Dalai Lama who is doing a marvelous job of Buddhising the world and, through these priests and their nuns – the Catholic Church. Do not underestimate the impact of all this as these pictures show. (Further on you will see the connection between the Dalai Lama/Freeman-yoking too).
The evidence speaks for itself and this is especially notable in the fact that Griffiths has replaced the Crucifix with an abomination called “The Cosmic Cross.” This is the penultimate syncretism and corruption of Catholics that have been blinded by the “charming” (a witchcraft technique) of Griffiths and his satanic disciples. Why am I so blunt? Because some people can only be awoken by a hammer blow to the third eye chakra! Do take note of the use of the OM mantra, and if you did not read what it really means earlier in this article, go back and read it again [http://members.iinet.net.au/~fmi/word.htm#OM] to see the incredible effrontery of this so-called Catholic priest.

Cosmic Cross Used as a Shantivanam community symbol by Bede Griffiths.

“The Cosmic Cross bears the inscription: Saccidananda Namah around the circle, and OM
at the centre of the cross. This means that we try to live our Benedictine Life in the context of Indian spirituality, that is, in the recognition of the Divine Presence in the whole cosmos and in the centre of our own being.” – Dom Bede Grififiths

The following testimonies posted on the WCCM [World Council of Christian Meditators] website, 2003, are disturbing in their ignorance of the Bible and Christian spirituality.

Read them and judge for yourself if they express a proclamation of Jesus, or another doctrine other than Christian?

1. By 1992 it seemed crisis time was approaching in my spiritual life. Then one Sunday after Mass I saw a small advertisement inviting people to come to a certain church hall in Brisbane to hear Dom Bede Griffiths
speak. The photo of a man with long white hair and beard did not fit my image of a monk but I said to myself, “Why not go?” The hall was packed. Down the centre aisle walked a thin, frail-looking, bearded old man in saffron robes. I couldn’t believe he was a Benedictine monk. And then he began to speak with his beautiful Oxford English accent!

He spoke about the Universe, morphogenetic fields, the interconnection of energy fields, then on to the Vedas, the Vedanta and the Upanishads.
I was turned upside down and I can remember that evening as if it were yesterday.
The first step I took was to buy “The Marriage of East and West.” I began to meditate. I bought “New Vision of Reality” and tapes and videos, anything by Bede Griffiths! I also turned to John Main, Laurence Freeman, Abishktananda and there have been many other teachers. However it is with love and gratefulness that I look at Bede Griffiths. I never met him or knew him personally but it doesn’t matter because we will meet again in that other way. [Priest’s name omitted by the author], OSB Oblate – Kenilworth, Queensland, Australia.

We note that there is NO mention of Jesus Christ or the Gospels in Griffiths’ teachings to this priest. On the contrary, Griffiths espouses, preaches and extols the virtues of metaphysics and New Age concepts along with the Hindu scriptures and gives no testimony to the Lorship of Jesus Christ or of the Christian Bible. It is clearly Hinduism and Buddhism along with
New Age
metaphysics et al that are promulgated by these meditators following Bede Griffiths OSB, John Main OSB and Laurence Freeman OSB.
2. When asked for direction about a dream in which a Buddhist statue smiles at a participant on a guided retreat, the priest concerned does not explain about Jesus Christ, but directs the person to Bede Griffiths’ book, The Marriage of East and West. Judging by the response of the participant it only approves of, and reinforces his previous involvement with Hinduism:

“I was at the Pecos Monastery, that is part of the family of monasteries that Fr. Laurence belongs to. I had a dream: a Buddhist statue turned and smiled at me. I was on a guided retreat, so the next morning I asked my spiritual adviser, Fr. —-, how would you interpret this dream? He was quiet for a moment then popped up and said: “Read Fr. Bede.” Soon after, in reading Fr. Bede’s book “The Marriage of East and West,” I was introduced to
Fr. John Main. I am looking forward to this year’s John Main Seminar. I was raised catholic, I spent 4 years in a Hindu Ashram, Christ is again Lord and Sat Guru.
For anyone who has been touched by Hindu spirituality
this seminar will be wonderful. If you cannot make it, get the tapes. [
Name omitted] Phoenix, Arizona, USA

To the discerning reader these letters should speak for themselves as a witness to the deceiving spirit at work here. However, I do not cast any judgement on the authors of these testimonials and they are published here in good faith that they are public domain. I have removed reference to any names other than those of whose doctrines I am concerned with. However, I do cast the responsibility on those priests who teach this to them. Their ordination should compel them to preach Christ and him crucified and not the doctrines of false gods. I do call upon the Church to take these matters to heart for a more serious consideration and I hope that She wakes up quickly to this spiritual syncretism and accomodation.

The teachers of these techniques wrap their argument up in the Christian Mystical Theology of St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, Cassian, the Desert Fathers and many others implying, no, stating clearly, that this is what they were doing way back then. John Main allegedly ‘discovered’ this ancient tradition and developed it to its present form. The truth is that John Main developed this so-called ancient Christian method of meditation from Buddhist and Hindu teachings. I have read all of those works including the Book of Privy Counselling and The Cloud of Unknowing as well as The Desert Fathers and I cannot find anywhere the word mantra, let alone the style of prayer taught today. Jesus certainly didn’t use Yoga. 73.

 

 

 

Unless of course, you believe he went to India between the Resurrection and Ascension to learn this stuff as the New Age Movement, Theosophists and Cabalists would have us believe.

For many years I have challenged Catholics who have maintained that they were only using the techniques, telling them that, “Prayer is not a technique – It is a relationship”. I noticed recently on the WCCM web site, that the new word replacing Techniques is now “Disciplines”.

DISCIPLINE: A state of order maintained by training and control; instruction and excersise designed to train to proper conduct or action. Webster’s Dictionary

Faith and Reason – East and West Dialogue.
Dialogue, which is a frank exchange of ideas or views in an effort to attain mutual understanding, is vastly different from actually practicing something. In the encyclical ‘Faith and Reason’ the Pope encourages us to learn from what he calls ‘the rich heritage of the East’, but nowhere does he encourage us to take on their religious practices and disciplines as Dom Freeman is doing. What is offensive to me is the propagation of the idea that these yoga meditations using mantras, are Christian.
I‘m not saying that we shouldn’t investigate that which is good and compatible and, I firmly believe that many of those Christians who practice these things are genuinely seeking the Lord with a good heart albeit in ignorance and error. However, I cannot say the same for Dom Freeman and the other Catholic nuns and priests that teach this eastern mystical snycretism. Therefore by presenting this article I am not trying to be uncharitable to anyone. I am simply attempting to make people aware of what they might be doing without understanding it. I am however, saying to those who know the difference – Stop lying, confusing and deceiving people by your words. You are guilty of corruption and deception and as Jesus said, “It is far better for you to be thrown into a lake with a millstone around your neck than to lead one of these little ones astray”.
Does Freeman [The successor of John Main] forget that Buddhism is the ultimate atheistic humanism, or does he simply ignore the fact? Since the object is to learn prayer from the Dalai Lama’s Buddhism, how is it that someone who doesn’t believe in [a] god and yet has so many acts of worship, teach anyone about praying to the living and true God? Clearly it is not prayer, nor is it meditation as practiced by the Christian Saints and early Desert Fathers as John Main has claimed.
Recently published in the Record Catholic Newspaper in Western Australia, Freeman told how John Main learned meditation and mantra prayer from Eastern religions. He said this is the prayer-methods used by the early Desert Fathers and Christian mystics like St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila and many others. As stated above, I have read all the works of St. Teresa, John of the Cross and others and there is absolutely no mention nor even the slightest hint that they ever did such a thing! In addition, you will not find this in the Bible or any Catholic teaching.
I noted after reading about a recent WCCM retreat in Penang in January 2003, that Freeman and participants refered to this meditation as a gift. “Each participant was asked to relate his/her own experience on how they received this gift.” – “Fr Laurence reminded us that meditation is a gift to be shared.”
Titles of Freeman’s publications reveal what I consider to be a subtle shift establishing this Christianised Eastern meditation to be accepted as a Christian [Holy Spirit] Gift. Such titles as ‘Sharing the Gift’ are very interesting. For example, using a capital G for gift gives it a Holy Spirit connotation.

I am now waiting to see if this makes the subtle transition to becoming refered to as a Gift of the Holy Spirit in future Freeman teachings.
In isolation this seems harmless enough until we note other titles like, ‘Jesus the Teacher Within’. This title also seems very innocent and we can forget that John Main learned his techniques from Eastern mystics. – The god within concept is very essential to New Age spirituality and it is central to Hinduism. Most importantly we need to see if this has any Scriptural basis. St. John’s Gospel explains that Jesus told his disciples that he would send Another Advocate. He taught that this Advocate was the Holy Spirit, who, at Pentecost would be ‘in’ them. Jesus said that The Holy Spirit would teach them [and us], all things and lead us into all truth; It is the role of the Holy Spirit therefore to reveal the Mind of God. – In the Bible, they shall be taught by God is refering to Jesus during his earthly ministry and afterwards, to the indwelling Holy Spirit at Pentecost and onwards.
[Blaze Update April 14 – 04]
If there is any doubt that the WCCM is New Age, the following announcement from their 2004 website should leave no doubts to the discerning Catholic.
“On… April…. 2004, at 7:30 pm,
Father Richard Rohr, OFM, [The Enneagram man-Michael]
well-known author and retreat leader, will deliver an address in a continuation of the WCCM’s Way of Peace initiative. The talk will presented at St. … Catholic Church, Texas. Father Rohr was chosen to continue the Way of Peace because of his powerful and eloquent witness for non-violence and peacemaking…
On the weekend of April… in Houston Texas,
Father Laurence Freeman, OSB, the director and spiritual teacher of the World Community for Christian Meditation, and Father Richard Rohr, OFM, Founding Director and animator of the Center for Action and Contemplation, will present a conference entitled Seeking Peace: A Dialogue on Jesus.
…Both Father Laurence and Father Richard believe
that Jesus is one of the few individuals in history who can be called a universal teacher by all people. Jesus teaches and embodies not just a path of personal spiritual formation, but a way of tolerance and compassion, a unique bridge of the spirit among people of different faiths, between rich and poor, and among those suffering conflict or division. The great social and psychological distresses of modern society call for a new and deeper contemplative response. Each human being, whatever his or her circumstances, is called to a contemplative peace, and is capable of it.”
74.

 

 

Incredible!
– Jesus is not presented as Lord of all, but as a “universal teacher embodying a unique BRIDGE of the spirit to OTHER FAITHS! – Note that ‘spirit’ does not have a capital “S” referring to the Holy Spirit, but a lower-case ‘s’ referring to the human spirit. If you read our article on
Kything prayer you will see this connection very clearly.

Also note this comment, “A short meeting of lay people committed to the practice was held after the seminar. A six week programme has already been scheduled for this group. This we hope is the starting point of the Journey to the Centre of our BEING which we are all called to make by Jesus. It is Jesus who prays in us, with us and for us.”
I cannot find any reference to Jesus asking us to make a journey to the centre of our being. Also, according to Saint Paul, it is the Holy Spirit that prays in us. If Jesus is also praying for us, then it is easy to see why these people only sit around thinking about and contemplating the whole thing. Jesus mediates, he does not do our praying for us. We pray in the Holy Spirit, through Jesus, to the Father. The Lord’s Prayer alone makes that clear when Jesus says, “When YOU pray, pray this way, Our Father…”
If Freeman is not influenced by New Age thinking as he and his disciples emphatically claim, he would not see the value in the Enneagram by working with Rohr. It seems this new initiative is another step in spiritual integration and the “marriage” that Bede Griffiths espoused that is inclusive of all faiths and the basic spiritual tenet of the New Age Movement. This marriage of Rohr & Freeman: Meditation and the Enneagram, seems to be the next step. We will now have to see if those WCCM meditators are now asked to do Enneagrams as well, and the Enneagram people asked to deepen their meditations by learning from the WCCM.
To further advance my argument regarding the New Age spirit of these priests, we find on the same page a bold link promoting Yoga and Rolfing classes, and at great cost if you do them I might add. On this page you will find several dates advertising, “Meditation & yoga retreats with Laurence Freeman and Giovanni Felicioni.” Felicioni teaches Yoga, Rolfing, Bodyworks and, “Touching”.
Also on the WCCM events page are these disturbing announcements amongst others.
John Main Seminar 2004 to be led by Sr. Joan Chittister, O.S.B. on the topic, “Heart of Flesh: A
Feminist Spirituality for Women and Men’ at … The Seminar will be preceded by a 3-day silent retreat with Fr. Laurence Freeman at the same venue.
The way this announcement reads you could be forgiven for thinking that the Freeman and Chiitister segments are two seperate things but they are not. They are connected and form a whole.
The constant brainwashing techniques used on these retreats is to fill the participants with these teachings and excersises and then keep them silent for three days. Those that have done this have told me that they are not allowed to interject and the three days of silence causes them to focus only on what they have been told and taught to practice.
The silence itself is the indoctrination time. By preceeding the seminars, the silence causes people to focus only on what is to come. At the end of three days the participants are champing at the bit for the answers to the questions arising in their minds that have been stimulated by the subject matter. This works on the fact that no-one attends without first hearing of, knowing something, or having an interest in the subjects at hand.

April 04 … His Holiness the Dalai Lama will confer the Kalachakra Initiation in Toronto. This is primarily for Tibetan Buddhists but is open to all.
So far the list of Freeman’s “Christian meditations” are in fact, Yoga, Mantras, Enneagram, Rolfing, Buddhist Initiations, Hinduism, New Age and Feminism!
Wake up Church! Even blind Freddy can see this for what it really is.
Still not convinced of the Dalai Lama’s real intentions?

Click Here and return to this page. When you have viewed this site, you can then ask yourself why Dom Freeman would be so interested in Buddhist spirituality and not only teach us to practice it, but promote the Dalai Lama’s sexual sorcery.
PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR CULTURE – PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE.
3.5.
The “god within” and “theosis” Here is a key point of contrast between New Age and Christianity. So much New Age literature is shot through with the conviction that there is no divine being “out there”, or in any real way distinct from the rest of reality. From Jung’s time onwards there has been a stream of people professing belief in “the god within”. Our problem, in a New Age perspective, is our inability to recognise our own divinity, an inability which can be overcome with the help of guidance and the use of a whole variety of techniques for unlocking our hidden [divine] potential. The fundamental idea is that ‘God’ is deep within ourselves. We are gods, and we discover the unlimited power within us by peeling off layers of inauthenticity.63
Spiritual Pride prevails in the Meditation Movement.
O
ver the years I have noticed an attitude change in people I know who have taken up this meditation. On one occasion I met a woman who used to attend my prayer group. After the usual politeness I asked why she hadn’t been to the meetings, “Oh, no, that’s not for me, I’m into higher things now”. She informed me that she was doing the John Main meditations. This incident could be ignored as pride-filled vanity from one individual except that I have had the same response from many people since then. When I have tried to talk to certain priests who do this meditation about my concerns with Yoga, they have patronizingly passed me off with a verbal pat on the head as child who just doesn’t understand. Consequently I have noticed a certain elitism, superiority and spiritual pride in these people and it seems to be a common fruit of this spirituality.
Although this form of meditation has wide support within the Church even from many bishops, the question remains as to whether this is really Christian or not? If it is, as the WCCM claim it to be, then other questions arise about why there is such a clear and obvious connection with Hindu and Buddhist spirituality as well as Dom Freeman’s relationship with the Dalai Lama? 75.

 

 

If it is in fact Christian, why is there such a strong connection and promotion of these Eastern religious methods? It seems that the term CHRISTIAN MEDITATION is a wrong terminology. CHRISTIANS MEDITATING would be a more accurate and fitting terminology to describe the prayer methods of the WCCM.

Buddhism is NOT accepted by His Holiness Pope John Paul II.

Crossing the Threshold of Hope. Pope John Paul II
Vittorio Messori:
I would like to ask you to speak more fully on the subject of Buddhism. Essentially – as you well know – it offers a “doctrine of salvation” that seems increasingly to fascinate many Westerners as an “alternative” to Christianity or as a sort of ”complement” to it, at least in terms of certain ascetic and mystical techniques. John Paul II: Yes. you are right and I am grateful to you for this question. Among the religions mentioned in the Council document Nostra Actate. it is necessary to pay special attention to Buddhism. which from a certain point of view, like Christianity is a religion of salvation. Nevertheless, it needs to be said right away that the doctrines of salvation in Buddhism and Christianity are opposed.
There is no such thing as “Christian Zen” nor a “Marriage of East and West”.
The only marriage for the Church is to Christ! That is the only wedding that Jesus of Nazareth will attend when He comes for His Bride. He will expect her to be ready for Him, prepared and waiting, clearly distinguished as His. He is not going to enter a relationship with other gods nor practice their ways. There is only “One Way” for Christians to follow: Jesus Christ, the One and Only True God, the “Word” that has come in the flesh!

The teachers of these techniques wrap their argument up in the Christian Mystical Theology of St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, Cassian, the Desert Fathers and many others implying, no, stating clearly, that this is what they were doing way back then. John Main allegedly ‘discovered’ this ancient tradition and developed it to its present form. The truth is that John Main developed this so-called ancient Christian method of meditation from Buddhist and Hindu teachings. I have read all of those works including the Book of Privy Counselling and The Cloud of Unknowing as well as The Desert Fathers and I cannot find anywhere the word mantra, let alone the style of prayer taught today. Jesus certainly didn’t use Yoga. Unless of course, you believe he went to India between the Resurrection and Ascension to learn this stuff as the New Age Movement, Theosophists and Cabalists would have us believe.
Never-the-less, the excommunicated Dominican priest Matthew Fox, author of Original Blessing, the foundation of his teachings on Creation Spirituality says in the book, Breakthrough – Meister Eckhart’s Creation Spirituality in New Translation. – Introduction and Commentaries by Matthew Fox – The work of the 17th century Polish mystic-poet Angelus Silesius has been called a “seventeen-century edition of Eckhart” and, the 14th century Flemish mystic Jan van Ruysbroeck was influenced by him. – Fox continues, “We can be sure,” says scholar Jeanne Ancelet-Hustache, “that through the intermediary of Flemish mystics, Eckhart’s thought had anonymously found its way even into Teresa of Avila and Saint John of the Cross”…
Meister Eckhart was condemned posthumously by a Papal Decree issued on March 27th 1329, and yet, in spite of this, Eckhart still seems to influence Catholic spirituality today and the connection between the WCCM and its New Age Syncretism might not seem immediately clear, but a closer examination shows this to be so. There is more about Eckhart later. In the meanwhile let us continue with a closer look at Dom Freeman and his so-called ‘Christian’ Meditation.

Neo Paganism and Eastern Mysticism.

At times people have said that we are against Buddhists, Hindus etc. Our answer is, “On the contrary, we are not against anything or anyone – we are simply for Christ”. In fact, we see it valid for these people to believe in and practice what they want and respect that. However, we are against the false gods and the lying spirits that hold people in superstition and bondage and believe by revelation that Jesus Christ is The Truth that all true religions seek. We can therefore say to the reincarnationists, “The good news of Jesus is that you do not have to keep dying; your karmic debt was cancelled on Calvary and the end of the never-ending cycle of birth-death-birth-death to reach your perfection is found by accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior in this life. By his death and resurrection he has beaten the power of death, forgiven your sin [or bad karma], cancelled the debt and made you acceptable to God. (Romans 8: 1-13)
When we accept Baptism we die with him and are raised with him. Therefore, the sting of death is removed, and as a believer in the saving Grace of Jesus Christ you will not see death when you leave this life, but by the power of the Holy Spirit, who is the Lord and giver of Life, you will pass from life into everlasting life. (Romans 8: 11)
Our concerns in this article are addressed to Christians who are compromising the Good News of Jesus Christ which we believe is confusing the truth that he has revealed for all people to know and accept in order to be reconciled with God (Romans 1:16-23). Therefore we can also say to the Neo-Pagan, “What is more important, the gift, or the giver? Why subject yourself to the worship of the creature rather than its creator? – It is illogical and belittling to love the gift given by a lover more than you love your lover, and the truth we proclaim is, God loves you.” (Galatians 4: 3-7).

Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on Some Aspects of Christian Meditation

3. Christian prayer is always determined by the structure of the Christian faith, in which the very truth of God and creatures shines forth. For this reason, it is defined properly speaking, as a personal, intimate and profound dialogue between man and God. It expresses, therefore, the communion of redeemed creatures with the intimate life of the persons of the Trinity. This communion, based on baptism and the Eucharist, source and summit of the life of the Church, implies an attitude of conversion, a flight from “self” to the “you” of God. Thus Christian prayer is at the same time always authentically personal and communitarian. It flees from impersonal techniques or from concentrating on oneself, which can create a kind of rut, imprisoning the person praying in a spiritual privatism which is incapable of free openness to the transcendental God. 76.

 

 


Within the Church, in the legitimate search for new methods of meditation it must always be borne in mind that the essential element of authentic Christian prayer is the meeting of two freedoms, the infinite freedom of God with the finite freedom of man.
6.
This is why the Church recommends the reading of the word of God as a source of Christian prayer, and at the same time exhorts all to discover the deep meaning of sacred Scripture through prayer “so that a dialogue takes place between God and man. For, ‘we speak to him when we pray; we listen to him when we read the divine oracles.

[Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith”. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect & Archbishop Alberto Bovone, Secretary. Oct 15th 1989].
See also
DOMINUS IESUS 2000 and The Latest Vatican Document on the New Age

Many of my friends have accused me of fundamentalism in this regard. Perhaps they have forgotten that I have not always been a Christian. These practices were part of my life before then. I have experienced these things first hand so I “know” what it is that I have rejected to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. I can assure you, they are not valid for Christians. Regardless of what people might think of my position on these matters, I am certain that I will be vindicated in the end and the Church will act to protect the faithful.

Eddie Russell, FMI

MY COMMENTS:

I located the above article in my files only after I had almost completed this report. Still, I was not surprised to find that many of Catholic evangelist Eddie Russell’s conclusions are identical to mine. For example the notes on Rolfing being New Age, the enneagram practitioner Fr. Richard Rohr associated with the WCCM, the connection between the WCCM and Fr. Bede Griffiths, etc. It would have been a great surprise to me if Eddie Russel had missed those points. They are glaringly evident to any discerning and knowledgeable Catholic.

It is therefore unbelievable that our learned Bishops have not been able to spot them.

Eddie Russell accuses the WCCM of being Buddhist. They are. Remember that I mentioned [page 50] that the WCCM web site http://www.wccm.org/item.asp?recordid=Links06&pagestyle=default had a link [Buddhist-Christian Network” Click here.] http://buddhist-christian.org/index.html that would not open? Well, it finally did.

And this is what I found: THE LINK OPENS TO THE HOME PAGE OF THE “BUDDHIST CHRISTIAN VEDANTA NETWORK”!!!!! THE PAGE HAS A “Painting of Christ and the Buddha by Carlos di Sequeira”.

The Buddha and Jesus Christ stand side by side, with one of their hands extended in the upadesa mudra.

I REPRODUCE THAT PAGE HERE:

Welcome

The Buddhist Christian Network was formed in 1999 by Elizabeth West
The aim of the network is to provide a link between the many people who are interested in the teaching and practice of meditation as taught in Buddhism and Christianity. There are many Christians seeking to understand the contemplative dimension of the spiritual journey more fully by using Buddhist teachings. Others who have embraced Buddhism still have an interest in their Christian roots.

Many people today find difficulty in joining any particular institution, but feel the need to share the journey with link minded people who are serious about spiritual practice.

Above all the network seeks to foster and promote friendship and a growing relationship of trust between sincere practitioners of both these great traditions; in fact anyone on a serious spiritual path is welcome to join. Buddhist-Christian dialogue is well advanced and takes many forms. Inter-monastic dialogue and exchanges have been going for many years. Theological and philosophical dialogue is also very common. The Network seeks to put people in touch with resources of all types and to provide links with other organisations and local groups that are available.

Although the main focus is on Buddhism and Christianity, it welcomes anyone interested in the contemplative journey through links with other traditions as well. It has close links with the Bede Griffiths Sangha, The World Community for Christian Meditation, the Awakened Heart Sangha and the International Satsang Association. The Network publishes a Newsletter and holds seminars & workshops. The Network welcomes everyone who is drawn towards a wider view of religion.

I have accessed the web site of the Buddhist Christian Network through the web site of the World Community for Christian Meditation!!!!! And it as Buddhist as it can ever get. So the WCCM did not truthfully answer the FAQ question we had seen earlier [pages 49, 50]. Let us now examine some of the links to this site, the Buddhist Christian Network, and let us see what we find.

First, the WCCM site is not up-to-date. The name of the Network has been changed since the year 2007.

It is now renamed the Buddhist Christian Vedanta Network.

 

THE BUDDHIST CHRISTIAN VEDANTA NETWORK, A CLOSE ASSOCIATE OF THE WCCM

NEWSLETTER, JANUARY 2007 http://buddhist-christian.org/newsletters/January%202007%20Newsletter.pdf 77.

 

 

For some time now I am unhappy with the limitation to Buddhism and Christianity implied in the title of the network. My original roots in the Eastern journey were with Yoga and Vedanta, Now that I have returned to and strengthened my connection with the International Satsang Association, this limitation seems even less appropriate. References to Vedanta in this edition of the newsletter also emphasizes this problem. Thus I am thinking of changing the name of the Network to The
Buddhist Christian Vedanta Network. This will also increase its appeal to members of such groups as the Bede Griffiths Sangha, The International Satsang, and the Ramakrishna Vedanta Centre to name but a few…

Elizabeth West.

Once more a confirmation that all the organizations examined in this report are interconnected in different ways. The Bede Griffiths Sangha is connected with the Catholic Ashrams movement in its direct association with Shantivanam Ashram and the tradition of Fr. Bede Griffiths’ teachings, and again through The International Satsang whose founder Sr. Ishpriya is a Catholic nun, a former associate of Fr. Bede Griffiths and of Vandana Mataji [see pp. 16, 47] and an ashram foundress herself. And let us not forget Fr. Joe Pereira and Kripa Foundation which is the conduit for the WCCM in India through the Archdiocese of Bombay.

 

WHO IS ELIZABETH WEST OF THE BUDDHIST CHRISTIAN VEDANTA NETWORK? AN EX-NUN!

http://buddhist-christian.org/network.html:

Elizabeth West – Founder of the Network [16 Servite House, 27 Bramley Road, London, N14 4HQ] was a Catholic nun for 30 years. In 1977 she met two nuns of her order who came from India and led retreats using Yoga and Vedanta teachings in a Christian context. This awoke her interest in Indian philosophy and Eastern religions along with the practice of meditation.

She spent time in India visiting Hindu and Christian Ashrams. After this she worked for the Catholic Church in Westminster Interfaith, fostering dialogue between the many Faiths present in the Greater London Area, during this time she took an MA in World Religions at London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies. After this Elizabeth lived and worked with the Christian Meditation Centre in London. During this time she also led Buddhist/Christian retreats with various Buddhist teachers. She has also studied with Lama Shenpen Hookham a teacher of Dzogchen and Mahamudra meditation practices which are rooted in the Kagyu and Nyingma traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. Elizabeth’s experience of several traditions from the inside inspires her to continue the work of dialogue at the level of practice, enabling people to deepen their understanding of the spiritual journey. She is happy to give talks, lead weekends and attend events on dialogue when invited to do so.

 

WHAT DO THEY DO AT THE BUDDHIST CHRISTIAN VEDANTA NETWORK?

NEWSLETTER, SEPTEMBER 2008 http://buddhist-christian.org/newsletters/September%202008%20Newsletter.pdf:

Buddha Mind and Kingdom of God retreat, 23-28 July, 2008 at the Centre for World Peace, Holy Isle.

Before a statue of the Buddha, they conducted and celebrated Tibetan pujas, Green Tara pujas, Chenrezig pujas, “visualization and mantra practices”, “internalizing the energy”, “Buddhist panikhidi service to remember loved ones who have died”, “the interconnectedness of all people and phenomena”, “right-brain way into the experience of interconnectedness”, etc.

“At the end of the retreat we each held in turn a crystal which had sat in front of the Buddha statue throughout the week. As each person in turn held the crystal, the others all focused their attention on sending that person a deep sense of gratitude and compassion.”

http://buddhist-christian.org/events.html:

Compassion Retreat – Where the Heart of Tibetan Buddhism & Christianity Meet

With Elizabeth West and Choden Jun 26, 2009 – Jun 30, 2009 at Holy Isle

This retreat will be a practice oriented exploration of compassion. Choden will introduce the bodhisattva Chenrezig, the Tibetan Buddhist practice of loving kindness and compassion. Elizabeth will then open up the ritual so that people can focus on the heart of Christ if they choose. The most important aspect will be awakening true compassion within ourselves. We will explore the mantra of Chenrezig, om mani padme hum, which has the power to transform our negative emotions into wisdom and compassion. The retreat will be mainly silent apart from question and sharing sessions. There will also be sitting and walking meditation and the chance to explore our beautiful retreat island.

Retreat Leaders

Elizabeth West was a catholic nun for 30 years and she has worked in interfaith dialogue for many years. She has extensive experience of Buddhist and Christian contemplative practice and retreats.

Choden
has been a practising Buddhist for 20 years and has completed a three year meditation retreat, practicing the deep tantric practices of Tibetan Buddhism.

http://buddhist-christian.org/events.html:

The Effects of the new Cosmology on Spiritual Life and Practice
Led by Sister Ishpriya, RSCJ [founder of the International Satsang Association, Quelle, Austria] 20-22 March, 2009, at Emmaus House, Bristol

NEWSLETTER, JANUARY 2008
http://buddhist-christian.org/newsletters/January%202008%20Newsletter.pdf:

Annual Gathering at St. Mary’s Convent, Edgware 21-23 September, 2007.

Vedanta study and enneagrams were a part of the programme. 78.

 

 

“Some present had confidence in the universe (God or energy) which was always there upholding all… It was thought that to make the connection with the universal love (God or energy) one needed to be in the now, desiring the connection… Thich Nhat Hanh (Vietnamese Buddhist monk) came up in our sharing… In response to a question about Vedanta, Elizabeth spoke about the Patanjali Yoga Sutras.”

The “book list offered by participants” includes two books by New Ager Ken Wilber*, Integral Spirituality and A Brief History about Everything. *pages 88, 101

NEWSLETTER, SEPTEMBER 2006 http://buddhist-christian.org/newsletters/September%202006%20Newsletter.pdf:

New Ager Ken Wilber‘s Spectrum of Consciousness discussed by Elizabeth West.

NEWSLETTER, APRIL 2007 http://buddhist-christian.org/newsletters/April%202007%20Newsletter.pdf

In this Newsletter, one can note their close connection with the Bede Griffiths Sangha

NEWSLETTER, JANUARY 2007 http://buddhist-christian.org/newsletters/January%202007%20Newsletter.pdf

In this Newsletter, one can note their close connection with the Christian Meditation Centre of the WCCM where they wold hold their March 3, 2007 programme.

NEWSLETTER, JANUARY 2008 http://buddhist-christian.org/newsletters/January%202008%20Newsletter.pdf

In this Newsletter, one is informed of the forthcoming events with Sr. Ishpriya in March 2008. We are told that “along with Vandana [Mataji] she founded three Christian ashrams” in India, and “In the Catholic Ashrams movement she was closely associated with other [ashram] founders such as Bede Griffiths.”

MY COMMENTS:

1. WHO IS SR. ISHPRIYA? COPIED FROM MY REPORT ON CATHOLIC ASHRAMS, PAGE 42: Sr. Ishapriya, formerly Sister Patricia Kinsey was born in Britain, spent her novitiacy in London and then a year in Rome. She was sent on mission to India where she was deeply impressed by the spiritual values of the country. She stayed first at [Swami Sivananda’s] Divine Life Society in Rishikesh, studying and eventually, she says, taking sannyas diksha from Swami Chidananda.

“A correspondent for Hinduism Today met briefly with Ishapriya in Carmel, California. She was conducting a
six week retreat program in Ashtanga Yoga
at the Angelica Convent reports the Saiva Siddhantha Church monthly Hinduism Today, in its issue of December 1986.

The crest of the Divine Life Society [DLS] has an OM at the centre of the sun representing the realisation of the self, attained through knowledge. Vishal Mangalwadi, in The World of Gurus, pages 41-51, writes on the DLS that it follows the advaitic.. philosophy of… Shankaracharya. According to them, God is not a person or spirit. He, or rather ‘it’, is pure consciousness… [They] teach a synthesis of yoga… According to Swamiji, OM is the best mantra.

Swami Sivananda himself said: Wholesale preaching of Vedanta to the masses is not advisable. It will cause chaos, bewilderment and stagnation,
Bliss Divine, page 377. His followers, like Ishpriya and Vandana, will do well to heed him.

2. It is clear that the Buddhist Christian Vedanta Network is very closely associated not only with the Catholic Ashrams movement, and the Bede Griffiths Sangha which is part of the Ashrams circuit, but that they all are closely allied with the World Community for Christian Meditation.

3. They are all steep in Hindu Vedanta and in Buddhism, including Tantric Tibetan Buddhism. They promote advaitic and nihilistic teachings rather than anything remotely Christian. They are Trojan horses within the Catholic Church.

4. If it can be imagined as worse than that, they promote and practise New Age [“the interconnectedness of all people and phenomena”, “right-brain way into the experience of interconnectedness”, the universe (God or energy), universal love (God or energy)], enneagrams, cystal therapies, etc.

 

WHO ARE THE CLOSE LINKS OF THE BUDDHIST CHRISTIAN VEDANTA NETWORK?

http://buddhist-christian.org/links.html:

The Buddhist-Christian Network is growing and this page will contain links to other websites which share our ethos.

1. International Satsang Association, founded by Sr. Ishpriya
www.international-satsang.org

2. The World Community for Christian Meditation
www.wccm.org

3.The World Community for Christian Meditation in the UK
christian-meditation.org.uk

4.The Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies
www.sbinstitute.com; www.alanwallace.org

Allan Wallace is the founder of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies. He is a teacher of Tibetan Buddhism. There are audio talks and retreats available on the website which are excellent for people interested in deepening their meditation practice. There is also much of interest on psychology, science and meditation.

5. The Retreat Society of the Bamboo Grove
www.retreatsociety.org.uk

6. Heartmind
www.heartmind.co.uk

A not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the promotion of peace and well-being through the education and practice of mindfulness in yoga, meditation and healthy conscious living.

7. London Inter Faith Centre
www.londoninterfaith.org.uk
The centre aims to provide a space where inter faith meetings, study and dialogue can take place amongst different world religions.

8. Religious Tolerance
www.religioustolerance.org/buddhism3.htm

Sources of information and materials on Buddhism. 79.

 

 

9. Wrekin Trust
www.wrekintrust.org

An association of centres, organisations and individuals committed to the promotion and provision of spiritual education in and around the UK.

10. Dharmagiri
www.dharmagiri.org The Buddhist centre of Thanissara and Kittisaro in South Africa.

11. City of Light Church & The Monastery of the Cosmic Christ
A Radically Inclusive Christian-Buddhist Monastic Community
www.CityofLightChurch.com

12. East-West Detox and Thamkrabok Monastery
www.east-westdetox.org.uk

East West Detox offers an alternative treatment for addiction with mindfulness meditation as the key to relapse prevention. We work closely with the Benedictine monks at Douai Abbey in Reading, as well as the Buddhist monks at Wat Thamkrabok in Thailand and Samye Ling, Scotland.

13. The Contemplative Way: Retreats with James Finley, Ph.D. www.contemplativeway.org

14. The Awakening Foundation
www.awakeningfoundation.com

The Awakening Foundation is a vehicle for teaching and support in the field of spiritual unfoldment. Its primary commitment is to the “direct path” – this acknowledges our inherent wholeness which may be realised NOW!

A QUICK RUN THROUGH OF SOME OF THE ABOVE WEBSITES, AND MY COMMENTS:

1. Right at the top of the list is the the World Community for Christian Meditation, to which the Kripa Foundation and Fr. Joe Pereira are attached.

2. The Bede Griffiths Sangha [of the Ashrams Movement], already welcomed by Elizabeth West on page 77 and in the first paragraph on page 78, is there. So, too, the International Satsang Association, founded by Sr. Ishpriya of the Ashrams movement.

3. International Satsang Association, founded by Sr. Ishpriya:

http://www.international-satsang.org/isa/Welcome.html:

The Association is a companionship between those who are open to the truth in all religious traditions and are seeking to know the absolute, the source of all life…

http://www.international-satsang.org/isa/Die_Quelle.html:

All seek to return to the ONE SOURCE of all Life … God by whichever name…

4. The
Santa Barbara Inst for Consciousness Studies

http://www.sbinstitute.com/Directors.html:

Ordained as a Buddhist monk by H. H. the Dalai Lama in 1975, the founder Allan Wallace has taught Buddhist meditation and philosophy worldwide since 1976… He has edited, translated, authored, and contributed to more than thirty books on Tibetan Buddhism, medicine, language, and culture, and the interface between science and religion.

http://www.sbinstitute.com/events.php:

September 6, 2008 – September 13, 2008:
Lucid Dreaming & Dream Yoga

November 15, 2008 – November 22, 2008: Awakening to Our Buddha Nature

June 21, 2009 – June 28, 2009:

Exploring the Depths of the Psyche: A Shamatha Retreat in the Great Perfection Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism

“it is strongly resonant with Zen and Vipassana meditations

August 30, 2009 – September 6, 2009:

Exploring the Ultimate Nature of Reality: A Vipashyana Retreat in the Great Perfection Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism

ascending along the path of the Great Perfection to the realization of the ‘rainbow body’.

5. The Retreat Society of the Bamboo Grove

Incorporating “The Society for the Advancement of Buddhist-Christianity” which gives a link to http://www.gratefulness.org/index.htm which has a New Age labyrinth meditation

http://www.retreatsociety.org.uk/about_us.html:

“We give special emphasis to:

Jungian Psychology

-The visionary theologies of
Teilhard de Chardin, Matthew Fox
, et al.

Our Spiritual Director, John Hardy, has a wide knowledge of world religions, holding degrees in The History and Philosophy of Religion and Social Anthropology. His ‘spiritual formation’ has included a Jungian training analysis, supervised practice at a major London psychiatric hospital, ordination and work as a priest and bishop within the Old Catholic tradition and Zen training in Germany and Korea.

The page has a cross at the centre of which is a seated Buddha! NOTE: de Chardin is the world’s leading New Ager [see pages 69, 70] and Matthew Fox is an excommunicated New Age Dominican priest!

6. Heartmind
www.heartmind.co.uk [link not opening]

Promotes yoga and meditation.

7. London Inter Faith Centre
http://www.londoninterfaith.org.uk/:

Please bring your own mat and Zen cushions if you have one. You are welcome to sit on a chair or on the floor as you choose. Sitting (Zazen) is a centuries-old practice by which we seek to experience clear reality in the present moment by sitting still and silent in God’s presence, quieting the constant stream of thoughts.NOTE: ZEN BUDDHISM

8. Religious Tolerance www.religioustolerance.org/buddhism3.htm:

Sources of information and materials on Buddhism including The Buddhist Christian Vedanta Network

9. Wrekin Trust
http://www.wrekintrust.org/history.shtml
NOTE:
PURE
NEW AGE: 80.

 

 

The founder is Sir George Trevelyan, leading New Ager.

“The world is a harmonious organic whole where matter and energy are but viewpoints or phases in the continuous cosmic dance of which the observer is an integral part”Fritjof Capra. NOTE:
CAPRA IS A LEADING NEW AGER

Mystics knew that we could attune to the creative intelligence of the living universe and that this sense could be enhanced by training. There were centres of initiation where the esoteric knowledge was passed on to those who would be developed enough to use it for the good of all. The knowledge was codified time and again through the ancient cultures, was frequently debased and driven underground only to arise once more in times of tribulation. We see that the earth is now passing through such an epoch….

http://www.wrekintrust.org/sir_george.shtml:

The coming years will increasingly call for our close co-operation with the higher worlds. Our culture in the past couple of centuries has been oriented on matter and gaining more power and property for self. That was not the purpose when the Divine instruction gave mankind dominion over all life on this beautiful planet earth. Gaia is clearly angry and sick of her errant steward. Our spiritual and holistic world view recognises that everything on some level is alive and all is part of one stupendous whole. The crisis of change must cleanse this planet and draw from it very many souls who have rejected the spiritual world-view. But remember that we are each watched over by our Higher Self and angel guide and that, if we attune to the Christ power, we shall have our part to play in the building of a New World.

10. Dharmagiri
http://www.dharmagiri.org/component/option,com_weblinks/catid,10/Itemid,39/:

Linked to the Buddhist Christian Vedanta Network. Promotes Theravada Buddhism Chi Kung, etc.

11. City of Light Church & The Monastery of the Cosmic Christ NOTE:
PURE
NEW AGE:

http://www.cityoflightchurch.com/Membership.html:

The “Spiritual director” is Rt. Rev. William Gameson, “born into a family of spiritual healers and mystics, an ex-Benedictine who “received ordination in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition… and currently serves as:

Co-Founder of the Ancient Healing Academy

Bishop with the Church of Seven Planes

Resident monk of the Osel Dorje Nyingpo Foundation

Member Clergy: Rev. Anita Dalton, Spiritual Director – Center For The New Age Sedona, Arizona:

We’ve searched the globe and pulled the most accurate Psychics and Healers and amazing Massage-Therapists from all over the world who have come here to be part of this special community… Our Building includes a Bookstore, Crystal Shop, incredible imported God and Goddess Gallery. We offer Spirit-Guided Tours to the vortexes and other sacred sites.

http://www.CityofLightChurch.com:

Welcome! The City of Light Church is an interfaith organization dedicated to helping each member reach their highest human potential. No longer bound by church walls, our spiritual community has come together to live and serve in the highest integrity for the liberation of all sentient beings from suffering, to promote peace on Earth, and to bridge the gap between religious traditions.

http://www.cityoflightchurch.com/events.html:

Every Friday evening we have an Interfaith Worship service featuring a Puja in the Hindu tradition. Come join us and experience the divine energies of Mother India. Throughout the year the City of Light Church offers various workshops in Sedona, Arizona on the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine, Ascended Masters, workshops and empowerments in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, Esoteric Christian Wisdom etc.

http://www.cityoflightchurch.com/Affiliates.html

The Buddhist Christian Vedanta Network

The Theosophical Society

The United Pagan Church of Australia

Ashram of the Motheroffers a range of courses on Reiki, healing, and the ascended masters

12. East-West Detox and Thamkrabok Monastery

http://www.east-westdetox.org.uk/about/east-west-healing-therapies
NOTE:
NEW AGE ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES:

Medical Herbalist Anna Cannon and Acupuncturist Sue Church have both supported East West Detox service users before during and after treatment at the Thamkrabok Monastery…

Tuina massage not only works on the muscles and joints, but also at a deeper level, affecting the flow of vital life energy in the body. Many physical and emotional factors impede the flow of Qi (energy) in the body. Pressure is applied on the energetic channels of the body affecting the flow of ‘Qi’.

13. The Contemplative Way: Retreats with James Finley, Ph.D. www.contemplativeway.org
former cloistered Trappist monk, now a “clinical psychologist in private practice with his wife in Santa Monica, California

http://www.contemplativeway.org/retreats/retreats.html. Some retreats:

The Four Noble Truths of the Buddha For Us All

Zen as a Path of Spiritual Fulfillment

14. The Awakening Foundation
www.awakeningfoundation.com

spiritual awakening – the perennial philosophy – the mystical path – inner transformation – gnosis – essence of yoga

SUMMARY: THE BUDDHIST CHRISTIAN VEDANTA NETWORK, THIS CLOSE ASSOCIATE OF THE WCCM IS DEEP INTO PAGANISM, SYNCRETISM AND NEW AGE. 81.

 

LEGAL DISPUTE OVER MANGALORE PROPERTY BETWEEN KRIPA FOUNDATION/FR. JOE PEREIRA AND RAYMOND LOBO, AGED 66, OF KALINA, SANTACRUZ (E), MUMBAI

Fr. Joe Pereira and Kripa Foundation used Mr. Raymond Lobo’s property at Mooduhithlu, Kadandale, and its agricultural produce for three years from October 3, 2005, free of cost. When Mr. Lobo inspected the property and made local enquiries in October 2007, he found that his property has been damaged and not maintained according to the legal agreements. After fruitless correspondence with Fr. Joe Pereira in which Fr. Joe Pereira used abusive words against Mr. Lobo, Mr. Lobo finally cancelled and revoked the five-year lease agreements on August 14, 2008. Fr. Joe Pereira finally handed back the property to Mr. Lobo on October 17, 2008 “in bad condition”. However, Mr. Raymond Lobo’s Original Power of Attorney and Caretaker Agreement which were cancelled and revoked by him are still not returned to him at the time of writing this report in May 2009.

A file of the correspondence between Mr. Raymond Lobo and Fr. Joe Pereira, and copies of all documents, are with me. Despite the legal documents signed with Mr. Lobo, Fr. Joe Pereira accused Mr. Lobo of not being the true legal owner of the property when he was asked to vacate the premises.

Looking for help from the Church authorities, Mr. Lobo wrote to Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the Archbishop of Bombay on December 4, 2007, September 19, 2008, and December 6, 2008 by Registered Letter A.D., quoting all the abusive language used by Fr. Joe Pereira in his email letters, and enclosing copies of letters and relevant documents. The Registered Letter of September 19 was acknowledged by Fr. Savio Fernandes, the Chancellor of Bombay archdiocese, in a letter dated September 24, saying that the Cardinal was away for six weeks and would be handed the letter on his return.

Excerpts from some of Fr. Joe Pereira’s email letters to Mr. Raymond Lobo [spellings and capital letters emphases all as in the originals written by Fr. Joe Pereira]:

November 9, 2007: Dear Raymond,

I am shocked by your analysis of our work. Some kind of Devil seems to be acting on you. If you want to take back your offering from God’s people, you will in the words of Deuteronmy incur a CURSE. So think before you get us out of your place.

I do not like God’s people calling themselves charismatic and maintaining double standards. You certainly crossed your boundaries when you suggest as to how we must conduct our programme spiritually. Be bold and tell Satan to Keep off. Love, Fr>Joe

March 16, 2008: Dear Raymond,

Now God has revealed your black heart. I once again repeat, better repent and acknowledge God’s people and his work. Or you will take upon you the CURSES of God’s loved ones.

As and when I am ready to hear your confession of deception and forgive you and your family will also settle this matter amicably. This is the best season for you to get the grace of conversion.

STOP HIDING BEHIND THE CHARISMATIC FAÇADE. fR.jOE

August 25, 2008: Dear Raymond,

God has brought us into your life to make you aware of your evil intentions. Your legal documents are fraud. Fr. Joe

September 7, 2008: Dear Linus and Paul,

Please settle this man as I have advised you before. Do not spare this liar… As a charismatic he is following the Devil… Settle him in such a way that he stops sending me these emails. If I act he will not know where to run. Fr>Joe

September 12, 2008:

Will someone tell this man Raymond that he is dealing with a world renowned Charitable Trust. To accuse Kripa of not carrying out charitable work amounts to blasphemy. Paul and Martyres, please do the needful.

I think Raymond needs either a psychiatrist or a good legal bamboo for cheating his family and dragging Kripa into his most sinful and selfish plans… Such selfrighteos Self opinionated Religious Freaks must not be let free… Both God and Society will soon punish this man. The Gospel says that such people who scandalize innocent persons (like our poor patients) must have the millstone round their necks and thrown into the sea. Hyppocrit that he is, hs is passing judgements on our work which is like that of Mother Teresa. Fr. Joe

October 23, 2008:

After getting back your property please get yourself EXORCISED. You were a typical Devil in Charismatic Appearance! Fr. Joe

Mr. Raymond Lobo wrote to the Cardinal on December 6, 2008, “Being an anointed priest, Fr. Joe has forgotten his priesthood. His email contents clearly show that he is dead against the Charismatic Renewal movement. I have tolerated his humiliations and attacks on my personality, my faith, and devotion in worshiping my Lord in the charismatic way. There is no stop or control on him inspite of bringing to the notice and attention of the Church authorities as no action has been taken against him. I seek justice, peace and respect. Sd/- Raymond Lobo. 82.

 

MY COMMENTS:

1. When examining the documentation, I found that all Raymond Lobo’s letters [some of three pages and one of fourteen] to Fr. Joe were perfectly civil and cordial. In fact, Lobo would appeal often to his devout Catholic faith and charismatic spirituality, quoting Scripture passages, and then he would state the reasons that he wanted his property back.

On the other hand, the abusive responses from Fr. Joe Pereira were as above. I do not need to comment on them, except to point out Fr. Joe’s strong antipathy towards “charismatics” which I noted several times in this report [see pages 4-12]. After Aug. 2008, Fr. Joe even stopped addressing his benefactor by name.

2. I have received letters in which I have been warned that Fr. Joe Pereira is a most dangerous person to confront. I am reproducing just two of them below. The first is from the late Errol Fernandes of Bandra, Mumbai. I am unable to locate his other letters of the year 2003, detailing how Fr. Joe Pereira dealt with a person who antagonised him. The second letter is from a person in an international charismatic ministry.

From:
riterrol@vsnl.com
To:
Michael Prabhu
Sent: Sunday, July 06, 2003 1:53 PM

The false “Report of the Task Force on New Religious Movements” which was presented to the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council (14 July 1989) and stated that the Catholic Charismatic Renewal was one of the “conduits” by which Catholics were leaving the Church, was prepared by [xx] and some chap called Norman Mendes (who recently died). Norman was the chap who took a gang of cronies around Bandra painting anti-Emmanuel Prayer Group calumny on the walls of churches and schools (I sent you a couple of pictures of one such {the walls of St. Aloysius school}). These calumnies were based on the allegations of
Fr Joe Pereira (of Yoga and Kripa fame) at the Bandra Deanery meeting of December 1988. In Jesus, Errol

From:
name withheld
To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2005 3:58 PM Subject: Re: ASHRAMS

Dear Michael, Thanks for sending me the Ashram report*. I am so depressed about it that I can’t even express myself properly. I seem too confused what to do next!

…I am worried about you and Joe Pereira*. He has a Hindu Guru!! So I read in the papers. Even Fr. Rufus Pereira will not even pray about this. I requested him, as I see a real, even physical danger to arise from there. I assume you know what I am talking about!!

*The last 10 pages of the Catholic Ashrams report are on Fr. Joe Pereira and Kripa Foundation.

 

I then arranged for this letter to be sent to Fr. Joe Pereira:

From: angelamariemendonza@gmail.com; To:
frjoe@vsnl.com; jpst_1995@yahoo.co.uk; Sent: May 13, 2009 5:20 PM
Subject: MR. RAYMOND LOBO’s PROPERTY LEASED TO KRIPA FOUNDATION

REMINDER SENT.
Date: May 14, 2009 9:10 AM

Dear Fr. Joe Pereira,

Praise the Lord! How are you?

Mr. Raymond Lobo of Light House, Mooduhithlu, Kadandale has given me permission to write to you on his behalf as I am looking into the problem with the property which he had leased to you free of cost, but which he had revoked as the leased property was not managed to his satisfaction as per the agreement.

According to the records, the Original Power of Attorney and Caretaker Agreement which were cancelled and revoked by him in August of 2008 have not been returned to Mr. Lobo by you till date. 

Could you please confirm if you have done so or not?

If you have not yet done so, could I know when you intend to do so?

Thanking you,

for Angela Marie Mendonza

From:
Joe Pereira
jpst_1995@yahoo.co.uk
To:
angelamariemendonza@gmail.com
Sent: May 14, 2009 12:50 PM
Subject: Fw: MR. RAYMOND LOBO’s PROPERTY LEASED TO KRIPA FOUNDATION
Angela did you not get this? frjoe

From: Joe Pereira <jpst_1995@yahoo.co.uk> To: Angela Mendonza <angelamariemendonza@gmail.com>; Linus Pinto <flora_pinto@hotmail.com> Cc: Kripa Darc <kripadarc@yahoo.co.in> Sent: Wednesday, 13 May, 2009 14:02:55
Subject: Re: MR. RAYMOND LOBO’s PROPERTY LEASED TO KRIPA FOUNDATION

Dear Linus,

The ghost of this sick man Raymond is still hanging over us.
Please reply to this Angela and let her know the details of our finalising the return of the property. If as she says he needs some documents, please have them given to her.

All’s well with our centres in Europe. Will get a better response inspite of the econonic crisis. Unlike Raymond Lobo as the Nation gave me the Padma award so God is affirming our work all over the world.

God bless him, fr.joe

From:
flora_pinto@hotmail.com
To:
angelamariemendonza@gmail.com
Sent: May 14, 2009 1:57 PM

Cc:
jpst_1995@yahoo.co.uk
Subject: reply to your letter to Fr Joe To:
angelamariemendonza@gmail.com

Dear Ms Angela
I take this opportunity to write to you on Behalf of Fr Joe who is currently out of Country
Mr Raymond was called twice to collect the Document by our Centre Manager Mr Paul D’souza. Since he failed to do so these document are still with Paul D’Souza at Mangalore. 83.

 


You can carry Authority Letter given by Mr Raymond to you to collect the Same from Mr Paul D’souza in Mangalore.
Mr Paul can be contacted on his Mobile No9880064223. 
The Centre Address is as under Kripa Foundation National Highway No 17 Coconut Garden
Nantoor Mangalore 575002 Tel No 0824 2418942 Thanks Regards Linus

From: Angela Mendonza <angelamariemendonza@gmail.com>
To:
jpst_1995@yahoo.co.uk, frjoe@vsnl.com, flora_pinto@hotmail.com, kripadarc@yahoo.co.in
Cc:
raymondlobo43@yahoo.com, kripafound@sancharnet.inkripabareilly@yahoo.co.in, kripafoundation@yahoo.co.in,
Date: Thu, 14 May 2009 16:08:20 +0530 Subject: Re: MR. RAYMOND LOBO’s PROPERTY LEASED TO KRIPA FOUNDATION
Praise the Lord! Thanks very much, Linus and Fr. Joe. I have advised Mr. Raymond Lobo to collect the original documents himself from the Kripa centre. I am writing on behalf of my husband who is preparing a detailed report on Kripa Foundation. During our research we came upon information that properties in Mangalore and in Goa were being donated to Kripa Foundation.

Mr. Lobo has given us copies of many abusive email letters written and signed by Fr. Joe when Mr. Lobo simply pointed out as the legal owner that his property leased to Kripa was not being managed to his satisfaction, and requested it back from you, well within his legal rights.

Considering that you are not only a Catholic priest but also a yoga master, it appears from the correspondence that you have shown little peaceful tolerance to Mr. Lobo, who was your benefactor, especially by repeatedly and unnecessarily denigrating his charismatic spirituality and calling him degrading names.

Your being awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India certainly does not mean that you or your Foundation are favoured by God. It is simply a human recognition. The world honours its own. One would get an award from the Government even for promoting astrology, and in your case, yoga. Dear Fr. Joe, it is more important that one’s name is written in the Book of Life. With regards, Angela

From:
R.Lobo
To:
prabhu
Sent: Friday, May 15, 2009 8:51 PM

Subject: THANK YOU VERY MUCH AND GOD BLESS YOU IN YOUR MISSION/MINISTRY

My dear Mr. Micheal Prabhu,

I PRAISE THE LORD for all his blessings on us. I sincerely thank you for your all efforts in delivering the message of justice and peace. I wish you every success in your Mission/Ministry. We daily pray in our prayer time particularly in the morning for you to be granted good health and wisdom to carryout your Mission/Ministry.

NO ONE INFORMED ME by email/letter or by phone call to collect my Original Power of Attorney and Caretaker Agreement, nor they had shown any courtesy in delivering my document as a gratitude for using my property for 3 years FREE.

According to my given appointment to Mr. Paul D’Souza, Manager and Incharge of KRIPA Centre in Mangalore, he never returned to me my documents as requested in all my correspondence to Fr. Joe, Mr. Linus Pinto. They were supposed to return them during our two meetings at my property site while handovering the property duly signing handover note/document by Mr. Paul D’ Souza. He said that the documents were in Bombay with Mr. Linus, Kripa Office.

They never showed moral courtsey of returning the document till now inspite of my repeated request personally and thru various emails till October 2008.

KRIPA used my property FREE OF CHARGE FOR THREE YEARS with all its existing facility and agricultural yeild/produce consumed and sold and even without carryingout agreed charitable activites as per our Caretaker agreement and various emails. Thus my objective of giving them to use free of charge to carryout agreed charity activities was missused. Even greenery, plants/trees were damaged..

In return Fr. Joe never shown any gratitude and a respect to the Donor and corresponded with me in ABUSIVE language with CURSE. I am sure his words are not matching his priesthood status. It clearly reflects on him and shows how he is preaching, being a Catholic Priest.

Oswald Cardinal Gracias never bothered to look into matters. My heart is broken and our Lord has only given me strength to overcome this situation.

Even now, Fr. Joe used words as THE GHOST OF THIS SICKMAN RAYMOND IS STILL HANGING OVER US…

GOD IS WATCHING ALL THINGS AND HE WILL SOON DECIDE as nothing can be hidden from him as he is our creator and Master. With sincere thanks and regards, Raymond Lobo

From:
angelamariemendonza@gmail.com
Date: May 16, 2009 6:39 AM
To:
jpst_1995@yahoo.co.uk, frjoe@vsnl.com, flora_pinto@hotmail.com
kripadarc@yahoo.co.in

Cc:
kripabareilly@yahoo.co.in, kripafoundation@yahoo.co.in

Subject: Re: MR. RAYMOND LOBO’s PROPERTY LEASED TO KRIPA FOUNDATION

Dear Fr. Joe, You have not responded to my letter of May 14.

Here, further below, is Mr. Raymond’s denial of what Linus wrote. Regards, Angela

From:
raymondlobo43@yahoo.com
To:
angelamarriemdonza@gmail.com , jpst_1995@yahoo.co.uk , flora_pinto@hotmail.com , kripafoundation@yahoo.co.in
Date: Wednesday, June 10, 2009, 1:49 PM

Subject: RETURN OF CANCELLED POWER OF ATTRONEY & CARETAKER AGREMENT

Dear Ms Anjela, I praise the Lord for his blessing. How are you? I thank you for your legal guidence and also for corresponding with KRIPA Fr. Joe and Mr. Linus Pinto on above subject.

I also thank you for forwarding me Fr. Joe and Mr. Linus emails dt.14.5.09.

I regret to note its conents as no change in their mind and in deed. 84.

 

 

NO ONE informed me by email or phone or even by letter to collect my cancelled documents. Whatever Mr Linus Pinto mentioned in his email is total false AND NO TRUTH IN IT.

Mr. Paul D Souza, Incharge of MANGALORE BRANCH met me twice at my property site in last year without bringing the said documents inspite of repeated reminders to them. All the time he maintained and said that documents are in Bombay!

He signd Kripa Handover note/document and vacated my property. Since then it is under my care..

Moreover, they had not shown any courtsey in sending the document even by Register post to my residential address in Bombay: Golden Arrow Apartments Flat-8, Kalina, Santacruz East, Mumbai-400 029. I am requesting them thru this email to send my cancelled document by Registered post and thus close the matter.

As you know they used my propery and its all existing facility for 3 years and also consumed/used and even sold its Agricultural produce without any gratitude.

I regret to see the words and language used by Fr. Joe in his email 14.5.09 and seriously thinking to move legally as the Cardinal of Bombay fail to take any action in restoring respect to Donor. Thanking you. Yours sincerely, Raymond Lobo.

Mr. Lobo received the original documents back from Kripa just before I hosted this report on the web site.

SEE ALSO PAGE 128

 

My earlier correspondence [October/November 2005] wth Fr. Joe Pereira is recorded on pages 34, 35 on the subject of the DVD, India: The Lotus and the Cross. Here is some other correspondence:

From:
Joe Pereira
To:
prabhu
Sent: Tuesday, December 19, 2006 10:12 AM

Subject: Re: WISHING YOU A HOLY CHRISTMAS

Thanks for the Greetings. let us be faithful to Him. Our Lord and Master. Let us praise Him in the manner He loves best by SHINING on those around us. Let us preach Him without preaching, not by word but by example the catching force the sympathetic influence of what we do, the evident fullness of the love our hearts bear to Him. (Cardinal Newman) Everything else for me is somuch talk and rubbish. Fr.Joe

From: prabhu To: Joe Pereira Sent: Wednesday, December 20, 2006 11:37 AM

Dear Fr. Joe, Thank you for your response. After reading it, on checking my records, I found that our correspondence had trailed off last year after you did not get back to me with the promised email addresses from your side.

Then my report – the one that you asked for – was completed [regarding the Ashrams and Kripa Foundation], and circulated. Since I was waiting for your response, I might have inadvertently not sent it to you. It is available now on the website. A follow-up is under preparation in connection with the report regarding the DVD, The Lotus and the Cross which is ready, but it will be uploaded on this ministry’s websites www.ephesians511.net and www.ephesians-511.net  next month.

It will be followed by another on Christian Meditation [Dom Main, Laurence Freeman etc.] which is being promoted by Catholics in Bandra, Mumbai. I could still send you hardcopies of the same in case you so desire. With kind regards, Michael

No response from Fr. Joe

Here is a letter from me to Fr. Joe and the WCCM, Mumbai, with the Catholic Ashrams/Kripa report attached:

From:
prabhu
To:
Joe Pereira; purvs9@yahoo.com; jchettiar@gmail.com; christian_meditation@yahoo.co.uk;

Sent: Friday, February 09, 2007 6:21 AM Subject: CHRISTIAN MEDITATION / KRIPA FOUNDATION

KIND ATTENTION: Fr. Joe, Merwyn, Mr. Christopher Mendonca, Ms, Ruby Gonsalves, Ms. Purvi Shah and Dr. Joseph Chettiar. 

Dear Friends,

Please read the Attachment- this ministry’s Catholic analysis of KRIPA FOUNDATION’s activities in the light of Church teaching, which is self explanatory. Kindly also read the connected report on CATHOLIC ASHRAMS.

Soon to be released are this ministry’s reports on the World Community for Christian Meditation, Holistic Health, and an updated report on the KRIPA FOUNDATION. Yours sincerely, Michael Prabhu www.ephesians-511.net

No response from Fr. Joe or the WCCM

 

CORRESPONDENCE WITH CHRISTOPHER MENDONCA [WCCM]

When completing this report, I arranged for this letter to be sent to the WCCM, Mumbai:

From:
angelamariemendonza@gmail.com
Date: May 14, 2009
4:26 PM Subject: CHRISTIAN MEDITATION
To:
pach7882@gmail.com, christian_meditation@yahoo.co.uk, christian.meditation@gmail.com

Could we know who is the leader and/or main contact person for the World Community for Christian Meditation in Mumbai, India?

By reading the online The Examiner magazine we understand that it is Mr. Christopher Mendonca, but the link on the WCCM website is to Fr. Joe Pereira of Kripa Foundation. Thanks, Angela

From:
Christian Meditation
christian.meditation@gmail.com
Date: May 14, 2009 5:16 PM
Subject: Re: CHRISTIAN MEDITATION To: Angela Mendonza angelamariemendonza@gmail.com

Dear Angela, Thank you for your e-mail. Fr. Joe Pereira of Kripa Foundation is the Coordinator of Christian Meditation
(WCCM) for India. I have been coordinating the work of groups and running programmes / retreats / days of silence etc. for Christian Meditators in Mumbai It will help if I know what you want. We will be glad to assist you in any way we can to come to an understanding and practice of the daily discipline of Christian Meditation.
If you are interested we can also send you each week a set of readings on Christian Meditation taken from the writings of John Main / Laurence Freeman. Please let us know where you are based
If your enquiry is of a confidential nature, I would willngly respect that. Thanks. Christopher. 85.

 

 

From:
angelamariemendonza@gmail.com
Date: May 14, 2009 6:46 PM Subject: Re: CHRISTIAN MEDITATION
To:
christian.meditation@gmail.com

Dear Christopher, I am interested only if the meditations of John Main / Laurence Freeman and the WCCM are approved and guaranteed as Catholic by the Bishops of Bombay. How would I know if the meditations taught by the WCCM are not against the Church’s teachings and if they will be helpful for me to grow spiritually? Angela

From: christian.meditation@gmail.com Date: May 15, 2009 8:42 AM Subject: Re: CHRISTIAN MEDITATION
To:
angelamariemendonza@gmail.com

Dear Angela, Thank you for your prompt reply. Christian Meditation is listed in the Catholic Directory of the Archdiocese of Bombay as one of the Spirituality Centres. It is one of the many ways in which one can deepen one’s contemplative prayer life, though by no means the only one. 

Of utmost importance is the faith and belief by which we recognise Jesus as Lord and especially participating in our inmost being in his death and resurrection through the daily practice. It is well grounded in Early Church Tradition and Scripture and in particular on the need for inner silence as practised by the Desert Fathers and Mothers. Our Tradition is lived in the context of the Rule of St. Benedict and there are many Benedictine Oblates of the World Community of Christian Meditation the world over. As an oblate I was privileged to participate in a retreat and pilgrimage of Benedictine Oblates last March in Rome. Fr. Laurence Freeman who directed the retreat and pilgrimage is a Benedictine priest as is John Main who helped us rediscover this method of coming into inner silence based on the Christian Tradition.

Last year Fr. Laurence and and Australian Archbishop preached a retreat for priests in Rome. Fr. Joe Pereira and Fr. Bento D’Souza (now at Holy Name Cathedral) attended it. 

You can get the following books on Christian Meditation printed here in an Indian Edition by St. Pauls.  

1. Your Daily Practice by Laurence Freeman – small booklet, Rs. 20/-   

2. Moment of Christ by John Main – Rs. 80/-    

3. Light Within by Laurence Freeman – Rs. 65/-. the latter two are available at a substantial discount if purchased from Kripa Foundation at Mt. Carmel’s Church. I recommend you get the small booklet first.

If you live in Mumbai you may attend our monthly sessions usually held at St. Joseph’s Primary School on the second Saturdays of the month from 9.30 to 12.00 noon. They are announced in The Examiner.

You may contact me at my personal e-mail address if you wish: cjwm1943@gmail.com

I look forward to hearing from you. Christopher. 

From:
angelamariemendonza@gmail.com
To:
cjwm1943@gmail.com
Date: May 15, 2009 8:40 PM
Subject: Re: CHRISTIAN MEDITATION MONTHLY SESSIONS
Dear Christopher, Thank you for all the trouble that you have taken, and for your personal email id.

Yes, I had seen the Bombay Bishops’ names in The Examiner, supporting the meditations of Fr. John Main and Fr. Laurence Freeman, and even the names of Cardinal Ivan Dias and Cardinal Oswald Gracias.

But when my husband had consulted a couple of priests in Mumbai, they had told him categorically that these meditations are called “Christian Meditation” and they are combined with the use of Lectio Divina, etc., but they are really not Christian. One priest gave us some photocopied material written against this type of “Christian Meditation” by a lay Catholic group from outside India, and this priest whose name I would rather not disclose had given Cardinal Ivan a copy of the same over five years ago. I do not know what the Cardinal did about it or whether he answered the priest.

The other priest had attended one of your meditation classes and was not happy, he had said.

The other day, my husband decided to check the “Christian Meditation” (WCCM) web site for himself, and he found, he said, that there were links from it to many sites that are either Buddhist or interfaith, and to organizations run by ex-priests and ex-nuns and even to people and organizations with no Christian affiliation whatsoever. This troubled him greatly.

I don’t know if you are aware of it, or has my husband made a serous mistake when using the net?

I suppose that he must be wrong and that is the reason for my troubling you. I myself am just learning to use email and find it difficult to manage. We are leaving tomorrow night for a week’s holiday in Coonoor and Ooty, so I may not be able to reply to you until I return.

I sure would like to attend one of the monthly sessions that you organize, and bring my husband along the next time that we come down to Mumbai. Take care and God bless, Angela

From:
cjwm1943@gmail.com
Date: May 19, 2009 6:16 PM Subject: Re: CHRISTIAN MEDITATION MONTHLY SESSIONS To:
angelamariemendonza@gmail.com


Dear Angela, You will be reading this after your holiday and I hope you have had a nice time. Ooty is a very nice place and quite cold even at this time of the year.
I am not surprised by the contents of your letter. For personal reasons you do not wish to disclose the name of the priest who gave you the photocopied material about Christian Meditation I would respect that. However, since December 2005 when we conducted our first residential silent retreat and subsequent days of silence, I am not aware of any priest attending any of these sessions and “not being happy with the experience”. I have made it my special endeavour to integrate practices like the recitation of the Divine office, the chanting of the Rosary and the prayerful reading of Scripture in the Retreat which I have conducted over the past 4 and a half years. I would therefore appreciate if I knew who this second priest was. I hope you will let me know. People often confuse Christian Meditation with the Yoga sessions that Fr. Joe conducts. There is no essential connection between the two and I am at odds to overcome this misperception. 86.

 

 

 


There are a lot of ‘traditional’ contemplative practices which we have lost touch with. The Jesus Prayer, the Rosary – prayed contemplatively, the Divine Office, The practice of the presence of God – are all genuinely Catholic practices that have come into disuse. I hope to give people a genuine taste for practices that lead to a deeper contemplative prayer life by the work that I do. I sense I am walking against the current in this regard. But there are many who thirst for this kind of spirituality and I hope I can go some way in satisfying this need. Christopher.

From:
angelamariemendonza@gmail.com
Date: May 26, 2009 8:33 PM
Subject: Re: CHRISTIAN MEDITATION MONTHLY SESSIONS To:
cjwm1943@gmail.com

My dear Christopher, Hi. We both found the ‘holiday’ most tiring. Nothing like home. 

The second Bombay priest, who is a late vocation, is distantly related to us through marriage, and requested anonymity even at that time. But, he did not mention anything about Fr. Joe to us.*

I don’t think it is a good thing for Fr. Joe to be involved with his yoga in your Christian meditations if it is to remain as contemplation.

I appreciate your sincerity, but my husband keeps insisting about the Buddhist and Hindu and inter-faith links that he found on the “WCCM” site which he says is the same thing as the Christian Meditation that you and Fr. Joe are teaching.

I was wondering if he made a mistake while surfing, but you may be abe to explain after checking yourself. If you don’t find them, let me know and I will send them to you. Kind regards, Angela.

From:
cjwm1943@gmail.com
Date: May 28, 2009 8:06 AM Subject: Christian meditation
To: angelamariemendonza@gmail.com
Dear Angela, I am disappointed that I cannot meet the priest who made his comments about Christian Meditation. I wonder, though, why he wanted to remain anonymous. You have been open enough to express your reservations and I think this is good. Your husband is right. The WCCM is a Christian Meditation website dedicated to the practice of meditation in the Christian Tradition and through it working for peace and harmony in the world community. Fr. Laurence has pioneered work for peace in Northern Ireland, has come to India many times and with the Dalai Lama has been working for peace in communities torn apart by religious fundamentalism and violence.  It is our conviction that only by each religion getting back to their own contemplative traditions that we can work for a lasting peace. We begin first of all with ourselves and then encourage others to do the same.
The desire to be in Union with God is at the heart of every person. It is this common search that unites us. However, the Unknown and Unnameable God of other religions is given a name by us who recognise his face ‘by faith’ in the Word Made Flesh. The gift of faith comes to each at his own appointed time and is not ours to decide. In that sense no one can be ‘converted’ to Christianity by another. It is a moment of recognition that must be experienced as did Mary Magdalene, the disciples and the others who ‘recognised’ the Lord. In the meantime all we have is the basic urge to ‘come home’ to the Father. By sharing this urge with others we walk along with them and find that we are united in Christ, though they may not yet recognise it. Jesus himself said to the Samaritan woman that God will be worshipped neither on this mountain nor on that but in Spirit and in Truth. This does not however prevent us from our own unique expression of our faith. But we recognise that the differences that divide us are insignificant compared to what we share in our common search for God at the centre of our being, the God in whom we live, move and have our being.
Rather than get caught up in discussions, I suggest that you get hold of one of the books on Christian Meditation and see what it means. If you feel inspired to take up the practice you may do so. I cannot but help thinking that you are both searching for a deeper level of Christianity. Inevitably this means that we must go beyond the historical Jesus to the Risen Jesus. May these few lines help you to discover the Jesus who dwells within us through his Spirit, even if it is not the way of Christian Meditation. May God ENFOLD us in his love; may he NURTURE us in his providence’ may he TRANSFORM us by the indwelling Spirit of His Son Jesus.
Christopher. PS. I do not yet know whether you reside on Mumbai or not.

MY COMMENTS:

1. Mendonca admits that “Fr. Joe Pereira of Kripa Foundation is the Coordinator of Christian Meditation
(WCCM) for India.

2. He further admits that the WCCM’s New Age “Christian Meditation is listed in the Catholic Directory of the Archdiocese of Bombay as one of the Spirituality Centres,” that WCCM’s books are sold in the parish Church at the Kripa centre, and that archdiocesan premises are used for the meditation sessions.

3. Apparently unaware that WCCM has extensive New Age links, Mendonca tries to distance himself from Kripa’s yoga meditation: “People often confuse Christian Meditation with the Yoga sessions that Fr. Joe conducts. There is no essential connection between the two and I am at odds to overcome this misperception.

*4. One of the few times that I have made a mistake. The priest DID mention Fr. Joe and Kripa, see page 31.

 

MORE FROM THE EXAMINER ON KRIPA/WCCM WITH MY COMMENTS:

The Examiner, January 27, 2001 Community of Christian Meditators by Fr. Joe H. Pereira [see pages 11, 13]

EXTRACT: “Not many may know that there is an International Community of Christian Meditators… We were fortunate to have with us Fr. Laurence Freeman OSB., who is part of that Community, to conduct a two-day Seminar on
Christian Meditation
at the Retreat House, Bandra, at the invitation of the Kripa Foundation…”

The priest then goes on to tell us about John Main, the left brain-right brain dichotomy and the mantra. 87.

 

 

 

The Examiner, March 9, 2002 Christian Meditation [Local News] On page 1 we have already referred to the news item.

EXTRACT: The International Community of Christian Meditators (Bombay Unit) is conducting a 1-day programme of meditation based on the tradition of John Main at the Diocesan Pastoral Centre, Bandra on March 23, 2002… The programme will be conducted by Fr. Joe Pereira, the Director of Kripa Foundation… For Registration contact Kripa…

The Examiner, April 6, 2002 Christian Meditation [Local News] [see page 11]

EXTRACT: The reponse to the programme on Christian Meditation of Bombay Unit of the World Council of Christian Meditators was overwhelming. About 50 people gathered at the Diocesan Pastoral Centre on March 23, 2002…

After a brief introduction, Fr. Joe Pereira began the basic exercise of learning to listen to one’s breath and using that as a springboard, to graduate to listening to the Word. The practice turns us away from the use of the left-brain that is predominantly logical and thought-oriented, and allows us to use the right brain that is primarily intuitive and creative. In explaining the science and spirituality behind the practice of meditation, Fr. Joe showed how this practice is therapeutic and very good for relieving stress… The programme ended with the group meditation of twenty minutes…”

The above three news items in the Mumbai Archdiocesan weekly once again establish the direct association between the WCCM and Fr. Joe Pereira of the Kripa Foundation.

MY COMMENTS: The Word:
The ‘W’ is printed with the upper case. But it is not the Word of God that these meditators are talking about. They are talking about the mantra word that has to be repeated over and over to the exclusion of everything else. This “Christian Meditation” not only denies the Eucharist its primacy in the community life of the Church, as we have seen, but also replaces meditation on the living Word of God with “meditating” through a repetitive mantra which is the essence of this meditation.

The WCCM encourages meditators to spend twenty to thirty minutes twice a day, to become successful meditators. After that, how many Catholics will have the time left for Holy Mass, prayerful reading of the Holy Bible, the recitation of the Rosary, family prayer and personal prayer? I see “Christian Meditation” as seeking to ensure that Catholics spend as little time as possible in TRUE Christian prayer.

The Examiner, August 17, 2002 Christian Meditation Programme [Local News] [see page 11]

EXTRACT: The response to the Christian Meditation Programme was overwhelming. 60 participants attended the full day session held at St. Joseph’s Primary School Hall, Bandra
on the 3rd of August… The imbalance created by predominantly left-brain functioning needs to be redressed by bringing into focus the activity of the right brain. This is achieved by recitation of the “mantra”, and by paying attention to one’s breath… and the rhythm of the Word within

MY COMMENTS: The right brain-left brain business is New Age, we have seen
[pages 6, 7]. The “Word”, capital ‘W’, is the mantra, not the Word of God. As John Main through the Hindu Swami [pages 43, 62, 63, 66, 68] and his successor Laurence Freeman got more deeply involved with Buddhists and with eastern meditations, they introduced the mantra and breathing components of the meditation into their formula, and as they sought the New Age ‘confluence between science and religion’ as explained by New Age physicists like Ken Wilber [pages 79, 101], they introduced the left brain-right brain theory to explain their technique.

The Examiner, August 3, 2002 The ‘JE’-‘SUS’ Prayer by Dr. Trevor Colaso, Bandra, Mumbai [Letter to the Editor]

MY COMMENTS: Dr. Colaso, one of the supporters of the erroneous St. Pauls’ New Community Bible published in 2008 [see page 43], in this letter to The Examiner, follows up on the article by Luis S.R. Vas on the WCCM, The Examiner, August 3, 2002 [see page 11, Vas is an author of books that are heavily occult, also published by St. Pauls] giving his own suggestions on how to “focus on Christ” using “pranayama or breath control” before the Blessed Sacrament.

If Luis S.R. Vas finds the WCCM’s “Christian Meditation” useful for prayer, it is more than sufficient reason for us to be certain that it is not genuine Christian meditation and to be avoided like the plague.

The errors and the confusions arising from “Christian Meditation” can be seen in these two articles [below] in The Examiner. I know Bro. Alvito personally, a fine young man and a late vocation to the priesthood. When I knew him first, he would spend hours before the Blessed Sacrament at the Carmelite Seminary. Today he is apparently into mantra-chanting. And is the visualization technique used by J.I. D’Souza Christian prayer?

The Examiner, [date not available in my records] Contemplative Prayer by Br. Alvito Fernandes OCD

EXTRACT: “The repetition of a word, an apparently ‘useless’ activity, (ma-ra-na-tha in the tradition of Christian Meditation) allows one to journey back into the Word. It is a journey from word to Silence.”

The Examiner, September 18, 2004 A Meditation Technique by J. I. D’Souza

EXTRACT: “Meditation or ‘stilling one’s mind’ or ’emptying one’s mind’ is simply being focused on living in each present moment. The following 10 minute a day only exercise preferably practiced at a regular time at home or on the train by sitting upright will benefit one’s spiritual, mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.

Sitting or standing with one’s eyes closed, I initially focus on the relaxation in my toes and visualize how nice this feels. Next I visualize this relaxed feeling in my feet, then my ankles, next my legs, thighs… all the way up to the top of my head. Initially for the first five months, my thoughts will be distracted at each session and I will have to work hard each time to stay focused in the present moment. With regular practice my mind will adjust to the new mental pattern of living in the present and will influence my whole being for the better. A higher level of spiritual appreciation and understanding would now e within my grasp, remembering that my sincerity will be tested as I scale new heights.”

88.

 

 

 

THE LATEST IN THE EXAMINER:

The Examiner March 21, 2009 Living in the shadow of death by Christopher Mendonca

The Examiner June 6, 2009 and June 13, 2009 Christian Meditation Pogramme at St. Joseph’s Primary School…

Kripa turns gold and beyond

The Examiner May 16, 2009 [Local News] EXTRACT:

The 50th centre of Kripa Foundation was inaugurated at Bareilly by Rt. Rev. Bishop Anthony Fernandes on April 16, 2009 in the presence of Padma Shri Fr. Joe Pereira… which is being headed by Fr. Joseph Topno.

The 51st centre for Kripa Foundation… was inaugurated at Mira-Bhayander on April 26, 2009 by the Mayor, Mr. Narendra Mehta, Dr. Anthony J.F. Sequeira, and Padma Shri Fr. Joe Pereira… The opening of the centre was well attended with the blessing of the premises by the Parish Priest, Rev. Rudolf D’Souza…, well-wishers and staff of Kripa.

WHO IS FR. RUDOLF D’SOUZA?

Fr Rudolf V D’Souza OCD., is a Discalced Carmelite, the parish priest of St Joseph’s Church at Mira Road, Bombay Archdiocese. After securing a diploma in Yoga from Yoga Institute in Santa Cruz in 1989 he has given yoga classes and programmes in Spain, Italy, etc.

He secured his doctorate in Theology in 1995 from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome. After coming back to India he was the assistant director at the Carmelite Spirituality Institute, Mysore from 1998 to 2001 and simultaneously he was the assistant provincial of Karnataka-Goa-Maharashtra province between 1999 and 2002. He took charge as parish priest of St. Joseph’s Church in 2002 and has been the pastor of more than 16,000 Catholics of the parish. Fr. Rudolf was instrumental in the building of the new Carmelite Spirituality Centre “ANUBHAV” at Mira Road, which was inaugurated on December 7, 2004 by Pedro Lopez Quintana, the Pro-Nuncio of the Vatican to India.

Fr Rudolf has written more than 15 books and has contributed more than 250 articles for various magazines and journals both in English and Konkani. He has lectured in Italy, Singapore, Spain, Australia, Sri Lanka and in USA on prayer and theology. He also offers courses and seminars at institutes of spirituality, colleges and convents.

The Bhagavad Gita and St. John of the Cross, 1996 is the doctoral thesis of the priest, first published by the Pontifical Gregorian University, as the first number of the Series Volumes of Spiritual Theology. He obtained the best thesis Award of the Year 1995 from the University. The book deals with the Comparative Spirituality of the Bhagavad Gita and St. John of the Cross – the Carmelite Reformer and Doctor of the Church.

WHAT DOES THIS SHOW? That error is in the very highest places. That entire parishes are being subverted. That one Catholic yogi was only too happy to promote the Centre of another Catholic yogi.

Here is my correspondence with Fr. Rudolf D’Souza:

 

From:
prabhu
To:
rudyocd@hotmail.com
Sent: Thursday, October 02, 2008 7:36 PM Subject: YOGA

Dear Father Rudolf,

Some of my friends have spoken highly of your talks in the Gulf in January/February 2008.

However, it is known to us that you propagate yoga as a spiritual discipline. I am unable to reconcile the fact that you preach salvation through Jesus and at the same time propagate yoga which has its philosophic and religious roots in the Hindu religious texts. Would you like to explain how and why you do that, especially as I understand that you have made announcements at Sunday Mass exhorting your parishioners to attend the yoga center [I do not know if it is operated by Catholic priests or by Hindus] that has been opened at Mira Road in Mumbai? With regards, Michael Prabhu, Chennai

From:
Rudy D’Souza
To:
prabhu; rudyocd@yahoo.com
Sent: Monday, October 06, 2008 5:58 PM Subject: YOGA

First of all Michael, thanks for sharing your frank thoughts. I just wonder what is wrong in speaking about Yoga, which has been practiced by millions across the globe as a spiritual discipline, for both body and spirit? Why can’t we learn from other religions, especially as Indians we can certainly understand systems that can help. Besides, I also ask a simple question to you, why in all the Indian Major and Minor seminaries Hinduism is made a compulsary subjects, where seminarians learn from Vedas, Upanishads to Bhagavadgita? Why then the Vatican II recommended that we can learn from other religions, in its celebrated Document Nostra Aetate? and other documents asking us to enter into dialogue?
Besides if you think that yoga is hindu, then all sorts of sports was invented by the pagan Greece, then why Catholic countries learn sports and bag prizes? Well, I recommend you to read the original Yoga which does not in any way advocate religion, but suggests that a person should be disciplened in mind and body. Well, this is my invitation to you, in stead of having a biased ideas about Hinduism, it is better to learn and then make certain judgements.

All the best and thanks for sharing your ideas. Fr. Rudolf

From:
prabhu
To:
rudyocd@yahoo.com ; rudyocd@hotmail.com
Sent: Tuesday, October 07, 2008 3:10 PM

Subject: Re: YOGA

Dear Fr Rudolf, I acknowledge receipt of your defense of yoga. 

May I answer some of your questions and also ask you some of my own.

As an adult who was a “Hindu” for 12 years, it is my conviction that a Catholic [priest or otherwise] who has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and exercises the charisms received through the Sacraments of the Church, would not need anything else. To insist that yoga is/may be helpful is to assert that the Word of God and the sacraments are inadequate.

It is an either-or situation, not a both-and. [For what association has darkness with light...?]

By your own admission, you use yoga as a spiritual discipline. Millions of people might use anything, but are we to learn from them, or they from us who have the light of complete revealed truth?
89.

 

 

 

Or are we rejecting the Light and the Truth for the “rays of truth” and the “seeds of the Word” in other religions?

That would be foolish.

If our seminarians have to “learn from” Hindu religious texts, which are about pagan deities and mythical figures, it is most unfortunate. [St Paul might as well have “learnt” from Homer or read and quoted Aesop’s Fables to evangelise the Gentiles.] 

I have no problem with “reading” them for academic knowledge and for a consequent more effective evangelisation.

Is there really anything that we can “learn” from them that we do not already have in our Bible and rich tradition of martyrs, the Early Church Fathers and the Lives of the Saints? I do not think so.

You suddenly switch from a SPIRITUAL discipline like yoga to a social human activity like sports. It is absolutely illogical.

But, even most Martial Arts forms [Tai Chi, Qi Gong also called Chinese Yoga, etc.] which are practised as “sports” are actually combinations of oriental meditations and pagan philosophies that are incompatible with Christianity.

When one practises these “exercises”, it is almost impossible not to begin to accept the spiritual underpinnings because one is benefited by the physcial benefits that are experienced.

You refer to Nostra Aetate #2. 

Do you classify yoga as something that is good and holy in Hinduism and must be borrowed by us?

If that were so, the Bishops would have taught us that in the 40-odd years since Vatican II. Does our practising yoga and eastern meditations help in inter-religious dialogue and promote communal harmony? I would think that the good we find in Hinduism and could imbibe, would be their modesty in dress and reverence in a place of worship to start with.

Which is
the original Yoga which does not in any way advocate religion
that you suggest I read? I have been researching yoga for almost a decade and have yet to find one aspect of yoga that is not grounded in the monistic advaita of Hinduism and in philosophical presuppositions that are pre-Christian and in complete conflict with the Biblical revelation of the nature of God, man, and his final destiny, etc. Simply put, yoga is salvation by works. Christianity isn’t.

As a Catholic lay man, I am so busy talking about how great our God is and how rich in everything our Church is, that I am amazed that Catholic priests who we look up to as our pastors should find the time or interest to talk and write about the spiritual searches of other religions. I have wondered how long it will be before I hear that a priest [if at all such priests sit to hear confessions] has given a yoga session as the penance for a penitent.  

Father Rudolf, what do you think of this Scripture [New American Bible]?:

If you will give these instructions to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound teaching you have followed.

Avoid profane and silly myths. Train yourself for devotion; for, while physical training is of limited value, devotion is valuable in every respect, since it holds a promise of life both for the present and for the future. This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance. For this we toil and struggle, because we have set our hope on the living God, who is the savior of all, especially of those who believe. Command and teach these things…

Do not neglect the gift you have, which was conferred on you through the prophetic word with the imposition of hands of the presbyterate… for by doing so you will save both yourself and those who listen to you. 1 TIMOTHY 4: 6-11, 14, 16b.

Aren’t these exhortations applicable to practices like yoga, where people are more concerned with their physical well-being than with the Word of God and the anointing they have received from the Church? The irony is that all yoga enthusiasts do not realize that they are also practising a spiritual discipline which you yourself have candidly admitted it is. So their error is compounded.

I am afflicted with a debilitating bone and muscular disease that the doctors identified as crippling in 1993, and recently I have all but lost the use of one eye, but I can assure you Father, that though I have no problems with genuine physical exercise [though I myself do not do them], I would not do spiritual mind and body yoga if it would extend my life by even a minute.

Maybe you might like to see some of my work on the truth about yoga? Hoping to hear from you now, Michael Prabhu

From:
RUDOLF V. D’SOUZA
To:
prabhu
Sent: Thursday, October 09, 2008 6:56 PM Subject: Re: YOGA

Dear Michael, I do not dispute what you have written. Each one has a unique way of understanding the truths of God. Of course for us Christians all has been revealed through Jesus Christ. I do not want to enter into an argument with you. You might disagree with me fully, that does not carry any offense. I had done my doctorate in Rome on St. John of the Cros and the Bhagavad Gita, a comparative study approved by the prestigious university under Pope – The Gregorian University, and this University has so many branches in Rome and abroad. If you want to have a glimse of this work you are welcome to go throgh this website: http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&id=Kn7BglYjRgUC&dq=Rudolf+V.D’%5BSouza&printsec=frontcover&source=web&ots=gzv9Kaw3LN&sig=1AAldoLDYypJXv_fGl-vrL-zx7E&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=5&ct=result

I thank you for your reflections and God bless your convictions and may your ministry with the word of God be fruitful and rewarding. Thanks Fr. Rudolf

From:
prabhu
To:
rudyocd@yahoo.com
Sent: Friday, October 10, 2008 4:16 PM Subject: Re: YOGA

Dear Fr. Rudolf, You were quite unable to answer some of my very simple and direct questions as I see in your reply.

I have priest friends who are summa cum laudes and doctorates in Theology from Roman seminaries who have exactly the opposite views and spirituality as you. 90.

 

 

 

 

In the Old Testament, God tells His people, “Do not even enquire about…” the things that the pagans do. In a simple application of that, when I look at a woman, I can be tempted to sin, so I have consciously chosen not even to look. It has kept me out of sin.

By extension, if I dabble in the study of other religions, unless my faith is securely grounded and I maintain a neutral academic stance, I just might stray, and that is what is happening to most of our priests and bishops today.

Why could you not teach St John of the Cross’ spirituality at Anubhav, your Carmelite center on Mira Road, why cannot you direct Catholics to Tabor Ashram or to Divine Retreat Centre instead of to yoga centres if you are a Catholic priest who prays your breviary and celebrates Holy Mass daily?

I do not know if you are aware that issued an alert* about your Gulf programmes. It is copied below. There are three articles on yoga on my website www.ephesians-511.net, two of them are of 100 pages each. Regards, Michael

From:
RUDOLF V. D’SOUZA
To:
prabhu
Sent: Friday, October 10, 2008 11:36 PM Subject: THANKS

Dear Michael, Thank you for your reply. I hold on to my views and my conscience is clear. Let GOD BE MY JUDGE.  

God Bless your work. Fr. Rudolf

 

*THE ALERT THAT I PUBLISHED:

From:
prabhu
To:
Michael Prabhu
Sent: Sunday, January 20, 2008 9:58 PM

Subject: ALERT: FR. RUDOLF VALERIAN D’SOUZA OCD

ALERT: Fr.  Rudolf Valerian D’Souza,
the parish priest of St Joseph’s Church, Mira Road, Mumbai
is conducting retreats in the Gulf*. Please be advised, and inform your friends, prayer group leaders and ministries, and your parish priests, that “After securing diploma in Yoga from Yoga Institute Santa Cruz in 1989
Fr.  Rudolf Valerian D’Souza has given yoga classes and programmes in Spain and Italy too.”
*programme copied

Fr. Cherian Puthenpura, of the Order of St. Camillus, is a Ph. D. in yoga and he
wrote Yoga Spirituality, A Christian Pastoral Understanding, Camillian Publications, 1997. He, too, trained under Jayadeva Yogendra at the Yoga
Institute, Santa Cruz, Mumbai.

His book’s very first line reads,Yoga, without exaggeration, can be said to be an integral, spiritual discipline.”

Other excerpts:True yoga is practised with a view to attaining salvation.” [p. 8]

Yoga is not performing a few postures [asanas]… not a physical culture… it accepts humanity as the only religion… It is a spiritual means for liberation.”[p. 10]

Behind the origins of yoga there are psychological and spiritual reasons.
[p. 13]

Ultimately yoga is a spiritual therapy.” [p. 68]

The purpose of yoga is self-realization. The method used [YOGA] is psychosomatic and spiritual.[p. 48]

The aim of yoga is to attain a pure awareness of that ‘self’ that is actually God.” [p. 151]

Om is the most comprehensive universal non-personal holy sound-symbol.” [p.140]

Each person is potentially a Christ, a Buddha, a Krishna, an illumined sage.”[p. 242]

ON GOD: Our understanding of God depends upon cultural patterns, religious milieu, social setup and contemporary thinking.
According to some, God is Christ, to some others he is Allah or Krishna or Siva.
[p. 150]

Fr. Puthenpura teaches
karma, reincarnation
and the manipulation of
kundalini shakti power.

I have not read any of Fr. Rudolf’s 17 books on God-Realization, the spirituality of the Bhagavad-Gita, etc., and his over 250 articles, but keep in mind that he trained at the same Yoga Institute and under the same Yoga Guru as Fr. Puthenpura quoted above.

Michael Prabhu, Metamorphose Catholic Ministries to promote awareness of New Age error, Chennai – India



Categories: Eastern Meditation, Hinduisation of the Catholic Church in India, new age

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ephesians-511.net Testimonies

EPHESIANS-511.NET- A Roman Catholic Ministry Exposing Errors in the Indian Church Michael Prabhu, METAMORPHOSE, #12,Dawn Apartments, 22,Leith Castle South Street, Chennai – 600 028, Tamilnadu, India. Phone: +91 (44) 24611606 E-mail: michaelprabhu@vsnl.net, http://www.ephesians-511.net

EPHESIANS-511.NET- A Roman Catholic Ministry Exposing Errors in the Indian Church

Michael Prabhu, METAMORPHOSE, #12,Dawn Apartments, 22,Leith Castle South Street, Chennai - 600 028, Tamilnadu, India. Phone: +91 (44) 24611606 E-mail: michaelprabhu@ephesians-511.net, http://www.ephesians-511.net

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