Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi reader, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Why Christians Cannot Practice Transcendental Meditation

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

By Rev. Mr. Ian VanHeusen
4/30/2015 (4 years ago)
Catholic Online (

The goal of Prayer is always intimacy with Jesus Christ

Before you think that this article is another stereotypical condemnation of Transcendental Meditation and other forms of East Asian meditation practices, I ask you to think again. Christians are not able to practice Transcendental Meditation not because it is immoral or because it opens you to the demonic, but rather due to the nature of what it means to be a Christian. Due to Baptism, Christians are brought into a relationship with the triune God, and this relationship is opened up through the gift of God's grace. 

When we rest quietly in God's presence, we engage in contemplation. In contemplation we spend time with God in wordless silence, aware that he is with us.

When we rest quietly in God's presence, we engage in contemplation. In contemplation we spend time with God in wordless silence, aware that he is with us.


By Rev. Mr. Ian VanHeusen
Catholic Online (
4/30/2015 (4 years ago)

Published in Blog

style="margin: 0px; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-family: Helvetica;">RALEIGH, NC - Through the sacraments, Christians enter into a new way of living because we are inserted into the on-going relationship between the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This insertion is the foundation for Christian prayer. The trajectory of Christian maturation is bringing to our awareness the reality we have received in the sacraments. Thus, although a Christian may adopt certain techniques from Transcendental Meditation, the reality is that when a Christian adopts these techniques, they are doing something different than those who have not yet come to know the Lord. The essence of Christian prayer is our relationship with the Lord, and this relationship is always present to those who live in a state of grace.

That being said, we should also recognize the possibility that a baptized Christian is engaging in Transcendental Meditation as an explicit rejection of Christ. In that case, they are denying their identity in Christ, and such a practice would be the essence of personal sin, namely the rejection of God's love made possible in Jesus Christ. In certain sense, such a person would be working against the activity of the Holy Spirit, and this can be a gateway to more serious conditions such as demonic possession.

Like all natural goods, meditation techniques represent elements of our created nature which can either lead us towards God or become idols. I would connect meditation to natural goods such as food, exercise, and even our sexuality. When such natural goods are enjoyed in accord with right reason, they become a powerful means of giving praise to God. When they are detached from our ultimate orientation, they can enslave us in patterns of self-absorption and egocentricity.

Thus, the natural goods of meditation are to be drawn up into and transfigured through the power of Christ's love. Christian meditation fulfills the natural wisdom of East Asian meditation practices, leading our limited human nature to a goal that goes beyond our unaided abilities. In this way, Christians do not need to look outside of the treasures of our tradition to find deeper forms of prayer and meditation.

Although dialogue with East Asians religions is and will continue to be fruitful, this is not because in them we discover something new. Rather, by entering into dialogue with other religious traditions, we are able to see the riches of the Christian dispensation. Likewise, we are able to proclaim Jesus Christ in new contexts and with a fresh perspective, one that takes into account the changing culture.

The goal is always intimacy with Jesus Christ. While techniques and spiritual experiences can be a source of refreshment, they are secondary to the greater call of fidelity to Christ. This fidelity is an interpersonal reality that involves our commitment to the Church that he established through the ministry of the Apostles. If you are someone who has an interest in East Asian philosophy and meditation, I would encourage you to look into the great wealth of wisdom contained in both Western and Eastern Christianity.

Deacon Ian VanHeusen blogs on prayer and meditation at He will be ordained a priest for the Diocese of Raleigh, NC on June 6, 2015.


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'

Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK


More Blog

9/11 The Day the World Kept Turning

Image of The Word Trade Towers under assault from terrorists on 9/11

On September 11th and the immediate calendar pages to follow there were appointments to keep, needs to tend to and goals to meet creating ... continue reading

God's Compassion & Mercy for You

Image of Jesus has various forms of healing for all of us.

"11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally ... continue reading

Fallen Short and Lifting Up

Image of

"For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23 Once I was in the hospital for 5 days and had a seemingly constant ... continue reading

No Condemnation in Jesus Christ

Image of

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives ... continue reading

Stop The Nonsense! Reinstate Reverent Silence in Our Churches Now! Our Lord Deserves Nothing Less!!

Image of

It should trouble the hearts of all Catholics to see how we have lost the sense of the Sacred within our Church buildings, where for the ... continue reading

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.