What attracts you to ISKCON

Spirituality of Asian origin

introduction

Perceptions

Buddhism and Hinduism have long since crossed the borders of their countries of origin and have also become at home in Germany. Buddhism in particular offers a template for modern spiritual trends: it is perceived as a religion of reason with reference to experience, but without myths and dogmas; his ethical demands such as the renunciation of violence, also against animals, appear attractive and he serves the search for spiritual higher development.

Hindu religious practice with meditation, asceticism and yoga and the ritual worship of gurus and gods can be found mostly in migrant communities in Germany. In esotericism, however, Hindu concepts were originally adopted, such as reincarnation and karma, meditation or yoga techniques.

Temporary attention received in the 1970s neo-Hindu groups that were perceived as guru movements or as so-called “youth sects”. Above all they were known Hare Krishna movement (ISKCON) that Transcendental meditation and the Bhagwan movement of "Bhagwan" Shree Rajneesh (Osho Commune).

Overall, however, the spirituality from Asia is encountered less in the form of the major world religions Buddhism and Hinduism than in Asian martial arts centers, in Zen and yoga courses as well as in wellness offers based on Ayurveda, in offers of Chinese medicine, in Qi Gong, Tai Chi Chuan, Reiki or Feng Shui. It is therefore not so much recognizable through organizations and institutions, but rather through its teaching and practice.

Content

What is striking is the absence of a personal conception of God. Salvation or redemption does not happen in the relationship between man and God, but precisely in the abolition of the opposite of immanence and transcendence and in man's coming to himself. Instead of sin as a disturbed relationship with God, Asian religiosity knows ignorance and delusion, from which man should free himself. It is every individual's responsibility to set out to do this. The connection between karma and reincarnation is central: The future existence (reincarnation) is determined by the actions of people, which is reflected in karma. This karma keeps the cycle of rebirth going.

A number of often meditative techniques help people to come to unity with the cosmos. When they are practiced in our country, they have often left the conceptual framework of their original religion and sometimes form natural elements of the religious and ideological scene in our country. This is especially true for the wide field of esoteric offers (see above chapter 4).

Outwardly, these technologies appear as service offers. The original path of salvation or redemption is reduced to one method, transcendent salvation becomes something that can be experienced secularly, into well-being, success and health.

Assessments

The adoption of parts of Asian religiosity suits our highly individualized society very much. This religiosity offers a personal and experience-related spirituality, often as a counter-model to an institutional church that is perceived as rigid. In addition, there are clichéd ideas of a pacifist and ecologically oriented ethics, of a unity of body and soul as well as of the religious and the secular. Their exotic appearance with a low entry threshold and the seeming possibility of a selective takeover of individual aspects also appears to be attractive. Seldom does one face the demanding aspects of the respective religions of origin. The idea of ​​a rebirth also has a great appeal if it is positively interpreted as the continued life of the individual person when it is accepted into Western thinking.

Different offers are used very pragmatically at the same time without their religious background being discussed. Mandalas are presented as round coloring pages without the Buddhist origin playing a role. Cultural and religious boundaries are blurring, sometimes attempts are made to link the belief in divine cosmic forces, in karma and rebirth or in the divine essence of human beings syncretistically with Christian ideas.

With regard to medicine and science, some claim that their offerings already contain all scientific and medical knowledge.

Recommendations for action

Coexistence with representatives of the major world religions Buddhism and Hinduism is largely problem-free. Likewise, from an evangelical point of view, there is little to be said against adopting individual religious aspects, for example when mandala painting serves to increase calm and concentration or when yoga and Ki techniques are used for relaxation. Many offers, detached from their originally religious meanings, only function as techniques and exercises. The extent to which such partial takeovers are possible or useful without the religious background is also interpreted differently among the religious representatives.

It becomes problematic if it is not made transparent which spiritual or religious aspects are included. These include, for example, spiritual initiations or the role of experienced masters. This can lead to dependencies and even abuse. However, these things are to be assessed differently depending on the specific offer. From an evangelical point of view, the fundamental differences to the Christian faith have to be considered, especially to the understanding of God and salvation. The goal of Christian faith does not consist in spiritual development, but in a life of God's grace.

additional Information

Ulrich Dehn: Search for one's own center - Eastern religiosity in the West, in: Reinhard Hempelmann et al. (Ed.): Panorama of the new religiosity. Search for meaning and promise of salvation at the beginning of the 21st century, Gütersloh 22005, 305-410.

Friedmann Eißler: Buddhism in the West, EZW-Lexikon, 2016, https://ezw-berlin.de/html/3_136.php.

Zen

Perceptions

Zen offers for meditation can be found in their own (Buddhist) centers, which are often called Dojo (“place of the path”). But they have also found their way into adult education centers, church educational institutions and monasteries. Sometimes they are combined with other meditative paths such as calligraphy, tea ceremonies or ikebana. Japanese martial arts such as judo, aikido or ju-jutsu have their roots in Zen. In contrast to the more complicated exercises in yoga, the simple sitting posture is easy to learn. A "Christian Zen", which claims to combine Zen techniques with Christian prayer exercises, is also widespread.

Content

The word Zen is an abbreviation of the Japanese Zenna, which from its Sanskrit root describes a gathering of the mind, contemplation, meditation. Here, individual immersion exercises are emphasized as opposed to ritual elements. Their goal is to bring about experiences of enlightenment. Zen was shaped in China, from where Taoist influences originate. It came to the West through its spread in Japan, particularly in the second half of the 20th century. In Japan, Zen is mainly taught in monasteries and serves to train priests. In this country people orientate themselves on these models, but emphasize the individual training path more strongly. Bows in front of the altar, incense for the Buddha, the recitation of sutras (short teaching texts in verse) and prostration at certain ceremonies refer to the religious character - even if some of the rituals are designed in such a way that they are no longer perceived as religious.

The immersion exercises are carried out while sitting (zazen), and there is also a silent preoccupation with paradoxical puzzles (koan) that subvert our everyday logic.

Zen meditation aims at the realization that all perceptions and also our individual self are only illusions. The apparitions gave us the impression of a world in which one could see different things. The true essence of all these things is however "empty", without characteristics, including what we perceive as our self. Zen is a way of forgetting this self. One reaches this goal not through reflection, but through an enlightenment experience that cannot be described conceptually, but can only be experienced. The Zen exercises are not directed towards an object, there are no pictures, prayers or mantras, but only thoughtless attention. The realization of this “emptiness” leads to a connection with the “Buddha-nature” of all things and all life.

Assessments

Zen meets the need for contemplation, concentration, life support and the search for personal spirituality without dogmatic framing. Christian faith meets this search with the - wholesome - distinction between creator and creature. Traditional exercises in Christian meditation can help to “become still” before God, to collect oneself before him and to let him take shape in oneself through Bible passages or suitable texts. However, these experiences cannot be brought about methodically and the goal of experiencing emptiness or cosmic unity is fundamentally different from Christian spirituality.

In detail, it should be examined whether and to what extent elements of Zen can be detached from the religious context in order to place them in a Christian framework that makes it possible to experience the unavailability of the encounter with God. The insignificance of the individual self contradicts the Judeo-Christian conception of man as the image of God. In this respect, Zen is not a Christian justifiable means of self-experience, rather it is essentially a Buddhist existential analysis.

The approaches of a popular "Christian Zen" (Hugo Makibi Enomiya-Lassalle, Willigis Jäger) are based on a transreligious understanding of Zen and Christian mysticism, according to which all religions go back to the same core, which is shown in mystical experience. Zen represents the pure form of mysticism, consequently this enlightenment experience is the essence of all religious experience. Such an approach levels the characteristics of each individual religion and is incompatible with the relationship between God and man in the Christian faith. On a monistic basis (i.e. on the idea that everything goes back to one - in this case spiritual - principle) no Christian faith is possible, without emptiness no Buddhist one. Christian and Buddhist frameworks are abandoned here, it is more a question of an esoteric spiritual monism (e.g. with Willigis Jäger, in which God as an all-embracing reality is supposed to be expressed in the details of life).

Recommendations for action

The search for the experience of the Christian faith is important and represents a great challenge. A practice that claims to bring about religious experiences methodically is, however, not justifiable from a Christian point of view. The goal of Christian spirituality is the encounter with God. The Christian tradition offers a whole range of helpful approaches to this.

The claim that Zen is not a religious exercise must be contradicted. Therefore, Zen offers cannot take place in church institutions, apart from dialogical encounters. Exaggerated expectations should be pointed out when dealing with pastoral issues. The ritual initiations by an experienced leader and the relationship with the master are to be examined critically in each individual case.

additional Information

Matthias Pöhlmann / Christine Jahn (eds.): Handbook Weltanschauungen, Religious Communities, Free Churches, Gütersloh 2015, 1021-1032.

Harald Lamprecht: Missionary of Nothing. Zen master and Benedictine monk Willigis Jäger in the Evangelical Academy in Meißen, https://www.confessio.de/artikel/159.

yoga

Perceptions

We perceive yoga less as a religious practice than as a collective term for physical exercises, breathing techniques and relaxation practices that promise harmony and balance as well as the release of physical and emotional tensions. Also the largest association, the Professional association of yoga teachers in Germany (BDY), emphasizes the health aspects and the variety of methods compared to the orientation on basic religious principles. This gave yoga teachers access to community colleges and even church facilities. Under certain conditions, yoga courses are paid for by health insurance companies. Yoga is mainly practiced by women with higher educational qualifications.

In connection with commercial esoteric offers, the term yoga serves as a carrier for the most diverse ideological offers, which are tailored to the presumed customer needs. Even dance yoga or laughter yoga can be found.

content

In Hinduism, yoga is used to describe various exercises that allow contact and union with the divine (brahman) have the objective. The self should be released from the clasping of all material things and thus from the cycle of rebirths.

The word yoga comes from the Indian Sanskrit and means "yoke": Just as workhorses are tied under a yoke, the body should be tense and concentrated. The yoga path leads through various exercises - concentrated control of the breath, withdrawal of the senses from the outside and corresponding postures (asanas) - to the unification of subject and object, of human and divine consciousness. From the point of view of classical yoga, all material causes suffering and must therefore be overcome. Hatha yoga, which is popular with us, sees the body much more positively, it can be used as an instrument on the yoga path. This forms the basis of many physical exercises.

While the BDY emphasizes the ideological neutrality of yoga, the network represents Yoga Vidya the spiritual approach. Here we find a spiritual community that follows the classic holistic and strongly Hindu-influenced yoga in the tradition of Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnu-Devananda. Yoga Vidya combines different yoga paths. Recitations and Hindu rituals are part of everyday practice.

Assessments

Do yoga offerings fit into a church context? The answer to this highly controversial question depends above all on whether yoga can be practiced as a pure physical exercise to increase well-being and fitness or whether it is always a spiritual school of consciousness. This is also a controversial issue among yoga teachers.

With yoga as a health-promoting measure, detached from its religious background, there will hardly be any crossing of borders to Hinduism or Buddhism. However, the transitions to religious teaching content are often fluid and must be taken into account when making an assessment. Great transparency is necessary here, especially with regard to people who are looking for spiritual self-awareness.

Christian belief cannot be reconciled with the spiritual goals of a yoga path. Every Christian meditation and contemplation is based on the salvific God and cannot get involved in exercises whose goal is complete enlightenment - even if the accusation of self-redemption falls short and many yoga practitioners consider themselves fundamentally passive, "gracious" characters are aware of the enlightenment experience. From a Christian point of view, one cannot (and does not need to) achieve such perfection. It is also important to keep an eye on the “guru relationships”, which are often neglected especially in the esoteric area: in some cases, the promises lead to strong psychological dependence on the person of the teacher and to financial exploitation.

Recommendations for action

Physical exercises for relaxation and health promotion, also "exercises in the style of yoga", can be done from an evangelical point of view without coming into conflict with one's own faith. Those who are only interested in these aspects may not have any problems when confronted with spiritual ideas such as activating chakras in yoga. But if you are looking for meaning, you may become receptive to such things. Therefore, such ideas should not be conveyed in the Christian context - especially not subliminally.

Yoga teacher is not a protected job title. The associations can be helpful in the search for suitable teachers, because high-quality training courses take place here.

When asked about yoga in church institutions, the situation is fundamentally different than when asked about participation in courses offered elsewhere. People trust that church houses only hold events that are compatible with the Christian faith. This trust must not be gambled away. In advance, it is difficult to rule out spiritual transgressions, and when this occurs, a community, unlike an individual, cannot simply withdraw.

An encounter with yoga in communities is only possible as a factual discussion, but not in the form of practical internalization.

In recent times, concepts of a “Christian yoga” have emerged which, with its exercises, relate to the emphasis on the body, especially the Old Testament, and the metaphorical descriptions of the Bible (e.g. the talk of the gentle yoke in Mt 11, 28-30 ) relates to the concrete physicality of the human being. Offers conceived in this way do not contradict the Christian faith.

additional Information

Harald Lamprecht: Yoga in the parish hall? Why personal practice and room allocation are two different shoes, https://www.confessio.de/artikel/1225.

Reinhart Hummel: Yoga - Meditation Path for Christians? Problems of a Christian yoga reception, EZW Information 112, Stuttgart 1990.

Christian Fuchs: Yoga in Germany. Reception. Organization. Typology, Stuttgart 1990 (from the point of view of a BDY teacher).

Ki movements: acupuncture, Reiki, Qi Gong, Tái Chi (Chuan), kinesiology, Feng Shui

Perceptions

Needles are pricked into certain parts of the body or hands are gently placed, slow and smooth movements are practiced, buildings and apartments with protruding corners are avoided as far as possible - what these practices have in common is the idea of ​​the flow of the life energy Ki (other spellings: Qi or Chi). If it is blocked, it can lead to malaise or illness.

Content

In Chinese Daoism (other spelling: Taoism), Ki is a universal force or life energy that balances the two complementary cosmic principles Yin and Yang by maintaining the Dao, the unifying harmony of the cosmos, through its flow. In humans, the Ki flows in fixed paths, the meridians. They are connected to a total of seven energy nodes along the spine (chakras). These are assigned to certain areas of the body, feelings and religious qualities. Part of the crown chakra is the spiritual connection with the divine. Using different techniques, blockages on the meridians could be released so that the Ki could flow again and ensure a harmonious balance.

Daoism forms the background of the various Ki movements that are present in the context of esoteric ideas:

  • acupuncture is one of the best known alternative healing methods in Germany. It comes from the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Needles are pricked at fixed points on the meridians in order to release blockages of the ki.
  • There are similar ideas Acupressure, e.g. B. at the Foot reflexology, underlying. The sole of the foot depicts the entire body; blockages in the ki are supposed to be released through certain pressure points.
  • By gently laying on your hands, the Reiki transfer the ki. Reiki claims a comprehensive healing right up to a remote treatment. It heals people, animals and plants and even objects that are detoxified or repaired. Reiki likes to present itself in a religiously neutral way. However, this contradicts the initiation rituals for the Ki donors, which are necessary to open the Reiki channel and let the Ki flow through the hands. Reiki also aims at spiritual development and the creation of a mystical community.
  • Qi Gong consists of physical movements and forms of massage. Stand exercises serve z. B. strengthening and gathering. With Qi Gong balls, reflex zones in the hands are stimulated and the Ki current is activated manipulatively.
  • The one related to Qi Gong Tai Chi (Chuan) reminds of Chinese fighting techniques. Here the calm and deliberate sequences of movements should activate the Ki flow.
  • Developed from chiropractic Kinesiology claims to be able to make diagnostic statements about diseases and mental blockages from the state of tension in a muscle. The muscle strength is not measured physically, but its "energy state" is determined in the sense of Ki. In kinesiological applications, the patients are balanced through touch and massage so that the ki can flow again. In addition, there is also educational edu-kinesthetics or economic advice on a kinesiological basis. However, kinesiologist is not a protected term, a qualification is not required and there is no quality control.
  • Feng Shui (= wind-water) includes the entire living environment. In order to allow the Ki to flow smoothly, there is advice on architecture and home furnishings. In a strongly secularized environment, one usually limits oneself to the fact that customers should "feel good".

Assessments

A number of exercises - especially in Tái Chi - are based on long experience and observation, so that one can easily ascribe to them wisdom with regard to the laws of physical movements. The same applies to acupuncture, acupressure and Qi Gong, which work with strong stimuli. However, therapeutic successes that go beyond general conventional medicine or placebo effects are not known.

We encounter Ki movements in the context of esoteric ideas, in which scientific knowledge is mixed with esoteric or Asian wisdom. The interpretations in relation to a flow of Ki belong in the religious context of Daoism. Neither the assumed life energy Ki nor its meridians or chakras or the claimed self-healing powers are verifiable facts, but only plausible in the context of the world views presented here. Overall, TCM is in tension with Western medical knowledge and has a completely different idea of ​​the structure of the human body and its internal organs. The holistic view of people, which is not given enough attention in Western medicine, together with an attentive and empathic approach to patients, can be seen as positive.

Kinesiology, on the other hand, appears highly suggestive and dependencies between patients and therapists are repeatedly reported. The Stiftung Warentest expressly warns that "healthy people are declared sick and sick people healthy". Measured against the relatively simple methods and theories, kinesiology appears with an exaggerated claim to help and harbors the risk that necessary therapies will be missed.

Overall, the Ki movements have an understanding of people and their diseases that differs from the Christian faith. Jesus' laying on of hands and asking for God's healing are not therapeutic methods. Ki forces are not the work of the Holy Spirit, which is not subject to any human practice. A Christian intercessory prayer is not a transfer of energy.

Recommendations for action

No therapy events or seminars based on content from the Ki movement should be offered in church rooms. The church knows of physical benefits in dealing with the sick beyond intercession in the form of blessings and anointings. In pastoral care, one should warn against exaggerated expectations and point out numerous dangers associated with Ki offers: dependencies, misdiagnoses and the spread of diseases, manipulation and psychological and, last but not least, sometimes high financial burdens.

additional Information

Friedmann Eißler: Reiki, EZW-Lexikon, 2014, https://www.ezw-berlin.de/html/3_179.php.

Ulrich Dehn: Search for one's own center - Eastern religiosity in the West, in: Reinhard Hempelmann et al. (Ed.): Panorama of the new religiosity. Search for meaning and promise of salvation at the beginning of the 21st century, Gütersloh 22005, 305-410, esp. 381-406.

Ayurveda

Perceptions

The Indian healing art of Ayurveda has also become known in the West in the wake of the wellness trend of recent years. The treatments are (mostly expensive) manual applications, oil massages or forehead pourings, which are carried out by alternative practitioners, as additional offers also by doctors, but also medically untrained by masseurs and beauticians. Many tour operators offer stays in Ayurveda hotels in Sri Lanka and India.

Content

Ayurveda is the Sanskrit name for "knowledge of life" and describes the traditional Hindu healing art that is taught and practiced as a medical science in India, Sri Lanka and Nepal. Their handling of the human body is based on pre-scientific observations and experiences that were gathered in three Indian writings (Samhitas) from the 2nd to the 6th centuries. The human being as a microcosm consists of the five elements water, earth, air, fire and ether. In different combinations they formed three dynamic life energies (Doshas), these in turn determined all physical and mental processes: Vata (from the elements air and ether) regulate the movements of the body and the activities of the mind, sensory organs and nervous system, Pitta (Fire and water) metabolism and digestion, Kapha (Earth and water) the body structure, the fluid balance and the immune system.

Every person has an individual mixing ratio of the three doshas from birth, which will last his entire life. It is reflected in his physique as well as in certain likes and dislikes or behavioral habits. As a rule, two doshas dominate. Stress or the wrong lifestyle and diet could disrupt this relationship. Ayurveda explains illnesses through an imbalance in the doshas. Treatment is designed to reduce this imbalance.

Ayurvedic therapies are individually tailored to the dosha ratio. The diagnosis includes pulse and tongue control as well as a detailed survey on lifestyle. The therapies consist of oil or powder massages, sweat baths, forehead irrigation and enemas and the intake of medicinal herbs and minerals. As a preventive measure, a change in lifestyle and individual dietary requirements are recommended.

Assessments

In western societies, Ayurveda is caught between esotericism, wellness and health prevention. Many applications are based on comprehensive, good observation and make sense where medical treatment is accompanied by questions about a healthier lifestyle, better nutrition and the ability to act independently and responsibly (patient empowerment). The orientation of Ayurveda to traditional Indian ways of life without reference to modern scientific knowledge allows only a limited transfer to modern western conditions. Medical studies on Ayurveda are still in their infancy.

While in India, in addition to the traditional training with a practicing teacher, a state-regulated "university course" with a bachelor's and master's degree is offered, in Germany there is a large number of training courses with very different qualities and qualifications. Since Ayurvedic medicines are not approved as medicines in Germany, they are often imported without transparent quality controls. In some cases, lead and mercury components were discovered, and lead poisoning occurred in isolated cases.

Ayurveda's view of the world and people is shaped by Hinduism. The five cosmic elements and the concept of the doshas are not empirical facts, but belong in the realm of ideological presuppositions. The is widespread in Germany Maharishi Ayurvedawho practice Ayurveda with the controversial Transcendental Meditation (see 6.6) connects. Whether and to what extent the ideological background plays a role beyond individual therapy applications should be examined critically in each case.

Recommendations for action

As long as a medical examination is still pending, therapeutic applications - beyond mere wellness offers - must be treated with great caution. The quality of Ayurvedic products and the qualifications of the respective providers should also be critically examined. Finally, the question should also be asked at what level Ayurvedic therapies are offered and whether and to what extent Hindu world and human images are relevant for them.

Questions about lifestyle, health and your own possibilities to support healing are general human issues and often have a direct connection to the Christian faith. The answers from the point of view of Ayurveda must be examined critically from a Christian point of view.

In view of this situation and the unanswered questions, Ayurveda offers in community centers should not be offered.

additional Information

Kai Funkschmidt: Illness and Health, EZW-Lexikon, 2019, https://www.ezw-berlin.de/html/3_10131.php.

Transcendental meditation

Perceptions

“Life without stress”, “200% life”, “Successful through meditation” or “Younger biological age through transcendental meditation” - the company uses slogans like these to advertise Transcendental meditation (TM) for their offers. Flyers and advertising brochures are distributed and invite you to lecture evenings. Often you will find a picture of an older yogi, the founder of this form of meditation, on them. Sometimes TM offers also appear in connection with Ayurvedic medicine (see 6.5).

Content

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was born in India at the beginning of the 20th century, studied physics and went to the school of various brahmins, gurus and spiritual leaders. He combined his scientific training and his spiritual experience in the development of a simple meditation method. He published various writings and in 1957 founded the Spiritual renewal movement, the forerunner of the Transcendental Meditation. He built a rapidly growing empire that spread from India around the world.

Some characteristics stand out: Among other things, he announced a "World Plan of Salvation" (1972) or the so-called "Maharishi Effect", which states that almost all problems in the world would disappear if only one percent of the population were to practice TM. He founded universities and a "World Government of the Age of Enlightenment" (1976). The TM spread in the form of sometimes spectacular spiritual exercises ("yogic flying"), but also experienced various severe setbacks (the practice of TM in schools was prohibited in the USA). Their own achieved only weak successes Natural Law Party in various elections in Germany and Europe. A program to build “peace universities” and “peace palaces”, in which “yogic aviators” and other meditators are supposed to contribute to world peace, was also launched with rather moderate success.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi died in 2008, but his organization seems to have solidified even without its spiritual leader and founder. Distribution figures are difficult to determine. In Germany it is assumed that there are around 1,000 TM providers, and around 50,000 worldwide. The organization itself speaks of millions of practitioners.

The practice is determined by the method of meditation. If you believe the full-bodied advertising promise, it can solve all the problems of people and the world and thus itself becomes a kind of path to salvation. The introduction to TM takes place in seven stages. It begins with introductory and preparatory lectures, followed by courses, discussions, worship of various Hindu gods and gurus, a “secret mantra” and the practice of various meditation techniques. The entire process is very costly, with the first three stages (lectures and discussions) still being free of charge. If you finally practice TM, you sink into a contemplation that leaves your own thoughts behind, which you should practice twice a day for 20 minutes. The levels of the course system build on each other and are criticized from different sides, as are the full-bodied promises of salvation and redemption or the supposedly scientific reputation.

Assessments

The TM denies having a religious character. It is said that TM is a technology, a simple process that can be integrated into all religions, cultures and ways of life. In TM practice, however, Hindu contexts such as guru following, initiation and mantra play a major role. Without these religious elements, TM cannot be practiced and they are not communicated transparently to the outside world - such as the secret mantra, which plays a major role.

The TM repeatedly states that its offers are supposed to be scientific. However, there is no known independent study that would confirm the claimed successes.

Critics repeatedly problematize the unrealistic promises of salvation, success and self-optimization as well as lack of transparency and totalitarian structures. Medical literature warns against the use of TM in the context of mental illness - excessive exercise can lead to mental disorders.

Recommendations for action

Church premises cannot be made available to TM, nor can they be collaborated with in any way. It should be pointed out that the Hindu-religious background is denied, but is there and that the belief and human image cannot be reconciled with the Christian one.

additional Information

Edzard Ernst: Naturopathic Practice.Scientific evaluation, risk-benefit analysis, decision-making aids, Heidelberg 2001, 95.

Matthias Pöhlmann / Christine Jahn (eds.): Handbuch Weltanschauungen, Religious Communities, Free Churches, Gütersloh 2016, 944-957.

http://www.relinfo.ch/lexikon/hinduismus/neuere-aus-dem-hinduismus-stammende-religioese-bewegungungen/transzendentale-meditation-tm