In Yoga, “practicing the presence” is accomplished through the mystical method of repeating yogic breathing and yogic mantras for the purpose of ushering the devotee into “oneness” with cosmic consciousnesses, the eastern understanding of god or divinity, often referred to as the “divine spark”, believed to be synonymous with all nature. The idea of god/divinity IN all is known as pantheism, that god is IN all that is material, but panentheism says the divine permeates everything including all eternity, concluding that all spirituality and all spirits are divine and acceptable.
Caryl Matrisciana of Caryl TV and producer of videos such as Wide Is The Gate recently answered a letter about practicing the presence and Breath Prayer, a contemplative prayer from eastern religions. Sadly, it is the same technique that Saddleback’s Rick Warren, through his Pastor’s Toolbox site, recently encouraged thousands of pastors to teach to their congregants. Here’s why these New Age practices are so incredibly dangerous:
Q: Dear Caryl – We have a friend who recently left the catholic church and joined a community church that is into breath prayers. Is there a sensitive way to show her that this is really from the desert fathers and is part of the emergent church? She is like most people and will not read a lengthy article, but needs to know that using Biblical words as the breath prayer does not make it right. Thank you: Rick
A: Thanks Rick for your inquiry. I’m not sure there is a “sensitive way” as you ask, to tell someone they’re involved in pagan rituals or gnosticism which have the power (through mind altering states) to give a supernatural experience.
Any such methodology to merge with the spirit world is in opposition to the Biblical prayer model God revealed in Scripture. Nowhere after Pentecost do we read of Paul encouraging believers in “breath” praying.