Throughout most of Buddhist history, meditation has been primarily practised in Buddhist monastic tradition, and historical evidence suggests that serious meditation by lay people has been an exception. In recent history, sustained meditation has been pursued by a minority of monks in Buddhist monasteries. Western interest in meditation has led to a revival where ancient Buddhist ideas and precepts are adapted to Western mores and interpreted liberally, presenting Buddhism as a meditation-based form of spirituality. Prajñā (Sanskrit) or paññā (Pāli) is insight or knowledge of the true nature of existence.
A temple incorporates all elements of Hindu cosmology, the highest spire or dome representing Mount Meru – reminder of the abode of Brahma and the center of spiritual universe, the carvings and iconography symbolically presenting dharma, kama, artha, moksha and karma. The layout, the motifs, the plan and the building process recite ancient rituals, geometric symbolisms, and reflect beliefs and values innate within various schools of Hinduism. Hindu temples are spiritual destinations for many Hindus (not all), as well as landmarks for arts, annual festivals, rite of passage rituals, and community celebrations.
Scholars have also classified Theosophy as a form of Western esotericism. Campbell for instance referred to it as "an esoteric religious tradition", while the historian Joy Dixon called it an "esoteric religion". More specifically, it is considered a form of occultism. Along with other groups like the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Theosophical Society has been seen as part of an "occult revival" that took place in Western countries during the late nineteenth century. The historian of religion Wouter Hanegraaff noted that Theosophy helped to establish the "essential foundations for much of twentieth-century esotericism".
new religious movementsnew religionsmodern religious movements
Some NRMs, particularly those that are forms of occultism, have a prescribed system of courses and grades through which members can progress. Many NRMs promote celibacy, the state of voluntarily being unmarried, sexually abstinent, or both. Some, including the Shakers and more recent NRMs inspired by Hindu traditions, see it as a lifelong commitment. Others, including the Unification Church, as a stage in spiritual development. In some Buddhist NRMs celibacy is practiced mostly by older women who become nuns. Some people join NRMs and practice celibacy as a rite of passage in order to move beyond previous sexual problems or bad experiences.
New Age. List of New Age topics. Qigong. Edgar Cayce. Josephine McCarthy. Evelyn Underhill. G. I. Gurdjieff. Rudolf Steiner. Ken Wilber. Astral projection. Dhikr. Meditation. Muraqaba. Prayer. Remote viewing. Yoga. Astrology. Augur. Cartomancy. Cleromancy. Divination. Dowsing. Pendulum. Fortune-telling. Geomancy. Haruspex. I Ching. Omen. Tarot reading. Lucid dream. Out-of-body experience. Anthroposophy. Christian mysticism. Christian mystics. Esotericism. Hermeticism. List of occultists. Mysticism. Salvation. Spiritualism. Western mystery tradition. AMORC. FUDOFSI. FUDOSI. Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Illuminates of Thanateros. Knights Templar. Ordo Templi Orientis. Subud.
"One may assume that anyone claiming to be a Cherokee 'shaman, spiritual healer, or pipe-carrier', is equivalent to a modern day medicine show and snake-oil vendor." One indicator of a plastic shaman might be someone who discusses "Native American spirituality" but does not mention any specific Native American tribe. The "New Age Frauds and Plastic Shamans" website discusses potentially plastic shamans. Besides tradition-preserving efforts, there are also neoshamanistic movements, these may differ from many traditional shamanistic practice and beliefs in several points.
Metaphysical cosmology. Esoteric cosmology. Evolution (philosophy). Hindu idealism. Ietsism. Involution (metaphysics). Plane (cosmology). Religious cosmology. The Celestine Prophecy.
ChristJesus ChristJesus of Nazareth
The New Age movement entertains a wide variety of views on Jesus. Theosophists, from whom many New Age teachings originated, refer to Jesus as the Master Jesus, a spiritual reformer, and they believe that Christ, after various incarnations, occupied the body of Jesus. Scientologists recognize Jesus (along with other religious figures such as Zoroaster, Muhammad, and Buddha) as part of their "religious heritage". Atheists reject Jesus' divinity, but have differing views on Jesus' moral teachings. For example, Richard Dawkins has called him "a great moral teacher". Some of the earliest depictions of Jesus at the Dura-Europos church are firmly dated to before 256.
subtle bodiesLinga Shariraastral self
Meditation, Path to the Deepest Self, Dorling Kindersley, 2002. ISBN: 978-0789483331. Levin, Michal. Spiritual Intelligence: Awakening the Power of Your Spirituality and Intuition. Hodder & Stoughton, 2000. ISBN: 978-0340733943. Paramahansa Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi, Los Angeles, CA: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1946, Chapter 43.
SteinerSteiner, RudolfDr. Rudolf Steiner
Central principles of his understanding include: In Steiner's esoteric cosmology, the spiritual development of humanity is interwoven in and inseparable from the cosmological development of the universe. Continuing the evolution that led to humanity being born out of the natural world, the Christ being brings an impulse enabling human consciousness of the forces that act creatively, but unconsciously, in nature. Steiner's views of Christianity diverge from conventional Christian thought in key places, and include gnostic elements. However, unlike many gnostics, Steiner affirms the unique and actual physical Incarnation of Christ in Jesus at the beginning of the Christian era.
During the occult revival of the early 19th century, alchemy received new attention as an occult science. The esoteric or occultist school, which arose during the 19th century, held (and continues to hold) the view that the substances and operations mentioned in alchemical literature are to be interpreted in a spiritual sense, and it downplays the role of the alchemy as a practical tradition or protoscience.
Rosicrucianism is a spiritual and cultural movement which arose in Europe in the early 17th century after the publication of several texts which purported to announce the existence of a hitherto unknown esoteric order to the world and made seeking its knowledge attractive to many. The mysterious doctrine of the order is allegedly "built on esoteric truths of the ancient past", which "concealed from the average man, provide insight into nature, the physical universe, and the spiritual realm." The manifestos do not elaborate extensively on the matter, but clearly combine references to Kabbalah, Hermeticism, alchemy, and mystical Christianity.
Practitioners of Theurgy and Western esotericism may practice a form of ritual which utilizes both pre-sanctioned prayers and names of God, and prayers "from the heart" that, when combined, allows the participant to ascend spiritually, and in some instances, induce a trance in which God or other spiritual beings may be realized. Very similar to Hermetic Qabalah, and orthodox Kabbalah, it is believed that prayer can influence both the physical and non-physical worlds.
The influx of spiritual teachers from Asia, and their claims of abilities produced by meditation, led to research on altered states of consciousness. American Society for Psychical Research Director of Research, Karlis Osis, conducted experiments in out of body experiences. Physicist Russell Targ coined the term remote viewing for use in some of his work at SRI in 1974. The surge in paranormal research continued into the 1980s: the Parapsychological Association reported members working in more than 30 countries.
An analysis of data from the 1998 US General Social Survey, whilst broadly confirming that religious activity was associated with better health and well-being, also suggested that the role of different dimensions of spirituality/religiosity in health is rather more complicated. The results suggested "that it may not be appropriate to generalize findings about the relationship between spirituality/religiosity and health from one form of spirituality/religiosity to another, across denominations, or to assume effects are uniform for men and women.
By focusing on symbolic patterns, images, and poetic mantras, the meditant can achieve consciously directed Imaginations that allow sensory phenomena to appear as the expression of underlying beings of a soul-spiritual nature. By transcending such imaginative pictures, the meditant can become conscious of the meditative activity itself, which leads to experiences of expressions of soul-spiritual beings unmediated by sensory phenomena or qualities. Steiner calls this stage Inspiration.
CatholicRoman CatholicRoman Catholicism
The Eastern Catholic Churches follow the traditions and spirituality of Eastern Christianity and are Churches that have always remained in full communion with the Catholic Church or who have chosen to reenter full communion in the centuries following the East–West Schism and earlier divisions. These churches are communities of Catholic Christians whose forms of worship reflect distinct historical and cultural influences rather than differences in doctrine.
New Thought MovementHigher Thoughtmind-cure
Atkinson was the editor of New Thought magazine and the author of more than 100 books on an assortment of religious, spiritual, and occult topics. The following year, Elizabeth Towne, the editor of The Nautilus, published Bruce MacLelland's book Prosperity Through Thought Force, in which he summarized the "Law of Attraction" as a New Thought principle, stating "You are what you think, not what you think you are." These magazines were used to reach a large audience then, as others are now. Nautilus magazine, for example, had 45,000 subscribers and a total circulation of 150,000.