Yoga

yogicyogitantric
Previously, the Roman Catholic Church, and some other Christian organizations have expressed concerns and disapproval with respect to some eastern and New Age practices that include yoga and meditation. In 1989 and 2003, the Vatican issued two documents: Aspects of Christian meditation and "A Christian reflection on the New Age," that were mostly critical of eastern and New Age practices. The 2003 document was published as a 90-page handbook detailing the Vatican's position.

Advaita Vedanta

advaitaAdvaita VedāntaAdvaitin
Neo-Advaita is a New Religious Movement based on a popularised, western interpretation of Advaita Vedanta and the teachings of Ramana Maharshi. Neo-Advaita is being criticised for discarding the traditional prerequisites of knowledge of the scriptures and "renunciation as necessary preparation for the path of jnana-yoga". Notable neo-advaita teachers are H. W. L. Poonja, his students Gangaji Andrew Cohen, and Eckhart Tolle. Advaita Vedanta has gained attention in western spirituality and New Age, where various traditions are seen as driven by the same non-dual experience. Nonduality points to "a primordial, natural awareness without subject or object".

Cult

religious cultcultsdestructive cult
According to The Oxford Handbook of Religious Movements, "by the end of the decade, the term 'new religions' would virtually replace 'cult' to describe all of those leftover groups that did not fit easily under the label of church or sect." A new religious movement (NRM) is a religious community or spiritual group of modern origins (since the mid-1800s), which has a peripheral place within its society's dominant religious culture. NRMs can be novel in origin or part of a wider religion, in which case they are distinct from pre-existing denominations.

Judaism

JewishJewsJew
Other examples of syncretism include Semitic neopaganism, a loosely organized sect which incorporates pagan or Wiccan beliefs with some Jewish religious practices; Jewish Buddhists, another loosely organized group that incorporates elements of Asian spirituality in their faith; and some Renewal Jews who borrow freely and openly from Buddhism, Sufism, Native American religions, and other faiths. The Kabbalah Centre, which employs teachers from multiple religions, is a New Age movement that claims to popularize the kabbalah, part of the Jewish esoteric tradition. Jews in Islamic countries: * A. Khanbaghi.

Spirit

spiritsspirit worldspiritual being
Spiritualism. Spiritism. Spiritism. Spirit world.

God

supreme beingLordCreator
An example of syncretism is the New Age movement. Jews and Christians believe that humans are created in the likeness of God, and are the center, crown and key to God's creation, stewards for God, supreme over everything else God had made ; for this reason, humans are in Christianity called the "Children of God". During the early Parthian Empire, Ahura Mazda was visually represented for worship. This practice ended during the beginning of the Sassanid empire. Zoroastrian iconoclasm, which can be traced to the end of the Parthian period and the beginning of the Sassanid, eventually put an end to the use of all images of Ahura Mazda in worship.

Qigong

qi gongChi GongCh'i Kung
In Daoism various practices now known as Daoist Qigong are claimed to provide a way to achieve longevity and spiritual enlightenment, as well as a closer connection with the natural world. In Buddhism meditative practices now known as Buddhist Qigong are part of a spiritual path that leads to spiritual enlightenment or Buddhahood. In Confucianism practices now known as Confucian Qigong provide a means to become a Junzi through awareness of morality.

Reincarnation

reincarnatedrebirthpast lives
Today, reincarnation is an esoteric belief within many streams of modern Judaism. Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism), teaches a belief in gilgul, transmigration of souls, and hence the belief in reincarnation is universal in Hasidic Judaism, which regards the Kabbalah as sacred and authoritative, and is also held as an esoteric belief within Modern Orthodox Judaism. In Judaism, the Zohar, first published in the 13th century, discusses reincarnation at length, especially in the Torah portion "Balak."

Qi

kichich'i
Esoteric healing. Livity (spiritual concept). Orgone. Prana. Reiki. Pneuma. Geist. Mana. Spirit. Article by Bing YeYoung "A Philosophical and Cultural Interpretation of Qi". The Skeptics Dictionary. Qi Encyclopedia.

Islam

MuslimMuslimsIslamic
Conversion to Islam, however, was not a sudden abandonment of old religious practices; rather, it was typically a matter of "assimilating Islamic rituals, cosmologies, and literatures into... local religious systems." The Muslims in China who were descended from earlier immigration began to assimilate by adopting Chinese names and culture while Nanjing became an important center of Islamic study. The Turks incorporated elements of Turkish Shamanism into their new religion and became part of a new Islamic interpretation. One major change was the status of woman. Unlike Arabic traditions, the Turkic traditions were build on a matriarchal society.

Spiritualism

spiritualistspiritualistsspiritual
After the 1920s, spiritualism evolved in three different directions, all of which exist today. The first of these continued the tradition of individual practitioners, organised in circles centered on a medium and clients, without any hierarchy or dogma. Already by the late 19th century spiritualism had become increasingly syncretic, a natural development in a movement without central authority or dogma. Today, among these unorganised circles, spiritualism is similar to the new age movement. However, theosophy with its inclusion of Eastern religion, astrology, ritual magic and reincarnation is an example of a closer precursor of the 20th century new age movement.

Psychology

psychologicalpsychologistpsychologists
However, Indian doctrines influenced Western thinking via the Theosophical Society, a New Age group which became popular among Euro-American intellectuals. Psychology was a popular topic in Enlightenment Europe. In Germany, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716) applied his principles of calculus to the mind, arguing that mental activity took place on an indivisible continuum—most notably, that among an infinity of human perceptions and desires, the difference between conscious and unconscious awareness is only a matter of degree. Christian Wolff identified psychology as its own science, writing Psychologia empirica in 1732 and Psychologia rationalis in 1734.

Afterlife

life after deathhereafterafterlives
In some views, this continued existence often takes place in a spiritual realm, and in other popular views, the individual may be reborn into this world and begin the life cycle over again, likely with no memory of what they have done in the past. In this latter view, such rebirths and deaths may take place over and over again continuously until the individual gains entry to a spiritual realm or Otherworld. Major views on the afterlife derive from religion, esotericism and metaphysics.

Karma

karmickammakarmas
Popular methods for negating cognitive dissonance include meditation, metacognition, counselling, psychoanalysis, etc., whose aim is to enhance emotional self-awareness and thus avoid negative karma. This results in better emotional hygiene and reduced karmic impacts. Permanent neuronal changes within the amygdala and left prefrontal cortex of the human brain attributed to long-term meditation and metacognition techniques have been proven scientifically. This process of emotional maturation aspires to a goal of Individuation or self-actualisation. Such peak experiences are hypothetically devoid of any karma (nirvana or moksha).

Religious studies

religionstudy of religionRS
Scientific investigators have used a SPECTscanner to analyze the brain activity of both Christian contemplatives and Buddhist meditators, finding them to be quite similar. The "origin of religion" refers to the emergence of religious behavior in prehistory, before written records. The psychology of religion is concerned with the psychological principles operative in religious communities and practitioners. William James's The Varieties of Religious Experience analyzed personal experience as contrasted with the social phenomenon of religion.

Rajneesh

OshoBhagwan Shree RajneeshOsho Rajneesh
Rajneesh continues to be known and published worldwide in the area of meditation and his work also includes social and political commentary. Internationally, after almost two decades of controversy and a decade of accommodation, Rajneesh's movement has established itself in the market of new religions. His followers have redefined his contributions, reframing central elements of his teaching so as to make them appear less controversial to outsiders. Societies in North America and Western Europe have met them half-way, becoming more accommodating to spiritual topics such as yoga and meditation.

Transpersonal psychology

transpersonaltranspersonal experiencetranspersonal psychologist
Transpersonal psychology may also, sometimes, be associated with New Age beliefs and pop psychology. However, leading authors in the field, among those Sovatsky, and Rowan, have criticized the nature of "New Age"-philosophy and discourse. Rowan even states that "The Transpersonal is not the New Age". Although some consider that the distinction between transpersonal psychology and the psychology of religion, is fading (e.g. The Oxford Handbook of Psychology and Spirituality), there is still generally considered to be a clear distinction between the two.

Soul

soulsspirithuman soul
Kabbalah and other mystic traditions go into greater detail into the nature of the soul. Kabbalah separates the soul into five elements, corresponding to the five worlds: Kabbalah also proposed a concept of reincarnation, the gilgul. (See also nefesh habehamit the "animal soul".) The Scientology view is that a person does not have a soul, it is a soul. A person is immortal, and may be reincarnated if they wish. The Scientology term for the soul is "thetan", derived from the Greek word "theta", symbolizing thought. Scientology counselling (called auditing) addresses the soul to improve abilities, both worldly and spiritual.

Chaos magic

Chaos MagickChaoteoriginally portrayed
Chaos magic grew out of the desire of some occultists to strip away these extrinsic details and distill magic down to a set of tried-and-tested techniques for causing effects to occur in reality. An oft quoted line from Peter Carroll is "Magic will not free itself from occultism until we have strangled the last astrologer with the guts of the last spiritual master." Peter J. Carroll and Ray Sherwin are considered to be the founders of chaos magic, although Phil Hine points out that there were others "lurking in the background, such as the Stoke Newington Sorcerors" – a group which included Charles Brewster (Frater Choronzon).

Emanationism

emanationemanationsemanated
Another advocate of emanationism was Michael Servetus, who was burned at the stake for his nontrinitarian cosmology. Emanationism is a common teaching found in occult and esoteric writings. According to Owen (2005): Theosophy draws on Neoplatonic emanationism, in particular the concept of separation from and return to the Absolute, and reworks the Eastern concepts of karma and reincarnation to provide an evolutionary theory of both humankind and the universe.