Posts Tagged ‘dr. amen’
On January 7th, Lighthouse Trails posted a letter to the editor titled: “Main Calvary Chapel Bookstore Just Added Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan Book.” Today, we received e-mails from various Lighthouse Trails readers stating that they were told by the Calvary Chapel store that it decided to remove Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan book after receiving a number of phone calls and complaints over the last two days. As of this writing, the link we had posted to the store where the book was made available is no longer available (see here), and it appears that The Daniel Plan is no longer for sale. The Daniel Plan, a dieting plan offered by Rick Warren and Saddleback church, is a creation of three doctors who advocate as part of good health New Age/eastern-style meditation.
To Lighthouse Trails:
Well now that Chuck [Smith] has passed away . . . I just noticed that the main Calvary Chapel bookstore has just recently listed Warrens Daniel Plan and Journal for sale. (Click here.)
LTRP note: This is troublesome that the main Calvary Chapel bookstore has added The Daniel Plan. This will send out a message to Calvary Chapel pastors and congregants that Rick Warren’s message is acceptable, when in fact, the Daniel Plan was created using three doctors who are all advocates of eastern-style meditation. The reason we believe the reader above said “now that Chuck has passed away” is because in 2006, Chuck Smith made a public announcement rejecting the Purpose Driven Movement.
Please refer to our recent article, Rick Warren’s New Book, The Daniel Plan, Receives Media Blitz—But Book Does Double-Speak on Eastern-Style Meditation” regarding the Daniel Plan book. Also check out some of our articles on The Daniel Plan’s three meditation-promoting doctors:
Rick Warren’s New Book, The Daniel Plan, Receives Media Blitz—But Book Does Double-Speak on Eastern-Style Meditation
On Sunday, December 1st, 32 million homes (and 63 million readers)1 in America received the following issue of Parade newspaper-insert magazine:
The subtitle on the cover of this issue of the “most widely read magazine in America”2 reads: Rick Warren—One of America’s most influential pastors delivers a life-changing message on the connection between getting healthy and doing good. You’ll find Rick Warren showing up in quite a few other places of late as his new book, The Daniel Plan (based on his Daniel Plan diet plan), hit the streets on December 3rd.
The Parade article boasts of the “collectively dropped 250,000 pounds” the Saddleback congregation has lost since it began The Daniel Plan. The article also says that they did this with the help of three doctors: Dr. Amen, Dr. Hyman, and Dr. Oz. The article doesn’t, however, talk about what else the Saddleback dieters have lost—which would be any semblance of spiritual discernment that they might have previously had. That might sound like an overly-strong and critical statement to those who don’t have all the facts, but as we have reported on for nearly three years now, Rick Warren, unfortunately, compromised the spiritual well-being of his congregation when he teamed up with Amen, Hyman, and Oz, all of whom are eastern-style meditation advocates.
If you have read any of our coverage on The Daniel Plan, you will understand exactly what we mean. Here is a list of some of the stories we’ve done on Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan:
Now what about Rick Warren’s new book, The Daniel Plan released by the publisher of Warren’s other books, Zondervan (the book is co-authored by Warren, Dr. Amen, and Dr. Hyman? For untold reasons, Dr. Oz is not one of the authors of the book, although he is mentioned in the book. There’s no doubt that Oz is the strongest public adherent for New Age practices, and perhaps Warren decided he was too much of a high profile New Ager to include in the book. But keep in mind that Amen and Hymen are not too far behind. Amen promotes tantric sex, and Hyman is connected to a shamanic organization called FourWinds (“where modern science meets ancient wisdom“). So excluding Oz from Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan book isn’t very impressive.
One has several buying options that Zondervan has provided: The Daniel Plan book (Kindle and hardcover), The Daniel Plan Journal (Kindle and hardcover), The Daniel Plan Study Guide (Kindle and Paperback), The Daniel Plan DVD Study, The Daniel Plan Cookbook (due out in April 2014, written by Warren, Hyman, and Amen), The Daniel Plan Study Guide with DVD, The Daniel Plan Church Campaign Kit (due out 12/23/13), an mp3 and CD Daniel Plan, and the Spanish edition El Plan Daniel: 40 Dias Hacia Una Vida Mas Saludable.
There are a number of things we could say about The Daniel Plan book (such as Warren’s use of The Message “Bible“), and perhaps we will at another juncture in time. But what we want to point to presently, we find is extremely important. As is so often the case with Rick Warren (and other Christian leaders in today’s world), he has spoken out of both sides of his mouth in The Daniel Plan with regard to meditation. First, early in the book, Warren makes a strong statement against mantra-style meditation. He says:
In many ways, biblical meditation is the exact opposite of eastern or New Age meditation, which is about emptying your mind and repeating a single word or mantra. In contrast, biblical meditation means taking a verse of the Bible, such as a promise or a command or a story, and seriously pondering its meaning. You think through the implications for and application of God’s truth to your life. This is the kind of meditation that David referred to when he repeatedly said, “I meditate on your Word day and night” (see Psalm 1: 2; 119: 148, etc.). (Kindle Locations 842-850)
Anyone reading that would think the author of this paragraph was clearly against eastern-style meditation and contemplative prayer (which is the repeating of a word or phrase to enter a “silent” state of mind). When we read this paragraph from the book, we grew very suspicious because Rick Warren has been promoting eastern-style meditation authors for years (such as his endorsement and promotion of Gary Thomas and his book Sacred Pathways, in which Thomas says the following:
It is particularly difficult to describe this type of prayer in writing, as it is best taught in person. In general however, centering prayer works like this: Choose a word (Jesus or Father, for example) as a focus for contemplative prayer. Repeat the word silently in your mind for a set amount of time (say, twenty minutes) until your heart seems to be repeating the word by itself, just as naturally and involuntarily as breathing.(p. 185)
Repeating a word or phrase for twenty minutes is classic transcendental meditation. Sacred Pathways is currently on the Saddleback website listed as a recommended book by Kay Warren (a multitude of other books by contemplatives (e.g., Nouwen, Manning, Foster, Willard, Calhoun, Yancey, Ortberg) are in that same resource section of the website).
And, as we pointed out above, Warren’s very own three Daniel Plan doctors are teachers of meditation, and in fact, the Saddleback Daniel Plan website has, on different occasions, promoted New Age type meditation. See our article that gives one example: “Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan Accelerates – Tells Followers to Practice 4-7-8 Hinduistic Meditation.”
This is why it is very strange that Warren gives a warning about meditation in his Daniel Plan book. A little later in The Daniel Plan, the confusion begins. Warren says:
Decades of research have shown that prayer calms stress and enhances brain function. Dr. Andrew Newberg at Thomas Jefferson University used brain SPECT imaging to study the neurobiology of prayer and meditation in those that dedicated time to those disciplines regularly. He found distinctive changes in brain activity as the mind went into a prayerful or meditative state.2837).
When one hears talk of how prayer and meditation help to calm stress, this is almost always referring to the practice of meditation wherein the participant either repeats a word or a phrase or focuses on an object or the breath. In this particular case in The Daniel Plan, the paragraph above is footnoted to the following:
Barbara Bradley Hagerty, “Prayer May Reshape Your Brain … And Your Reality,” NPR, 20 May 2009. http:// www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=104310443 D. S. Khalsa, D. G. Amen, A. Newberg, et al., “Kirtan kriya meditation and high resolution brain SPECT imaging,” accepted by Nuclear Medicine Communications, June 2010. Andrew Newberg, “The Effect of Meditation on the Brain Activity,” AndrewNewberg.com, http:// www.andrewnewberg.com/ research.asp (Kindle Locations 5240-5244).
One of the things this footnote material references is “kirtan kriya meditation” (i.e., sa-ta-na-ma meditation). An article titled “WARNING: Kundalini Yoga’s ‘Highest Mantra Meditation’” states that “one [ meditation practice] coming onto the scene is being touted as the greatest Kundalini Yoga Meditation, called Kirtan Kriya.” The article explains the various steps in kirtan kriya meditation, which are the typical steps in any form of eastern meditation.
Remember, the purpose of eastern-style meditation is for one to find his divine true self (the God within). We believe that when one practices meditation and goes into altered states, he or she encounters demonic or familiar spirits in these altered states, which, yes, have the ability to give them “benefits” (at least for a while). After all, Satan is an angel of light and his minions are ministers of righteousness—they can come across as good. But what one eventually gets is a complete spiritual makeover and a new set of spiritual beliefs. These new beliefs are interspiritual and panentheistic—thus the antithesis of what the Bible presents.
Right after this section of The Daniel Plan, where kritan kriya meditation is footnoted, Warren states:
Besides growing your relationship with God and building a foundation for spiritual health, prayer offers many health and stress-relief benefits. Physicians Larry Dossey (Healing Words), Dale Matthews (The Faith Factor), and others have written books outlining the scientific evidence of the medical benefits of prayer and other meditation. Some of these benefits include reduced feelings of stress, lower cholesterol levels, improved sleep, reduced anxiety and depression, fewer headaches, relaxed muscles, and longer life spans. (Kindle Locations 2853-2858).
Larry Dossey happens to be listed in our new Booklet Tract by Chris Lawson titled A Directory of Authors (Three NOT Recommended Lists) under the New Age Authors section. The names listed under that section are all advocates and/or teachers of mantra style meditation (the earmark of New Age). When Dossey “and others” write about meditation, they are talking about outright New Age meditation (even if they don’t call it “New Age”). So while Rick Warren gives a warning earlier in his book about mantra meditation, he basically mocks his own warning later in the book by pointing readers to someone like Larry Dossey and kritan kriya meditation. He doesn’t only mock his own warning—he dismisses it as well as leaving the reader to think that his warning is not that important but just a side-step opinion (take it or leave it—there’s better stuff to come). One thing we have learned about Rick Warren over the past decade is he is a pastor of confusion. In one venue, he will say one thing, and in another venue, he’ll say the complete opposite. His double-minded speaking has left for many an open door for spiritual deception.
In the Parade magazine article, it has a photo of Rick Warren and six other Saddleback members who have participated in The Daniel Plan diet. Of those seven pictured, it states: “[T]hey’re all believers in the faith-based, holistic wellness program Warren outlines in his new book, The Daniel Plan.” And you can be sure that with the highly successful marketing techniques that Zondervan and Warren have frequently used, millions of others will be believers in The Daniel Plan too.
“Many people have unwittingly become New Agers by simply seeking to improve their physical and mental health through meditation.” – Ray Yungen
Two and a half years ago, Lighthouse Trails first reported on Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan health program. That initial article titled “Rick Warren’s New Health and Wellness Initiative Could Have Profound Repercussions on Many,” said that Rick Warren was launching a “Decade of Destiny,” that would include focusing on health issues. Our article pointed out that the three doctors, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Daniel Amen, and Dr. Mark Hyman, whom Rick Warren had partnered with to help develop the Daniel Plan, were all strong advocates of eastern meditation and the philosophies that go with that. Consider the following three statements, one for each of the Daniel Plan doctors:
1. Dr. Amen is a proponent of tantric sex (the combining of sexual activity with mystical practices), which is probably the most extreme form of meditation.
2. In Dr. Hymen’s book, TheUltramind Solution, Hyman emphasizes meditation, saying that it doesn’t matter what religion one has to benefit from it (p. 322). Dr. Hyman suggests that “Mindful meditation is a powerful well-researched tool, developed by Buddhists” (p. 384).
3. In January 2010, Dr. Oz brought a Reiki master onto his show to demonstrate Reiki and then ended the show saying, “try Reiki” as the #1 “Oz’s Order.” It would make sense that Dr. Oz would tell his viewers to try Reiki – his wife is a Reiki practitioner.
If one needs more evidence to understand what these three doctors believe in and teach, see the article links below under Related Material. After seeing the evidence, there can really be no doubt that Dr. Hymen, Dr. Amen, and Dr. Oz each have a strongly devoted affinity to the practice of entering altered states of consciousness through meditation in order to attain to what is known as the “higher self” (i.e., the divinity within every person).
So a fair question to ask is just how much of this New Age spirituality has rubbed off onto Rick Warren and the Daniel Plan? Well, we think quite a bit has. We would like to offer a convincing example. On September 26th, on the Daniel Plan website (owned and operated by Saddleback Church), an article titled “How to Manage Your Stress in 76 Seconds” was posted. The information below should be read and watched with discernment and in no wise is an endorsement from Lighthouse Trails. On the contrary, the practice we refer to below, if practiced, could potentially lead to dangerous Kundalini experiences. But we find it necessary to post this information because this is the direction that much of the church is heading right now. Our urgency to warn outweighs our hesitation to post this. People’s lives and souls are at stake.
The Saddleback article on September 26th is written by Dr. Joel Kahn, who tells readers to practice a technique called the 4-7-8 relaxation breathing sequence. First giving the usual instruction for meditation to sit up straight, Kahn then proceeds to give the steps for this breathing exercise with a sequence of breath in for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds. The rest of Kahn’s article tells readers of the benefits of doing this relaxation exercise. But let’s take a look at a video by another advocate of the exact same method – the 4-7-8 sequence – that gives more detail and explanation. As we stated a minute ago, because this is the direction the church at large is heading through the contemplative prayer (i.e., spiritual formation) movement (and the Daniel Plan movement), we are compelled to show this with the hope it will unveil the true nature of this and other forms of meditation.
The video below is by a man named Dr. Andrew Weil, a highly respected meditation proponent. He received his medical degree from Harvard University and is the Director of the Center for Integrative Medicine of the College of Medicine, University of Arizona. Dr. Weil is not a fringe personality. (If you cannot see this video below, click here. Our report continues below this video with some vital information.
How interesting that Dr. Weil, clearly an “expert” in the field of meditation, admits that all breathing techniques (including those used in Yoga) come from India (i.e., Hinduism). Lighthouse Trails has been trying to tell Christian leaders that for 11 years now! And contemplative prayer is in the same category as “breath” prayers, and both are spiritually dangerous. Ray Yungen elaborates:
When we compare meditation techniques used in stress reduction with the type of meditation used in New Age spirituality, it is easy to see these practices as basically the same. Both methods use either the breathing technique or mantra exercises to still the mind. Unknown to most people, a blank mind in a meditative state is all that is necessary for contact with a spirit guide.
An example of this is found in John Randolph Price, founder of the Quartus Foundation and initiate of the December 31 World Healing Day Meditation. Price became involved in New Age metaphysics through just such a meditative encounter. He reveals:
“Back when I was in the business world, the American Management Association put out a little book on meditation, which indicated that meditation was a way to attain peace of mind and reduce stress in a corporate environment. So I decided I’d try it . . . I discovered how to come into a new sphere of consciousness. Consciousness actually shifts, and you move into a realm you may not have even known existed.”1
As one meditation teacher explains:
“It is more than a stress reducer. It is the vehicle all religions use to impart the esoteric knowledge of their own mystical tradition.”2
Thus, many people have unwittingly become New Agers by simply seeking to improve their physical and mental health through meditation. Two examples on this issue are comments made by two authors who honor the higher self view of man, Joan Borysenko and Ann Wise. Borysenko, a medical doctor, revealed:
“I originally took up secular meditation for its medical benefits and in time discovered its deeper psychological and spiritual benefits.”3
Ann Wise, who works in the corporate field to improve decision-making abilities for business people, makes an identical observation:
“Those who initially participate in this work purely for enhancements to their productivity in the corporate world are often startled and pleased by what one VP called “the value and inevitable focus on spirituality that evolved from the work.” . . . I often find that individuals who began brainwave training [meditation] for a specific, objective purpose also become quickly interested and involved in seeking higher levels of spiritual consciousness.”4 (from A Time of Departing, pp. 98-100)
What this means is that the people at Saddleback and the people who are participating in the Daniel Plan have been introduced to a meditation practice that can potentially turn them into New Agers! And remember, in the New Age, there is no room for the Cross at Calvary because the higher self takes the place of a need for a Savior.
Incidentally, some people may think that the term “spirituality” means Christianity, but that is not it. When the term spirituality is used, it is referring to the idea that God is in everyone (ie., the higher self).
September 26 2013 isn’t the first time the Daniel Plan website brought in the 4-7-8 meditation technique. It was introduced to the Daniel Plan on October 14th 2012,
One more thing you should know – on December 3rd, Rick Warren’s new book, The Daniel Plan, will be released. The co-authors of this book are Dr. Hymen and Dr. Amen. As we stated earlier, Dr. Amen is an advocate of tantric sex; and Dr. Hymen is connected to a shamanic organization called FourWinds (“where modern science meets ancient wisdom“).
By all appearances and logic, it looks like Rick Warren is going full speed toward the New Age/New Spirituality with the throttle fully engaged.
Related Material and Documentation:
LTRP Note: Worth noting, Rick Warren is coming out with a new book, The Daniel Plan, on December 3rd. He is co-authoring the book with two of the Daniel Plan New Age advocates, Dr. Daniel Amen and Dr. Mark Hyman (see our related articles below UTT’s headlines for this week).
Related Articles on the Purpose Driven Movement:
NEW PRINT BOOKLET TRACT: Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan – The New Age/Eastern Meditation Doctors Behind the Saddleback Health
Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan written by Warren B. Smith is our one of our new Lighthouse Trails Print Booklet Tracts. The booklet tract is 14 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan, click here.
By Warren B. Smith
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.—(2 Corinthians 2:11)
Who would have believed it? Occult/New Age doctors being invited into the church to teach Christians how to be healthy? On January 15, 2011 a fifty-two week health and wellness program—the Daniel Plan—was initiated at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church. More than six thousand people attended the well promoted and carefully staged event. Warren took the opportunity to announce that his own personal goal was to lose 90 pounds in 2011. The Daniel Plan website states that “the Daniel Plan envisions starting a movement so the result is better physical and spiritual health for current and future generations.”1 It describes how Rick Warren “recruited three best-selling authors” to create and oversee the Daniel Plan Curriculum—Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Daniel Amen, and Dr. Mark Hyman.2 Although these three physicians are all involved with New Age teachings, they describe themselves respectively as a Muslim, a Christian, and a Jew.
On their church’s Daniel Plan website, Saddleback pastor Brandon Cox tried to defend Rick Warren’s indefensible decision to recruit three New Age doctors to implement a Christian health and wellness program. In his “Pastoral Response” to the question “Why did Saddleback Church choose to use these Doctors who have been linked to other beliefs?,” Cox wrote:
“Pastor Rick knows each of these Doctors personally and has the utmost trust in their ability to advise us about matters related to physical health.” In a statement reminiscent of Little Red Riding Hood’s “grandmother,” Cox goes on to state: “These Doctors are helping us as friends, but are in no way advising our church on spiritual matters.”3
By repeating and emphasizing the term “physical health” three times in the response, Saddleback was obviously trying to distance itself from Oz, Amen, and Hyman’s New Age beliefs. But the “we’re only using them for physical health purposes” defense was not convincing. All three physicians are alternative medicine/holistic health practitioners who teach the indivisibility of “mind, body, spirit” in achieving optimum well-being. In other words, their New Age spiritual beliefs are necessarily embedded in their medical practice, their best-selling books, and their public appearances.
Dr. Mehmet Oz
Dr. Oz is the cardiovascular surgeon who was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show for five years before gaining his own popular daytime TV show. He also has a daily talk show on Oprah & Friends satellite radio and writes columns for several magazines including Oprah’s O Magazine. Operating out of Columbia University’s Presbyterian Hospital, Dr. Oz is like a modern-day shaman as he mixes traditional medicine with a wide variety of occult/New Age practices. In The Way of the Shaman, a “foremost resource and reference on shamanism,” Michael Harner—an anthropologist who “has practiced shamanism and shamanic healing” for several decades4—gives the following definition of a shaman:
A shaman is a man or woman who enters an altered state of consciousness—at will—to contact and utilize an ordinarily hidden reality in order to acquire knowledge, power, and to help other persons. The shaman has at least one, and usually more, “spirits” in his personal service.5
The following is a sampling of what Dr. Oz subtly, and not so subtly, incorporates into his medical practice and into his life. For instance, Dr. Oz’s prominent endorsement is displayed on the front cover of self-described psychic Ainslie MacLeod’s book The Instruction: Living the Life Your Soul Intended. Juxtaposing the phrase “spiritual well-being” with the word “purpose,” Oz writes:
I recommend this book to those who seek greater spiritual well-being and a better understanding of their life’s purpose.6
In Oz’s endorsement of another Ainslie MacLeod book, The Transformation: Healing Your Past Lives to Realize Your Soul’s Potential, Dr. Oz makes it clear that his approach to physical health is inextricably bound up with his beliefs regarding spiritual health. They cannot be neatly separated out as Rick Warren’s Saddleback staff would have everyone believe. Dr. Oz’s front cover endorsement states:
Ainslie MacLeod is at the frontier of exploration into the soul and its profound influence on our physical selves.7
In The Transformation, MacLeod’s spirit guides tell MacLeod’s readers “that we are standing on the brink of the greatest leap in human consciousness in 55,000 years.”8 Later, in a psychic reading that MacLeod gives to one of his clients, his spirit guides refer his client to Dr. Daniel Amen for help.9 Amen, of course being one of the other two Daniel Plan physicians. In The Instruction, among other things, MacLeod teaches readers how to meditate and contact spirit guides. In fact, spirit guides are referred to a whopping 175 times in the book—40 times before you even get to Chapter One. In his introduction, MacLeod describes how the skeptic in him used to read a book like his and think—“Who died and made this guy an expert?” In his own case, MacLeod said the answer was his spirit guides—one of them being his deceased Uncle John.10
Dr. Oz’s New Age affinity for psychics, spirit guides, past lives, and contacting the dead was showcased on his March 15, 2011 program—just two months after the launch of the Daniel Plan—titled, “Psychic Mediums: Are they the New Therapists?” The promo on his website read: “Can talking to lost loved ones heal your grief? Hear why psychic John Edward believes you can talk to the dead.”11
On a January 6, 2010 Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Oz revealed what he believed to be “the most important alternative medicine treatment” for his viewers in that coming year. His #1 “Oz’s Order” was to “Try Reiki”12—an occult bodywork practice that incorporates the channeled guidance of spirit guides. Dr. Oz was reported in one press release as stating: “Reiki is one of my favorites, we’ve been using it for years in the Oz family, and we swear by it.”13
On a video on Dr. Oz’s website, New Age leader Deepak Chopra teaches viewers how to meditate.14 Chopra’s 2009 book Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul features Dr. Oz’s back cover endorsement.15 Dr. Oz is a personal practitioner of Transcendental Meditation,16 which was founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He has also practiced Yoga for over twenty years17 and is devoted to the New Age teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg—teachings that resonate with the mystical Sufi branch of the Muslim faith that he and his wife most identify with.18
Dr. Oz wrote the Foreword to US—a New Age book written by his wife Lisa, who is a Reiki Master19—a book that opens with a quote on oneness by New Age patriarch Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. In his Foreword, Oz credits his wife’s spiritual influence while also mentioning that a number of years ago he “matriculated at Oprah University.”20 Dr. Oz endangers those who put their trust in him by interjecting his occult/New Age beliefs into his medical practice.
Presumably, the “Open Heart meditation” given to Ainslie MacLeod by his spirit guides21 is not used by Dr. Oz before he does open heart surgery. One thing is for spiritual sure, Dr. Oz may be a skilled cardiovascular surgeon, but spiritually he is overlooking one of the most important aspects of the heart. God, speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, warns, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Multiple references in the Bible also warn about the extremely dangerous and deceptive nature of “familiar” and “seducing” spirits that Dr. Oz is in the process of normalizing through his extreme influence in the world and now in the church (see Leviticus 19:31; Deuteronomy 18:10-12; 1 Timothy 4:1, etc.).
Dr. Daniel Amen
Dr. Amen is a child and adolescent psychiatrist, best-selling author, and medical director of the Amen Clinics for Behavioral Medicine. In his book Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, he encourages readers to “Learn and use self-hypnosis and meditation on a daily basis.”22 In Change Your Brain, Change Your Body, Amen, a self-professed Christian, specifically recommends a Hindu Kundalini form of meditation called Kirtan Kriya. He instructs his readers to chant “sa ta na ma” repeatedly while simultaneously doing repetitive finger movements.23 In a New Age world that says “everything happens for a reason” and “there are no accidents,” the first five letters of this Hindu meditation spell the name of Satan. The last three letters just so happen to be the abbreviated letters of the American Medical Association (AMA). Is this pure coincidence, some kind of cosmic joke, or spiritual mockery?
In his book The Brain in Love (formerly titled Sex on the Brain), Dr. Amen recommends tantric sex to his readers. He writes that tantra “is a term applied to several schools of Hindu yoga in which sex is worshipped.”24 He states that “[s]ome tantra yoga teachers recommend meditative practices that also share elements with Kundalini yoga, where subtle streams of energy are raised in the body by means of posture, breath control, and movements.”25 He later adds:
After you have agreed to safe boundaries, you can take sex to a new level by investing in a few books or magazines. I write for Men’s Health magazine and it is always filled with great sex tips for couples. Cosmopolitan and other magazines have playful ideas as well. Books on tantric sex or role-playing games can also be fun.”26
Dr. Amen’s fascination with tantric sex and Kundalini yoga is very similar to the teachings of Indian gurus like Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and Swami Baba Muktananda. Dr. Amen’s New Age sympathies are also evident in his willingness to write the Foreword to author Lucinda Bassett’s The Solution. In her book, Bassett quotes New Age leaders Marianne Williamson, Eckhart Tolle, the Dalai Lama, Neale Donald Walsch, and others. She describes Walsch as “a spiritual messenger whose best-selling books and lectures profoundly touch the world.”27
Dr. Mark Hyman
Dr. Hyman is the chairman of the Institute of Functional Medicine and author of the best-selling book The UltraMind Solution. With its front cover endorsement by Dr. Mehmet Oz, The UltraMind Solution offers practical medical advice while at the same time recommending a number of New Age resources to his readers. For example, he recommends the website of New Age author and guided imagery proponent Belleruth Naparstek.28 Her books and materials are designed to help people meditate, become more psychic, and connect with spirit guides. Her website describes how her materials are used worldwide by patients, hospitals, HMO’s, government agencies, etc. Dr. Hyman and New Age leader Dr. Bernie Siegel are listed as two of Naparstek’s “contributing health and mind-body health practitioners.”29 Siegel, of course being the New Age leader Rick Warren used to introduce the idea of hope and purpose in The Purpose-Driven Life. Like Dr. Oz and Dr. Amen, Dr. Hyman recommends meditation and yoga to his readers.30
Dr. Hyman endorsed a New Age book titled Power Up Your Brain—The Neuroscience of Enlightenment. It is co-authored by shaman/medium Alberto Villoldo and neurologist David Perlmutter. The Foreword from the publisher states:
And now two men, two seers—a shaman and a scientist—are combining their experiences and expertise to explore the totality that includes all of the spirit world and all of the scientific world—as One.31
David Perlmutter writes:
For it had become clear to us that access to the Great Spirit or Divine Energy—that natural force which is called by so many names—is available to all. In a sense we are all shamans, and the most advanced teachings in cellular biology are validating lifestyle activities that for centuries, have been paving the way to enlightenment through meditative practices not just for the chosen few but for all who care to learn. Our collaboration explores the implications of this not only for individuals but for all of humanity.32
Villoldo—who spoke at a 2011 Palm Springs Prophets Conference with New Age leader Barbara Marx Hubbard33— writes:
During my years studying with the shamans, I learned about their belief in the Divine Mother, which we each have the potential to discover in nature. This was not the bearded old man whose image I had come to associate with “God.” Rather, this was a force that infused all creation, a sea of energy and consciousness that we all swim in and are part of. I came to understand that our Western notions of the divine are perhaps a masculine version of this life force that infuses every cell in our bodies, that animates all living beings, and that even fuels stars.34
Power Up Your Brain includes a chapter recommending various “Shamanic Exercises” that include an invocation to the “Great Serpent.”35 Dr. Hyman’s back cover endorsement of this book sits alongside New Age leaders Bernie Siegel and Greg Braden.
In his endorsement, Hyman betrays his belief in shamanism and the inextricable New Age link between physical and spiritual health. He writes:
The shaman and physician for millennia were the same person until the 19th century when they were split apart in the name of science. Now through the lens of 21st-century science, Villoldo and Perlmutter bring them back together, illuminating the web that links together our physical and metaphysical energy. For anyone feeling a loss of energy of body or soul, Power Up Your Brain is your guide to restoration and rejuvenation of your deepest energies.
Also referring to “restoration” in The UltraMind Solution, Dr. Hyman lists three New Age centers in his “Resources” section. Under the heading of “Restorative and Educational Retreats,” he recommends the Omega Institute, the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, and the Shambhala Mountain Center.36 Ainslie MacLeod—the Dr. Oz endorsed psychic—is a “faculty member” at both the Kripalu Center and the Omega Institute.37 The Omega Institute offers a number of workshops led by key New Age leaders like Neale Donald Walsch, Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, and Alberto Villoldo. Classes such as “Conversations with God,” “Contacting the Spirit World,” “How Shamans Dream the World into Being,” and “Bootcamp for Goddesses,” are readily available to those following Dr. Hyman’s advice.38 And at the Dr. Hyman endorsed Kripalu Center, New Age leader Deepak Chopra offers a workshop on his Dr. Oz endorsed book, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul. In case people can’t make it to Saddleback Church, Dr. Daniel Amen also teaches a workshop at Kripalu.
Key Scriptures Regarding Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers. —(2 Corinthians 6:14)
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. —(Ephesians 5:11)
Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils. —(1 Corinthians 10:21)
Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. —(Romans 14:13)
Shepherding the Church into a New Age/New Spirituality
In the 1990s, a well-known Christian leader rightly warned that alternative medicine and holistic health can provide an easy entryway for deceptive New Age teachings. He further warned that changing your diet can also end up changing your worldview. In other words, sometimes losing weight can also mean losing your soul. Speaking from his leadership role with the Christian Medical Association, Dr. David Stevens also urges great discretion regarding alternative health practitioners. He states: “Not only do we have to make a choice; we also have to evaluate the trustworthiness of each messenger and the validity of the message.”39
The Christian Handbook to Alternative Medicine also warns, “Consider carefully not only the therapy but also the character and worldview of those offering the treatment.”40 Thus, it is definitely “buyer beware” when it comes to mixed-bag physicians like Oz, Amen, and Hyman. But that doesn’t seem to matter to Rick Warren as he openly aligns himself with these New Age doctors and promises to make their joint Daniel Plan a worldwide phenomenon. Instead of sounding a warning trumpet and protecting the church from three New Age physicians, Warren praises them and trumpets his ungodly alliance with them.
One can only wonder if the prophet Daniel’s vision of the end days included a look at Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan—a compromised pastor and three New Age doctors with their psychics, spirit guides, tantric sex, necromancy, Yoga, Reiki, Transcendental and Kundalini “sa ta na ma” meditations and more—all in Daniel’s name. If so, it is no wonder the Bible records that he “fainted” and became “sick” for a number of days (Daniel 8:27).
It doesn’t make any difference in God’s scheme of things if Rick Warren stands slim and trim in front of an adoring church audience after losing 90 pounds. What may be remembered is that in the midst of all the self-congratulatory statistics and frenzied media hoopla, a finger suddenly appeared on the wall behind Rick Warren and wrote the following:
Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. —(Daniel 5:27)
To order copies of Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan, click here.
1. Week 11: Re-Focusing The Daniel Plan (http://danielplan.com/blogs/dp/dp-week-11-re-focusing-the-daniel-plan).
2. The Daniel Plan: What Makes it Different? (http://www.saddleback.com/thedanielplan/healthyhabits/whatsdifferent).
3. Pastoral Response, Brandon Cox, Saddleback Church (http://www.danielplan.com/toolsandresources/pastoralresponse).
4. Michael Harner, Ph.D., The Way of the Shaman (New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 1980, 1990), back cover.
5. Ibid., p. 25.
6. Ainslie MacLeod, The Instruction: Living the Life Your Soul Intended (Boulder, CO: Sounds True, Inc., 2007, 2009), front cover.
7. Ainslie MacLeod, The Transformation: Healing Your Past Lives to Realize Your Soul’s Potential (Boulder, CO: Sounds True, Inc., 2010), front cover.
8. Ibid., front flap.
9. Ibid., pp. 243-244.
10. Ainslie MacLeod, The Instruction, op. cit., pp. 9, 12.
11. “Psychic Mediums: Are they the New Therapists?,” The Dr. Oz Show, aired 3/15/11 (http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/are-psychicsnew-therapists-pt-1).
12. “‘Try Reiki,’ Dr. Oz Tells Millions on TV,” 1/9/10, The Reiki Digest (http://reikidigest.blogspot.com/2010/01/try-reiki-dr-oz-tells-millions-on-tv.html).
13. “Dr. Mehmet Oz Declares Reiki as His #1 Alternative Medicine Secret,” 1/9/2010, Bio-Medicine (http://news.bio-medicine.org/?q=medicine-news-1/dr–mehmet-oz-declares-reiki-as-his–231-alternative-medicine-secret–64270).
14. “Meditation Techniques Demonstrated by Deepak Chopra,” The Dr. Oz Show, added to videos on 2/25/10, (http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/deepak-chopra-meditation).
15. Deepak Chopra, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul: How to Create a New You (New York, NY: Three Rivers Press, a division of Random House, Inc., 2009).
16. AARP The Magazine, May/June 2010 issue, p. 82.
18. Lisa Oz, US: Transforming Ourselves and the Relationships That Matter Most (New York, NY: Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2010), p. 179.
19. “‘Try Reiki,’ Dr. Oz Tells Millions on TV,” op. cit.
20. Lisa Oz, US, op. cit., p. x.
21. Ainslie MacLeod, The Instruction, op. cit., p. 17.
22. Daniel G. Amen, M.D., Change Your Brain, Change Your Life (New York, NY: Times Books, a division of Random House, Inc., 1998), p. 302.
23. Daniel G. Amen, M.D., Change Your Brain, Change Your Body (New York, NY: Three Rivers Press, a division of Random House, Inc., 2010), p. 223.
24. Daniel G. Amen, M.D., The Brain in Love (New York, NY: Three Rivers Press, a division of Random House, Inc., 2007), p. 144.
25. Ibid., p. 145.
26. Ibid., p. 148.
27. Lucinda Bassett, The Solution: Conquer Your Fear, Control Your Future (New York: NY: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., 2011), p. 146.
28. Mark Hyman M.D., The UltraMind Solution (New York, NY: Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2009), p. 402. (Belleruth Naparstek’s website recommended by Dr. Hyman: http://www.healthjourneys.com).
29. Our Practitioner Bios, Health Journeys (http://www.healthjourneys.com/practitioner_bios.asp).
30. Mark Hyman, The UltraMind Solution, op. cit., p. 384.
31. David Perlmutter, M.D., F.A.C.N., Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D., Power Up Your Brain: The Neuroscience of Enlightenment (New York, NY: Hay House, Inc., 2011), p. xiv.
32. Ibid., p. xviii.
33. The Prophets Conference (http://www.greatmystery.org).
34. David Perlmutter, Alberto Villoldo, Power Up Your Brain, op. cit., p. xxi.
35. Ibid., p. 154.
36. Mark Hyman, The UltraMind Solution, op. cit., p. 403.
37. Ainslie MacLeod, The Transformation, op. cit., About the Author, p. 327.
38. Omega Institute (http://www.eomega.org).
39. Donald O’Mathuna, Ph.D. and Walt Larimore, M.D., Alternative Medicine: The Christian Handbook (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2001, 2007), p. 9.
40. Ibid., p. 123.
To order copies of Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan, click here.
Note: As we prepared the news story below about Rick Warren’s recent endorsement of Dr. Daniel Amen’s new book, it came to our attention that Rick Warren has also this year placed his endorsement on the back cover of Dr. Mark Hyman’s new book, The Blood Sugar Solution. Hyman, like Amen, is a proponent of eastern-style meditation practices. In his book, Hyman calls New Age meditation advocates such as Deepak Chopra, Dean Ornish, Dr. Oz, Daniel Goleman, and Christiane Northrup his “co-creators in medicine’s transformation” (p. 374). Rick Warren’s endorsement sits on the back cover along with the names listed above. His endorsements of these two books will have profound implications on untold numbers of people, including Christians.
“Rick Warren Gives Hearty Endorsement for Dr. Amen’s Meditation-Promoting Book, “‘Use Your Brain to Change Your Age””
“I want to stay sharp, and that’s why I read everything Dr. Amen writes, and you should too!” – Rick Warren, (back cover, Use Your Brain to Change Your Age, May 2012
When Dr. Daniel Amen’s book Use Your Brain to Change Your Age came out this year, it was somewhat surprising to learn that Rick Warren’s name was on the back cover, giving a hearty endorsement of the book. Clearly, we could see Warren is very much drawn to Dr. Daniel Amen to say that the book is “another incredibly helpful book” and that he reads “everything Dr. Amen writes.” Amen is part of the trio-doctor team that Rick Warren has partnered with to present the Daniel Plan (a health program that includes meditation techniques) to Saddleback Church members and to thousands of Purpose Driven churches around the world.
Dr. Oz and Dr. Hymen are the other two doctors in the team, and all three are proponents of eastern-style meditation practices. After receiving criticism about his partnering with the three doctors for the Daniel Plan, Rick Warren came to his own defense, saying that he does not believe in New Age meditation and promotes only “biblical meditation.” But his recent endorsement on the back of Dr. Amen’s book, Use Your Brain to Change Your Age, sends out the opposite message.
While Rick Warren denies that he is an advocate of eastern-style meditation practices, his statements, promotions, and endorsements over the last nearly two decades paints an entirely different picture. Lighthouse Trails has documented his resonance with New Age type meditators for almost ten years. We also sent Warren a copy of Ray Yungen’s book, A Time of Departing, when it first came out when we naively thought we could warn and inform him of mystical spirituality. He wrote back a personal note thanking us and admitting that the issue was a “hot topic.” What we didn’t know at the time was that Warren was already promoting spiritual formation (contemplative spirituality) at least as far back as his first book in 1995, The Purpose Driven Church, where he identified the movement as a valid message and a wake up call for the church.
Along with lots of common sense practical advice such as eating healthy, exercising, and taking supplements, Amen’s new book encourages the use of meditation practices and yoga. This would certainly be expected in one of Amen’s books. In his book, Making a Good Brain Great, he promotes “Sa Ta Na Ma” meditation, a form of Kirtin Kriya yoga. His website also tauts these types of practices. So the big deal here isn’t that he has written this book – that’s what New Age meditation teachers do. The big deal is that Rick Warren, who so many look to for spiritual guidance, continues to point his followers toward New Age mystical practices and do it in the name of Christianity. Those who realizes the significant role meditation will play into end-time deception throughout the world as we move closer to the return of Jesus Christ will find this information sobering and troubling.
As the video below illustrates where Amen is talking about the benefits of meditation, Rick Warren is affirming what Amen is telling him.