I’ve been very interested in meditation about things of a metaphysical nature. I was wondering what the church’s stance is on meditation and the metaphysical, specifically as it pertains to astral projection and other psychic abilities. I don’t seek them for personal gain but for greater understanding.
This is a complex question. Every major religion: Christianity, Bahai, Buddism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Sikhism, Taoism believes the value of meditation. The words meditate and meditation are mentioned about 20 times in the Bible. Science also recognizes the benefits of meditation. http://www.mayoclini…on/art-20045858
Obviously though among all these different religions and cultures the definition and practice of meditation may vary greatly. For our purposes then, one dictionary defines meditate as: think deeply or focus one’s mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation.
What about our church? It does not appear that the church has an official stance. We have been given some counsel though through Pres. David O. McKay, who said:
“We don’t take sufficient time to meditate. I get up early in the morning … , five o’clock, when my mind and spirit are clear and rested. Then I meditate. You can come closer to the Lord than you imagine when you learn to meditate. Let your spirits be taught by the Spirit.”
Some ways to meditate, as mentioned by the Mayo Clinic article cited above, are: breath deeply, scan your body, repeat a mantra, walk and meditate, engage in prayer, read and reflect, focus your love and gratitude. Meditation in it’s various forms is about quieting your mind. In this state we can be more open to hear the Spirit of the Lord. That is an honorable goal. I believe all these to be in the Spirit of Pres. McKay’s words.
Astral projection, in my opinion is something very different. I would counsel you to remember, Bernie, that whatever good thing God has created for us Satan will try to corrupt or imitate. Astral projection, in my opinion, certainly falls into that category of Satan’s imitation of good things. We know that as spirit children of our Father in Heaven, we rejoiced at the opportunity to come to earth and receive bodies. Why would we now try to leave them to have a spiritual experience? Throughout the scriptures, when heavenly instruction is given the visitor (dreams, visions, angels or the Holy Ghost) come to visit the person. The individual needing instruction does not leave their body.
So I would say meditating to clear one’s mind and be more open to the promptings of the Holy Ghost is a Godly activity, but astral projection is not. As always when you need to make a decision, pray, ponder, listen to the Spirit, and if you still need guidance, talk to your Bishop.