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‘Maranatha Yoga’ reviewed in The Furrow

‘Maranatha Yoga’ reviewed in The Furrow

Maranatha Yoga – A Preparation for Christine Meditation. Christine Pickering

By Brian Kavanagh

The author Christine Pickering, wrote this book after many years of teaching and practicing yoga. However, it was through her personal experience of ‘surgery and chemotherapy to combat breast cancer’ (p.16) that she found that when her ‘lowest epp physically was also when (she) saw the most spiritual progress’ (p.17). In her introduction she continued: ‘more than anything else I realised that I needed God to heal me – without him all the therapies in the world were insufficient’. Many people who have adverse opinions about yoga, will appreciate Pickering’s statement: ‘now I began to really understand that yoga, as a complimentary path, is not an end in itself but a means to an end – that of knowing God, our creator and healer’. It was at this time that the author also realized her ‘need and desire to have a clearer theological understanding to (her) faith…[and she] took the opportunity to enrol on the first available Alpha Course’, a course now adapted and used as a catechetical tool in the Catholic Church. The author’s explanation of yoga terms and principles, her study and understanding of its origins and her presentation of the Christian tradition and faith all show how serious this author is to respect the ‘old’ and the ‘new’.

The Pontifical Council for Culture and the Council for Interreligious Dialogue presented a document titled: Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life – ‘A Christian reflection on the ‘New Age’. Paragraph 2, states that ‘it is essential to try and understand New Age correctly, in order to evaluate it fairly, and avoid creating a caricature. It would be unwise and untrue to say that everything connected with the New Age movement is good, or that everything about it is bad’. As Pickering opines that ‘maranatha yoga’ is a preparation for Christian Meditation, then perhaps the author could have guided the reader in the transition from the exercises to meditation in a more detailed and explicit way from chapter 2 onwards.

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