The encounter between Eastern forms of mysticism and Christian spirituality is one of the most significant "signs of the times." One extreme response to this is syncretism, in which various elements from different traditions are extracted and synthesized into a new spiritual tradition. This seems to characterize much of what is called "New Age" spirituality. The other extreme is to minimize the importance of the East-West interaction, or to view these traditions as inherently contradictory. Some of the far right of Christian thinking tend toward this view. Finding a middle ground which respects the uniqueness of differing religious traditions, while learning what is useful in them to enhance one's spiritual growth is a difficult challenge.
In this workshop, Dr. Philip St. Romain avoids the extremes of syncretism and triumphalism as he reflects on the significance of the Hindu/yogic metaphysical view of human nature. Similarities and differences between this paradigm and the traditional Western, scholastic view are noted, along with parallels between the powers of the chakras and various developmental theories. Practical implications for growth, healing and spiritual direction are noted, while helpful resource handouts are provided.