What many people are not aware of is the fact that most “new age” practices are deeply rooted in ancient spiritual traditions.
It is the resurgence of these practices that began to usher in the “new age” in the eighties; however, the failure to look open-mindedly at these practices by the general populace, religious groups, and others, placed a negative connotation on what are generally accepted spiritual truths.
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The practice of yoga can be traced back over five-thousand years; and though it is rooted in the Hindu religion, it has a universal appeal and is applicable to any who desire deeper spiritual growth and understanding.
Yoga has stood the test of time and its development in the west is well deserved, as it offers a spiritual history but is adaptable to any religious practice or belief.
Meditation was taken by Buddha out of Hinduism and developed as a fundamental practice, forming the initial beginnings of Buddhism.
Yet as with yoga, meditation is a practice that is easily adaptable, and thus its popularity and resurgence make up a large sector of “new age” practices.
Anyone can meditate with or without specific spiritual beliefs.
Many practitioners of major religions have used mediation throughout the ages to bring them spiritually closer to their goals or to the Creator of their belief.
Christian meditation took off in the 12th century and has numerous mentions in the Bible; however, the Christian meditation fills the mind with Christ or prayers whereas other types of meditation attempt to empty and quiet the mind.
Chakra balancing, or the balancing and opening of specific energy fields along the spinal column, heralds from a mix of Hindu and Buddhist traditions beginning around the eighth century.
This practice has come to form another large sector of “new age” practices due to the relaxation it brings, the healing potential, and the very idea of aligning and balancing the body’s energy field for overall well-being.
Full moon blessings and ceremonies have long been practiced for thousands of years, whether in ancient fertility rites and celebrations or by tribal shamans and practitioners who understood our deep earthly connection to the moon and its cycles and phases.
Working with the moon phases is natural to our existence and to our health, moods, and emotions.
Smudging, as practiced in the “new age” circles, is actually an ancient Native American method for purifying and cleansing for prayer or healing rituals.
Many other worldly tribes also practice similar traditions.
Special herbs are used, so it’s no surprise that this ancient tradition re-surfaced as a “new age” practice while at the same time came the resurgence of herbs as alternative medicines and healing.
The use of incense (plant materials mixed with oils and burned) dates back thousands of years as well with burners being found in the Indus Valley as far back as 3300 B.C.E.
It was used by the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, Greeks, and many other societies.
Frankincense and myrrh were both mentioned repeatedly in the Bible and its use is noted with the eastern Catholic Church as early as fifth-century A.D.
With so many of the “new age” practices rooted in such ancient traditions, it is apparent that “new age” practices are not “new” at all but stem from the previously tried and true methods and understandings of our most ancient and revered ancestors, spiritual teachers and systems.
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