Deepak Chopra, a Hindu wellness leader, packages eastern religious practices for western people. He says the mantra is “an instrument of the mind, a powerful sound or vibration that you can use to enter a deep state of meditation.”

Chopra encourages people to seek solace by sitting quietly, listening to the sounds of nature, and making low guttural noises like “Om” (or “aum”) that represent what he calls “the infinite universal consciousness.”

The mantra is exactly the kind of empty babbling about which Jesus warned His followers (Matthew 6:5). Combined with soothing music, the mantra might be relaxing, but the meaningless chanting is no way to communicate with God. Imagine speaking to your spouse that way and wondering why he or she does not respond.

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“Every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”

Romans 8:28 MSG