A religious Jewish woman asks:
I practice meditation combining things I've studied and learned from various sources, Jewish and others. Recently I came across an article of yours explaining the reason for holding fingers together in yoga and it was a revelation to me because I had no idea this was connected to avoda zara [idolatry]. I had assumed sitting in this position cross-legged and holding the hands like that was conducive to energy flow and prevented slouching. I have since stopped holding my hands in that position but am wondering if there are other things I may be doing that are forbidden.
I would like to know for example if there is any problem on meditating on the chakras, the colors and the functions associated with them, imagining the spinning lotus etc. Is using the method of mantra chanting ok if I am using a verse from Torah or a phrase like "I AM" to get into the gap? Is there anything forbidden in doing certain breathing techniques such as the warrior breath? Is it ok to use I Am in affirmations? The non-Jewish sources have built a whole lot around these words including primordial sound meditation which is also from unholy sources so I'm not referring to any of that just to simple positive affirmations using "I am".
Almost everything you described in your letters regarding your meditation comes from avodah zara meditation techniques!
You must stay away from their techniques and their spiritual ideas. You have to use only proper Jewish, or entirely mechanical techniques or you will come to the wrong goals.
You ask now about one of the main differences between the Torah's spiritual goal and the Hindu idolaters' goal. This should wake you up.
When they meditate on the "I am" as you mentioned, they are searching for, and referring to the self, i.e. themselves. Their goal is to see that the "I am" that they are is G-d.
The Torah teaches that Hashem is the universal "I Am" which includes all of the individual "i am"s that we call ourselves. Hashem is all. He is the very life of all so He must be you too, but you are not Him.
This is the exact technique they use in the East to come to what they call "god-realization." When they "realize" that they are the "I am" they become gurus and their devotees bow down to them. They call this god-realization.
The "I Am" is all, (including you) but you cannot say that your individual "i am" is the "I Am" and call yourself the "I Am." The Infinite is unlimited so it is also the finite, but the finite is not the Infinite because it is limited.
Again, use ONLY Torah sources for your meditation techniques and for your spiritual ideas so you will attain the proper spiritual goal that you seek.