I was somewhat surprised upon reading the news some time ago. The Church should possibly look into changing its position on Yoga as there are plenty of nice people whom practice Yoga from time to time.
Well this is to be discussed with your confessor and this thread was in no way meant to derail anyone from the directives of his/her religion but only to find the reason for the similarities in the chantings.
I tend to view religions as human clubs, and mystical and magical systems as languages or vehicles to communicate with the universe and oneself. I've met folks who have meditated for years and are about as spiritually advanced as a burrito, and others who have achieved understanding as children; it just depends. Some folks get an ego boost about being steeped in this or that doctrine, or think by virtue of some title that they are more spiritual than thou, it just depends. I think it is possible to have realizations without the complexity of religions or complex systems.
The thing here is how far the person wants to go? It is possible to have some insights and contemplations with a shallow practice and teachings or a temporarily intense practice but can this carry the person further? Not that thechings and practices need to be complex as there are ancient doctrines like Stoicism as presented in Epictetus discourses which are at the same time simple and deep, though this last still considered short in scope for some authors in antiquity.
In many philosophical systems and practices that appeared in the 20th system the guru is no longer required to adopt any rule of conduct while the teachings are often an amalgama of Eastern and Western philosophies mixed with science full of insights and promises but they usually seem unable to take the person beyond the superficial insights.
Also something that should be added to the above is that if a person goes to war or climb a mountain or any risky and difficult activity he should get a propper training and equipment first. When we see how things can go wrong why should spirituality be different?
I think each person is unique; many need exoteric teachings because that is all they can handle, and not everyone is wired for deep realizations. For them and others, religion in its more metaphoric aspects might provide some realization in their lifetimes, while others are compelled by their natures to seek those realizations. Some would say that it would take a number of incarnations to achieve realization. The tools and systems were often just handed down to select groups of initiates, but now everything is out there for folks with eyes to see, or ears to hear. In the Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects, it described as "meat for the adults, milk for the babies", iiirc. The wisdom masquerades in myths and metaphors, allegory and paradox; some are able to grasp the meaning but others must have a story. I think folks should explore a variety of spiritual practices, and am not against the limited use of drugs in certain cases. Questioning the religion you were born with is step one, when you are completely done deprogramming yourself, hopefully there will be gold left in the pan. Sometimes a skillfully applied koan, or a whack across the head with the master's bamboo staff might do it, but i don't recommend hitting yourself in the head with bamboo generally..
If we can agree that foundation is of the essence then even if we disagree in other things they will still be not so important, as the first also provides critical judgement. What is written above makes sense, some scriptures may contain teachings that can misguide a person who doesn't have a good foundation and tries to read them on his own, like the Tao Te Ching or the Bible, one can make a person self complacent and the other a schizophrenic fanatic. Epictetus Discourses for instance is a more foundational work as it seems less likely to derail a person.
A part of realization is the end of the "self", the death and rebirth seen in so many religions; the end of the illusion. This can lead to disassociative states, and insanity, or severe depression, like a bad acid trip, I suppose. Qabala, magic, yoga, drugs, mysticism, Tantra, kundalini, can tweak your reality, would be the takeaway.