What is occurring in the church with "Contemplative Prayer" is really no different than what we witness in the Old Testament. Paul specifically prohibits such activities on many occasions with the Gentile churches. To mix such pagan practices such as Hinduism or Buddhism with Christianity is really to defile the message and the power of the gospel.
The thing is God has created us with a wonderfully created mind and ability to intellectualize. God truly desires that we continually focus our thoughts upon Him when we pray and throughout our day. God also desires conversation! How can he converse with us if our minds are empty or void or that we are chanting some "Sacred word" over and over again? Let me give you a true to life example to make my point:
Let's say you and I are going to have a conversation about airplanes and flying. Since I am a pilot and flight instructor, I know a little about flying and how airplanes work. So we meet up to have a discussion about the principles of flight and how they relate to an airplane. At the beginning of our conversation I immediately begin to chant "aileron, aileron, aileron, aileron, aileron" over and over again. I do this for let's say 10 minutes. After ten minutes or so are up I stop and I look over at you and ask you "So did I help you have a better understanding of flying?". I would imagine any sane or rational human being would immediately think I was some sort of fool or someone who is having some sort of mental episode.
Prayer is defined as communication between us and God. It is a time whereby we bring our petitions or thank fullness before God and God can at times speak to us through our time of prayer to Him. Logically this means there must exist a line or ability to communicate between the two parties. If we take the example I provide above, we can plainly see that if one of the two parties were communicating in a way that was mindless or in a way that was prohibitive to open communication, then lines of communication simply fail.
Psa 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart: Try me, and know my thoughts; (24) And see if there be any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.
Even David knew that the motivation of our HEART drives our thoughts. The issue here is not our thoughts, but what is driving or motivating those thoughts - OUR HEARTS! If your a person who is using contemplative prayer your a person who is really more about having an experience rather than changing your heart. You desire that God comes to YOU! Rather you humbling yourself and you COMING to GOD! Your more about the experiential and not the spiritual or the moral. Your about "Feeling" God rather than "Knowing" God! In the end "Centering Prayer" is not God Centered, but rather Man-Centered and is truly a "works" based form of spirituality! God is not at all interested in us coming to him with some vain repetitious prayer, but rather that we love Him with ALL of our HEART, ALL of they MIND and ALL thy Strength!