The two huge flaws in the CFI worldview are:
(1) failure to consider the function of the right hemisphere of the brain in human consciousness, and
(2) failure to grasp the role of emotional trauma in the history of consciousness.
A good start in understanding the right brain is Jill Bolte Taylor’s 2008 TED video, Lain McGilchrist’s The Master and His Emissary, and my videos on YouTube (see the channel “Michael Ducey”). The bottom line is that the right brain holds the non-conceptual knowledge that is the raw data for all the conceptual knowledge produced by the left brain. Eric Voegelin (1901-1985) noted this in Order and History, where he said that the ultimate values of all societies spring from a “dead point” in human consciousness that cannot be contained by conceptual proposition. (But of course he didn’t know about brain hemispheres.)
And, looking at the meditative practices invented by Gautama, it is clear that he was making use of the different functions of the two brain hemispheres, and so these practices are the basis for a secular spirituality. (Buddhists say they are not a religion, just “a method” [for dealing with emotions].)
As for trauma, it seems clear that religion responds to the need for sedative in the first stage of recovery from trauma, and as societies have recovered from trauma they have outgrown the need for those particular psychotropic mechanisms and become capable of more active self-exploration. (Altho many other sedatives—behavioral and pharmacological—are still widespread.)
So the difference between religious meditation and secular meditation is the difference between being put to sleep by the practice and being woken up by it.
So, if CFI wants to truly contribute to the evolution of human consciousness, it must embrace these issues and avoid a crass, shallow rationalism (what I call “left-brain Fundamentalism”).