Monday, November 19, 2012



Hesychasm or "prayer of the heart as it was known and taught by Gregory Palamas is a form of constant purposeful prayer or experiential prayer, explicitly referred to as contemplation. It is to focus ones mind on God and pray to God unceasingly. Under church tradition the practice of Hesychasm has it beginnings in the bible, Matthew 6:6 and is expounded on in the Philokalia. The tradition of contemplation with inner silence or tranquility is shared by all Eastern ascetisim having its roots in the Egyptian traditions of monasticism exemplified by such Orthodox monastics as St Anthony of Egypt.desert fathers

In the early 14th century, Gregory of Sinai learned hesychasm from Arsenius of Crete and spread the doctrine, bringing it to the monks on Mount Athos The terms Hesychasm and Hesychast were used by the monks on Mount Athos to refer to the practice and to the practitioner of a method of mental ascesis that involves the use of the Jesus Prayer assisted by certain psychophysical techniques. The hesychasts stated that at higher stages of their prayer practice they reached the actual contemplative union with the Tabor light, i.e., Uncreated Divine Light or photomos seen by the apostles in the event of the Transfiguration of Christ and Saint Paul while on the road to Damascus.

compiled from several Orthodox sources

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