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What Is Hesychasm

The term hesychasm originates from the Greek word hesychia — inner quietness.

This direction is based on two methodological principles, which are closely related to each other: achievement of hesychia and “opening” the spiritual heart.

Without this inner quietness, meditation is not possible. And meditation — after the stage of learning and encompassing the ethical principles of life suggested by God — is the basis of further development of the consciousness on the spiritual Path.

It was striving to achieve hesychia and advancing then to cognition of God that formed this direction of the “Christian raja yoga” known as Hesychasm.

The most important feature and the highest value of this direction consisted in the fact that Hesychasts from the very beginning accepted the correct guiding line — realization of Jesus Christ’s instructions that one can develop love in oneself only through the work with the spiritual heart.

In particular, they discovered that if one moves the concentration of the consciousness from the head into the spiritual heart, this stops the “inner dialog”, which prevents meditation. And, in the case of full success, — i.e. when the consciousness is fully placed in the spiritual heart, one can understand on one's own experience what Jesus meant by speaking about the spiritual love! The life of such people changed and they could really love each other and everything around themselves with truly Christian love: “as they love themselves” and even more than themselves.

And with further development of the spiritual heart, they got the ability to fall in love with God.
 

About the Jesus Prayer

Seeking the ways for development of the spiritual heart, Hesychasts invented the method called “Jesus prayer”. Its formulas may be different: from “Jesus Christ, the Son of God, have a mercy on me!” to the most simple and perfect version: simply an appeal-entreaty to Beloved Jesus to enter into my spiritual heart with the humble repetition of His name: “Jesus! Jesus!…”

… But in later time, very few were able to achieve positive fruits from using the Jesus prayer. Many people even believed that “its secrets were lost”…

But this is not true: in reality, mass of “believers” lost Christianity in general — given that they refused the ethics preached by Christ. And this resulted in a failure to form — up to the last years — a comprehensive and scientifically correct approach to human spiritual development.
 

Philokalia

One of the most known literary sources on Hesychasm is Philokalia.
 

See also:

Philokalia
 

  

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