Friday, October 20, 2006

The Praying Human Soul: A Microcosm of the Cosmos

The reciting of the Jesus prayer vocally. We repeat the Jesus prayer with our lips while trying at the same time to focus our attention on the words of the prayer. The nous takes the Jesus prayer and says it noetically. Our whole attention is centred again in the words, but is concentrated on the nous. After the nous has rested, we start again to concentrate our attention there. St. Neilos advises: "Always remember God and your nous will become heaven". The Jesus prayer then descends into the heart. Nous and heart are united. The attention now is centred in the heart and is immersed again into the words of the Jesus prayer, and primarily into the name of Jesus which has an imperceptible depth. The prayer now becomes automatic. It is done while the ascetic is working, eating, discussing or while he is in church or even while he is sleeping. "I sleep but by heart waketh" is said in the Holy Scripture. (Song of Songs 5. 2)

[excerpt from "A Night in the Desert of the Holy Mountain"]


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