State of Hesychia

   When we discuss Orthodox prayer we are often led to a discussion of  hesychia.  This is a very advanced form of Orthodox spirituality.  It makes up one of the last chapters in Saint Theophan's book, Path to Salvation .  What is it? Hesychia is a state when there is a an inner stillness and one abides alone in spirit with God. Saint John Climacus says, "A hesychast is one who strives to confine his incorporeal being within his bodily house." Saint Theophan says the hesychast is one who is, entirely occupied with being with the one Lord, with Whom he converses face to face, like as a favorite emperor speaks into his ear.  This activity of the heart is surrounded and guarded by preserving stillness of thought. This level of spiritual effort is very advanced and cannot be attained without first conquering our passions  This is an absolute prerequisite.  Hesychia only develops in those who have tasted the "sweetness of God," says Saint Theophan.  He warns us,