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I've moved this here. As far as I know, this is not part of Orthodox doctrine but is either a syncretistic theosophical misinterpretation of Hesychasm or something dreamed up by some Western comparative religions undergrad. The terminology is very much NOT typical of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

^sign your posts with ~~~~. The information on the hesychastic centres moved to Chakra. A link placed on Hesychasm. After consideration I decided that it is better to keep mysticism and religion separated in the encyclopedia. Optim 13:04, 7 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I've restored the references to the Philokalia and The Way of the Pilgrim. The Philokalia is a compilation of Orthodox fathers; one translation into Russian was made by St. Theophan the Recluse, who is cited in the article. The Way of the Pilgrim is also cited by the first external link regarding the Jesus Prayer, found on the OCA website ( ). Wesley 17:23, 7 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Issue with "Mantra"[edit]

Although the article seems to be fairly sound, I find the comparison with "Mantra" a bit unfair, perhaps because the author does not rightly understand mantra, or has received a diluted interpretation due to its buzz-word status in many parts of the West. A Mantra is meant to be a meaningful recitation, with thoughts fixed on whatever goal is to be accomplished, or whatever deity or symbol of God is being meditated upon/used in prayer. The preceding unsigned comment was added by Hidoshi (talk • contribs) .

New Edit of Article[edit]

1) I have extensively edited this article on Hesychasm. In the section on the philological roots of the term Hesychasm I suffered from a lack of texts at my fingertips. If someone has easy access to TLG (Thesaurus Linguae Graecae) and can scan on Hesychasm and/or Hesychast and/or Hesychia, and improve the philological section (assuming that TLG has the relevant ascetical texts entered), I would be much obliged.

2) I don't know as much as I should about the details of the Hesychast controversy. Hence, if someone knows details, he could improve the section on St Gregory Palamas.

3) There is a tension in composing such an article as this between the fact that Hesychasm is an Orthodox tradition of eremitic practices and the requirement of NPOV. It cannot be emphasized strongly enough that Hesychasm is an Orthodox practice and that the texts make certain basic unspoken assumptions about the Hesychast, for example that he is a member of the Orthodox Church and that he regularly attends the Orthodox mysteries (sacraments). Such a POV is out of fashion nowadays, but it must be said that divorcing Hesychasm from its Orthodox context and then using it is fraught with danger. 09:46, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Addition of Link to Encyclopedia Britannica article on Hesychasts[edit]

I question the 'Wikipedianess' of the linked article Hesychast. It is as if we were to link to an anti-semitic article in the interests of a balanced treatment of Judaism. 05:37, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Improvement of Philological Section[edit]

I have improved the philological section, drawing on the entries in Lampe's A Patristic Greek Lexicon; I also made some relatively minor corrections elsewhere. 13:01, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Merge proposal[edit]

It has been proposed on Talk:Hesychasts that that article redirect here; I think this is a good idea since both are dealing with the same subject. Since that article might have some useful material that isn't already in this one, I'm proposing that it be merged into this one. Comments? Wesley 00:09, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree. 04:30, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

I have done the merge: all the usable material went into the section 'Gregory Palamas: defender of Hesychasm'. 16:33, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

I made Hesychasts redirect to this article and removed the merge notices from both to complete the merge. Thanks for integrating the text. Wesley 16:50, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

I have done some minor edits, mostly on the list of references. I also removed to external link to the 'English translation of the Philokalia.' Whoever put that link in did not realize that there are two works called the Philokalia in the history of the Orthodox Church. The first, historically, is a compilation of extracts from Origen made by St Gregory the Theologian and St Basil the Great. That is an important work but has nothing to do with Hesychasm. That is what the external link I removed took you to--an English translation of extracts from Origen. The second work called the Philokalia is a collection of texts on prayer first made by St Makarios of Corinth and completed by St Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain in the 18th Century, and repeated by other hands at other dates in other countries. That work concerns itself with Hesychasm. The internal Wikipedia link to Philokalia already given under References takes you to a Wikipedia article on the Hesychasm Philokalia and to a list of the works in it, and contains other links that seem to go further, even to actual on-line texts from the Hesychasm Philokalia. 09:56, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

I've made some changes to the changes.

1. Ghirlandajo added 'not' to the following statement and removed a 'to': 'The term Hesychast is used sparingly in Christian ascetical writings emanating from Egypt from the 4th Century on, although the writings of Evagrius and the Sayings of the Desert Fathers do attest to it.' The statement was correct as written, and I have removed the 'not' and readded the 'to'. Please refer to Lampe and to an English historical dictionary.

2. I have restored the historical sequence to the paragraph order in the section on the philology of the term Hesychasm and its relatives. This was changed by Ghirlandajo. There was no reason to disturb the historical sequence. The whole point was and is an historical philological overview of the terms.

3. I have separated out Mt Athos from the reference to St Paisios Velichovsky added by Ghirlandajo. Although the work of St Paisios Velichkovsky is very important, the practice of Hesychasm by St Seraphim of Sarov is considered to derive from an older, independent tradition of Russian Hesychasm, that of St Nils Sorski, I believe. Moreover, although St Paisios was Ukrainian, his personal influence was restricted to Romania, where he died after he left Mt Athos. It is his immediate disciples who spread Hesychasm throughout Russia. I am not aware of movements of his first generation disciples through other Slavic lands. Moreover, since this paragraph now takes on a historical character out of keeping with a section on the philology of the terms Hesychasm etc., I have moved it to the end of the section on the practice of Hesychasm.

4. The term 'Starets' is a Russian term that translates the ancient Greek 'Geron' (modern Greek 'Gerontas'). In English these terms are rendered 'Elder'. There is no particular reason to label Elder Porphyrios a Starets, as Ghirlandajo did. Fr Porphyrios was a Greek who was born, lived and died in Greece, never leaving it. Hence I have modified the reference to 'Starets' to take this into account. Someone might consider redoing the Starets article to take into account the Greek origins of the term.

5. I have labelled the new anonymously posted external link to the 'Practice of Modern Hesychasm' in such a way as to indicate that it is not Orthodox, but gnostic. This raises a problem concerning the open structure of Wikipedia. Anyone can come and put a link to anything on any page. What is to be done?

6. Marcusscotus1 added something on the full participation of the Hesychast in the sacramental and liturgical life of the Church, including the Divine Liturgy. While it is true that a sane Hesychast is right with the Church, the actual practice of Hesychasm entails such a great physical and psychological constriction on the part of the Hesychast that the Hesychast may not attend the sacraments (mysteries) except very rarely and may not recite the Canonical Hours except by means of the Jesus Prayer. This rare attendance at the Divine Liturgy is attested in the life of St Seraphim of Sarov, and the use of the Jesus Prayer for the Canonical Hours is clearly attested today among Hesychasts on Mt Athos. I have tried to reflect these facts without removing the insertion.

7. I have also added an internal cross-link to the Wikipedia article on the Jesus Prayer. 15:19, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

I've removed the internal link to the 'Symeon' disambiguation page from the reference to the Protos Symeon in the section 'St Gregory Palamas: Defender of Hesychasm'. The Protos Symeon is none of the persons listed on the disambiguation page. Information concerning him was taken from the Hesychasts article, based on the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, when it was merged with the Hesychasm article. In himself, the Protos Symeon is not a very important figure in Hesychasm. It doesn't seem worthwhile to add anything about him on the disambiguation page. 14:05, 26 February 2006 (UTC)

Some stuff (lint?) moved from Naval gazing, before redirection here.[edit]

==Fingers and Lint== Bellybutton lint is a term for various dirt particles that gather in navels, particularly "innies." Some folks will use their fingers to dig such lint from their bellybuttons. This can become a rather pointless pastime, and it might relate to the roots of the term "navel gazing."

Pondering the Mystery of Birth[edit]

As the navel is the site of a former connection between baby and mother (via the umbilical cord), some have suggested that "navel gazing" is really a meditation upon the mystery of life -- of the connection between mother and child.

Popular Usage[edit]

In common speech, people may use the phrase "navel gazing" to refer to a pointless activity, particularly one that is self-absorbed.

Do please dig into that, and find out if there is usable information for the article there. -- Cimon avaro; on a pogostick. 16:39, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Two Changes and a Question[edit]

I fixed a minor spelling mistake and removed the link to

(Practice of Modern Hesychasm)

as link spam. I also have a question (below).

My reasons for the removal of the link are as follows. I have engaged in a correspondence with Wesley, an Administrator, concerning the degree to which one can say that Hesychasm or the Jesus Prayer is whatever one wants to say it is. By and large Wesley has been receptive. However, he was reluctant to take a strict approach to the matter. However, I later came across a note on a discussion page which indicated that Wikipedia policy includes the principle of 'scholarly consensus'. This seems to mean that articles in Wikipedia have to agree with the consensus of scholars in the field. This policy seems to me to apply to New-Age links that have been placed on both the Hesychasm and Jesus Prayer articles, and perhaps elsewhere in Wikipedia. Hesychasm and the Jesus Prayer are historical realities--historical traditions--of the Orthodox Church, dating back to 450 AD, the date of the first recorded reference to the Jesus Prayer (St Diadochos of Photiki, Gnostic Chapters, first volume of the Philokalia), and even earlier. Hence, there is certainly a scholarly consensus as to the meaning of the terms, and as to the nature of the practice, although there is also certainly theological disagreement on the part of non-Orthodox Christian denominations whether the practice is 'valid' as a Christian activity. The appropriation of the terms Hesychasm or the Jesus Prayer for New-Age activities seems to be an innovation which flies in the face of over 1500 years of history. When a site, such as the site just removed, teaches that it has a modern interpretation of Hesychasm, and that modern interpretation teaches things such as reincarnation, that are not recognized in the 1500 year tradition of Hesychasm in the Orthodox Church, can we not legitimately say that the site no longer is conforming to the scholarly consensus concerning the meaning of the term Hesychasm?

I contacted Wesley on this point about this particular link. I did not receive a reply. So I am proceeding to remove the link.

The question I have is this. Above, I see material brought over from the Naval Gazing talk page, in the context of a redirecting page for the article Naval Gazing. I am astonished. Is this a spoof? 'Navel gazing' was used by the opponents of St Gregory Palamas in the dispute with Barlaam in the Fourteenth Century (see the body of the Hesychasm article) as pejorative name-calling. In other contexts, such name-calling would cause very serious repercussions. Here, it seems to be treated as a joke. After all, 'naval' is an adjective having to do with navies, collections of ships, whereas 'navel' refers to the place where the mother was joined to the child in the womb. The use of 'navel-gazing' as a pejorative term for Hesychasm has to do with a certain posture that was used by the Hesychasts as early as the Fourteenth Century. That posture was debated in the Hesychast controversy at that time. Hesychasm is a serious endeavour that has a 1500 year history. 04:37, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

==Some minor and stylistic edits== 05:14, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Spin off navel gazing[edit]

I think navel gazing should have its own page, as it's used to refer to any number of philosophies. Why did it get directed here, anyhow? Petronivs 14:49, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Completely agree, I have no idea how it got here, and it's a bit confusing. count my vote for spinoff 01:40, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
The history of how "Navel gazing" came to become a redirect to this page is told here. Unfortunately, this article fails to discuss why the two terms are synonymous -- which is what led me to post here. -- llywrch 19:22, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
So why isn't "Navel gazing" redirected to omphaloskepsis, which was mentioned in the deletion discussion as a page which didn't exist and must have been created since? It seems to have much more relevance than this page.
Uhh, the word Navel does not even uppear on this page.. why am I here? --Frantik 07:18, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
I have modified the redirect target for Navel-gazing to point to Omphaloskepsis. But this seems to narrow for the term, which has literal (which I was previously unaware of) and figurative/slang definitions. I would appreciate input at Talk:Navel-gazing if you are interested.
Looks like some bastard has reversed the redirect. Someoby please fix it.


Although, I as a Melkite Catholic believe in Hesychasm, Wikipedia's NPOV rule requires the inclusion of all verifiable beliefs. The Roman (Western) Catholic opposition and criticism of Hesycham ought to be discussed too for the sake of encyclopedic accuracy.[User:Pravknight|Pravknight]]--~~~~

Yes, the criticisms of Adrian Fortescue should likely be included, to be fair in criticism and inclusion of other views. ADM (talk) 05:03, 1 February 2009 (UTC)


Just thought it would be prudent to mention that hesychia was used even earlier in Thucydides' the History of the Pelopoennesian War to describe the attitude of the Spartan people. As opposed to it's first use being read in the 4th century AD text. 14:37, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

I found Hesychia is the daughter of Dice (Which represents justice, punishing the unjust and pricing justice). Dice is daughter of Temis and Zeus. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:55, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Pope John Paul II[edit]

In the External links section, the link to the English translation of Pope John Paul II's Angelus Message, August 11, 1996 is broken. I've added the Italian version from the Vatican's offical Website, but haven't deleted the broken English link. Does anyone know where a link to the English translation is? MishaPan 17:59, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

I updated the link to the English version. Djcastel 18:18, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Status in Latin Church[edit]

This text was removed as unsourced:

However, since 1964, when the Church of Rome concluded that Palamas was indeed a saint of the Catholic Church, it not only permitted but insisted that Byzantine Catholics (Ruthenians, Romanians, Ukrainians, Melkites et al.) restore Palamism to their particular ecclesial Traditions.

While the Roman Catholic Church apparently does allow Eastern rite Catholics to venerate Palamas as a saint, I have found no pronouncement on the matter of Hesychasm or Palamism as a doctrine, nor any reference to this supposed 1964 reversal save from a blog comment from which this was copied. Djcastel 18:02, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Oriental Orthodox View?[edit]

Do the Oriental Orthodox practice hesychasm? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:47, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

defective citations in section on Catholic Church[edit]

I've removed the citations from the section on Catholic views, because one was to a blog comment and the other didn't address the point it was invoked to support. Please find more acceptable sources. Mangoe (talk) 13:54, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

"Hesychasticism" should redirect here[edit]

The song Under Heavy Manners by Robert Fripp and David Byrne includes the word "Hesychasticism." A search on this word should redirect the searcher here. How does one make that happen? (talk) 20:12, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

Deleted picture of monk?[edit]

I'm aware that it has been most likely done because it does not "add anything informative" to the article, however I'd still want to know the exact reasons for which the picture depicting a hesychast monk with a schema was deleted. Both from the article and Wikipedia itself. It would be another way to convey the impression of someone who has devoted his life to god to the reader. After all, there are pictures of buddhist monks in the article about Buddhism, so why can't we? :) Sindwiller (talk) 16:44, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

If you lo0ok in the article history you can see that it was deleted for lack of a source (and therefore the copyright could not be ascertained). Come up with a usable image and it could certainly be added. Mangoe (talk) 18:33, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

The hindu yogi silently recites the Jesus Prayer for a change

It is...[edit]

It's Christian Yoga is exactly what it is. Irrespective of what the hesychasts themselves claim. Now, thank me for my opinion and wave me away, I just had to add the word "yoga" to this talk page to make it complete. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 12:19, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Multiple articles covering Palamism[edit]

NB: I am NOT, at this time, proposing a merger of any articles. However, I do think we should look at the inadequacy of coverage of Palamism in multiple articles.

Palamism used to redirect to Tabor Light (which was, in my opinion, the wrong place for it to redirect)

In addition to the article on Gregory Palamas, we also have articles on Theosis (Eastern Orthodox theology),Hesychasm,Essence-Energies distinction and Tabor Light.

It seems to me that all of these articles (except for the biographical one on Palamas himself) are just parts of the overall doctrine known as Palamism. We could either merge all of these articles into one big one titled Palamism or we could at least construct an article titled Palamism that introduces each of the subtopics in summary style and then links to the main article on each subtopic.

I think that having so many articles gives the reader a fragmented view of Palamism and requires him to find and read several articles in order to construct an integrated and complete picture. It is much like the four blind men describing different parts of the elephant.

To address this problem, I've created an article titled Palamism. At the moment, it is not much more than a collection of lead sections plus the section titled "Development of the Doctrine" that I originally assembled for this article from Hesychasm andGregory Palamas. I hope this new article can serve as an "umbrella" summary article for all these detailed articles that describe different parts of the elephant.

--Richard S (talk) 21:50, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

"head between one's knees"[edit]

The section on "Proposed Biblical and Jewish origins" has no references given. I think the statement "one had to adopt the prayer posture taken by the Prophet Elijah in I Kings 18:42, namely to pray with one's head between one's knees(:) (t)his is the same prayer posture used by the Christian Hesychasts" needs a source, as on the face of it, it is suspicious. --Richardson mcphillips (talk) 17:46, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

I agree. I think the actual position used by hesychasts was (and is) not that of Elijah, but sitting with the head bent downward, toward the general direction of the lap or stomach. Horatio325 (talk) 18:59, 9 April 2016 (UTC)

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