Reading through The Art of Prayer (edited by Igumen Chariton of Valaam) I came across these passages, which reminded me of this discussion:
Is the Jesus Prayer obligatory for laymen too, and not only for monks? Indeed it is obligatory, for, as we said, every Christian should be united with the Lord in his heart, and the best means to achieve such a union is precisely the Jesus Prayer.
- Bishop Justin (of Tobolsk and Ryazan)
To practice the Jesus Prayer, as we are all gaining the habit of doing, is an excellent thing. In monasteries it is being set as a task. Would they set it as a task if it were dangerous?
What is dangerous is only the mechanical techniques which were added later and adjusted to fit the recitation of the prayer: and these are dangerous because they sometimes plunge us into a dream world of illusion, and sometimes - strange to say - into a constant state of lust. For this reason we should advise against such techniques and forbid them. But to call on the most sweet Name of the Lord in simplicity of heart is something we can suggest and recommend to anyone.
- St. Theophan the Recluse