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Three Methods of prayer / Philokalia


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#1 Georgije Z.

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 01:44 AM

In the text included in Philokalia, which is "attributed" to St Symeon the New Theologian, is described a technique of prayer. Can someone clarify the Third Method? Is that an early describing of the hesychast technique and how common is it today?
Thank you. G.

#2 Adrian

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 08:03 PM

According with Father Cleopa, movie here , there are the following stages of prayer:

1.prayer of the lips - when prayer is just said

2.prayer of the mind - when mind comprehends the prayer

3.prayer of the hearth - when the hearth feels the prayer

4.active prayer - when hearth starts praying alone even in sleep

5.all-seeing prayer - when unseen world including angels becomes visible together with future, past

6.ecstasy prayer - when mind is taken to Heaven

7.contemplative prayer - when people can be taken to Heaven


In Bible I believe that Apostle Paul speaks about unceasing prayer and about a man being taken to the third Heaven, that is Heaven.The person he was speaking about may have been in last stage of prayer.

Practical teachings about raising through prayer stages is done in the book "The way of The Pilgrim" http://desertfathers...fthepilgrim.htm ,http://www.amazon.co...s/dp/0060630175 http://en.wikipedia....ay_of_a_Pilgrim and

this book recommends saying "Lord Jesus Christ Son of God, have mercy on me !" for 3000 times a day for around one week, then for 6000 times a day for around another week then for 12 000 times a day for around another week and then continuing.

Also, practical advice about the Prayer of the Hearth is done in the book named Philokalia. "The Way of the Pilgrim" book recommends a certain way in reading Philokalia http://www.amazon.co...ords=philokalia so as to understand better the Prayer of the Hearth.

The Way of the Pilgrim ,http://desertfathers...fthepilgrim.htm, instructs reading from the Philokalia this way:
"Those who are uninstructed, but who nevertheless desire to learn interior prayer from this book, should take things in this order.

First of all, read through the book of Nicephorus the monk (in part two),

then the whole book of Gregory of Sinai, except the short chapters,

Simeon the new theologian on the three forms of prayer and his discourse on faith,

and after that the book of Callistus and Ignatius. In these Fathers there are full directions and teaching on interior prayer of the heart, in a form which everyone can understand.

"And if, in addition, you want to find a very understandable instruction on prayer,turn to part four and find the summarized pattern of prayer by the most holy Callistus, patriarch of Constantinople."

#3 Owen Jones

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 12:26 PM

So please tell us Adrian what you have discovered, if you will.

#4 Ryan

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 04:51 PM

this book recommends saying "Lord Jesus Christ Son of God, have mercy on me !" for 3000 times a day for around one week, then for 6000 times a day for around another week then for 12 000 times a day for around another week and then continuing.


Woah, just a minute. This advice is given to the Pilgrim by a monk, at a time where he's staying at the monastery and consulting regularly with the monk. It is not implied that everyone should begin such intensive practice right off the bat.

#5 Vasiliki D.

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 02:37 AM

Or you could just go to a Spiritual father and practise blind obedience to anything he tells you to do? Works for me ...

#6 Father David Moser

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 03:35 PM

The Way of the Pilgrim ,,,, instructs


Please do not use this book as a guide to the spiritual life. It is a good story and inspiring, however, it is not a good instruction in how to develop and practice a life of prayer. Please read this article, "The Way of a Pilgrim" and Bishop Ignatius (Brianchaninov)'s Teaching on Prayer for a good Orthodox, non-anonymous, perspective.

Fr David

#7 Teofil Munteanu

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 04:22 AM

Prayer is a very delicate thing which is not to be taken lightly, or too heavily. Getting advice from your spiritual father is a must, for the world we live in is like a dust storm, and our spiritual father is the beacon of light which leads us through the dust storm. If we don't find & follow the beacon of light, we will get lost &/or caught up in the dust storm.



#8 Andrew Pantelli

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 12:38 PM

Forgive me, but isn't prayer a personal communication between God and us? Are we not told by Jesus Christ Himself, 'When you pray, say, Our Father, Abba, Daddy! ' etc. do we not approach our Father as obedient children, do we not receive His unconditional love? Do we not all have a personal, individual relationship with God, through Christ Jesus? acknowledging  what He has done for us, setting us free? and allowing us to call God, Papa? God I believe sees the heart of those that pray, those that seek to make a difference, and pray harder and deeper, will surely develop a closer relationship to God. The Jesus Prayer is one way, one discipline to keeping our thoughts on the right track. All teaching is helpful, however in the end it is us, who will do the thanking and the praising and the asking! 



#9 Alice

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 06:51 PM

How about something simpler:

 

Prayer praising God

Prayer giving thanks to God

Prayer of supplication to God

 

The first two should be done before the third.



#10 Ryan

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 03:30 PM

In the text included in Philokalia, which is "attributed" to St Symeon the New Theologian, is described a technique of prayer. Can someone clarify the Third Method? Is that an early describing of the hesychast technique and how common is it today?
Thank you. G.

 

To address the OP: The method described by St. Symeon is a description of one hesychastic technique. Similar (but not identical) instructions can be found in writings of St. Gregory of Sinai and St. Nikephorus the Solitary. All of these writings are collected in Volume 4 of the Philokalia.

 

The basic practice is to sit down somewhere, rest the chin upon the chest, and, following the breath down to the chest, try to maintain your consciousness in your heart. From there, observe the thoughts that come and go and practice this "watchfulness". Once the mind has been established in the heart, repeat the Jesus prayer (e.g. "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me") and God will help you fight back thoughts and the demons that tempt you as you maintain your mindfulness of Him.

 

Many fathers who later wrote on hesychasm were careful to say that the psychosomatic techniques (e.g., sitting on a stool, bending your head down, following the breath), while  helpful, are not essential to the practice of "prayer of the heart." Some say they can even be harmful if done without the guidance of an experienced spiritual director. Generally it is not recommended to engage in these techniques outside of a monastery. However, the Jesus prayer itself is clearly for the general practice of Christians.






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