Finding Inner Stillness in the Presence of God

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Finding moments of stillness and peace can seem daunting in a world that moves at a breakneck pace. However, for believers in the Eastern Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant traditions, the practice of hesychia offers a powerful way to connect with God and find deep and lasting peace.

According to the Philokalia, a collection of texts by Eastern Orthodox spiritual masters, the practice of hesychia involves stilling the mind and heart to open oneself to the presence of God. In this blog post, we will explore the principles of hesychia and how they can be applied in daily life.


The word ‘hesychia’ comes from a Greek word meaning stillness, rest, or quiet. In the Philokalia, hesychia is described as a “dwelling in God,” a state of being where the believer is fully present in the divine presence. This is achieved through practices such as the Jesus Prayer, a short prayer repeated throughout the day to help center the mind and heart on God.

Other practices include meditation, contemplation, and silence. By quieting the mind and heart, practitioners of hesychia can experience a sense of deep peace and communion with God. The practice of hesychia is not just an individual pursuit, but one lived out in the community.

 In Eastern Orthodox monasteries, for example, the practice of hesychia is central to the daily life of the monks. They support and encourage one another in their spiritual journeys, and the community becomes a space of stillness and peace. In addition to community support, having a spiritual guide or elder can also be helpful in the practice of hesychia.

More About Hesychia

These guides are experienced practitioners who can offer guidance and insight on the journey toward inner stillness. One of the main obstacles to hesychia is the pull of distractions and worldly concerns. In the Philokalia, detachment from worldly things is emphasized as a precondition for inner stillness.

This does not mean that believers must completely renounce the world, but rather that they must cultivate a detachment from things that hinder their relationship with God. This can involve simplifying one’s life, setting aside time for spiritual practices, and cultivating a deep inner awareness of God’s presence. Ultimately, the practice of hesychia is a path to union with God and a more profound sense of fulfillment in life. In the Philokalia, one author describes hesychia as “the ladder to divine ascent.”

Through the cultivation of stillness and detachment, believers can ascend toward God and enter into deeper levels of spiritual awareness. This is not a destination that can be reached overnight but rather a lifelong practice that requires patience, persistence, and discipline.

In Conclusion

The practice of hesychia can be a transformative experience for believers in the Eastern Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant traditions. Through stillness, detachment, and community support, believers can connect with the divine presence and find deep and lasting peace. As we navigate the challenges of daily life, the practice of hesychia offers a powerful reminder that we are not alone and that there is a deeper reality beyond the noise and distractions of the world. May we all find moments of stillness and peace in the presence of God. One author in the Philokalia writes, “As the eye sees the beauty of colors and the ear hears sweet melodies, so the soul when it is in peace, contemplates the face of God.”

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