Reflections from a Journey into God with the Prayer of the Eastern Christian Contemplative Tradition
Meditation is known as the 'prayer of the mind'. It begins when the Christian seeks to understand the 'why' and the 'how' of Christian life, in order to respond to what the Lord is asking.
The practical behavior involved in meditation starts with a slow, methodical, purposeful recitation of the Jesus Prayer: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner." It also helps to read a text from Sacred Scripture and/or Sacred Tradition, which includes the great spiritual and theological writings of the Church Fathers and Mothers.
This attentive reading causes us to pause and to reflect on the questions that often lead to meditation in the first place: who are you Lord; where are you Lord; what are you asking; why are you asking this; and how can this be accomplished? These are the kinds of questions and sacred studies that lead us into a deeper connection with God.
Meditation engages thought, imagination, emotion, and desire. This mobilization of faculties is necessary in order to deepen our convictions of faith, prompt the conversion of our heart, and strengthen our will to follow Christ. With humility and faithfulness, Orthodox Christian meditation tries above all to discover the mysterious energies of the Most Holy Trinity and its interior movement within us.
Ultimately, meditative prayer is a path of increasing silence and stillness upon which can be found a greater illumination about God.