Christian approach to Insight

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Pinetree
Posts: 460
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2015 4:25 am

Christian approach to Insight

Post by Pinetree » Thu Dec 03, 2015 5:51 pm

I found these days an old quote I had saved long time ago, and thought to share it, because it's a nice quote and with the hope that the religious references can be forgiven.

Apparently this comes from a writing called "On Inner attention (Nepsis)" by St Nektarios de Aegina (a monk from the Greek Orthodox church, who lived about 100 years ago). Not sure how accurate the translation is, the Greek language can be very complex.

Also, it is surprising to find what seems to me a method of insight meditation incorporated into Christian prayer practice.

I am not sure how the above mentioned author was using this approach to insight but some other resources found on youtube suggest that the method is about binding all senses to a sense object (likely conducing to a calm abiding meditation) at the same time with mindfulness of thoughts and emotions.
Attention is the first teacher of truth and consequently absolutely necessary.

Attention rouses the soul to study itself and it's longings, to learn their true character and repulse those that are unholy. Attention is the guardian angel of the intellect, always counseling it to be attentive. Attention awakens the soul, rouses it from sleep ...

Attention examines every thought, every desire, every memory. Thoughts, desires and memories are engendered by various causes, and often appear masked and with splendid garb, in order to deceive the inattentive intellect and enter into the soul and dominate it. Only attention can reveal their hidden form. Often their dissimulation is so perfect that the discernment of their true nature is very difficult and requires the greatest attention.

One must remember the saving words of the Lord: "Be wakeful and pray that ye enter not into temptation".

He who is wakeful does not enter into temptation, because he is vigilant and attentive.

Derek
Posts: 112
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:31 pm

Re: Christian approach to Insight

Post by Derek » Wed Dec 09, 2015 11:27 pm

Yes, the Philokalia describes practices of hesychia (stillness) and nepsis (vigilance) that do seem to parallel the Buddhist practices of concentration and mindfulness.

Derek
Posts: 112
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:31 pm

Re: Christian approach to Insight

Post by Derek » Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:57 pm

You can read my writings on this subject, free of charge, at the link given in my signature.

binocular
Posts: 5727
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Christian approach to Insight

Post by binocular » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:06 pm

Pinetree wrote:I found these days an old quote I had saved long time ago, and thought to share it, because it's a nice quote and with the hope that the religious references can be forgiven.

Apparently this comes from a writing called "On Inner attention (Nepsis)" by St Nektarios de Aegina (a monk from the Greek Orthodox church, who lived about 100 years ago). Not sure how accurate the translation is, the Greek language can be very complex.

Also, it is surprising to find what seems to me a method of insight meditation incorporated into Christian prayer practice.

I am not sure how the above mentioned author was using this approach to insight but some other resources found on youtube suggest that the method is about binding all senses to a sense object (likely conducing to a calm abiding meditation) at the same time with mindfulness of thoughts and emotions.
Attention is the first teacher of truth and consequently absolutely necessary.

Attention rouses the soul to study itself and it's longings, to learn their true character and repulse those that are unholy. Attention is the guardian angel of the intellect, always counseling it to be attentive. Attention awakens the soul, rouses it from sleep ...

Attention examines every thought, every desire, every memory. Thoughts, desires and memories are engendered by various causes, and often appear masked and with splendid garb, in order to deceive the inattentive intellect and enter into the soul and dominate it. Only attention can reveal their hidden form. Often their dissimulation is so perfect that the discernment of their true nature is very difficult and requires the greatest attention.

One must remember the saving words of the Lord: "Be wakeful and pray that ye enter not into temptation".

He who is wakeful does not enter into temptation, because he is vigilant and attentive.
Given that the expected result of this practice of attention is to come to the conclusion or "discover" that Jehovah is the one true God and Jesus is the only path to him, it's not clear how this practice could possibly be similar to anything found in Buddhism.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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