Step one, "Letting go." Step two, "Watching." Now, step three: "Being." You're opening more fully now to God, moving past distractions, even beginning to see your false self. What I mean is that you're beginning to become aware that you are not your thoughts. Sitting and watching them in the light of Christ helps you realize that the part of you that sees your thoughts is not the true you. It cannot be. The mere fact that you can observe your thoughts means that there is a you that is someone other than the thoughts that rumble round inside your head.

This would be liberating (and one day will be). But for now, you're still haunted and sometimes feels hunted by your thoughts. You can't yet move beyond them to the union with God that is pure rest---the highest or deepest form of prayer.

Don't worry. Don't hurry.

Practice steps one and two, and gradually your mind will learn that it doesn't always have to be "on." As you sit prayerfully before God, calling on the Name of Jesus, inviting the Holy Spirit to guide you deeper into this interior landscape, your mind will learn to trust that you have no intention of obliterating your mind or being irresponsible to the demands and obligations of your active life.

Instead, your mind will learn that it too functions better when it lives more fully in union with God. Your mind will begin to taste the fruit of prayer, and it's own God-given brilliance will shine more fully than when it knew only duty and obligation, the grinding and groaning way it used to go about its work.

Step three is a reward for your deep, inner work to disentangle yourself from illusion and falsehood. And because it is reward, no mortal can instruct you here. In fact, I can't tell you what to do as you journey into this final step---the place of divine encounter. St. John Climacus, like all the teachers of interior prayer, mention this stage only in a veiled way---cautiously, hesitantly.

This is real wisdom.

You could easily get hooked on getting here, achieving the reward, engineering certain outcomes, winning a gold star, and standing in front of your class: "Best at Prayer." No, no, no. Step three is a gift of the mystery of God's grace, the kiss of the Holy Spirit who alone can consummate the union of your life with God's.

Here's the only advice I can give you about this final of three steps:

Bind yourself to one and two, and leave three to God alone. Three will surely come to you, but it's way you'll never own.

Step three is "Being" in the strictest sense.  Or perhaps better, it is "Nothing" at all.