Another journal post on the practice of unceasing, interior prayer. From September 16, 2007:
The path I follow in contemplation, the prayer of the heart, is not mere quietism. It is not transcendental meditation or emptying or relaxation. It certainly transcends. It does empty. And it often relaxes. But it's more. It is active. In fact, it is warfare.
It aims at the deepest form of asceticism, the highest form of freedom.
It aims to watch the rising of thoughts as a fly fisherman watches for a trout rising for the fly. I take told of each thought before it lures me away, and pull it instead, down toward Christ within my heart.
I draw thoughts in and down, following the breath, until, in the presence of Christ, they give up their pretensions; in the presence of Christ, they're made nothing in comparison to Love. I practice loving God alone, beyond all thought, Who alone satisfies. All thoughts become as nothing to me.
This is not relaxation. But it does lead to rest---the hesychia of purest prayer.
In this practice habits are formed, and from habits comes virtue---that inner freedom from all false loves. Virtue is the unceasing, instinctive love of Love Herself. In loving no other thing---truly no-thing---we have Him-Who-is-Everything.
I pray this way so that I may be bound to God in each and every moment---and not to my false self and the lower loves which are driven unconsciously by the unceasing lure of relentless, untethered thoughts. This way there will be no created thing between God and me---not even a single thought that clouds my vision of Him, not even a solitary passion that shades my heart from the splendor of Her.