I've been reading Yoga: Immortality and Freedom by Mircea Eliade; in this book there is mention of a contemplative or "mystical" sect of Christianity called Hesychasm. Basically, this was an order of Christian monks who secluded themselves either on a mountain or in the desert and practiced something akin to pranayama (stilling of restless mind through the extreme breath control, the objective of which is samadhi, or the expansion of consciosness into infinity) while repeating the "Jesus Prayer:" "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me." From a comparative religion standpoint, it is very similar to mantra meditation--these monks would sit in a certain, rigid posture while repeating their prayer and doing the breath practices. I had never heard of this particular group and find it very interesting. Anyone know more about it? Here are some links to info I found: http://www.themystica.com/mystica/articles/h/hesychasm.html http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/hesychasm1.html http://www.geocities.com/evangelical_orthodox/Hesychasm.html http://www.geocities.com/evangelical_orthodox/Hesychasm.html <--This one looks particularly interesting as it is from a modern Catholic perspective; apparently there is some controversy about Hesychasm. I haven't read this in-depth yet, but the sense I get is that they are sometimes seen as heretics because of their practices. ::shrug:: On the other hand, the fordham.edu link ties them closely to the Orthodox Catholic church. Thoughts?