‘Yoga and Hesychasm’, in Orientale Lumen: Australia and Oceania 2000
Proceedings. Lawrence Cross and Edward Morgan (eds.) Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, 2001. pp.69-80.
From the introduction:
“The principles and techniques of yoga have now become very popular. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that many have asked about the possibility of a Christian yoga. Although the work of J.-M. Déchanet, Christian Yoga 1 is readily accepted today, some still fear yoga as a dark temptation. The two questions of this paper are: Can there be a Christian yoga, which is at once fully Christian and fully yogic? Does the one cancel out the other or do they in fact require each other if they are to be themselves?
The method of this paper is to examine a passage of a text attributed by Gregory Palamas to Symeon the New Theologian but attributed by some modern scholars to Nicephorus, 2 an Italian Catholic who converted to Orthodoxy 3 and became a monk on Mt Athos during the reign of Michael VIII Paleologus (1261-1282). 4 The passage will be examined first of all in hesychast terms and then in yogic terms. This procedure will show how both readings are possible and in this way demonstrate the compatibility of yoga and Christianity.”