‘Sufism and Hesychasm’, in Prayer and Spirituality in the Early Church,
Vol.3 Liturgy and Life. Strathfield, NSW: St Paul’s Publications, 2003. Bronwen Neil, Geoffrey D. Dunn and Lawrence Cross (eds.). pp.335-344.
Frm the introduction:
“At the Orientale Lumen Conference of 2000 a paper entitled ‘Yoga and Hesychasm’, showed how an intriguing work, ‘The Method of Hesychast Prayer’, which Irénée Hausherr terms “the manifesto of [the Hesychast] school”, could be equally read as a yogic text. In his critical edition of this work Hausherr summarily dismisses the psychophysical component, namely the use of posture and breath and focusing on the navel centre, as “Hindu infiltration” or as an example of “human stupidity”. The human stupidity consists, according to Hausherr, in taking the symbolism of the earlier writers literally, as for example the famous phrase of John Climacus, “Let the remembrance of Jesus be present with your every breath”. The other suggestion, which Hausherr does not explore, namely a Hindu influence, is of particular interest but is problematic since the Parthians, the Sassanids, and Islam raised a barrier between Europe and India. From the beginning of the eighth century CE trade was to all intents and purposes in the hands of Arab merchants.
Was there a bridge? Did Sufism, the mystical tradition of Islam, in fact provide the bridge? The affirmative answer will show how the Prayer of the Heart links the mystical traditions of Christianity, Islam, and India.”