The elder said: When we have stillness there is a desert. The place is not a
desert. In the desert I must make myself deserted of all my passions. When I
adjust the desert to myself, I do not live in the desert. I must adjust myself
to the desert. And in the world one can accomplish a lot. It's enough to try to
do away with mistakes. If you have, for example, a faucet that leaks
continually: drip, drip, drip — or an alarm clock that continually tick, tick,
ticks, — you'll change it. One can do a lot.
The elder wrote concerning stillness. Outer stillness, with discerning
asceticism, very quickly brings also interior stillness (the peace of the
soul), which an essential preparation for delicate spiritual activity. For as
much as one distances oneself from the world so much more is the world
distanced from within you and worldly thoughts leave and the mind of a person
is purified and he become a man of God.
The elder said: And by itself stillness is a mystical prayer and aids
greatly in prayer, like the unceasing breath of a person.
The elder said: Stillness (far from the world) very quickly brings also
interior stillness in the soul with ascesis and continual prayer. Then the
person is not disturbed by exterior disquiet, because in essence only the body
is found on earth but the mind is found in Heaven.
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