This book is paired with a six-session Study Guide, with suggested readings and study and discussion points, to be used in conjunction with the text.
The Study Guide is intended for use in classrooms and church groups. An additional companion one-hour ethnographic field study film, also titled Be Still and Know
, may also be utilized in conjunction with the book and the Study Guide.
To download the accompanying film for a small fee visit www.bestillandknow.info
Download the Study Guide!
Introduction to Hesychia (the practice of silence and contemplation)
This first week, the subjects are the possibility of communication with God and the various methods employed through
the ages. The concepts of Uncreated Light, image, likeness, purification (apatheia
), and grace are discussed. Mention of
Scripture, classical philosophy, and early theological thoughts advance our understanding. We are introduced to early
Christian desert theology.
The early desert Christians
Chapter 1 includes St. Antony, St. Pachomius, the Cappadocian Fathers and Mother (St. Gregory, St. Basil the Great,
and St. Macrina), St. John Cassian, Evagrius, Diadochus, St. Symeon the New Theologian, St. Gregory Palamas, and the
. The chapter also discusses centuries of Christian thought on purification, renunciation, control of mind and body,
and experience of God through “likeness” and “energies.”
Comparing Practitioners and Monastic Life
This week, we take the philosophies, theologies, and practices of the ancient sages and saints and put them into context
with monastic life. This section also includes an introduction to the Jesus Prayer.
Connecting with God
Now we take what we have learned from the great monastic fathers and mothers into the present. We visit working
monasteries in Egypt, Mt. Sinai, Greece, and Eastern Europe (specifically Romania) and speak with Bishops, Archbishops,
monks and nuns. Be sure to see the connection between what you’ve learned from the ancients with modern practices.
Building Communication with God
The conversation with both living practitioners and contemporary theologians now centers around prayer (specifically
the Jesus Prayer), Kyrie Eleison, or just the Holy Name of Jesus. Different stages of prayer are brought to the fore, as is a
distinction between different aspects of the body, mind, and psyche.
This is the concluding lesson of this series. It sends participants off with suggestions for ways to connect and communicate
with God, as suggested by monks and nuns, spiritual leaders, and even a Patriarch.