Noetic prayer is an activity initiated by the cleansing power of the Spirit and the mystical rites celebrated by the intellect.
Similarly, stillness is initiated by attentive waiting upon God, its intermediate stage is characterized by illuminative power and contemplation, and its final goal is ecstasy and the enraptured flight of the intellect (νους) towards God.
-St Gregory of Sinai
St Gregory of Sinai (1260-1346) was a monk at St Catherine’s Monastery on Mt Sinai in Egypt who was instrumental in preserving the tradition of hesychia on Mount Athos and bringing it to Bulgaria.
The Monastery of Saint Catherine, named in honor of the third century Great Martyr of Alexandria, is one of the holiest sites for Orthodox Christians. It is located at the foot of Mount Sinai, Egypt. On this site the Prophet and Hebrew patriarch Moses, traditionally viewed by Christians, Jews and Muslims as the author of the Pentateuch, received the first Ten Commandments from God. Erected by order of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I (r. 527-565), the monastery also encloses the Chapel of the Burning Bush.