The goal of the Hesychast (sacred stillness) practice in the Eastern Orthodox Church is, personally, to realize through prayer the uncreated light which had been manifested to Jesus' disciples at the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor (Matthew 17:1-13). It needs to be underscored that this is the paradigm used for this theology. Of course, there is much more to Hesychasm than what I am presenting in this blog, such as purification, illumination and the personal experience of Theos/God as the uncreated light.
In my initial awakening of 1969 and the light of Mahayana that I personally experienced in 1976, light/prabhāsa/phos was not unknown to me. It was blissful beyond words and such that those around me could experience and partake of it. When I discovered that the Eastern Orthodox Church also went in this direction in what is called Hesychasm I was excited to know that Christians were into the subtleties of subtleties as I was. I eventually taught myself how to read a little Greek and use a Greek dictionary so that I could explore some of the terminology, some of which was quite helpful in explaining Buddhism!
While it is easy to stress the differences between the Orthodox Church and Buddhism one does so without really knowing either religion as they are meant to be known which is through a realization of the transcendent. Taking some advice from the Dalai Lama, I only want Christians to be better Christians; to look deeper into their ancient tradition and take another look at Orthodoxy. It is well worth the trouble.
I should mention, I have enough trouble with Zen Buddhists and Buddhists in general who seem to believe that Buddhism is religious nihilism or materialism since the Buddha denied the ātman (which he didn’t). I have had direct experience with spiritual light, more than enough to warn such Buddhists that they've wandered off the path. And I also believe that Christians who have experienced the uncreated light experienced the same light as Buddhists experience: “Gone is the darkness, arisen is the light, as it does for one who dwells serious, ardent and composed in the self” (Itivuttaka III, vi, x).