“This first stage is technically called sadhana-bhakti, or devotional service in practice. The result of sadhana-bhakti must be ecstatic love, attachment for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, which is also called prema-bhakti. In the neophyte stage, sadhana-bhakti includes faith, association with devotees, and practicing devotional service. Thus one is freed from all unwanted things. One then becomes fixed in devotional service and increases his desire to act in devotional service. Thus one becomes attached to the Lord and His devotional service.”

Chaitanya Charitamrta,  Madhya 8.68

“…all prayer, reading, meditation and all the activities of the monastic life are aimed at purity of heart, an unconditional and totally humble surrender to God, a total acceptance of ourselves and of our situation as willed by him. …Purity of heart is then correlative to a new spiritual identity – the “self” as recognized in the context of realities willed by God…”

Thomas Merton, Contemplative Prayer (New York: Image Books, 1971) 68