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Writings from the Philokalia Paperback – 20 Jul 1992

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Paperback, 20 Jul 1992
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 13 reviews
123 of 125 people found the following review helpful
The Pilgrim's Philokalia 18 May 2000
By Vincent Rossi - Published on
The four volumes (soon to be five) of the Philokalia in English have been justly hailed as a great publishing event, making widely available the greatest and most profound compendium of spiritual writings in the Orthodox Christian Tradition. This volume, Writings from the Philokalia on Prayer of the Heart, was published early in the Fifties, and is undoubtedly the spark that set off the whole Philokalia enterprise. Also a translation from the Philokalia, only from the seven volume Russian tranlation of the renowned starets, Theophan the Recluse, Writings from the Philokalia on Prayer of the Heart is a one-volume compilation from the much larger collection, and this can be said to be its chief virtue: the selections were clearly chosen with an eye to texts that are of the most immediate and practical use by the reader. There is every indication that the selection may have been made by a wise spiritual elder for one of his disciples, creating a "portable" Philokalia, as it were. Readers of the Philokalia are probably all acquainted with the wonderful little book, The Way of the Pilgrim, which tells an outwardly charming but deeply serious story of the search by an unnamed Russian pilgrim for a method of prayer that will fulfill the Scriptural command to pray without ceasing. A volume like this one, possibly even the very same texts as contained herein, is said to be the Philokalia that the Pilgrim himself carried on his travels through 19th Century Russia. As such, for all those with an insatiable spiritual hunger for communion with God, Writings from the Philokalia on Prayer of the Heart, will be a spiritual treasure to return to again and again.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
The Prayer of the Heart 13 Sep 2003
By Reijo Oksanen - Published on
This excellent selection of writings from 'Dobrotolubiuye' (St. Theophan's Russian translation of the Philokalia) was made by the translators and first published in 1951 in English. E. Kadloubovsky and G. E. H. Palmer were both students of P. D. Ouspensky, known for his presentation of G. I. Gurdjieff's early teachings in Russia. The connection is interesting, because Gurdjieff is known to have been a very 'unorthodox' teacher.
The Prayer of the Heart was 'unorthodox' when it first came to Mt. Athos. The Hesychast movement, which has the Prayer of the Heart as its basic 'technique', was started there by St. Gregory Palamas in the 14th century. Those who practised the prayer were known as 'naval gazers'. After some time the Church authorities accepted the practice of the prayer and kicked those who opposed it out of the church.
A description of the four stages of the Prayer of the Heart:
1. bodily prayer - reading, standing and prostrations
2. attentive prayer - collecting thoughts saying the words with awareness
3. prayer of the feelings - thought with attention becomes feeling of the heart
4. spiritual prayer - ceaseless prayer without words
The advice in the book is to seek a guide to learn the Prayer of the Heart so that your prayer does not become just 'talking to the wind'. That does not mean that to start practising the prayer should be put off until to-morrow!
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
The Standard Source 5 Sep 2001
By Thomas F. Ogara - Published on
If you have any interest in the Philokalia at all, you should start with this book. It is not the entire text, by a long shot - the complete text of the Philokalia in English is still being produced, although I believe that most of it has been published. This book deals with those portions of the Philokalia that discuss the Jesus Prayer.
If your interest is in the Prayer, this book belongs on your book shelf. As it is also a representative sample, this book will also help you decide if you want to tackle the entire Philokalia. The book was first published quite a few years ago, and it has been quoted in so many sources that if you're interested in the subject at all you will probably find that you have already read sizable portions of it.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A Beautiful Timeless Text 27 April 2006
By Kanti - Published on
This is truly the authoritive guide to anyone wanting to enter into the journey of contemplative Christian prayer via the Jesus Prayer..

The text's language can at times be archaic due to when it was written, but the consciousness, the heart and the spirit of this powerful spiritual practice leaps out at you from the pages..

These excerpts from the Philokalia will be a true guide and teacher to anyone who decides to enter this form of Prayer Life..

As one of the writers in the text advises..Sit in your room ..the (Jesus)Prayer will teach you everything..These writing will help you listen to the lessons of the prayer..

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
The Place to Start the Philokalia 10 Oct 2003
By PhiloX - Published on
The Philokalia is a collection of Patristics from Eastern Orthodox Monasticism. Starting from the 2nd to 3rd century to just after the historical break between the Western Roman Catholic & Eastern Orthodox, the many writings were arranged by St Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain (Mt. Athos) & Theophan the Recluse in the 19th century. A few years ago when I was buying this series, there were 4 books with a 5th being published. This book, "Prayer of the Heart" is but an edition from the 4 books about the Jesus Prayer or Prayer of Attention. The prayer came into BEING during the early Egyptian Monastic period of the 3rd or 4th century when the One Holy Apostolic Catholic Church became legal in the Roman Empire, but was in a state of BECOMING until the finished prayer was defended by St. Gregory Palamas in the 14th century. The highlight for me was the writings from St. Symeon the New Theologian, about the 4 methods of prayer (Using Images, Fighting Thoughts, Silence, & Discipline under an Abbot) which helped me remove imagination during prayer. These are not the 4 methods as in bodily prayer, attentive prayer, prayer of the feelings, or spiritual prayer, which are explained by other Church Fathers within this fine book. An introduction or easier book to read about this subject mater is "The Way of the Pilgrim" which is also sold by
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