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on 23 November 2012
This first volume of "The Philokalia", which means "Love of the beautiful", provides spiritual and plain common sense guidance which are invaluable in today's material obsessed and stressful world. The book layout helps the ordinary layman to not only intellectually understand what spiritual forefathers discovered, but the real gems of reading this, as well as the other volumes, is that it confirms what I have discovered for myself, and it allows for that "Ah ha" experience in awakening to new revalations.

Be warned that this is not pop psychology. "The Philokalia" is the reading equivalent to proper meditation, a subject that is covered in the texts. I am glad to have discovered these volumes as they have been a source of great help to me and have seen me through some tough times.

Needless to say I can't recommend these books highly enough.
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on 26 November 2008
To all Christians who would like to deepen their prayer life, tired of the shallow offerings of modernity, this is the book to read, under the direction of a priest or elder. But mind, as the translators stress, in the preface, the reading and interiorising of the book cannot be divorced from a participation in the liturgical life of the Church and the reading of Scripture. It is not just another "method" or vague "spirituality", not to be likened to zen and such like. It forms part of the true Christian tradition and as such cannot be separated from it. Otherwise not only the reading would be useless, but fruitless as well.
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on 12 February 2013
I bought this book for a friend who recently converted to Orthodoxy and for my husband. As my priest explained, it is a heavy book for a beginner, and therefore it is better to be studied once you have a better insight. Nevertheless, I feel one can take a seed for soul from it and grow with it.
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on 24 November 2011
The Philokalia has literally revolutionized my prayer life, my private life with God. It has opened my eyes and explained things that previous books only hinted at, only gave shadows of. I would highly recommend that you get a copy.

I've read books and heard sermons by men like Leonard Ravenhill, David Wilkerson, Paul Washer, Paris Reidhead and so on, yet their teaching does not compare to the wealth of insight that this first volume provides. I can only wait in anticipation for the next 3 volumes and pray that the translators hurry up and finish the last volume!

One word of warning though. If you are not a monk, then some of the advice cannot be taken on board. Some of it is extremely severe in terms of bodily denial, and in endurance and fastings and vigils. But even in this there are principals which can be taken on board and put into practice even by the busy husband and father.

A text I would recommend that is more specifically geared toward Prayer is, but is also based on the Philokalia (though contains many texts not found in the original series, and therefore of merit in it's own right and not simply a compilation of texts from the original series.) The Art of Prayer: An Orthodox Anthology.
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on 8 November 2014
An excellent book/series on Christian Prayer, coming from a non Orthodox background there are some amazing instructions on how to pray almost a road map with instructions and advice on how to get to know God. For a lay person the key is to find the balance between advice for monks and persons living in an non monastic environment. There are many guide books on Eastern non Christian Prayer/meditation practice ie Zen etc that are available, however for the Christian seeking God through Jesus Christ this is the series that I have been waiting for for almost 15 years.
Thank you
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on 21 May 2014
By our orthodox fathers

I found some of the text to be for the monk and not so much for the layperson

Having said a vast number of the text can be applied to everyday life

This book book helps me understand that TIME is only relevant to matters of the material world

TO THE WORLD UNSEEN
THIS BOOK IS THE PERFECT ROADMAP
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on 29 March 2015
If you know about this book it needs no review, for those who do not it is a collection of stories and letters with lessons to be learnt from deep meaningful reflection on ones life compared to those mentioned. It is not a light read and should be taken in small stages. you cant read this cover to cover and not ever use it again.
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on 8 May 2015
This is quite heavy reading, and the various writings clearly originally addressed to those in monasteries or living as hermits. Today's reader needs to discern how to draw out the key principles and apply them to a more hands on active societal lifestyle. Some useful advice and guidance is there to be found if you do not speed read it.
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on 5 April 2009
Theology but Eastern saints and early saints. This edition is 1 of 4 volumes, and is a must if you have the others, although this series has less well-known saints in it.
Tt ought to have been a 5 volume series, but the last volume never got finished. However a must for any serious theologician or priest. I would not be without for a quick review. It gives you a quick inside into many saints
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on 16 November 2013
A useful reference book of documents concerning the Orthodox teaching on spirituality. Certainly to be recommended for anyone wanting to explore this subject through the years in all the Orthodox Christian tradition.
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