Philokalia is a collection of spiritual instructions from the Eastern Christian tradition. The oldest are from the 4th century and the latest are from the 15 century. The collection was compiled in the eighteenth-century by St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain and St. Makarios of Corinth and they have only been partially available for the English speaking world since the 1950s. This may be because of the esoteric teachings and practices like “Theoria” or “Watchfulness” – practices very similar to Buddhist and other spiritual traditions. Philokalia is also the primary source on the Christian term “hesychasm” (“maintaining guard over heart and intellect”), an inner spiritual tradition dating back to the Desert Fathers. This practice includes quiet sitting, and recitation of the Jesus Prayer. Nikodemos, in his introduction, described the collected texts as “a mystical school of inward prayer” which could be used to cultivate the inner life and to “attain the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Nikodemos stressed that “unceasing prayer” should be practiced by all.
Download the book here containing all the four volumes currently translated to English – a fifth volume is still to be translated (1.246 pages):