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The Gurus, the Young Man, and Elder Paisios Paperback – December 1, 2008

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The Gurus, the Young Man, and Elder Paisios + Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives: The Life and Teachings of Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica + The Mountain of Silence: A Search for Orthodox Spirituality
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood; First edition (December 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1887904166
  • ISBN-13: 978-1887904162
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


This book, written by a man dear to my heart, describes events he has personally experienced.… I too can testify to what he has written, because I was an eyewitness to many of the events that he describes: since I lived on the Holy Mountain at that time, I played a part in the development of his relationship with the righteous Elder Paisios.… Seeing the benefit that so many have received from this book, I truly rejoice and bless the name of God, Who made us worthy to see firsthand this saint of our days, Elder Paisios --Metropolitan Athanasios of Limassol, Cyprus

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Customer Reviews

It is a beautiful journey the Author takes us on, in a fast paced, entertaining tale.
It is this great amount of refreshing, true spirituality, embodied in Elder Paisios, which make the book such an incredible account.
I highly recommend this book if you want something different and absolutely fascinating to read.
Mom in Bay Area

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Averky on January 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
Not only is the best book in English about Elder Paisios, it is one of the best books regarding Orthodoxy that I have ever read. To any Orthodox Christian or anyone even slightly interested in the Faith, this book is a must, for many reasons.

First, I should mention that the title of the book may cause one to second-guess any recommendation; it is not exactly a gripping, poetic, or profound eye-catcher. However, this is easily passed over once the book is begun.

This non-fiction book is the spiritual autobiography of Dionysios Farasiotis (a pseudonym), a young man in Greece who is very interested in spirituality. He dabbles in hypnotism and paganism before becoming enthralled with Hinduism. This latter infatuation, however, is constantly being questioned by the religious heritage in Greece of Orthodox Christianity. Thus, the author embarks on a trip to India for 6 months (even meeting a man worshipped as a god-incarnate), a visit sandwiched by the author's experiences with the contemporary saint of Mount Athos, Elder Paisios.

The book is structured with an introduction to the former spiritual interests of the author, his first encounters with Elder Paisios, a long account of his trip to India, the latter meetings with the Elder, and a last section dedicated to explaining some aspects of Orthodox worship. Among the encounters with Elder Paisios, there is also mention of a brief meeting with another famous Orthodox elder, Elder Porphyrios, as well as mentions of a couple other holy figures. The book is loaded with great pictures of both people and scenery. Though being 300 pages, it is such a smooth, interesting read, I finished it in less than a week (just before finals at graduate school!
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Kanchan on February 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
I have lived this book. By that, I mean that I also eschewed Christianity for a period of time in my youth and went to India, lived in ashrams for 7 years, and worshiped a guru who was later unmasked as a sexual predator, among other things. I was totally absorbed by the author's accounts of the spirituality he encountered in India, including his confusion over finding the right path, and most of all his relationship with that great elder and modern saint, Paisios. In my own path back to salvation, and subsequent immersion in the Eastern Christian tradition, I have so often wondered about the seemingly spiritually powerful gurus, swamis, and other I met in India and while living in ashrams in the States. This book has helped reveal to me so much about that path. After reading it, I have gone through all my belonging to remove any old pictures, relics, 'sacred ash' and all other items I had hanging around from those days, cleaning my space to make room for what is real and of God. So for anyone who has ever been immersed in a cult, no matter how seemingly benevolent it may have seemed, this book is truly transformative. I have been waiting for someone to write about these matters. Thank you to the author for this profound sharing.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By R. Davila on November 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
I've been going to a Sunday evening reading group (made up of 5-6 adults in their 30s-40s) for several weeks now and we just finished reading this book.

It is a shocking, challenging, and quite unbelievable memoir of a young man that fervently seeks to know the truth, seeking wisdom from the greatest Indian gurus of our time and immersing himself into the ascetic life of ashrams, only to later rediscover the profound spiritual wisdom of the ancient Christian faith.

The memoir compellingly reveals the mysterious, out-of-this-world power of our Lord Jesus Christ manifested in the life of a contemporary saint--Elder Paisios from Mount Athos--who the young man meets as he struggles to understand all the spiritual phenomena that begins to overwhelm him, even to the point of death.

You thought the radical, inexplicable miracles of the Gospels and the book of Acts were a thing of the past?

Think again.

On several occasions, The Gurus, the Young Man, and Elder Paisios totally broke me down, dismantling my soul into worthless pieces, where I couldn't help but to ask God for forgiveness for my lack of faith, and for my many sins.

Similarly to Mountain of Silence, this book made me realize that, in terms of seeking and living out the immense potentialities of the Christian faith, boy I have a long way to go.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By P. Gilman on February 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
I just finished this book and was inspired by it deeply. It was a quick read but it tackled the most important questions we ask ourselves in life. I was especially drawn to the book because I had heard so many wonderful things about Elder Paisios since I was young from many holy people. Being an Orthodox Christian and having visited the Holy Mountain also made it easy for me to believe that the author experienced so many miracles and supernatural phenomena. The fact that Elder Paisios gave the author his blessing for writing the book is also significant, thereby allowing his credibility as a modern day saint to inspire others and draw them closer to Christ. A must read for long standing Orthodox Christians and converts alike.
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