Pray and Work (on Yourself) – Part 1


Pray and Work (on Yourself) – Part 1

I’ve written this work about ascetic practices on request of my Master to give the interested people yet another view on the essence of the spiritual Path. Namely, how man can come closer to God and let Him ‘bring man up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay’, and put a new song in man’s mouth. (Ps. 40:2,3). Man can come closer to God through work on himself, that is working on purifying his heart and soul, his inner world, making through this work still more room available for Him.  On the path which my Master has been following the focus lies in one’s work on oneself, so that you could call this path the ‘path of the worker’. Work on oneself consists mostly of spiritual practices which wake up man’s soul in this illusory world towards spiritual reality and keep it awake. This path doesn’t demand vows and renunciation of the world, after Jesus’ word: ‘But I say unto you, Swear not at all’ (Mt.5:34). It doesn’t ‘bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne’ on the follower. It isn’t demanded from man to be an exemplary citizen, family man or woman, spouse, son or daughter, but it is asked to ‘take heed of yourself,’ as St. Sergius of Radonezh says, that is study yourself and know what is in you, what comes in and what comes out of you.  ‘Pray and work,’ says St. Benedict of Nursia. ‘Work’ must be understood not only as work with one’s hands but as work on oneself, which helps to rid one’s mind and soul from the consequences of committed deadly sins and to restrain one from committing them again, as the psalm commands: ‘depart from evil’(Ps.34:14).  I’ve written this book with the help of the Philocalia, a collection of treatises by Christian holy fathers, which has been translated from Greek into Slavonic by Saint Paisi Velichkovski and the group of monks from his monastery. I have translated / adapted their spiritual instructions into modern language, hoping to make them more accessible to the reader.  Konstantin Serebrov, Moscow, June 2006


Over Konstantin Serebrov

A modern Christian Hermeticist, Konstantin Serebrov, was born, like Gurdjieff, in the Caucasus region in the fifties of the last century, though in the northern section. His father, an accountant by profession, belonged to the gentry of one of the southern Russian provinces, and his mother was a Cossack. Contrary to Gurdjieff, Serebrov began  his spiritual development with the teachings of the East, from the tender age of twelve and he already had a spiritual mentor who belonged to one of the Theosophical groups in Leningrad (former and present St. Petersburg), Alexey Zhoukovsky. In the Caucasus Zhoukovsky lead an unobtrusive life in a resort town, where he meditated and practised Kriya yoga.  Serebrov grew up in the Russian ‘mystical Underground’ and studied the different spiritual traditions of the East like Kriya, several meditation techniques and yogas of the Hindu tradition, Tao alchemy, Tibetan teachings, Castaneda, and he also practised them. However, he dreamt of meeting a spiritual Master, because, as he put it, despite experiencing deep inner states such as regularly leaving his physical body, cosmic consciousness and such spiritual activities, he still fell back into the everyday routine without a trace of the higher states.  His life changed when he met a mysterious person, who preached the dawn of an epoch of spiritual freedom for mankind in the entire Universe, due to the growing influence of the Holy Spirit. As a result of following this man, Serebrov converted to this faith and he allowed himself to be baptised into the Russian Orthodoxy. He also studied and exercised the teaching and the practices of the holy desert Fathers.  Serebrov made an attempt, however, to use the power and effectiveness of some breathing techniques which he had already mastered, in order to find depth in the Christian way. He succeeded by combining these techniques with prayer and meditation to cleanse his soul and to restore his lost contact with God.  Serebrov has described his way in the form of novels and in his recent treatise ‘The 22 Mysteries of the Christian Way’.


  • titel: Pray and Work (on Yourself) – Part 1
  • auteur: Konstantin Serebrov
  • ISBN: 978-90-77820-68-1 / 9789077820681




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