The Practice of Human Flourishing

Residential Study Retreat on Early Buddhism and Greek Philosophy

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Price Options: 

1. Single Room: €690 (SOLD OUT)

2. Double room: €640


This retreat will focus on the striking parallels between the teachings of Gotama, as found in the early Buddhist discourses, and those of Socrates, the Sceptics, Epicureans and Stoics as recorded in the texts of Greek philosophy.  Not only did these two traditions emerge in the same historical period (Gotama and Socrates were contemporaries), they took for granted that dharma/philosophy originated in astonishment at being alive, involved a therapeutic practice with teachers who were compared to doctors, and aimed at enabling human flourishing through the cultivation of an ethical way of life.

By returning to the sources of Buddhism and Greek philosophy we discover a common thought-world animated by similar questions about what it means to be human. In emphasizing the centrality of training (ascesisin Greek, sekhain Pali), both traditions encourage critical reflection, the refinement of attention, and commitment to an “examined life” in order to respond to these questions.

During this retreat we will draw widely from early Buddhist and Greek sources to find inspiration for the practice of becoming fully human in the 21st century. In addition to mindfulness and collectedness, we will introduce contemplative reflections on themes such as death. Time will be divided between talks, enquiry (in large and small groups), and silent meditation. 

Event Details


  • This retreat is offered on a dana basis – you will be asked to make an additional monetary donation at the end of the course to support the livelihood of the teacher.
  • If paying a deposit – balance to be paid no later than 4 weeks before the module start
  • A limited number of Bursary places are available for this course.

Additional Information: 

  • Graduate course, open to all who have previously participated in Bodhi College retreats or completed one of our extended courses.
  • Places are also available to experienced students who have familiarity with the core teachings of the Buddha and are committed to the practice of dharma or philosophy or both. 
  • Participants are asked to contribute 1 hour of work a day, in order to help with the running of the retreat
  • Periods of silent meditation practice, as well as teachings and study
  • All meals included – vegetarian food with the possibility of catering for special diets


STEPHEN BATCHELOR is a translator, teacher, artist and writer known for his secular approach to the Dharma. A co-founder of Bodhi College, his books include Buddhism Without BeliefsLiving with the Devil, Confession of a Buddhist Atheist and After Buddhism. His most recent publication, The Art of Solitude, was published by Yale University Press in 2020. He lives in southwest France with his wife Martine.

is both an academic and a Buddhist practitioner of nearly fifty years. Trained initially in the Tibetan Gelugpa tradition in India, he subsequently spent time in Sri Lanka studying Theravada. After doing a doctorate in philosophy, he taught Buddhist and Western philosophy and then Buddhist Studies at the University of Bristol. He went on to be Associate Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, co-direct the Master of Studies programme in MBCT(Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy) at Oxford University, and teach Buddhist psychology on the same course.  John is now retired from academia and continues to teach meditation, as he has done for more than thirty-five years.