Philosophy as a Way of Life: The Buddha, Sceptics, Epicureans and Stoics

Non-residential weekend course with John Peacock and Stephen Batchelor

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PLEASE NOTE: This course has been moved online. To register for the online event please click here.

From India to Greece, since ancient times, philosophy has been understood as a way of life - to be practiced through rigorous self-examination and ethical living.

This weekend will explore some of the striking parallels between the practices of early Buddhism as found in the discourses of the Pali Canon and those of Hellenistic philosophy as presented in the teachings of the Sceptics, Epicureans and Stoics.

We will look at the historical and intellectual background out of which these traditions emerged, and consider how doctrines of thinkers such as Democritus, Pyrrho, Epicurus, Lucretius, Seneca, Cicero and Sextus Empiricus resonate with those of Gotama and his followers.

Our time will be divided between seminars, discussions and spiritual exercises. As an introduction to Hellenistic philosophy, we recommend Pierre Hadot’s 'Philosophy as a Way of Life'. 

This event is run in collaboration with Copenhagen Insight Meditation.

Event Details


  • The price includes a fee for the teacher, no additional dana will be requested. 
  • Full Payment required on booking (Deposits cannot be taken for weekend courses)
  • A limited number of Bursary places are available for this course.

Additional Information:

  • Suitable for new and experienced Dharma practitioners. 
  • Non-residential course
  • Accommodation must be booked independently by participants
  • Lunch not included, daytime tea and coffee are.


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.