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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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      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, and those of Hellenistic philosophy. Comparing the discourses of the Pali Canon with the teachings of the Sceptics, Epicureans and Stoics, we’ll look at the historical and intellectual background of these traditions, and ask:

      ‘How did the doctrines of thinkers such as Democritus, Pyrrho, Epicurus, Epictetus and Seneca resonate with Gotama and his followers?’

      Time will include seminars, discussions and spiritual exercises.

      As an introduction to Hellenistic philosophy before the course, we recommend Pierre Hadot’s Philosophy as a Way of Life.

      This event is run in collaboration with the Centrum voor Mindfulness in Amsterdam

      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

      Additional Information:

      • Non-residential course
      • All teachings are offered on a dana basis
      • Suitable for new and experienced Dharma practitioners as well as anyone interested in philosophy as a way of life
      • The weekend will include periods of practice and times for discussion.
      • Accommodation for the Saturday night must be booked independently by participants
      • A vegetarian lunch, and daytime tea and coffee, are included
      • Full Payment required on booking (Deposits cannot be taken for weekend courses)
      • A limited number of Bursary places are available for this course.
      • Please read the Booking Conditions before booking

      If you cannot pay by Credit Card or Paypal, please contact our Coordinator here to register. 


      STEPHEN BATCHELOR is a Buddhist teacher and writer known for his secular or agnostic approach to the Dharma. Formerly a Buddhist monk in the Tibetan and Zen traditions, he is the translator and author of several books including Buddhism Without Beliefs, Living with the Devil and Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist. His most recent book, After Buddhism, was published by Yale University Press in 2015. 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.


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