A Cure for the Soul: Early Buddhism and the Philosophy of Epicurus

Non-residential weekend course

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For both Gotama and ancient Greek Epicurus, philosophy was not an academic discipline but a therapy for curing the sickness of the soul.

Born in Greece sixty years after the Buddha died, Epicurus developed a practical philosophy that was founded on an atomic theory of reality, aimed at optimizing human happiness, and which considered friendship the most important virtue.

During this course we will examine surviving fragments of Epicurus’ own writings as well as passages from the poem On the Nature of Thingsby his Roman follower Lucretius.

We’ll explore the many striking parallels between Epicureanism and Early Buddhism, and also look at where the traditions appear to diverge.

Time will include meditation sessions, discussions and talk


Event Details


This course 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:

  • Suitable for those new to Dharma teachings
  • Overnight accommodation is not included. Should you need to stay overnight please contact the Bodhi College Coordinator for details of nearby hotels
  • A vegetarian lunch and daytime tea and coffee are included
  • Full payment required on booking (Deposits cannot be taken for retreats under 5 days in length)
  • A limited number of Bursary places are available for this course.
  • Please read the Booking Conditions before booking


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.