Philosophy as a Way of Life – East and West, Ancient and Modern

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‘An unexamined life is not worth living’ — Socrates.

For many today, philosophy has become a specialised topic studied in university departments, often with little practical relevance to one’s everyday life. Yet in both Eastern and Western traditions, we find thinkers who have understood philosophy as a passionate engagement with the core questions of human existence as well as a radical practice that enables human flourishing in this world. During this weekend course we will consider such an ‘examined life’ through the example and teaching of figures as diverse as Gotama and Epicurus, Montaigne and Sartre. This course is open to all and does not require any specialist knowledge of either Buddhist or Western philosophy. Our time will be divided between talks, discussion and periods of silent reflection.

This event is run in collaboration with Copenhagen Insight Meditation.


Event Details

Additional Information:

  • Non-residential course - Accommodation must be booked independently by participants.
  • Lunch not included, daytime tea and coffee are.


Open to all - new and experienced practitioners alike.


  • 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.


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.