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

Non-residential weekend course, with Stephen Batchelor and John Peacock

28th – 29th October 2017: Goodenough College; London, WC1N

From India to Greece, in the ancient world philosophy was understood as a way of life that needed 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’.


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.

John PeacockJOHN PEACOCK is both an academic and a Buddhist practitioner of nearly forty years. Trained initially in the Tibetan Gelugpa tradition in India, he subsequently spent time in Sri Lanka studying Theravada. He lectured in Buddhist Studies at the University of Bristol, is Associate Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre and teaches on the Master of Studies programme in MBCT (Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy) at Oxford University. John has been teaching meditation for more than twenty five years and is a Gaia House guiding teacher.

Event Details

  • Non-residential course
  • Suitable for those new to Dharma teachings
  • Accommodation for the Saturday night may be booked directly with Good Enough College if required
  • A vegetarian sandwich based 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
  • October 28, 2017 - October 29, 2017
    9:00 am - 4:30 pm
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Venue Phone: +44 (0)20 7753 0578

Venue Website:

Mecklenburgh Square, London, London, WC1N 2AB, United Kingdom


Goodenough College is a registered charity tucked away in leafy Mecklenburgh Square, providing residential accommodation in a unique community for postgraduate students in London. With its international academic and professional community you will find this venue both stimulating and relaxing in its quiet and informal atmosphere.

Goodenough College is centrally located in WC1 and is in easy walking distance of numeorus underground and mainline stations, with good accessibility from all London airports. The College comprises two buildings on either side of a quiet garden square. SCR9

Refurbished in 2014, Grade II listed London House has 6 function rooms, all with their own personality, from oak panelled walls to high vaulted ceilings. William Goodenough House on the opposite side of the Square also has two modern function rooms.
Four star en-suite accommodation is available at the Goodenough Club which is located in the Square and rooms are available in the College too.

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