Bodhi College co-founder and teacher, John Peacock, on the inspiration for his new course:

As we grow older and the world becomes seemingly more and more familiar to us, we often lose a vital quality that we possessed as children, and that made the world and life magical to us – a sense of wonder.

All thinking and philosophies, it is claimed, begin in a form of radical astonishment that not just this is, or that exists, but that anything is at all. I have always found this approach truly inspirational in the way that it makes us examine what we deem familiar anew; from the very first time I encountered this radical thought I have also found it enormously moving. The challenge that this experience offers to us is this: what would it mean to encounter anything in my life, including my very existence, as if for the first time? Could we, or would we, be astonished by what we saw, felt, or thought? And how would we live our lives if we re-encountered the familiar as something entirely new and free of all associations and habits?

For me, these questions are the primary motivating forces behind my engagement with both Buddhist and existentialist thought. Through the awareness practices of Buddhist meditation, I have learnt to see even the most difficult aspects of my life as truly astonishing, in that I exist and can bear witness to being in this astounding world, replete as it is, with its beauty, horror, joys and sorrows. Through encounters with exciting existential thinkers, I have understood the importance of being fully engaged in the creation of meaning in as authentic a way as possible. What both approaches have given me is the sense that we should take as little as possible for granted in this world and to live with a sense of wonder and astonishment at what life has to offer us.

Wonder and the Meaning of Being: Buddhist and Existential Approaches will be running as a non-residential course on the 15 – 16th June in London.

It is open to all.

Find out more here