Practical Philosophy 1: Wisdom Course - Autumn 2024

Practical Philosophy 1: Wisdom Course - Autumn 2024

Regular price £160.00 Sale price £65.00
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This in person course will be offered in our London School location, at the following address: 11 Mandeville Place, London, W1U 3AJ.
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Practical Philosophy from both East & West

A course in practical wisdom for everyday living. Practical life skills tough enough to last a lifetime.

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To Enrol: (1) Select preferred day and time above. (2) Click Add to Cart. (3) Checkout.

Term Dates: 30 September - 14 December 2024 (half-term w/c 21 October)

Available in-person at our London HQ, or online via Zoom

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Philosophy aims to set you free. Free from pressures and worries, free from limiting ways of thinking, free to grow and be yourself. Take your first steps to freedom with our 10 week London course.

This popular course is practical rather than academic and draws on sources of wisdom from East and West, past and present.

10 weekly sessions

The aim of this course is to offer a practical means to discover fully who we are, understand how to relate to the world we live in and see what gets in the way of being happy, peaceful and free.

Students are invited to see life as a place to test the words of the wise through practical and mindful exercises.

Philosophy has the power to improve our lives and benefit society, beyond measure. 

If the session you hoped to enrol for is no longer available, please contact the office to be added to the waiting list. If you are keen to do the course, but can’t afford the fee, please contact us and we will be happy to see what we can do for you.

Self-enquiry through practical philosophy

The London course

offers a practical means to discover fully who we are, understand how to relate to the world we live in and see what gets in the way of being happy, peaceful and free.

Students are invited to see life as a place to test the words of the wise through practical and mindful exercises.


Read our FAQs

What students say...

“The daily awareness exercises … have changed my thinking and I feel more relaxed about situations in the media and other aspects of my daily life.”

"The knowledge and experience that I have gained from the philosophy classes has helped me to discover more about myself and better prepare for dealing with life's daily surprises and challenges."

“Absolutely loving the course!! …Really changing how I think about things and life in general.”

“...I am benefiting greatly from the content and the practical nature of it. Thank you, it is enriching my life.”

The wisdom within

These opening sessions consider how philosophy can help us enjoy richer, less stressful lives.

What is practical philosophy?

‘What would a wise person do here?’

Philosophy means the love of wisdom. Our course is intended to show how philosophy can help us enjoy richer, less stressful and more useful lives. The opening two sessions consider these aims, and introduce simple exercises in mindfulness and the application of wisdom you can practise in daily life.

You can download or listen to the Awareness Exercise, introduced in week one here. To download, right-click, choose 'Save link as...' and save the MP3 wherever you want.

You can also download a PDF of the Awareness Exercise

Know thyself

Who or what am I?

What is my potential?

Who am I, really? My body? My emotions? My strongly held beliefs? My soul? Possibly all of these? Possibly none?

Such questions have preoccupied philosophers down the ages. We look at practical ways to explore who we really are and how to tap our true potential.

 

Being awake

What is our state of awareness?

Why does it fluctuate during the day?

Often the most notable quality of wise people is their alertness to the subtleties of a situation. They are awake, perceptive and curious.

We look at deeper levels of awareness, and consider how we may become more awake to ourselves, our surroundings, and the events we meet.

 

The present moment

Living in the now, mindfulness.

What is the potential of the present moment?

We review our own experience of attention through a model featuring attention centred, captured, open and scattered, and how these each relate to the past, present and future.

We examine the extraordinary brightness and freedom naturally available in the present moment. A straightforward practice is introduced

Living justly

Plato’s views on justice.

What does it mean to live justly?

According to Plato, justice and injustice do not start ‘out there’. They begin within us. For justice to prevail, Plato suggests that we must learn to avoid being ‘tyrannised’ by our passions and fears to the extent they overrule our reason.

We discuss the practicality of Plato’s ideas on justice in our daily lives.

The Threefold Energy

The Vedic model of three fundamental energies.

Sometimes we seem not to have enough energy, or the wrong kind. A wise person can act consistently despite these varying conditions.

We consider how to recognise differing energies, how to gain and conserve them and how to use them wisely.

The light of reason

What is reason? How can it enrich our lives? We look at guidelines for Socratic dialogue and how to use them. Developing reason in decision-making and action are also discussed, with practical applications. Obstacles to reason are considered. Everyone has the faculty of reason and we can all use it and develop it. 

The power of beauty

What is beauty?

Is there such a thing as absolute beauty?

Beauty has the capacity to open the heart and bring delight. In this session we discuss our direct experience of beauty in its different form: of the sensory world, of thought, of feelings, of the inner nature, and of conduct.

We consider Plato’s idea of there being ultimately one beauty – beauty absolute – ‘not knowing birth or death, growth or decay’.

Unity in diversity

Looking for the common thread in life.

What is the effect of finding unity?

When we look around, we see enormous diversity in nature. The wise person looks for the unifying factor: that which allows all this apparent diversity to be seen as part of a single whole.

Seen in this way, life then has the best chance of being led freshly and openly.

The desire for truth

What is truth?

How does the desire for truth show itself?

Practical philosophy is about discovering the truth of things – not theoretically, but in our own experience.

In this final session we look back and ask ourselves how our search for truth has fared as the term has progressed. We discuss what has been discovered and how, in our own way, we may continue to develop it in our daily lives.