Stoic Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness is a technique for managing anxiety and returning attention to the present moment. Rooted in Eastern spiritual traditions, it is associated with the attitude of stepping back from the world and taking time out to recalibrate and revive. Ancient Greek and Roman Stoic philosophy offers an alternative approach to mindfulness, designed for people who are actively engaged with personal and professional challenges. For Stoics, dealing with problems makes us stronger. It is our failure to deal appropriately with problems that makes them problematic in the first place.

This class offers a practical introduction to Stoic mindfulness. Exploring the writings of Stoic philosophers including Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and Seneca, we outline a set of simple, practical techniques you can use to overcome anxiety, fear, and desire, and return attention to the present moment. These techniques are meant to be used in the thick of life - dealing with deadlines, struggling with clients, and wresting with inhibitions. They are character-building exercises, devised by an aristocratic class of philosophers intent on living lives defined by happiness, virtue, and peace.

Learn tools and techniques to cultivate mindfulness the Stoic way. You will develop a clear understanding of Stoic practical philosophy, learn why it was so popular in the ancient world, and why it is enjoying a resurgence of interest today. The focus of the class is on learning by doing. We explore Stoic mindfulness through a guided meditation, and broach topics including the Stoic approach to dinner parties, how to handle failure, and how to stay calm in a conflict.

Image: Willem van de Velde the Younger (1633 – 1707), A Ship on the High Seas Caught by a Squall, Known as ‘The Gust’.


18.30     Welcome & Class Begins
20.30     Class finishes 

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‘It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that things are difficult’.
—Lucius Annaeus Seneca


Dr Tim Rayner is the author of Life Changing: A Philosophical Guide (2nd ed., 2016), and the collaborative short film ‘Coalition of the Willing’ (2010). ‘Coalition of the Willing’ won the Grand Jury Prize (Real Life Category) at the 2010 Hampton International Film Festival, Best Short Film at the 2011 San Francisco Green Film Festival, and Best Environmental Short at 2011 FlickerFest Sydney.

Tim has worked with and advised startup ventures including the European open innovation platform, Babele, and the Australian arm of the global innovation consultancy, One Million Acts of Innovation. He has lectured on innovation at the UTS Business School, and ancient, modern, and postmodern philosophy at the University of Sydney. He has presented on innovation and creative culture at the F5 Creativity Festival (New York), Vivid (Sydney), and the DiG Festival (Newcastle). He has given interviews for CNN Online, BRW, ABC Radio, and Radio National Philosopher’s Zone.


Leading writers, economists, historians, philosophers, psychologists, artists and other thinkers offer provocation, inspiration and consolation in the form of advice for living better. Speakers for this strand have been invited by The School of Life to present their own material. Session formats will vary depending on the subject.

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Stoic Mindfulness and Meditation


Special Event
When and where:
  • Wednesday 6 September 2017 6.30 - 8.30pm
    The School of Life, 370 Bourke St Surry Hills, Sydney NSW 2010


Full price: $80.00
Concession: $70.00 
(+ $2 booking fee and 1.5% CC fee) 

Valid concession cards include a Health Care Card, Seniors Card, Pensioner Concession Card and current student cards.  

Please note that we are unable to offer refunds or transfers with less than 7 days cancellation notice before the original class date.

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