Stoic Week 2017

Announcing Stoic Week 2017.

Stoic Week 2017 BannerYou can now enrol in advance for Stoic Week 2017.¬† Stoic Week is an international, online event, open to everyone.¬† It has been run every year since 2013 by Modern Stoicism Ltd., a non-profit organization consisting of a volunteer multi-disciplinary team of academics and psychologists.¬† Stoic Week is for everyone.¬† Last year we had over 3,400 participants from countries all around the world.¬† The course entails following a handbook and audio exercises for seven days, helping you to “live like a Stoic” for a week.¬† You should enrol now if you want to take part and begin reading the preliminary materials online.¬† The rest of the course will become available before October 16th, the official start date.¬† Click the enrol button below to find out more…

Stoicon 2017: Modern Stoicism Conference

Program for Stoicon 2017 Modern Stoicism conference in Toronto.

Stoicon is an annual international conference on applying Stoic philosophy to modern life, organized by Modern Stoicism. ¬†It‚Äôs now in its fourth year. ¬†Stoicon 2017 is scheduled for Saturday 14th October, and will take place in Toronto, Canada. ¬†The annual Stoic Week online course will begin the following Monday, running from 16th ‚Äď 22nd October. ¬†If you‚Äôre interested in Stoic philosophy, whatever your background or occupation, this conference is meant for you. ¬†Modern Stoicism’s aim is to make Stoic philosophy accessible to everyone by highlighting its practical relevance to the everyday challenges people face in different aspects¬†of modern life.

Stoicon 2017

It opens this year with a brief introduction to Stoic philosophy followed by a series of talks by leading authors in the field of modern Stoicism.  In the afternoon, you will be able to choose between attending different parallel sessions, including an introductory workshop for newcomers to applied Stoicism.  The day concludes with the keynote presentation on Stoicism and Emotion by one of the leading experts in this area, Margaret Graver, Professor of Classical Studies at Dartmouth College.

Theme: Stoicism at Work

Date/Time: Saturday 14th October 2017

Location: Toronto.  Holiday Inn, Yorkdale.

Contact: Email Modern Stoicism

Booking: Tickets can be booked online via EventBrite.

Stoic Sunday in Toronto events to be scheduled…

Full Schedule

8 ‚Äď 9am Registration and coffee

Plenary Sessions

  • 9am Introduction: What is Stoicism?
    Donald Robertson, author of Teach Yourself Stoicism
  • 9.30am How to be a Stoic: Conversations with Epictetus
    Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, author of How to be a Stoic
  • 10am¬†The Stoic Minimalist: Practicing Stoicism, Avoiding Controversies
    Dr. Chuck Chakrapani, author of Unshakable Freedom: Ancient Stoic Secrets Applied to Modern Life

10.30am Morning break (30 min.)

  • 11am Stoicism, Buddhism, and Judaism
    Dr. Ronald Pies, author of Everything has Two Handles
  • 11.30am¬†TBC
  • 12pm Stoicism and Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT)
    Dr. Walter Matweychuk, author of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy: A Newcomer’s Guide
  • 12.30pm¬†Stoicism and Sport
    Jules Evans, author of Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations

1 ‚Äď 2.30pm Lunch break

2.30 ‚Äď 4pm Parallel Talks & Workshops

  • Stoicism and Values Clarification (Workshop)
    Prof. Christopher Gill, author of The Structured Self in Hellenistic and Roman Thought
    Tim LeBon, author of Wise Therapy
  • Stoicism and Creativity (Talk)
    Ryan Holiday, author of The Obstacle is the Way
  • Stoic Perspectives on Leisure, Work, Duty, Discipline, and Vocation (Talk)
    Stephen Hanselman, author of The Daily Stoic
  • Stoicism and Military Resilience (Workshop)
    Col. Thomas Jarrett, developer of Warrior Resilience Training
  • Dealing with Difficult People At Work ‚Äď Stoic Strategies (Workshop)
    Dr. Greg Sadler & Andi Sciacca, of ReasonIO
  • Introduction to Stoic Psychological Skills (Workshop)
    Donald Robertson, author of The Philosophy of CBT: Stoic Philosophy as Rational and Cognitive Psychotherapy

4 ‚Äď 4.30pm Afternoon break

4.30 ‚Äď 5.15pm Keynote: Stoicism & Emotion
Prof. Margaret Graver, author of Stoicism and Emotion

5.15 ‚Äď 5.30pm Closing

5.30 ‚Äď 7pm Reception

For more information subscribe to this blog, follow Modern Stoicism on Twitter, or Facebook.

Check for discounts and book your ticket online now via EventBrite.

Please note that details of this event may be subject to change.

Download the Stoic Week 2015 Handbook

The Stoic Week 2015 Handbook is now available, via the links on this blog post.

Stoic Week 2015 Handbook CoverThe Stoic Week 2015 Handbook is now available!

Before you download or read the Handbook, it’s very important that, if possible, you complete the following preliminary questionnaires:

Online Questionnaires

We’d also like you, if possible, to enrol on our e-learning site as this helps us track the number of participants and their level of involvement. ¬†You’ll have access to the forums here, which are an important part of the course:

Enroll on the Stoic Week Course at Modern Stoicism

However, we appreciate that some people may be unable or prefer not to complete the questionnaires or register online.  The Handbook is also available for download, in a range of formats that can be accessed offline.  You can access EPUB, MOBI (Kindle) and plain text (MarkDown) versions of the Handbook from the Modern Stoicism website, via the link above.  You may also download the PDF version of the Handbook by clicking on the link below:

Stoic Week 2015 Handbook (PDF)

Starting Stoic Week 2015

This blog post contains information on starting Stoic Week 2015.

Stoic Week Handbook 2015Welcome to Stoic Week 2015: Modern-day Meditations Inspired by Marcus Aurelius!

Do not act as if you were going to live for a thousand years… while you are alive, while it is still possible, become a good person.

We’d like to keep track of the number of participants so please take a moment to enrol on the Modern Stoicism e-learning site if possible. ¬†(If you don’t already have one, you’ll need to create an account on the site.)

Modern Stoicism

The e-learning site, managed¬†by Donald Robertson, has many other resources to help you get the most out of Stoic Week 2015. ¬†It also hosts the discussion forums where you can meet other participants and share your Stoic journal entries for the week, if you wish. ¬†Take a moment to introduce yourself! ¬†At the time of writing, over 2,400 people have already enrolled in advance to take part and we look set to exceed last year’s total of 2,650 participants.

Once you’ve registered (or if you choose not to) you can complete the preliminary questionnaires for Stoic Week 2015 prepared by Tim LeBon:

Preliminary Questionnaires

Collecting data like this is of tremendous importance to the future continuation of Stoic Week. ¬†(We’re interested in the mean scores rather than your individual responses but you can choose to skip this step if you really want to.) ¬† It allows us to measure to what extent Stoic Week has an effect and to gather basic demographic information on the type of people who take part. ¬†In previous years, participants have enjoyed completing these forms because they found them insightful, especially the Stoic Attitudes and Behaviours Scale (SABS) developed by our own¬†Stoicism Today team.

The Stoic Week 2015 Handbook will be available¬†on Modern Stoicism in HTML format, and also for download in EPUB, MOBI (Kindle), PDF, and plain text (MarkDown) formats. ¬†That means you can read it on a mobile device, even if you’re offline, on a train for instance. ¬†If you’re completing the questionnaires it’s essential that you do so before downloading or reading the Handbook, or starting the Stoic Week exercises.

The Handbook will be available a day or two before Monday 2nd November,¬†the official start of Stoic Week, to give people time to read the initial sections before they begin putting it into practice. ¬†We’ll announce via social networks, our blogs, and Modern Stoicism, when it’s¬†ready for download. ¬†If you register at Modern Stoicism, though, you’ll receive an email notification.

The Stoic Week 2015 Handbook

How to get the Stoic Week 2015 Handbook.

Stoic Week 2015The Stoic Week 2015 Handbook will be available in the next few days, in HTML, PDF, and EPUB formats.

Register to participate in¬†Stoic Week on the Modern Stoicism website to receive your copy. ¬†You’ll be able to read it online and also download it to mobile devices and read offline. ¬†It contains the following sections:

Stoic Week 2015 Handbook

Modern-day Meditations Insprired by Marcus Aurelius

mondayMonday: LifeStoic Week 2015 Handbook Cover
Life as a Project and Learning from Other People

 

tuesdayTuesday: Control
What is in our Control and Wishing with Reservation

 

wednesdayWednesday: Mindfulness
Stoic Mindfulness and Examining your Impressions

 

thursdayThursday: Virtue
Virtue and Values-clarification

 

fridayFriday: Relationships
Relationships with Other People and Society

 

saturdaySaturday: Resilience
Resilience and Preparation for Adversity

 

sundaySunday: Nature
Nature and the View from Above

 

Stoic Week 2015: Modern-day Meditations Inspired by Marcus Aurelius

Memes for Stoic Week 2015.

Do not act as if you were going to live for a thousand years… while you are alive, while it is still possible, become a good person.


Visit Modern Stoicism today to register for Stoic Week 2015!


Courtesy of Alejandro ed Valcarcel.


Courtesy of Alejandro ed Valcarcel.

Why Stoic Week Matters

Why does Stoic Week matter?

Stoic Week 2015

‚ÄėDo not act as if you were going to live for a thousand years‚Ķ while you are alive, while it is still possible, become a good person.‚Äô — Marcus Aurelius

[Enrol now for Stoic Week 2015 on the¬†Modern Stoicism¬†e-learning site, using the key “Marcus” without the quotes.]

Stoicism Today

Stoic Week is now in its fourth consecutive year. ¬†It runs around the same time each year, and this year it’s Monday 2nd — Sunday 8th November. ¬†The event is free-of-charge, international, online, and open to everyone. ¬†It’s organized by the Stoicism Today team, of which I’m a member. ¬†We’re a multi-disciplinary group, composed of classicists, philosophers, psychologists, and psychotherapists, with an interest in applying ancient Stoic concepts and practices to the emotional and behavioural challenges of living in the modern world.

The Stoicism Today team currently consists of several experts and authors on Stoicism who have come together to help others learn about how Stoicism might be applied in daily life.  The group is organized by Prof. Christopher Gill, Emeritus Professor of Ancient Thought at the University of Exeter, and includes: Jules Evans, Gabriele Galluzzo, Gill Garratt, Tim LeBon, John Sellars, Patrick Ussher, Tom McConnell, and my good self.  Stoicism Today is a completely philanthropic and non-profit project.  We came together because we were interested in meeting other people with an interest in Stoicism, and trying to put it into practice instead of just talking about it.

We’re¬†completely open to anyone taking part. ¬†For example, our Stoicism Today blog, hosted by the University of Exeter, includes hundreds of articles on Stoicism from guest authors, who come from an incredibly diverse range of backgrounds. ¬†We’ve also tried to engage with critics of Stoicism by inviting them to speak at our conference and to contribute articles to our blog. ¬†A collection of these articles, edited by Patrick Ussher, was published as Stoicism Today: Selected¬†Writings, vol. 1.

Stoic Week

The success of the initial Stoicism Today events took us by surprise and Stoic Week has consistently grown in size, year on year. ¬†Last year, over 2,650 people took part online. ¬†Registration is already underway for Stoic Week 2015. ¬†You can create an account right now on our Modern Stoicism e-learning site, if you don’t already have one, and enrol at the page below, using the key “Marcus” without the quotes. ¬†Over 1,100 people have enrolled in advance, at the time of writing, and we’re still two weeks away from the start of the event. ¬†(If you want to help us surpass last year’s numbers, share this article to any friends or groups you think may be interested in Stoic Week – growing Stoic Week each year increases the probability we’ll be able to continue running it.)

Stoic Week consists of a handbook and a set of audio recordings. ¬†There’s a regular daily routine but also the chapters contain readings and¬†different exercises for each of the seven days. ¬†We’ve gathered data from previous participants, using established psychometric measures employed in similar studies. ¬†These appear to provide tentative statistical evidence for¬†a range of psychological and emotional improvements reported by people after using the exercises and readings. ¬†We also run a longer, four-week, version of the course, which is more intensive, and therefore led to more substantial benefits for the participants. ¬†The results of our analysis of quantitative and qualitative data is published online for anyone to inspect.

This year, the Stoic Week Handbook 2015 will be available in EPUB, PDF, HTML and other formats, and the audio downloads will be available as MP3 files.  The topics being covered all relate to the theme of Marcus Aurelius and The Meditations, and they are titled:

  1. Monday: Life
    Life as a Project and Learning from Other People
  2. Tuesday: Control
    What is in our Control and Wishing with Reservation
  3. Wednesday: Mindfulness
    Stoic Mindfulness and Examining your Impressions
  4. Thursday: Virtue
    Virtue and Values-clarification
  5. Friday: Relationships
    Relationships with Other People and Society
  6. Saturday: Resilience
    Resilience and Preparation for Adversity
  7. Sunday: Nature
    Nature and the View from Above

STOICON 2015

In addition to the online event, which is international, there’s also a conference held in London, which is now in its third year. ¬†The conference will take place during Stoic Week, on Saturday 7th November, at Queen Mary University in London. ¬†See below for more information:

Stoicon Conference

This year, the theme for Stoic Week is The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius and we’ll be asking participants to emulate Marcus by writing their own daily Stoic maxims and reflections down, and giving them the opportunity to share them with others.

Why Stoic Week Matters

First and foremost, Stoic Week is an opportunity for people interested in Stoicism, all around the world, to get together as a community, and actually work together on putting Stoic concepts and techniques into practice in daily life, with support and feedback from each other. ¬†It makes a big difference to many people to read about the obstacles others have encountered, and how they overcame them. ¬†The questions people have and difficulties they face, often have common themes, and we can benefit enormously from the chance to communicate with each other, while working on the same project, even if it’s only one week.

Some people stress that Stoicism is meant to be a lifelong practice, and not just something you dabble in for a week or so. ¬†That’s unquestionably true. ¬†However, by giving people a chance to practice Stoicism, along with thousands of others, as part of an online community, for one week, we also create a foundation for lifelong changes. ¬†You have to start somewhere.

Stoicism isn’t for everyone, of course. ¬†Stoic Week gives people an opportunity to evaluate what living like a Stoic might be like, so that they can decide to what extent they agree with it. ¬†Most of our participants end up reporting very favourable findings about Stoicism but there may be some who just want to take away a few aspects and combine it with another philosophy of life. ¬†There’s certainly nothing wrong with that.

My own background combines academic philosophy and cognitive psychotherapy.  I studied philosophy at university, and my masters degree was in philosophy and psychotherapy.  I then went on to write five books on philosophy and psychotherapy, and various articles and book chapters in other publications.  So my special interest has always been in the relationship between ancient Stoic philosophy, as a way of life, and modern cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), the leading evidence-based psychological therapy.  Stoicism is important to me for many reasons but one of them is, of course, that it offers a much broader perspective than psychotherapy.  CBT and other therapies can only offer strategies and techniques, many of which happen to have been historically derived from Stoicism.  (Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck, the two main pioneers of CBT both explicitly stated that their ideas and techniques were influenced by ancient Stoicism.)

Stoicism is not just a therapy, although it did explicitly contain therapeutic strategies. ¬†It’s a philosophy. ¬†So, perhaps ironically, my interest in Stoicism is that it overlaps with modern CBT, but transcends and surpasses it, by offering something much broader in scope, and far deeper insofar as it contains a challenging set of values and world view. ¬†Although there have been some vocal criticisms of the attempt to compare Stoicism to CBT over the years, we found at our conferences that far more people were concerned that we needed modern psychological evidence to support the value of Stoicism in daily living. ¬†They recognized that evidence was most likely to come, at least initially, from the parallels between Stoicism and CBT, which has an enormous body of research supporting its efficacy as a psychological treatment for a range of different emotional and behavioural issues. ¬†So we can say that, arguably, many familiar¬†aspects Stoicism are likely to be effective because they resemble, and indeed inspired, similar strategies and techniques in CBT, which have been proven effective by numerous¬†scientific studies.

Stoic Week is important, therefore, because it allows people to learn more about Stoicism and to meet and collaborate with others who share their interest. ¬†It’s also important because it gives us an opportunity, albeit in a tentative way, to gather data about the actual beneficial effects¬†of Stoic strategies, which we hope will inspire larger and more carefully controlled follow-up studies in the future. ¬†(We only have the resources to carry out relatively informal pilot studies at the moment but¬†that’s typically seen as an important precursor to doing more intensive research in the future.) ¬†Overall, though, I believe the most important thing is to get people thinking, and talking about practical philosophy. ¬†Stoicism Today and Stoic Week have certainly succeeded in doing that, far more than we could ever have anticipated.