Overview of Week Three

This is the overall plan for Week Three…

  1. Lesson. This week’s lesson returns to the theme of Stoic mindfulness and explores it further, building upon your attunement to the “here and now” and adding strategies for gaining “cognitive distance” by taking a step back from your automatic thoughts, following advice given by Epictetus.
  2. Daily exercise. You’re going to adapt a simple meditation technique used in modern behaviour therapy, sometimes called “leaves on a stream”, to train yourself in some of the psychological skills described by the ancient Stoics.
  3. Audio recording. This is a short (6 min.) guided evening contemplative exercise, that builds on your practice from last week, by encouraging you to review a summary of the day’s events from a detached perspective, as described by Seneca.
  4. Self-monitoring. As well as rating your consistency with your core values each day, you’re also going to try to keep track, as objectively as possible, of how much time you actually spend on unhealthy trains of thought or activities.
  5. Discussion questions. “What are the benefits of recalling what’s under your control and what isn’t in difficult situations? What would be the long-term consequences of blurring this distinction?”

As always, if there’s anything you don’t understand or get stuck with, let us know immediately, by posting on the Comments below or contacting the course facilitator, and we’ll do our very best to help you.

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