Daily Stoic Exercises for Beginners

From reading the Stoics we notice their emphasis on spiritual "training" to strengthen the character and enable one to endure difficulties with equanimity. What exactly did they mean by this training, also referred to as spiritual exercises? Is it enough to read the Stoics and apply what we learn there to situations as they arise? Or…

Why Rushing Through Life Makes You Less Likely to Help Others

I am happy to present a guest post this week from one of my favorite bloggers, Leah Goldrick. Leah became a practicing Stoic as a result of her ongoing inquiry into the Western wisdom traditions. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy and a Masters in Library and Information Science from Rutgers University. She used…

Stoicism as Self-Help: A Bad Thing?

As you may be aware, Stoicism is hot these days. Some practicing Stoics appear to be view this as a non-preferred indifferent [1]. Rather than feel threatened or un-stoically irritated by it, modern Stoics should keep their chins up--or better, down, to peruse their Stoic texts and ignore the trend, which will likely die down…

Epictetus’ “Of Tranquility”: Don’t be a slave, exercise your prohairesis

In his discourse “Of Tranquility” (2.2), Epictetus frames his general advice, that we should keep in mind what is up to us and what is not, using the analogy of someone about to litigate a dispute in court. He advises his listeners to “consider . . . what you wish to maintain and what you…

Demolishing the things that terrify us: Bravery, Seneca-style

The U.S. presidential election results have affected many people at the core of their being. One one side, elation and vindication; on the other side (I am in this camp), anger and a feeling approaching despair. Stoicism, however, has helped me put things in perspective, plan for the future, recognize common ground, and feel hopeful.…