Stoicism for crises

It has been an eventful, challenging past few months. I have been wondering for a while how Stoicism would help me deal with an actual crisis--but to be honest, I fell short of wishing for a crisis to come so that I could be tested. I’m soft, and it’s the holiday season. Needless to say,…

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…

Looking at “the thing behind the appearance”: examining “phantasiai” and finding calm

Happy Stoic Week! One of this week’s morning meditation passages, from Marcus Aurelius, reads in part: There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind, especially if he has within himself the kind of thoughts that let him dip into them and so at once gain…

Drive like a Stoic

  This past weekend I spent eight hours in a car with my little boy. I had plenty of opportunities to practice virtue and temperance, but I could have done with fewer. It was at times a sweaty-palms, white-knuckles experience, but it made me think about Stoic philosophy and how driving is a metaphor for…