Each quarter, Stoic leaders from around the world share updates from their Stoicism groups.
Berlin Stoics had another three months of thriving weekly meetups discussing Stoicism and intersections with other philosophies like Epicureanism, authors and psychologists like Viktor Frankl, and practical ways Stoicism can help us improve ourselves like through CBT and resilience training. And we’ve found a quite stable base of members attending our weekly online discussions who live in Berlin and from around the world! We’ve also had the pleasure of hosting our first guest speaker and presenter from the Orlando Stoics, among other meetup organizations, StoicDan, attend and give a brief talk on Stoic discipline and general themes reflecting on Stoicism. Berlin Stoics is growing slowly but surely into a robust local group and we look forward to continue this way. You can follow us at berlinstoics.com and if you’re interested please attend one of our weekly Saturday meetups online at 16:00 CET. During the month of April we plan to focus our discussions on relationships, social and community service, and deeply dive into Marcus Aurelius. Unfortunately with Germany’s rise in COVID-19 cases and a new lockdown we won’t have the opportunity to meet in person until May at the earliest, but we strive to continue learning, sharing, and hopefully extend our Stoic practice into community involvement digitally.
We continue with the online meetings, which has its advantages. We currently have one from outside of Copenhagen who has been joining us online, which has us considering if we should try and make a virtual stoa for danes in general. We will see what happens. We have had a lot of good sessions lately, mainly with various topics within the Ethical aspects of Stoicism. Therefore we are now trying to look into Stoic Physics and how that should be understood in the modern world. We are being inspired by Pierre Hadots “The Inner citadel” but also various blogs from contemporary Stoics.
We continue to meet online only via Google Meet. The book “More Than Happiness: Buddhist and Stoic Wisdom for a Sceptical Age” by Antonia Macaro, has been our discussion topic since February. Given that a comparison with Buddhism is often brought up, this book has been a good choice.
In December 2020, we held the largest event on Stoicism ever in Brazil. The event counted with more than 30 presentations of both academic researchers and practical Stoics, and thousands of viewers via Facebook. These presentations (in Portuguese) can be accessed for free both on our page on Facebook and on our Youtube channel.
The relation between Stoic theories and their practice has been subject of intense debate among our members in the last months, and we have reached the conclusion that the study of Ancient Stoicism (through its primary and secondary texts) is a necessary condition for the development of a vigorous and consistent Contemporary Stoicism. Without it, our effort to constitute a new Stoicism for our days will lose its focus, as we have seen in many parts of the world where Stoicism is being reduced to self~improvement techniques. We are not against these applications, but we think that we should never forget that Stoicism is first of all a philosophy and a way of live, as Hadot pointed out, and self~improvement through Stoicism is basically improvement of the individual through philosophy, which implies the development of a critical character concerning political, ethical and bioethical questions.
Currently working on a new structure for biweekly meetings were practical Stoic tools will be shared with the group. These meetings will be followed by different reading sessions where the participants will be able to share their insights and complement with their perspective. Also, this space will serve for practicing certain physical activities. One nice to have would be to have participation from other Stoas around the world.
During the winter we held a number of sessions with schools in Majadahonda where we shared our Stoic vision about the impact of acquiring sustainable and healthy life habits for getting a happy life, encouraging pupils to acquire such habits and make a difference in our community through an Individual Social Responsibility approach.
In February, we discussed the potential of Stoic virtue ethics to deal with adversity during a pandemic. On 9th April we will talk about philanthropy in Stoicism, and the often overlooked aspect of love and compassion in Stoic philosophy. In addition, for one month we´re going to welcome every Sunday morning in the manner of the Pythagoreans, having a cup of early morning tea at sunrise. Until now our offered events have been in German only, however we are currently asking our participants whether there is a demand for events in English, too. For further details please visit both our pages on Facebook, and Meetup.
Peter Daly, the leader of one of the original Fellowship groups: the Dublin Stoics, was interviewed for a podcast on Stoicism. Check out the full interview.
Working towards an academic future studying Cognitive Behavioural Therapy & I’ve been building my instagram community outwards for people interested in Stoicism. Working on a piece of music for Marcus Aurelius’ 1900th anniversary. (I’ll get in touch with the Fellowship about sharing it with you all soon)
View upcoming events here.
This has been a very productive quarter for the New England Stoics. In January we started our 12 part practice course modeled on A Handbook for New Stoics: How to Thrive in a World Out of Your Control—52 Week-by-Week Lessons. By Pigliucci, M., & Lopez, G. and The Practicing Stoic: A Philosophical User's Manual by Farnsworth, W. We are charging $5 a year for the class to help with the running of our web site and to plan other group events. The class has become so popular that we had to create another position in our leadership team called “Director of Curriculum” to help manage our new academic direction.
Additionally, as we added a new officer and we restructured the group, we elected the first woman to our leadership team and she will be spearheading a women's studies group aimed at women in stoicism. We don’t have all the details yet as they are still being hashed out but this is very exciting.
We have also made weekly meditations a thing that we do. Every Thursday we have a sitting meditation. We have been doing this on zoom to maintain social distancing. The meditation always starts with a stoic quote, this is followed by a twenty minute meditation that has a small bell every four minutes to help remind us to focus and not be distracted. At the end of the session we talk about our experience. This is followed by another quote and 1 more minute of meditation.
Every other Sunday, we have a contemplative meditation which involves group discussion and journaling. We bring up a variety of topics that usually line up with the curriculum being covered by that month's practice class. As it is now, with our regular meetings, the meditations, and the practice classes, we are meeting 8-10 times a month, this number will increase once the women's studies group takes off.
The NYC Stoics are still online and continuing our 2021 theme of “Stoic B-Sides”. We’re wrapping up our reading of Diogenes Laertius’ Book VII in April, and are planning to cover Arius Didymus, Musonius Rufus, and Hierocles next. You’re welcome to find out more information and join us here.
All meetings are online. Our Monday nights (weekly) are ‘wildcard’ nights, comparing Stoicism to other ideas and people. Friday nights (weekly) are Stoic practice night, where we read from books by the modern scholars. Sundays (weekly) sometimes have a lecture in the morning or afternoon. These are new presentations by StoicDan and are also online and free. Also, the Orlando Stoics just reached 1300 members total on meetup. Join the group and/or RSVP.
The Philadelphia Stoics had a very productive quarter meeting regularly to discuss the Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and held several working group sessions on the Handbook for New Stoics by Massimo Pigliucci & Greg Lopez. The Philadelphia Stoics also held multiple meetings related to our Introduction to Stoicism series. The objective of the introductory series is to familiarize individuals new to Stoicism about the practical benefits of living a virtuous life. Some of our introductory topics included the following:
We also have an exciting upcoming event taking place on April 11th where author Kai Whiting, author of the new book, “Being Better: Stoicism for a World Worth Living In” will be joining the Philadelphia Stoics to discuss how to apply Stoic principles to contemporary issues such as social justice, climate breakdown, and the excesses of global capitalism. The Philadelphia Stoics will be covering “Being Better: Stoicism for a World Worth Living In” in great detail in the coming months.
We kicked off our year with a presentation about prosoche. The main focus was to build and strengthen our local german community after some months of silence. We’ll continue with smaller and more frequent “breakfast events” where we discuss certain relevant topics on Stoicism in brief. Because of the pandemic and the opportunity to meet digitally, the Rheinland Stoiker are working together with the Hannover Stoics and the Allgäu Stoiker.
In January our reading group met with Donald Robertson to talk about his book How to think like a Roman emperor and we started reading the book in february. We’ve met every week to discuss the book and we’ll finish it in 2 more sessions if nothing prevents us. In February at our study and practice group we studied the discipline of desire and aversion through Epictetus discourses and practiced Stoic exercises to reduce bad habits and anxiety. In the same month we did our Global Morning Walk as a way to practice and reinforce good habits. During march we worked on natural preconceptions and conflict through Epictetus Discourses. We started meeting one Sunday a month to discuss Pythagoras’ golden verses and read together The Great Book of Greek Mythology (R.Hard). We launched our online shop.
We continue our “Stoa Nova Conversations” with Profs. Massimo Pigliucci and Rob Colter. Recent episodes include a discussion with Matthew Sharpe on Stoic virtue ethics (watch here) and one on Stoicism and love (watch here). Upcoming meetings will focus on Marcus Aurelius’ 1900th birthday on April 25th (register here), a conversation with Epictetus scholar Anthony Long (on May 9th), one with Nancy Sherman on Stoicism in the military (on June6th), and one with Gretchen Reydams-Schils on Musonius Rufus (July 18th).
We are new on the scene and following the advice of several veteran members of the Stoic Fellowship we have successfully held our first meeting. It was only a group of three but I am already seeing more interest on Meetup and I am going to be scheduling regular events that are forecasted further in the future so people can plan accordingly. Thank you to the Stoic Fellowship, Greg, and Pete for the guidance.
Our meetings are online and monthly. In April, we’re starting a new series on Seneca’s Dialogues. This new series compares the passages of the ancient writings to the Modern Stoicism movement. Plus, the group has time to discuss the ideas. For all meetings and to RSVP, please see the official site.
Monthly meetings are in-person (the members voted for this). They meet at the Panera Cafe near USF in Tampa. The host (Edin) is leading the group through Seneca’s writings. For meeting dates and details, please see our Meetup. The group also has a monthly ‘walking meditation’ which is free and open to the public. See Meetup site for details.
We are still meeting online, and try to meet at least once a month. From the end of last year, and still through this year our meetings are going through the entirety of Seneca’s Moral Letters to Lucilius - 10 Letters each month. We will continue online, but may start with some physical meetings if the situation allows when summer gets closer. View more info on our website.