New e-booklet: 24 Stoic Spiritual Exercises, culled from the writings of Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius. Stoicism is a practical philosophy of life, and while I enjoy writing about its history and theory, it is the practice that has so far had a significant impact in my life. I assume it is the same for most readers too. That’s why in this booklet I collect a number of passages from the ancient Stoics where they explicitly advise certain practices or exercises. (Thanks to my friend Greg Lopez for helping curating the collection, on the occasion of Stoic Camp-New York). The first list is distilled from Epictetus’ Enchiridion (the aptly titled “Manual”), while the second list is derived from Marcus’ Meditations (again aptly, a diary that the emperor wrote for his own personal use).
Table of contents:
Epictetus, from the Enchiridion
I. Examine your impressions
II. Remind yourself of the impermanence of things
III. The reserve clause
IV. How can I use virtue here and now?
V. Pause and take a deep breadth
VII. Speak little and well
VIII. Choose your company well
IX. Respond to insults with humor
X. Don’t speak too much about yourself
XI. Speak without judging
Marcus Aurelius, from the Meditations
XII. Morning meditation on others
XIII. Keep at-hand principles
XIV. Why am I doing this?
XVI. Decomposition exercise
XVII. Acknowledging others’ virtues
XVIII. Take another’s perspective
XIX. View from above
XX. How did they (not) sin?
XXI. Keep change and death in mind
XXII. When offended…
XXIII. Rebutting thoughts
XXIV. Morning meditation on the cosmos