The Introductory Course is a ten-session course designed to encourage students to regain their natural sense of wonder, gaining greater access to their inner happiness, wisdom and strength.
It is not an academic survey of great philosophical ideas as one might find in a university. Rather it is an introduction to a series of proven principles that enable students to attain greater self-knowledge and better their lives through reasonable, compassionate living. The proof of Practical Philosophy’s effectiveness is found in personal experience.
The curriculum is inspired by the philosophy of Advaita (“not two”), and embraces a wide range of philosophical ideas, tapping into the wisdom of the great minds of East and West, including Plato, Socrates, the Buddha, Shakespeare, Emerson and Shri Shantananda Saraswati.
While the wisdom of East and West is presented, much of the learning that students experience comes from their fellow students and their own experience and innate wisdom. The tutors, who direct the classes, are ongoing students in the School who have been practicing Practical Philosophy for many years and generously offer their own insights.
The classes are not lectures, but lively, interactive explorations of life’s “big questions.” Who are we, really? What is our purpose? What is wisdom? Can we be wise? To enhance this journey of self-discovery one learns key skills for dealing with stress and anxiety, harnessing the power of attention, and cultivating the means for regularly experiencing stillness and inner peace.
Given the exploratory approach, students are encouraged to neither accept nor reject the principles presented in class, but to test out their value by applying them to their daily lives.
Significant benefits accrue from attending the classes and practicing the principles offered, including self-knowledge, more authentic living, strengthened levels of awareness, and an opening of the heart — all of which lead to greater confidence, increased happiness, a sense of freedom, and more meaningful relationships.
The Introductory Course is accessible to all who are sincerely interested in self-discovery. All that is needed is an open mind and a willingness to examine the ideas that govern one’s life.