Roman Calendar

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Stoic Routine - Mornings (From "The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy")

     A modern adaptation of the kind of daily regimen practiced by ancient Stoics, taken from Donald Robertson's The Philosophy of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy:


1. Meditation
     1.1. Take time to calm your mind and gather your thoughts before preparing for the day ahead.
     1.1.1. Be still and turn your attention inward, or isolate yourself from others and walk in silence in a pleasant and serene environment.
     1.1.2. The View from Above. Observe (or just imagine) the rising sun and the stars at daybreak, and think of the whole cosmos and your place within it.
2. Premeditation
     2.1. Mentally rehearse generic precepts, for example,
     2.1.1. "Follow nature," i.e., accept the here and now, and,
     2.1.2. "Make good use of your impressions," that is, monitor your thoughts and forcefully question their logic and objectivity where it is necessary to do so (Epictetus)
     2.2. Mentally rehearse any potential challenges of the day ahead, and the specific precepts required to cope wisely with them, perhaps making use of the previous evening's self-analysis.
     2.3. Periodically contemplate catastrophe and death, rehearse facing such calamities "philosophically," that is, with rational composure; contemplate the uncertainty of the future and the value of enjoying the here and now. Remember you must die, that is, that as a mortal being each moment counts and the future is uncertain.
3. Contemplation of the sage
     3.1. Periodically try to contemplate the ideal of the sage, try to put his philosophical attitudes into a few plain words, what must he tell himself when faced with the same adversities you must overcome? Memorize these precepts and try to apply them yourself. Ask yourself, 'What would someone with absolute wisdom do today?' Adopt a role model such as Socrates, or someone whose wisdom and courage you admire."

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