Experience Philosophy as a Way of Life
Socrates called it “the examined life.”
Thoreau called it “living deliberately.”
Many communities around the world today call it
All these phrases describe the process of responding to the enduring question that we all ask at some point in our lives: How should I live?
We come upon this question sometimes out of wonder and curiosity, and sometimes out of confusion, suffering, and frustration. Many come to the question of how to live out of a feeling of powerlessness, meaninglessness, or a sense of being lost in the world.
Philosophy Retreats offer an opportunity to slow down and face the question . . . at least a little bit at a time . . . by considering a focused theme and examining some classic and contemporary “wisdom” on the matter as a springboard for reflecting on our own assumptions, trying out alternatives, and setting new intentions for the future.
Who Should Participate in Philosophy Retreats?
Philosophy Retreats are for curious souls who care about examining and guiding their own lives. They are also for those willing to open up to different points of view, try new strategies for shifting perspective, and engage in discussion in a respectful manner.
No prior philosophical "training" is necessary to take part in a philosophy retreat, nor any specific religious affiliation. Philosophy Retreats embrace a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives as an asset for philosophical dialogue and experimentation.
Philosophy Retreats are for adults, though we are happy to consider introspective teenagers who would like to participate with an adult guardian (please contact us if this is your situation). We are also happy to design special retreats for groups -- such as college student or alumni groups, business groups, clubs, or organizations.
Why Create Philosophy Retreats?
Philosophy is more than an intellectual exercise in a classroom. It is a way of life. It is an open-ended, critical, and creative experiment in intentional living, in which meaning, truth, and fulfillment are sought.
Philosophy Retreats take philosophy beyond lecture halls and professional conferences, in which it is usually contained today, in order to connect philosophy to lived experience and make it accessible to a broad audience.
Philosophy Retreats offer an opportunity for experiential learning that includes not only relevant readings, critical thinking, and collaborative conversation surrounding a particular theme, but also a chance for participants to “try out” in practice the values and habits around which they may choose to organize their future lives. The program, thus, emphasizes the worldly relevance of philosophy, and its role in the creation of a purposeful, self-directed life.