What we're about

In our world of instant gratification, constant stimulation, and endless distractions, Stoicism offers a novel perspective on life. Interested in developing an unconquerable mind? Stoicism has the answers.

We also link ideas to Buddhism, Taoism, Existentialism, Minimalism, and other "lived philosophy" systems. We love in-depth discussions!

Defining 'Stoicism': it's an ancient Greek school of philosophy founded about 300 BC in Athens. The first teacher was Zeno of Citium. The school taught that virtue (the highest good) is based on knowledge, and that wise people live in harmony with nature. The school also taught tolerance and self-control.

The goals of our group:
1. Read the canon (the classic books) plus books on Modern Stoicism.
2. Discuss Stoicism in the media, pop culture, and literature.
3. Compare recurring themes in Stoicism to history, religion, and psychology.

There have always been people attracted to Stoicism. It was a major influence on Shakespeare, for example, and in more recent times on people including JD Salinger, Tom Wolfe, and Nelson Mandela.

It’s also attracted political and military leaders, such as Frederick the Great, President Bill Clinton, and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, who said he read Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations over 100 times.

We hope you will join us. Stoicism helps cope with life's stresses and retain your ethics & principles. We also learn to simplify our lives by using concepts from Buddhism and Minimalism.

We have 3 meetups per week (Mondays, Fridays, Sundays). All are online. We hope to see you soon.

Upcoming events (4+)

ONLINE: "The Obstacle is the Way" by Ryan Holiday (Part 5)

Link visible for attendees

This is the Friday night meeting for Orlando Stoics. It's online.

Our new series covers Ryan Holiday's influential book "The Obstacle is the Way" -- it has many good lessons for improving our minds in the modern age. We will divide the book into 12 sections (the book has 3 parts, but it's too much for one meeting, so I'm dividing the book into manageable pieces). Hope you can join us!

Here are the dates and the major sections we will cover:
1-13 Discipline of perception
1-20 Control your emotions
1-27 Living in the present
2-03 Finding the opportunity
2-10 Discipline of action
2-17 Follow the process
2-24 What's right is what works
3-03 Channel your energy
3-10 Discipline of the will
3-17 Love everything that happens
3-24 Meditate on your mortality
3-31 Finale!

Reading Material

Reading in advance is optional. StoicDan will collect the best items for starting the discussion each week.

Amazon: The Obstacle is the Way (Ryan Holiday)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G3L1B8K

Time

Meeting time (USA):
7:00PM Eastern
6:00PM Central
5:00PM Mountain
4:00PM Pacific

For our international friends,
Please convert time with the free tool
https://www.worldtimebuddy.com/

Zoom Info

CLICK TO START MEETING - https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86559843870

If you don't have a computer with camera or mic, then you can attend by telephone. Dial one of these numbers and add meeting ID[masked]#
[masked] US (Chicago)
[masked] US (New York)
[masked] US (Houston)
[masked] US (San Jose)
[masked] US
[masked] US

In general, Stoicism teaches us how to handle difficult people and events, how to avoid anger and worry, and overall to use moderation in all aspects of our lives. We will discuss how Stoic practice can lead to a meaningful and fulfilling life.

Our group enjoys open-minded, respectful conversations on Stoicism and how it relates to science, culture, philosophy, other belief systems, and pop culture (books and movies). If we differ in our opinions, then "we agree to disagree". The long-term goal is to improve our minds via group discussions. Our group does NOT discuss religion or politics.

This event is free and open to the public.

FIELD TRIP: Valencia's PJI Common Read "The Body Keeps Score"

Winter Park Library

This is a field trip for Orlando Stoics.

Our friends at Valencia's Peace and Justice Institute (PJI) are having a common read of the book "The Body Keeps Score", by Bessel van der Kolk. StoicDan will be attending this event and adding to the conversation. You are welcome to join also! Please review the "tickets" section below to reserve your ticket.

Reading - This event will include chapters 9-16 of "The Body Keeps Score". If you don't have the book, StoicDan will bring (to the event) a page of excerpts to start conversations. Click RSVP for this event so Dan can bring the needed number of photocopies.

Background - Similar to our studies in Modern Stoicism, other groups in Central Florida study trauma in various forms. Their goals include treatment via psychology, how to recover, and how to prevent.

Venue - Winter Park Library, 1052 W Morse Blvd, Winter Park, FL 32789

Parking - Plenty of spaces, all free, on 2 sides of the library.

Zoom - there is no Zoom link. This event is in-person.

Tickets - In addition to meeting StoicDan at the venue, you can secure your own ticket to this free PJI event. Go to this page:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2023-common-read-discussion-sessions-the-body-keeps-the-score-tickets-401362936347

Reading - The Body Keeps Score on Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G3L1C2K

Our group enjoys open-minded, respectful conversations on Stoicism and how it relates to science, culture, philosophy, other belief systems, and pop culture (books and movies). If we differ in our opinions, then "we agree to disagree". The long-term goal is to improve our minds via group discussions. Our group does NOT discuss religion or politics.

This event is free and open to the public.

New Lecture: “Exploring Uncomfortable Truths: Changing Behaviors & Bias” (Pt. 2)

Link visible for attendees

This is a new Sunday lecture. Meeting starts 9:00AM with friendly conversation, and then the lecture starts 9:15AM. A discussion will follow.

How can people change their behaviors which are steeped in various forms of biases? What is needed to make it acceptable to depart from long held conventional beliefs? In this meeting, we’ll discuss the philosophical teachings of three forms of bias: unconscious, confirmation, and implicit biases, against the backdrop of three social contextual topics of racism, womens’ voting rights, and child custody in cases of divorce.

In part 2, we will cover:
1. Dr. Martin Luther King’s philosophy in Letter from Birmingham Jail
2. Women’s Right to Vote and the work of Elizabeth Cady Stanton
3. The film “Kramer v. Kramer” (1979) and child custody in cases of divorce

For our discussion of uncomfortable truths, we will examine the concept of “tension” in Letter from Birmingham Jail. Here is one excerpt:

You may well ask: "Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn't negotiation a better path?" You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. The purpose of our direct action program is to create a situation so crisis packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation. Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue.

Please join us Sunday and bring a friend. If possible, bring a personal story of an experience that challenged your previously-held biases.

Our Sunday meetings are attended by Plato’s Cave, UU Inquiring Minds, and Orlando Stoics.

READING MATERIAL

Reading in advance is optional, but it does promote a richer discussion. The following materials are provided on the topic of the lecture.

Overview of Implicit Bias
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/implicit-bias/

Letter from a Birmingham Jail (1963)
Dr. Martin Luther King
https://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html

Women’s Right to Vote
Article by Wikipedia (search for “Elizabeth Cady Stanton”)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women's_suffrage

Kramer v. Kramer (1979)
Britannica article on the film
https://www.britannica.com/topic/Kramer-vs-Kramer

TIMEZONES

For our members in other states:
6:00 AM Pacific Time USA
7:00 AM Mountain Time USA
8:00 AM Central Time USA
9:00 AM Eastern Time USA

In other countries, please convert time using this free tool:
https://www.worldtimebuddy.com/

ZOOM INFO

The meeting starts at 9:00AM Eastern Time. After 15 minutes of chat, the presentation starts at 9:15AM sharp.

CLICK TO JOIN - https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86390590096

This group enjoys open-minded, respectful conversations. If we differ in our opinions, then "we agree to disagree". The long-term goal is to improve our minds via group discussions.

This meeting is free and open to the public.

ONLINE: “The Underpinnings of Society” (Part 2)

Link visible for attendees

This is the Monday night meeting for Orlando Stoics. It's online.

We will continue our conversation on society, gaining insight into the underpinnings through the eyes of great thinkers and philosophers. In part 2, we will cover:

1. The Caves of Leang-Leang, which have the oldest known animal paintings, estimated at 40K-45K years old. Who were our ancestors? Why did they paint?

2. The book “Sapiens”, by Yuval Noah Harari, observes that humans flourish because we can communicate & cooperate, but the scientific revolution and materialism have created a societal shift away from our unifying belief systems.

3. The book “The Denial of Death”, by Ernest Becker, argues that society and our engagement with it is a defense mechanism against the inevitability and fear of death.

4. Nietzsche foretold our collective entanglement with herd mentality and our identification with and reliance on technology rather than upon the Self and Self overcoming.

The meeting will start with a dialogue and then proceed to Q&A. Hope you can join us!

READING MATERIAL

1. The Caves of Leang-Leang (Indonesia)
Ancient hand paintings (est. 40K years old)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caves_in_the_Maros-Pangkep_karst

1B. (Extra) Walking through the Caves of Leang-Leang
BBC Video (3 minutes, fascinating!)
https://youtu.be/gtD9oyGK5MA

2. “Sapiens” (2011)
By Yuval Noah Harari
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapiens%3A_A_Brief_History_of_Humankind#Summary

3. The Denial of Death (1973)
By Ernest Becker
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Denial_of_Death

4. Nietzsche and his views on Society
(Search this article for the section on “Jung”)
https://academyofideas.com/2020/03/what-would-nietzsche-think-of-21st-century-society/

TIMEZONES

Meeting time (USA):
7:00PM Eastern
6:00PM Central
5:00PM Mountain
4:00PM Pacific

For our international friends,
Please convert time with the free tool
https://www.worldtimebuddy.com/

ZOOM LINK

CLICK TO START MEETING - https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82659560546

If you don't have a computer with camera, you can also dial using a phone. Pick one of these numbers and add ID[masked]#
[masked] US (Chicago)
[masked] US (New York)
[masked] US (Houston)
[masked] US (San Jose)
[masked] US
[masked] US

Our group enjoys open-minded, respectful conversations on Stoicism and how it relates to science, culture, philosophy, other belief systems, and even pop culture (books and movies). Sometimes "we agree to disagree", but the long-term goal is to improve our minds via group discussions.

In general, Stoicism teaches us how to handle difficult people and events, how to avoid anger and worry, and overall to use moderation in all aspects of our lives.

This meeting is free and open to the public.

Past events (957)

ONLINE: “The Underpinnings of Society” (Part 1)

This event has passed