Practical Philosophy

Courses in practical wisdom for everyday living.

Practical life skills with enough toughness to last a lifetime.

Discover The Wisdom Within

Philosophy aims to set you free. Free from pressures and worries, free from limiting ways of thinking, free to grow and be yourself.
Take your first steps to freedom with our 10 week course.

This popular course is practical rather than academic and draws on sources of wisdom from East and West, past and present.

Local Course

Local face-to-face evening courses available in Maidstone & Tonbridge Kent.

Peace of Mind

Following all Health & Safety guidelines for your complete peace of mind.

Practical Wisdom

Courses in practical wisdom for everyday living. Meet with like minded individuals.

Flash Sale £30

Time-Limited Flash Sale – 10 week course only £30. (Normally £80). Limited spaces. 

Explore Life To The Full…

The Kent course offers a practical means to discover fully who we are, understand how to relate to the world we live in and see what gets in the way of being happy, peaceful and free.

Students are invited to see life as a place to test the words of the wise through practical and mindful exercises.

10 weekly sessions

The ten weekly sessions explore central human questions through discussion, practical observation, conversation and reflection in good company.

Self-enquiry through practical philosophy

Themes included in the course:

click each title below for more details

These opening sessions consider how philosophy can help us enjoy richer, less stressful lives.

What is practical philosophy?

‘What would a wise person do here?’

Philosophy means the love of wisdom. Our course is intended to show how philosophy can help us enjoy richer, less stressful and more useful lives. This opening two sessions consider these aims, and introduces simple exercises in mindfulness and the application of wisdom you can practise in daily life.

You can download or listen to the Awareness Exercise, introduced in week one here. To download, right-click, choose ‘Save link as…’ and save the MP3 wherever you want.

You can also download a PDF of the Awareness Exercise

Who or what am I?

What is my potential?

Who am I, really? My body? My emotions? My strongly held beliefs? My soul? Possibly all of these? Possibly none?

Such questions have preoccupied philosophers down the ages. We look at practical ways to explore who we really are and how to tap our true potential.

 

What is our state of awareness? Why does it fluctuate during the day? Often the most notable quality of wise people is their alertness to the subtleties of a situation. They are awake, perceptive and curious. We look at deeper levels of awareness, and consider how we may become more awake to ourselves, our surroundings, and the events we meet.
Living in the now, mindfulness. What is the potential of the present moment? We review our own experience of attention through a model featuring attention centred, captured, open and scattered, and how these each relate to the past, present and future. We examine the extraordinary brightness and freedom naturally available in the present moment. A straightforward practice is introduced.    

Plato’s views on justice.

What does it mean to live justly?

According to Plato, justice and injustice do not start ‘out there’. They begin within us. For justice to prevail, Plato suggests that we must learn to avoid being ‘tyrannised’ by our passions and fears to the extent they overrule our reason.

We discuss the practicality of Plato’s ideas on justice in our daily lives.

The Vedic model of three fundamental energies.

Sometimes we seem not to have enough energy, or the wrong kind. A wise person can act consistently despite these varying conditions.

We consider how to recognise differing energies, how to gain and conserve them and how to use them wisely.

What is reason? How can it enrich our lives? We look at guidelines for Socratic dialogue and how to use them. Developing reason in decision-making and action are also discussed, with practical applications. Obstacles to reason are considered. Everyone has the faculty of reason and we can all use it and develop it. 

What is beauty?

Is there such a thing as absolute beauty?

Beauty has the capacity to open the heart and bring delight. In this session we discuss our direct experience of beauty in its different form: of the sensory world, of thought, of feelings, of the inner nature, and of conduct.

We consider Plato’s idea of there being ultimately one beauty – beauty absolute – ‘not knowing birth or death, growth or decay’.

 

 

Looking for the common thread in life. What is the effect of finding unity? When we look around, we see enormous diversity in nature. The wise person looks for the unifying factor: that which allows all this apparent diversity to be seen as part of a single whole. Seen in this way, life then has the best chance of being led freshly and openly.    
What is truth? How does the desire for truth show itself? Practical philosophy is about discovering the truth of things – not theoretically, but in our own experience. In this final session we look back and ask ourselves how our search for truth has fared as the term has progressed. We discuss what has been discovered and how, in our own way, we may continue to develop it in our daily lives.  

How it works

A tutor presents philosophical ideas, and leads a discussion based on what arises in the group. Being practical rather than academic, the emphasis is on personal knowledge and experience. Students are encouraged neither to accept nor reject the ideas put forward, but to test them in practice for themselves, in the light of their own experience.

Next Kent Introductory Courses

Start Dates & Times

Location

How to Enrol

Invicta Grammar School, Huntsman Lane, Maidstone ME14 5DS

Humanities Building, Weald of Kent Grammar School, Tudeley Lane TN9 2JP

Find Us on the Map

Maidstone Location

Invicta Grammar School, Huntsman Lane,
Maidstone ME14 5DS

Tonbridge Location

Humanities Building, Weald of Kent Grammar School,
Tudeley Lane TN9 2JP

Frequently asked questions

The course is practical in the sense that it takes philosophical ideas and shows how they can be of direct use in our everyday lives. The intention is to stimulate enquiry and through this expand the way we look at the world and ourselves.

Online by clicking ‘Enrol Today’ or email PracticalPhilosophyKent@gmail.com

If you register online, you will receive a confirmation email with your day of attendance. If you register by any means other than online, you will receive a receipt confirming your registration.

Yes, we have a local venue at Maidstone & Tonbridge Kent. There are also many other local venues in other parts of the UK where you can attend the course face-to-face.

No, all you need is an open and enquiring mind. The course is intended for everyone, regardless of education, occupation, race, political or religious belief.

Face-to-face meetings will be held safely following all COVID-19 guidelines for your complete peace of mind.

First you need to enrol on a course. The in-person courses are available in Maidstone & Tonbridge Kent and at many other local venues up and down the UK. Local Maidstone & Tonbridge maps can be found on this page.

A tutor presents a topic, perhaps some material and leads a discussion based on what arises. Being practical rather than academic, the emphasis is on personal knowledge. Students are encouraged neither to accept nor reject the ideas put forward, but to test them in practice for themselves, in the light of their own experience.

In this way, for those who wish, the whole week between classes can become a learning opportunity.

As the course continues, the most vivid and valuable part of the evening meetings is often sharing what has been seen in daily life between individual sessions.

be found on this page.

Just an open and enquiring mind, and an interest in the subject matter. At the end of each evening or via a later email a handout with key points and any quotations used is provided.

Mindfulness is knowledge and love working together. One is mindful  when an action is heartfelt and you know what you’re doing. Philosophy makes mindfulness practical. Throughout the course, great emphasis is placed on the importance of being in the present moment. Exercises and practices are provided to encourage this connection. These increase the value of each weekly session. More generally, they deepen and enrich awareness of the vibrancy of the world around us in our daily lives.

There is much focus on the direct experience of stillness as the underlying basis for clear observation and connection with oneself. However, the practice of mantra meditation as such does not form part of the course. Meditation is introduced a few terms later for those who wish it. Over time it becomes an increasingly central practice. 

Our philosophy tutors have all been studying in the School for some time.  All have considerable experience of applying the lessons of philosophy to their everyday lives. They come from all walks of life and many different professions, but all share the same love of passing on knowledge in order that people can get the most out of their lives.  None are paid for being a tutor.

This is not an academic course. There are no exams.

The course is not religious, but it does address the spirit in Mankind. It is designed to be suitable for people of all faiths – and those who follow no particular faith.

Yes, for those who wish. Some people find that the introductory practical philosophy course, which is intended to be of real value in its own right, satisfies their interest. Others want to continue their studies. The School caters for this, offering additional courses and the chance to penetrate further the great questions of life. This can last for another term, another year, or longer. However long or short a time people may wish to study in the School, the hope is that everyone will find something of true and lasting value.

The basic format of a group discussion remains unchanged.

In terms of content, the next few terms examine the subjects broadly covered in the introductory course in more detail, exploring further ways to make the study practical.

After that, the study increasingly turns to deeper understanding of the philosophy of Advaita. This can go on for as long as the individual wishes. Each term has the capacity to add something of real value to those whose interest persists.

Advaita is the clearest and most systematic expression we have found of the common philosophy that lies at the heart of many of the world’s great religions and philosophies. Literally meaning ‘one without a second’, it is a universal philosophy of great breadth. Its most central tenet is everyone and everything are in essence the expression of one consciousness.

A true appreciation of Advaita allows life to be led more fully and richly, conferring greater freedom on the individual and those around him or her. It is designed to bring out the best in everyone, whatever the part they are playing.

If you have any questions simply email us PracticalPhilosophyKent@gmail.com

What some of our students say...

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“Absolutely loving the course!!"

“Absolutely loving the course!! …Really changing how I think about things and life in general.”

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“...I am benefiting greatly ..."

“...I am benefiting greatly from the content and the practical nature of it. Thank you, it is enriching my life.”

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“I feel more relaxed...”

“The daily awareness exercises … have changed my thinking and I feel more relaxed about situations in the media and other aspects of my daily life.”

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"...helped me..."

"The knowledge and experience that I have gained from the philosophy classes has helped me to discover more about myself and better prepare for dealing with life's daily surprises and challenges."