We need a 'Stoic Yoga' for the Intellect
Yoga, Lived Practice, Ethics, Discipline of Action

By Henry van Wagenberg

Stoic med 02

IMAGE CREDIT: Alessio Bona 2015

We need to create a drop-dead simple, 3-step 30 minute weekly community Stoic philosophy practice pattern. What yoga is to the modern body this practice would be to the modern intellect and ‘psyche’, to use the Greek word.

The pattern might go something like this. First, a short reading from an ethical text - a text relating to questions of how we live. Then a short speech relating the text to the daily life of a community. Then an equivalent to Christian Church’s ‘peace be with you’ where you briefly meet everyone sitting around you. Optional: music at end.

This is what people lack and vaguely ache for in their lives today - a regular pattern structure of questioning and reflecting on their lived behaviour from an ethical lense - note not a ‘shaming lense.’ This is the hole left in Western souls since the death of religion. Yoga tries and fails to fill it, and you can see the demand for this ethical practice echoed and shadowed in the demand for yoga. But yoga doesn’t fill it because yoga’s philosophy is ultimately vague and a sham, and the practice is actually weirdly lonely: You often don’t talk or engage with the strangers around you during a yoga session. Each person mostly does the exercise on his/her own in silence.

We need to create a ‘yoga’ for the psyche and intellect. A ‘yoga’ for reflecting on ethical practice in daily living.  

And for it to be a ‘hit’ with people it needs to be simple. Like yoga:hinduism::our new ethical practice:stoic philosophy. i.e., 30 minutes and simple :: difficult lifetime of study.

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