Introductory course in Colchester

Practical Philosophy and Happiness

Courses in practical wisdom for everyday living.

A Sat Nav for Life

Discover philosophy as a way of life

Life can be seen as a journey. When we are feeling strong and clear-minded it is an adventure. The inner journey of understanding and feeling gives direction to the outer journey and makes it magnificent

Practical Philosophy and mindfulness helps us to find our direction in life.

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

theres no time like the present
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Local Course

Local face-to-face evening courses available in Colchester.

Peace of Mind

Established since 1937. Delivering courses for over 80 years.

Practical Wisdom

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

Course only £60

Introductory 10 week course only £60. Limited spaces. 

Explore Life To The Full… through 10 weekly sessions

The Colchester 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.

The 10 weekly sessions explore central human questions through discussion, practical observation, conversation and reflection in good company.

Introductory Offer

Practical Philosophy Course for Life
£ 60
  • 10 weekly sessions
  • Starts: Tue 1st October 2024
  • Time: 7:30pm - 9:30pm
  • Refreshment break
  • Limited places

The Journey

Themes included in the course:

The Wisdom Within
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
Know thyself
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.
Being awake
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.
The present moment
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.
Living justly
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 Threefold Energy
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.
The light of reason
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.
The power of beauty

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’.

Unity in diversity
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.
The desire for truth
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.
Philosophy and Happiness Course

Holidays come and go. Clothes wear out. Bank accounts go up and down. Through all this,
the desire for happiness is a compass point.

The desire for happiness is hard-wired into human nature because happiness is part of our nature. But something’s blocking the flow. The Happiness course opens the gate and sets you on your way and focuses on meeting the perennial need for everyone to find the well-spring of happiness through all of life’s changing circumstances.

This course will calibrate your compass, provide a map and refresh your navigation skills.

Happiness and Service

Happiness and service. Is happiness natural?

Is happiness natural? Happiness and law

What is true happiness? Is this natural to a man or woman? How may it be experienced fully and how is it lost? Is it permanent or transient?

Happiness and utilitarianism

Happiness and law; Happiness and utilitarianism;

Happiness and pleasure, Epicurus, Aristippus, Plato

Happiness and pleasure, Epicurus, Aristippus, Plato

The Platonic goods which lead to happiness

The Platonic goods which lead to happiness

Lao Tzu, finding inner equilibrium

Lao Tzu, finding inner equilibrium

An introduction to Marsilio Ficino

An introduction to Marsilio Ficino

Happiness: contentment, Patanjali

Happiness: contentment, Patanjali

Finding happiness in work

Finding happiness in work

Happiness and Wisdom

Happiness and Wisdom


How to Enrol

How the Introductory Course 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 Introductory course in Colchester

Practical Philosophy Course Enrolment



Find Us on the Map

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.

Click ‘Enrol Today’ on this page or emailing [email protected]

Once enrolled you will receive a confirmation email with your day of attendance and receive a receipt confirming your registration.

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.

Yes, we also offer the course as an online course via Zoom, ask for details.

First you need to enrol on a course. The in-person courses are available in Colchester and at many other local venues up and down the country. A local map can be found on this page.

If you have any questions simply email us at [email protected]

FAQs Practical Philosophy Courses

What some of our students say...

“Absolutely loving the course!!"

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

“...I am benefiting greatly ..."

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

“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.”

"...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."