A Cure for the Soul: Early Buddhism and the Philosophy of Epicurus

Non-residential weekend course with Stephen Batchelor and John Peacock

2-3 November 2019, St Luke’s Community Centre, London EC1V 8AJ

For both Gotama and ancient Greek Epicurus, philosophy was not an academic discipline but a therapy for curing the sickness of the soul.

Born in Greece sixty years after the Buddha died, Epicurus developed a practical philosophy that was founded on an atomic theory of reality, aimed at optimizing human happiness, and which considered friendship the most important virtue.

During this course we will examine surviving fragments of Epicurus’ own writings as well as passages from the poem On the Nature of Things by his Roman follower Lucretius.

We’ll explore the many striking parallels between Epicureanism and Early Buddhism, and also look at where the traditions appear to diverge.

Time will include meditation sessions, discussions and talks.


STEPHEN BATCHELOR is a Buddhist teacher and writer known for his secular or agnostic approach to the Dharma. Formerly a Buddhist monk in the Tibetan and Zen traditions, he is the translator and author of several books including Buddhism Without Beliefs, Living with the Devil and Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist. His most recent book, After Buddhism, was published by Yale University Press in 2015. He lives in southwest France with his wife Martine.

John PeacockJOHN PEACOCK is both an academic and a Buddhist practitioner of nearly forty years. Trained initially in the Tibetan Gelugpa tradition in India, he subsequently spent time in Sri Lanka studying Theravada. He lectured in Buddhist Studies at the University of Bristol, is Associate Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre and teaches on the Master of Studies programme in MBCT (Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy) at Oxford University. John has been teaching meditation for more than twenty five years and is a Gaia House guiding teacher.

Event Details

  • Non-residential course
  • All teachings are offered on a dana basis
  • Suitable for those new to Dharma teachings
  • Overnight accommodation is not included. Should you need to stay overnight please contact the Bodhi College Coordinator for details of nearby hotels
  • A vegetarian lunch and daytime tea and coffee are included
  • Full payment required on booking (Deposits cannot be taken for retreats under 5 days in length)
  • A limited number of Bursary places are available for this course.
  • Please read the Booking Conditions before booking
  • A Cure for the Soul
    November 2, 2019 - November 3, 2019
    10:00 am - 4:00 pm
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Venue Phone: 020 7549 8181

Venue Website:

90 Central Street, London, EC1V 8AJ, United Kingdom


St Luke’s is a  modern Community Centre which offers a range of flexible events spaces, perfect for our weekend courses. St Luke’s takes pride in keeping its Centre well-decorated and clean. It is located just off Old Street, EC1, close to the City of London and three tube stations – Old Street, Barbican and Angel.





Our course will be held in the Garden Room

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