10 week courses in Hove, Sussex

Practical Philosophy

Mindfulness, Stillness & Meditation

Courses in practical Wisdom, Happiness and Love for everyday living.

Practical life skills with enough toughness to last a lifetime.

Next course - Philosophy and Happiness
Starts 7 May 2024
Free Introductory Evening 30 April 2024

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.

A Sat Nav for Life: Practical Philosophy & Mindful Living helps you to find direction in life.

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Local Course

Face-to-face course available in Hove, Sussex 

Peace of Mind

A safe space with a group of people supported by  experienced tutors who are also journeying in Philosophy.

Practical Wisdom

Courses in practical wisdom for everyday living in the company of like minded people.

Offer only £70

10 week course only £70. Full-time students £30. Limited spaces. 

“Absolutely loving the course!!"

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

These popular courses are practical rather than academic and draw on sources of wisdom from East and West, past and present.

Explore Life To The Full…

The aim of this online course is to offer 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.

“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.”

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 explored in this 10 session ‘Practical Philosophy & Happiness’ course…

1. The True Nature of Happiness

How do we seek happiness?  True happiness and unity: ‘May all be happy’ as an intent.  Tolstoy: happiness through serving one’s neighbour.  Observation, the conscious perceiver and the present moment.

2. Happiness and Society

Is happiness natural?  Analogy of light bulbs.  Relationship between happiness and law.

3. Happiness and Utilitarianism

Bentham, Mill. Gandhi’s criticism and an alternative view to utilitarianism.  The art of listening: practical exercise

4. Happiness and Pleasure

Hedonism, Epicurus and Plato. Plato suggests two categories, necessary and unnecessary pleasures. Introduction to the Upanishads: finding satisfaction in oneself.

5. Happiness and the Platonic Goods

Divine goods: wisdom, self-control, justice and courage. Human goods: health, beauty, strength and wealth. Are these the way to happiness?

6. Rejoice in the Present

Introduction to Marsilio Ficino, renaissance philosopher.  Key phrases inscribed on academy walls. Rejoice in the present. Richard Jefferies

7. Lao Tzu

Introduction to Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching. Tea ceremony.  Exploring effortless action. 

8. Happiness and Contentment

Introduction to Patanjali and the 8-fold system of yoga, meditation, contentment.  What about ambition? Finding happiness in work: 2 principles for finding happiness in work.

9. Happiness and Work

Two more principles for finding happiness in work. Practical exercise to discover more about the principles of work in action.

10: Happiness and Wisdom

The connection between wisdom and happiness. Marcus Aurelius; you don’t need much to live happily. Review of the term.

1. The nature of love..

Three forms of love: Eros, Philia, Agape. Pure love. 

2. The Expression of Love.

Love of life is fundamental to wellbeing but what does it mean?

3. Constancy of love.

Shakespeare, love is an ever-fixed mark. Love is the natural in-between. 

4. The Beloved.- our object of love.

Great debates in the forest on loving the essence. Experience of Viktor Frankl.

5. Causes of conflict.

Circles of love, ideas of other, desire to control. Meeting all as if for the first time.

6. Love and gratitude.

The meditations of Marcus Aurelius. Inner organ of mind.

7. The mystical aspect of love.

Expressions of love from Sufi philosophers.

8. The Stoics of Greece.

Choosing the emotional ground. Words of Epictetus and Phillis Wheatley.

9. Love and work.

Work for the sake of love, duty and reward. 

10. Giving love.

If you want to be loved, then love. Love and wise law.

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.

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 Foundation Level Course - Philosophy and Love

Free Introductory Evening

Register to find out more about the School, the course and meet the tutors.

How to Register for Free Introductory Evening


All Practical Philosophy courses are presented within a group discussion format led by experienced tutors over 10 weeks. 

Course start date & time

How to Enrol on the 10 week course

Find Us on the Map

Hove & Brighton

The English Language Centre, Salisbury Road, Hove BN3 2GB

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 the Enrol Today button on this page. You can also email us at:

[email protected]

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.

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.

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

If you have any questions simply email us at

[email protected]

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."

School of Philosophy Sussex

Introductory Practical Philosophy Course. Enrol below…

Hove Phil Enrol (#9)
School of Philosophy Sussex

Free Introductory Evening. Register below…

Register Philosophy Intro Evening 9 Jan. 2024 7.30-8.45 (#10)