I keep a personal collection of favorite quotes from the ancient Stoics, to reflect on during the morning meditation, or at any time I need to reach for the wisdom and insights of the Greco-Romans. Here are the pdf versions of the entries so far:
- Seneca’s Letters of Consolation
- Seneca’s Letters to Lucilius
- Musonius Rufus & Hierocles
- Marcus Aurelius
I don’t know about you, but I find it difficult to coherently and sustainably visualize things in my mind’s eye. Which makes it difficult to do some of the visualization exercises recommended by Stoics. So here is a slide show (8′ 25″) that helps me do the “view from above” (see Robertson’s Stoicism and the Art of Happiness, chapter 10). The background music is Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A, K 622, Adagio.
I have also built a similar slide show to aid me in the “expanding circle of concern” visualization (“Hierocles’ circle, see chapter 5 in Robertson). There isn’t much point in sharing it, because it is customized to my personal needs, but you can build your own by following something like this template:
<slide 1> “Oikeiôsis, the perception of something as one’s own, as belonging to oneself / When that something is humanity itself, oikeiôsis is the beginning of justice”
<slide 2> a picture of Hierocles’ circle (you can find one here)
<slide 3> one or more pictures of people from distant parts of the world (“mankind as a whole”).
<slide 4> a picture of a crowd in a place in your country that is not your city (“fellow countrymen”)
<slide 5> a picture of a crowd in your city (“fellow citizens”)
<slide 6> not close friends and/or acquaintances
<slide 7> close friends
<slide 8> not close members of your family
<slide 9> close members of your family
<slide 10> a picture of your partner, if you have one
<slide 11> a picture of yourself
It’s easy to come up with one’s own variations, or add more slides to each subset (e.g., 2-3 slides of close friends, rather than one). Add some suitable background music, save, and occasionally watch the resulting video (I recommend a total length between 5 and 10 minutes).
For similar, and additional, guided meditation exercises, check out Don Robertson’s SoundCloud and download the audio files and scripts provided there.