Your favourite Stoic Exercises 3) Mindfulness of the Ruling Faculty (prosoche)

One of the most aspects of Stoic week were the Stoic exercises. Many of these were adapted from Epictetus’s Enchiridion  by Donald Robertson, whose has a new book on Stoicism out next year.

So which Stoic exercises proved most useful and most popular. The votes are now in, and over the next few days we will reveal the answers.

Deemed third most useful was Mindfulness of the Ruling Faculty (Prosoche) which averaged  a 4.1 star rating (out of five)

This is the description from the Stoic Booklet

 Mindfulness of the Ruling Faculty (prosoche). Identify with your essential
nature as a rational being, and learn to prize wisdom and the other virtues as the chief
good in life. Continually bring your attention back to your character, actions, and
judgements, in the here and now, during any given situation. When dealing with
externals, be like a passenger who has temporarily gone ashore on a boat trip, keep
one eye on the boat at all times (on yourself, your character) and be prepared at any
moment to have to return onboard at the call of the captain, i.e., to abandon
externals and give your whole attention again to yourself, your own attitudes and
actions (Enchiridion, 7). As if you were walking barefoot and cautious not to tread on
something sharp, be mindful continually of your leading faculty (your intellect and
volition) and guard against it being harmed (corrupted) by your own foolish actions
(Enchiridion, 38). All of your attention should focus on the care of your mind
(Enchiridion, 41). In response to every situation in life, ask yourself what faculty or
virtue nature has given you to best deal with it, e.g., courage, restraint, etc., and
continually seek opportunities to exercise these virtues (Enchiridion, 10).

Why not try to exercise prosoche today?



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