"This conference paper (Singapore 2013) ventures a preliminary comparison between Stoicism and Buddhism, based on recent work on the former tradition situating it as a lived philosophy. Part I proposes that there are remarkable parallels between the Stoics’ descriptions of the causes of unhappiness with the Buddhist enumeration of the three kleśas of attachment, aversion, and ignorance. Part II examines the parallels between the Buddhist conception of the 'ethical substance' we are working on when we undertake meditative practice and the Stoic accounts of the pathē. Part III examines the way that, in Buddhist and in Roman Stoic texts, existential practices are clearly recommended (often in the imperative) as means to cultivate what the Buddhist tradition calls 'mindful attention' to the present moment, the transience of particular things, and non-attachment or “reservation” (hypexairēsis) concerning such 'externals' or ‘indifferents’. Our concluding remarks reflect on the work done, its limits, and prospects for further comparative work on the two traditions in this vein."
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