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August 2017 Stoic Philosophy discussion group with Humanist Association of Greater Philadelphia

I create Stoic Philosophy content to inform and empower. Please support me through Patreon or Paypal. Here’s my monthly pitch and what I’ve been up to.

Last month, I launched a Patreon.com page offering rewards to supporters of my work who would like to donate to help me produce content. I’ve been active since July and have many plans for the future.

I’ve continued to produce episodes of my Stoic Philosophy Podcast including discussion of complaining; finding meaning in work; moderation and self-control; humility (with special guest Dr. Regan Lance Reitsma; and death with dignity. I’ve also added my podcast to iTunes; published an piece on stoicism and suicide; recorded a discussion with American Muslim Tim Maloney about Islam and community activism which should be released next week; hosted a Stoic Philosophy discussion group on the topic of death with dignity with the Humanist Association of Greater Philadelphia; and recorded discussion about Stoicism with the Apostasy Now podcast.

I have a list of guests for upcoming podcast episodes; multiple new topics to discuss; and recorded footage I can upload. I’m also open to suggestions from supporters of my work – especially those who donate at the $10/month level or greater per month. For supporters who contribute $20 or more a month, I’ll host a monthly Google Hangout. Supporters at the $50 level will gain access to a monthly private call to discuss whatever they’d like. All support is welcome and can make a difference.

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An article published in the Northeastern Pennsylvania newspaper The Citizen’s VoiceAtheist suit against Lackawanna transit system set for trial — became national news following its distribution through the Associated Press wire. Those who have followed my work on church/state separation issues and atheist activism may recall that in 2012 I — serving as the spokesperson of the NEPA Freethought Society — submitted an advertisement with the word ‘atheists’ which was rejected by the County of Lackawanna Transit System (COLTS). In 2015, the ACLU filed a free speech lawsuit against COLTS and now, as mentioned in the AP story, the courtroom trial will take place on November 13, 2017.

The NEPA (Northeastern Pennsylvania) Freethought Society is a social, educational, activist, and philosophical coalition of atheists, agnostics, humanists, secularists, and skeptics predicated on support and community which upholds the separation of church and state and promotes critical thinking. I organize, host, and plan for meetings; promote the group; and manage the group’s meetup.com page.

I’m returning to Marywood University next week to continue my Master’s-level studies in Mental Health Counseling. I’ve been preparing to move from the Philadelphia area to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area in order to be closer to campus and locations where I will be completing fieldwork for practicum hours required for my counseling degree. Returning to school and moving will come with drastic changes to everyday living and will negatively impact my monthly earning potential in the short-run, but the transition should be an overall positive move with sacrifice and change in the present for an overall positive future benefit.

I’ll be enrolled in one traditional counseling elective course; individual supervision for my practicum; group supervision for my practicum; and will be in the field working with clients and a local agency providing counseling services. I also plan to continue my involvement with the NEPA Freethought Society and become more active with community engagement by participating in local events and speaking for local groups.

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The Stoic Philosophy Podcast explores the tradition of Stoicism with goals to inform, empower, and help others benefit from practical wisdom of Ancient Greek, Roman, and modern thinkers including Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and Seneca.

For the Stoics, a main focus is pursuing virtue to attain a well-examined life through practical applications of Philosophy – acting with good character, using reason to form accurate careful judgments about the world, and achieving contentment. Stoic writers focus on many perennial human concerns and urge people to take action applying what they learn to everyday life. Self-improvement is central to Stoic thought – strengthening and improving one’s mindset.

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Justin Vacula

Justin Vacula hosts the Stoic Philosophy Podcast; serves as co-organizer and spokesperson for the Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) Freethought Society; and has hosted monthly Stoic Philosophy discussion groups for the Humanist Association of Greater Philadelphia.

He has appeared on and hosted various radio shows and podcasts; participated in formal debates and discussions; was a guest speaker for college-level courses; was featured in local, national, and international news; and has been invited to speak at various national, local, and statewide events.

Vacula received bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology, a minor in Professional Writing, and the distinguished W.A. Kilburn Memorial Award for Philosophy from King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He is currently living in the Scranton, PA area attending Marywood University’s graduate-level Mental Health Counseling program and has worked with the Arc of Luzerne County’s Transition to Community Employment program as a teacher’s assistant and job coach alongside adult learners with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

He also plays poker; volunteers as a member of the website and media team for the Greyhawk Reborn Dungeons & Dragons campaign while playing at events in the Eastern United States; and enjoys metal music.