Coming Attractions

Previous events


Sacred Service Through Hindu and Christian Lenses

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St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, 2728 6th Avenue, San Diego, CA

Join us in the Guild Room at St. Paul's as Swami Harinamananda of the San Diego Vedanta Monastery and Professor Peter Bolland of Southwestern College conduct an engaging dialogue about the many ways Hindu and Christian concepts of sacred service overlap. Why and how does our religious experience call us to serve others? What are the many dimensions and avenues of serving? How does service become a spiritual practice? What is the best way to strike a balance between the stillness of our spiritual inner life, and the assertive engagement of activism? Free and no need to register in advance. Just show up!


The Great Philosophers: Nietzsche

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San Diego Oasis at Rancho Bernardo, 17170 Bernardo Center Dr., Rancho Bernardo, CA 92128

One of the most compelling figures in all of philosophy, Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) ushers in the modern world by shattering the paradigms of the old. A brilliant scholar and misanthropic outsider, Nietzsche left behind a sprawling, literate body of work that ignited and set aflame the twentieth century. In his merciless critiques of both traditional philosophy and contemporary morality Nietzsche’s infamous utterance “God is dead” and his notoriously misused notion of the Ubermensch (superior human) changed philosophy forever.


Peter Bolland: The Seven Stone Path Book Signing Event

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Westmont Town Court, 500 E. Valley Parkway, Escondido, CA 92025

Join me in Escondido for this free talk and book signing event at Westmont Town Court, 500 E Valley Parkway, Escondido, CA 92025. I'll talk about the book, share a little about the writing process, and offer my book, The Seven Stone Path: An Everyday Journey to Wisdom at a special event discount price. And I'll sign them too if you like! See you there!


The Spirit of Nature

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San Diego Oasis, 5500 Grossmont Center Drive Suite 269 , La Mesa, CA 91942

Ever since the dawn of time humanity has had a deeply spiritual relationship with the natural world. Our interrelationships with the land, the water, the plants, and animals has informed our arts, inspired our religions, and given us literally everything we have and everything we are. And in the American experience this deep inter-being has given birth to wave after wave of expression in philosophy, poetry, painting, photography, and even legislation – the creation of the National Park System. Join us we explore the voices and visions of the spirit of nature.


The Great Philosophers: Karl Marx

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San Diego Oasis at Rancho Bernardo, 17170 Bernardo Center Dr., Rancho Bernardo, CA 92128

While for some “Marxist” is a dirty word, we would be hard-pressed to find a more impactful philosopher than Karl Marx (1818-1883). Who was Marx? What was happening around him? What did he really think of capitalism? What was his analysis of history? As a Jewish atheist, was what his concept of ultimate reality? And most importantly, what was his vision for the future? His passionate advocacy for economic justice and worker’s rights got him driven out of Germany, then France; so he lived out his life in poverty in London. To this day, Marxist reforms of capitalism (the 8-hour day, trade unions, profit sharing) and a Marxist critique of art, culture, philosophy, sociology, and a host of other concerns keeps his work in the mainstream.


The Great Philosophers: Socrates

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San Diego Oasis, 5500 Grossmont Center Drive Suite 269 , La Mesa, CA 91942

Here is where "The Great Philosophers" series begins. In “The Great Philosophers” series we explore the most influential luminaries in the history of Western philosophy, from Socrates to Sartre. And it all began with Socrates (470-399 BCE), the “gad fly” of Athens, teacher to so many, including the young Plato who would go on to devote his career to writing the most important philosophical dialogues in the Western canon, nearly all featuring his long-dead teacher Socrates. Against a backdrop of moral relativism, destructive self-interest, and political chaos (sound familiar?) we find Socrates cajoling his fellow Athenians, and us, to devote our energies instead to the care of our soul.


The Great Philosophers: Kierkegaard

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San Diego Oasis at Rancho Bernardo, 17170 Bernardo Center Dr., Rancho Bernardo, CA 92128

Any discussion of Existentialism begins with Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855). Weary to his bones of the pointless and ineffectual ramblings of Western philosophy, Kierkegaard turns his incisive gaze on the subjective, personal realm. The meaning of life cannot be explained by grand and allegedly objective metaphysical systems—it is only to be found in the subjective details of our own personal choices and actions. Watch how Kierkegaard explodes the malaise and superficiality of 19th century European culture and sets into motion the intellectual revolution of Nietzsche, Sartre, Camus, and all who follow him.


The Wisdom of Empathy

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San Diego Oasis, 5500 Grossmont Center Drive Suite 269 , La Mesa, CA 91942

If empathy is the ability to understand and feel the feelings of another, how is it different from sympathy? Is empathy innate or is it learned? Was our capacity for empathy selected by Darwinian evolution as a desirable trait that enhances our survival? Or was empathy built into human nature by a benevolent Creator? Why do some people seem to have so little of it, while others effuse empathy through their every pore? What role does the consciousness of empathy play in the establishment of moral norms, and even our political stances? And what’s up with Narcissists and psychopaths? Join us for this fascinating and timely investigation into the nature of empathy.


Free Screening of "God and Country"

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Coronado Performing Arts Center (Coronado High School), 650 D Avenue, Coronado, California

Join us for this free screening of the new documentary "God and Country" about the rise of Christian Nationalism in America. After the 90 minute film I will moderating and panel discussion with with two local Christian leaders: Steve Mather and J.T. Greenleaf. At the core of our inquiry is this question: Is Christian Nationalism Christian? If not, what is it, and why do we need to think about it? Don't miss this important opportunity to raise awareness around this essential issue facing America and the world.


The Great Philosophers: Albert Camus

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San Diego Oasis, 5500 Grossmont Center Drive Suite 269 , La Mesa, CA 91942

Algerian-born philosopher Albert Camus (1913-1960) firmly rejected the label “existentialist” his whole life. Nevertheless, his work stands as its most heartfelt expression. Through the rubble of the Russian revolution, WWII, the Holocaust, and the nuclear bomb, Camus helps us chart a course toward a life of meaning and value. Life, Camus argues, is fundamentally absurd, and we will not find any meaning or purpose in it, other than that which we impose upon it ourselves. Join us for a study of Camus’s bracing but ultimately inspiring work.


The Great Philosophers: Bentham and Mill

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San Diego Oasis at Rancho Bernardo, 17170 Bernardo Center Dr., Rancho Bernardo, CA 92128

No two names are more associated with the influential ethical theory of Utilitarianism that Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) and his protégé John Stuart Mill (1806-1873). Attempting to bring scientific rigor to the messy business of morality, Bentham and Mill left a lasting legacy in the way we govern and legislate our collective decisions, and navigate our personal moral calculations. Learn how Utilitarianism made modern rights movements possible, including women’s rights, animal rights, and the rights of LGBTQ+ people. Whether you know it or now, you may already be a utilitarian.


The Wisdom of Resilience

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San Diego Oasis, In Person Only, 5500 Grossmont Center Drive Suite 269 , La Mesa, CA 91942

Growing older means letting go, but it also means saying hello to a whole host of new experiences, perceptions, opportunities, and insights. In more ways than one, our sunset years are a second childhood – an opportunity to view the world anew, with new eyes, and to slip deeper into a sense of wonder and appreciation. But it takes resilience to stay joyful in the face of the facts – our waning abilities, the loss of loved ones, and the dawning awareness that we can’t wait until later to be happy – we have to choose it now. Join us as we comb through the world’s wisdom traditions for tools we can use to cultivate the resilience needed to remain conscious of the beauty and wonder of being alive.


The Great Philosophers: Kant

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San Diego Oasis at Rancho Bernardo, 17170 Bernardo Center Dr., Rancho Bernardo, CA 92128

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) took it upon himself to repair the rift between rationalism and empiricism in startling ways, and ever since Kant, we’ve been arguing about whether or not he pulled it off. But one thing’s for sure, Kant left behind a towering body of work upon which all modern philosophy is built. Particularly impactful is the way he grounded moral philosophy in metaphysics. Ethical determinations, Kant argued, are best anchored to logical calculations instead of being left to the vagaries of the heart. Morality, he claimed, was our birthright and our moral obligation. Join us in this inquiry to learn just how much of our modern worldview is rooted in the philosophy of Kant.


The Great Philosophers: Jean-Paul Sartre

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San Diego Oasis, In Person Only, 5500 Grossmont Center Drive Suite 269 , La Mesa, CA 91942

At the center of the philosophy of existentialism is the work of Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) and his lifelong companion Simone de Beauvoir. Under the shadow of the Nazi occupation of Paris, Sartre and de Beauvoir carved a boldly humanistic path out of the meaningless and suffering all around them. Unmoored from systems and excuses, Sartre put human choice at the center of his work, writing that we are “condemned to be free.” We cannot escape from our freedom and it terrifies us. Join us for this study of Sartre and de Beauvoir, existentialism’s most prominent and provocative voices.


The Philosophy of Abortion

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San Diego Oasis, In Person Only, 5500 Grossmont Center Drive Suite 269 , La Mesa, CA 91942

By now we’re all familiar with the pro and con arguments surrounding America’s most contentious political debate—abortion. But how aware are we of the often-unstated philosophical positions underpinning those familiar arguments? Join us for this philosophical inquiry into the big questions the abortion debate draws to the surface: When does life begin? What do different religions and wisdom traditions say about that? What does liberty or freedom really mean? Do we own our own bodies? How does the 14th amendment (granting a “right to life”) intersect with the 1st amendment (prohibiting the establishment of a state religion)? No matter your current views, join us for this important work.


Walking the Seven Stone Path-Five Day Workshop

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St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, 2728 6th Avenue, San Diego, CA

Join author Peter Bolland as he leads the fifth and final session of his five-part workshop built around his new book "The Seven Stone Path: An Everyday Journey to Wisdom." No need to register, and absolutely free, we will simply meet in The Guild Room at St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral five Sundays in a row, 9:00-10:00 A.M., February 18, February 25, March 3, March 10, and March 17. These workshops are designed for folks who've read the book, AND for those who haven't. Bring your copy, or buy a copy at the event. See you there! Each session will also be live-streamed on the Cathedral's YouTube channel, and available for viewing on demand thereafter:

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Author of The Seven Stone Path-An Everyday Journey to Wisdom


"When life does not find a singer to sing her heart she produces a philosopher to speak her mind." ~ Kahlil Gibran

My book The Seven Stone Path-An Everyday Journey to Wisdom is out now and available everywhere. 


And be sure to get the free Workbook HERE!

I am the Philosophy and Humanities Department Chair and a professor of philosophy and humanities at Southwestern College in Chula Vista, California where I have taught world religions, Asian philosophy, world mythology, and ethics for 32 years.

Off campus I speak, write, teach, and sing about a wide range of spiritual and philosophical things.

I write a column for Unity Magazine. I publish a blog called Thinking Through where all my published writing is gathered. I lead guided meditations online on the Insight Timer Meditation app. I have a YouTube channel called Peter Bolland TV where I post videos of some of my talks and songs and more. And I lecture all over town in a wide variety of venues. All of my work is about one thing: shaping the insights of the world's wisdom traditions into tools we can use to enrich our lives. And all that happens when I'm not at Southwestern College in Chula Vista being a philosophy and humanities professor and department chair. 

I also sing, play guitar, write songs, make albums, and perform regularly throughout the San Diego area.

I've been playing music and writing songs my whole life. My first solo album was called Frame, released in 2002. It earned a Best Americana Album nomination at the San Diego Music Awards. Then I had a band called The Coyote Problem from 2002-2010. We won the Best Americana Album prize for both of our albums, Wire in 2005 and California in 2007 at the San Diego Music Awards. Quit while you're ahead, right? I fired myself from my own band so I could focus on all of my other projects, including my solo work. The result? My album Two Pines, available now.Two Pines Album Cover

I am also a session musician playing a wide variety of instruments on other people's albums, things like acoustic and electric guitar, lap steel guitar, Dobro, mandolin, banjo, and harmonica.

But these daydobros I spend most of my off-campus time speaking and leading workshops at a wide variety of venues, (The Chopra Center, The San Diego Vedanta Monastery, San Diego Oasis, The Osher Life Long Learning Institute, Vision: A Center for Spiritual Living, St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego, First United Methodist Church, and many more) about all of the things I've learned through the years about the world's wisdom traditions. If you'd like to come experience one of my many multimedia lecture presentations or long-form classes about the life-changing transformational wisdom of world mythology, comparative religion, and practical philosophy, visit the Calendar page for a complete schedule of upcoming events.

     The Bolland Eightfold Path

1. Buy my book on Amazon and write a review.

2.  Join the Mailing List.

3. Check the Calendar page for coming attractions.

4. Listen and shop on the Music page.

5. Meditate with me right now for free on the Insight Timer Meditation app.

6. Follow the link to my Blog "Thinking Through."

7. Click the YouTube icon and subscribe to Peter Bolland TV.

8. And come back anytime you like. We'll be here.