As to what spurred my interest in Epicurus: that question is adding some clarity to my thinking.
Background: for several years I sat with a neighborhood Zen group. Although I enjoyed it, I didn't see myself as a Buddhist and eventually began looking for a suitable western practice. Stoicism came to my attention and I studied that for awhile, but I couldn't agree with the contemporary focus on ethics at the expense of physics and logic. I discovered Epicurus while reading Cicero's On The Nature Of The Gods: Epicurus' ideas struck a chord, particularly his physics. The fact that it is a unified philosophy which is still pertinent in the 21st century is very appealing.
I realize now that what I've been trying to do with a "practice" category is a series of brief action statements. For instance, in retrospect I could reduce my personal Zen practice to "daily meditation and mindfulness". These were actions which kept my daily activities in a Zen framework, to which could be added study of the eightfold path, precepts, etc as desired or necessary for greater insight. These are also key to any Zen practice so they aren't just a to-do list of personal Zen-ness.
To apply that to my personal EP outline: delete the Practice category. To the end of Ethics add these action statements (kind of a personal pharmakon?):
- Spend frequent time with like-minded friends
- Maximize pleasure
- Review desires