Sean Feit Oakes, PhD

Register now for the 2018 Winter Retreat (Jan 3-10)
Organic Intelligence 3-Year Practitioner Training (starts Sep 2018)


Welcome. This website contains material related to my work as a scholar-practitioner, weaving between academic research and community-based teaching. My research looks at the experience of subtle states of consciousness in Western contemplative arts, and works toward a robust, socially-inclusive Buddhist phenomenology. In my communities, I teach Theravāda Buddhism, Insight Meditation, and Haṭha Yoga as supports for personal liberation and social justice, working with practitioners of meditation, āsana, prānāyāma, devotion, and inquiry. I also write about current issues in Western Buddhist and Yoga communities, as well as art, performance, politics, and social issues. Shorter writing is on the blog and longer academic essays under Performance Studies.

No particular religious belief is necessary to practice with me, but my teaching is strongly rooted in the Theravāda Buddhist tradition as expressed in Thai Forest and Burmese Vipassanā lineages, with expansive influence from Śaiva Tantra and Vaiṣṇava Bhakti Yoga. All are welcome to come and explore the mystery of this human life together. My current teaching schedule is at the bottom of this page.

Central to my understanding and teaching of spiritual practice is the role of trauma and relational disruption in the process of self-knowledge and inquiry. Trauma comes in many forms, from physical harm through violence and accidents, to emotional harm in unsafe relationships, to the systemic harm all of us experience in cultures where racism, sexism, oppression, and the abuse of communities by rapacious social systems (consumer capitalism, toxic individualism, religious fundamentalism, intolerance) are the norm.

Wise action to heal trauma consists in addressing it wisely on all levels, including the personal and societal, and influences every level of spiritual development. My work in trauma resolution and the cultivation of resilience is based in Organic Intelligence, the radical nondual healing practice developed by my mentor, Steven Hoskinson. I am also influenced by the work of Dr. Peter Levine (Somatic Experiencing), Dr. Stephen Porges (Polyvagal Theory), and Buddhist approaches to systemic oppression being developed at East Bay Meditation Center, Buddhist Peace Fellowship, in the Spirit Rock Community Dharma Leader’s program I studied in, and in the larger community of faith-based activism.

I see people with an ongoing practice of yoga or meditation for individual sessions, and teach on the relationship of trauma to Buddhist and Yoga practice. Stay in touch if you’d like (email list and contact form), and I look forward to practicing with you sometime soon. Blessings always.

Teaching Calendar

Ongoing Practice

Insight Meditation Satsang
Namaste Yoga & Wellness
2820 7th St, Berkeley
Tuesdays, 7:30-9:15pm

We sit in meditation, exploring different aspects of inner practice, and I offer a talk and discussion on an aspect of practice, generally from the Theravāda Buddhist tradition, but often integrating perspectives from Mahāyāna, Tantra, and Yoga as well, with digressions into politics and trauma.

Offered fully on donation, or “Gift Economy”, influenced by the beautiful Buddhist practice known as dāna (“giving”). Your generosity helps me offer practice somewhat outside the assumptions of the capitalist system, and others of lesser resources to be able to come.

Classes, Workshops, Retreat, Trainings

2018 Winter Retreat

Join me and an intimate group of dedicated seekers for a week of slow, heartfelt practice. We will share the practices of meditation, yoga, and open movement, held within the healing framework of Organic Intelligence (OI), the power of spiritual community, and the sublime environment of the deep woods.

This 7-night silent meditation and yoga retreat is for practitioners with at least 2 years experience in yoga and meditation. We will work with practices that weave between the Buddhist and Hindu streams of energetic cultivation and embodied inquiry.

2018 Winter Retreat
January 3-10, 2018
Double Bear Retreat
Boulder Creek, CA

More info and registration.

Organic Intelligence: Human Empowerment And Resilience Training (HEART Berkeley)

Location: Rudramandir
Bancroft at 6th St, Berkeley, CA

6 4-day non-residential retreats + 2 6-day residential retreats in San Diego


1. Sep 7-10, 2018
2. Jan 18-21, 2019
3: Apr 5-8, 2019
4: Jul 26-29, 2019
5: Oct 18-21, 2019
6: Jan 17-20, 2020


Retreat 5 Apr 20–25, 2020
Retreat 6 Oct 4–9, 2020

More info & registration here.