Renouncing evil action, cultivate the wholesome.
Clarify the mind. This is the lineage of the Buddhas.
This site contains resources for Buddhist practice, trauma healing, and social action, as well as Dr. Oakes’ teaching schedule. If you benefit from the material collected here, you can support us with a gift of any amount. Thank you for your generosity.
We’re working our way through the Noble Eightfold Path, and are in the sīla (Ethics) limbs of the path. As of mid-January, we’ve come through Right Speech and are in Right Action, discussing the first 3 ethical precepts.
Particularly for these topics, we’ll bring in aspects of social justice discourse, communication and relationship material, economic theory, and more.
As always, talks and practices weave together personal, relational, and systemic inquiry, exploring the inseparability of individual and collective liberation.
We begin with chanting a short Refuge & Precepts pūjā from the Theravāda Buddhist tradition, followed by 30 minutes of meditation, part guided and part silent. After a break, there’s a talk and discussion on an aspect of Buddhist practice.
Beginners are welcome anytime, and the group is offered fully on donation, in the beautiful and ancient practice of Gift Economy.
Meditation with instructions based in the Insight Meditation tradition and its sources in Thai and Burmese Theravāda Buddhism. The focus of the group is on deepening in both traditional Buddhist practice as understood in the Theravāda traditions, and exploring the links between individual & systemic liberation in the form of social justice and collective healing practice.
I’ve started a FB Group, called “In It To End It,” for study and discussion of Buddhist ideas, focusing at least as we begin on my areas: the Pāli Canon of the Theravāda lineage, the Prajñāpāramitā vision that is the heartwood of the Mahāyāna, and the profound and liberating social inquiry of deconstruction.
I’m starting with a series of free videos for advanced beginners who want to dive into the beauty and richness of the Buddha’s discourses. This will be a space for inquiry and study together; ideally a virtual saṅgha.
It’s said that the moment the Buddha’s first student realized liberation, the whole universe resounded with celebration, and the “Wheel of Dharma” began to turn. Since that first turning, millions of men and women, giving their lives to practice, have realized the end of suffering, and through their dedication to practice and teaching, spread the Dharma around the world.
In this introduction to Buddhist history, we’ll look at the origin and spread of Buddhism as a world religion. We’ll weave between mythic and historical modes of understanding and storytelling: Bodhidharma crossing the ocean on a single reed, Buddhist emperors of Tibet conquering most of China then being themselves conquered, evidence in texts and art throughout Asia of the richness and complexity of Buddhist culture.
We’ll talk about cultural exchange, empire and politics, oral tradition and translation, how the monastic order spread across Asia, and how the Dharma arrived in North America with Asian immigrant communities, eventually taking root in non-Asian communities as well. Learning about the paths this beautiful tradition has taken to arrive here, whether it is our primary faith or not, depeens our practice of tolerance, cultural fluency, and gratitude that the Wheel of Dharma continues to turn for the benefit and blessing of beings in all time and space.
In addition to lecture and discussion, we will explore simple meditation practices from several of the major Buddhist lineages.
Join our saṅgha and receive articles, recorded talks, and a free guided meditation. Ok, they’re always free. But it’s a lovely newsletter as these things go.