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“Blessed One, 
when an honorable seeker 
sets out on the path of awakening, 
how do they stand, 
how do they move, 
how do they train their heart?”
 
(The Diamond Sūtra)
Welcome, and blessings on your path.

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 by making a donation.

Sean Feit Oakes, PhD

Performance Studies
Organic Intelligence
Insight Meditation
Haṭha Yoga

This month at Satsang (September 2019)

Insight Meditation Satsang
Tuesdays 7:15-9pm
Ashtanga Yoga Berkeley
933 Parker #38

We’re working our way through the Noble Eightfold Path, and as of late September are nearing the end of the second limb: Right Intention. That means that the next couple months we’ll be going through the ethics limbs — Right Speech, Action, and Livelihood.

Particularly for these topics, we’ll bring in aspects of social justice discourse, communication and relationship material, economic theory, and more.

Insight Meditation Satsang
Tuesdays 7:15-9pm
Ashtanga Yoga Berkeley
933 Parker Street, Studio 38, Berkeley

 

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.

Most Recent Talks

History of Yoga Course
An 8-week course diving into the ocean of ideas, practices, and culture that evolved into modern yoga. Designed for serious students of yoga and meditation, this is a university-level introduction to Yoga history from an engaging scholar-practitioner.
**Enroll now – Course begins Oct 13th**
An exploration of one of the most gorgeous and enigmatic Mahāyāna Buddhist texts, The Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom, or “Heart Sūtra.” The course, hosted by our friends at The Sutra Project, combines a new practitioner-oriented translation by Dr. Oakes and Dr. Christopher Wallis, drawing on their decades of practice and study.

Teaching Schedule

Insight Meditation Satsang

Tuesdays 7:15-9pm
Ashtanga Yoga Berkeley
933 Parker/8th, #38, Berkeley

Ongoing

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.

Learn more.

Moving into Meditation:
Mindful Yoga & Embodied Dharma

Sep 30 – Oct 6, 2019
Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre

6-day retreat

 

[Sold out with a waiting list.]

I’m delighted to be joining my colleagues Anne Cushman, Leslie Booker, and Dawn Mauricio for a 6-day retreat integrating mindfulness-oriented Yoga āsana with Insight Meditation (vipassanā).

Nourish your body, mind, and heart in this silent retreat that blends the traditions of yoga and Insight Meditation. Through an integrated flow of meditation in movement and stillness, you discover that what we call “body” and what we call “mind” are different aspects of the same living presence. As you open, relax, energize, and attune your body and nervous system, you’ll learn to sustain these qualities in both your seated meditation and in the rest of your life. You’ll learn skills that can help you stay grounded, centered, and open-hearted as you take your practice off the mat and cushion and into a world that so needs it.

Each day includes meditation instruction and practice; dharma teachings and discussion; meetings with teachers; silent sitting and walking meditation; and mindful yoga practice suitable to all levels of yoga experience and physical ability.

Learn more & register.

On this day we are coming together as people who have experienced separation from birth families at early ages to explore the heart of the Buddha’s teachings: that pain and loss are built into this human life and are also the seeds of wisdom and liberation. We will spend the day exploring our experiences of family and rupture, and discuss tools for cultivating self-love, compassion, and a sense of home in ourselves as the basis of deeper refuge in the world.

We will offer guided meditation, accessible movement, and a community building potluck lunch. If you are able, you are invited to bring something to share, and contribute to the potluck.

All adult self-identified adoptees, adults formerly in foster care homes, or the system, and any adult who were forced/separated from their families at young ages are welcome. Providers or family members will be given a separate opportunity to participate.

Learn more & register.

A Lineage of Liberation:
Intro to the history of Buddhism

4 Mondays, January 6-27, 2020
East Bay Meditation Center, Oakland

study & practice class series

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.

Registration link coming soon.

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