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I am of the nature to age, I have not gone beyond aging.
I am of the nature to sicken, I have not gone beyond sickness.
I am of the nature to die, I have not gone beyond dying.
All that is mine, beloved and pleasing, will become otherwise, will be separated from me.
I am the owner of my actions, heir to my actions, born of my actions, related to my actions, abide supported by my actions.
Whatever action I do, for good or for ill, of that I will be the heir.

(“5 Recollections for Daily Practice,” AN 5.57)

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 with a gift of any amount. Thank you for your generosity.

Sean Feit Oakes, PhD

Performance Studies
Organic Intelligence
Insight Meditation
Haṭha Yoga

A note as we meet the unfolding Coronavirus crisis

Blessings & mettā to everyone, and prayers that our families and communities are as safe as possible.
 
Like many teachers, I’m happy to offer support whatever I can in service of inner well-being and resilience through what may be a long emergency. While our hyper-connected modern society is startled out of complacency by the pandemic, practitioners in many contemplative traditions may find ourselves with skills and a perspective that can be helpful in this time. If you’ve been practicing with Buddhist or Yogic material for some time, you may be better equipped to deal with this — emotionally, spiritually, or existentially — than you think. The teachings of the Buddha remind us again and again of the impermanence of conditions, including the seductive conditions of comfort, health, wealth, and power. And they remind us of the death of interconnection we are immersed in, which we may often forget, or take for granted.
 
Here’s some writing I did recently, suggesting a shift in perspective that I hope may be helpful in this moment:
 
 
I take this moment as an invitation for our human cultures to learn something that is hard to admit, and even harder to stabilize and truly begin to act from: our way of life, globally, is not only unsustainable but dangerous, and the root causes of our current moment are obvious to anyone willing to look. Greed is praised as a virtue in the worlds of commerce and neoliberal Capitalism; hatred is praised as a virtue in the forms of nationalism, racism, and the many systemic oppressions; and delusion is praised as a virtue in the growing distrust of public norms, information, science, and material truth itself. When greed, hatred, and delusion are not universally acknowledged as defilements, but even praised as appropriate responses to the world, crises like this will be far worse than they might otherwise have been.
 
Blessings to everyone reading this, for your own safety and peace of heart, and that of your families, communities, culture, and the beloved Earth we all share.
 
With love & mettā,
Dr. Sean Oakes
 
Below in my teaching schedule are several opportunities to practice, study, and stay connected to sacred community in this time. At the moment, my main ongoing online offerings are:
 
 
This past week several of us did a beautiful experiment practicing together, separately, in a “home retreat.” It was so lovely. We’ll do another soon. Get on the mailing list of FB group if you want to hear about it.
 
Everything I do is offered in the Gift Economy model, and I’m grateful for your generous support in this work. Thank you. You can give to support our work here.

This month at Satsang (April 2020)

We’ve finished for now our conversation on Right Livelihood, the 5th limb of the Eightfold Path, and are moving on to the 6th, Right Effort. This is the beginning of the Samādhi part of the path, and the turn from outward action in the ethical limbs to inward cultivation in the meditative process.

We’ll begin on Tue April 7 with an overview of Right Effort, and dig into the practice in detail over the next several weeks. We’ll look at the centrality of mind (or mind-body-heart) states in the contemplative process, and how cultivating states supports the deepening of insight and clarity.

Satsang is now online for the immediate future, on the Zoom platform so that we can interact. The most up-to-date info on events, and all links, can be found in the Facebook Group: In It To End It. Join us in this “virtual saṅgha” for study, discussion, and spiritual community.

Insight Meditation Satsang
Tuesdays 7:15-9pm
Click here to join online

 

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.The meditation ends with a short mantra chant.

Starting April 7, responding to the difference in community process in the online format, instead of taking a break, we’ll just stretch legs and continue right into an expanded introduction circle so we can continue to deepen connections with each other through the virtual format.

After introductions, I give a talk and lead 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.

History of Yoga Course
A 20-hour online course diving into the ocean of ideas, practices, and culture that evolved into modern Yoga. Designed for serious students of Yoga and meditation, and for use in YTT programs, this is a university-level introduction to Yoga history from an engaging scholar-practitioner.
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

Ongoing

Tuesdays 7:15-9pm (PDT)

Zoom link to join event.

Meditation with instructions based in the Insight Meditation tradition and its sources in Thai and Burmese Theravāda Buddhism, as well as chanting, text study, and discussion. 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.

Our FB Group, called “In It To End It,” is a “place” for communal 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

Join the Group.

Community Check-in Circle
Ongoing

Fridays 4-5:15pm (PDT)

Zoom link to join event

As we contend with the shelter at home process around the Coronavirus pandemic, I’m starting a new weekly gathering for the community. I’ll say more about it as it takes form, but so far we’re meeting on Fridays for a short meditation and listening circle, offering each other support and connection in spiritual community. Anyone connected to this practice community, through my teachings, the FB Group (In It To End It), or through other community connections is welcome to join.
 
I’m honored to teach with these beautiful communities & organizations
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