Welcome, and blessings on your path
STUDY & PRACTICE COURSES
The Refuge of Dhamma: Exploring the Buddha’s Discourses
Sean Feit Oakes, PhD
Sean Feit Oakes, PhD, teaches Buddhism and Yoga focusing on the integration of meditation, trauma resolution, and social justice. He received teaching authorization from Jack Kornfield, and wrote his dissertation on extraordinary meditative states. His current research explores identity, ancestry, and rebirth, and working with the body in contemplative inquiry.
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After dreaming into it for years, I’m thrilled to be starting an online sutta study group through Spirit Rock. It’s called The Refuge of Dhamma: Exploring the Buddha’s Discourses, and we’re running it as a 5-class series, with a second series following immediately after the first. Here’s the blurb:
The discourses of the Buddha, called suttas, are one of the world’s most majestic collections of spiritual teaching. They record many styles of teaching, from inspiring poetry to psychological guidance, social theory, and philosophical masterpieces that address the deepest human fears, hopes, and potential.
In this study and practice series we dive into the beauty and richness of the Buddha’s teachings, reading texts from the Pāli Canon, the body of ancient texts preserved by Theravāda Buddhist cultures in South and Southeast Asia, in accessible English translations.
You will hear the voice of the Buddha, building his community and laying out a path of practice that leads to liberation from all forms of suffering. You will find advice for the most stubborn challenges in meditation and ordinary life. And you will be invited to realize for yourself the profound liberation he called “the heartwood of the holy life.”
We’ll start with a beginner-friendly orientation to the Pāli Canon, and read 5 gorgeous texts—one each week—that lay out an introduction to Buddhist thought and practice, culminating in the glorious evocation of the Buddha’s first discourse, Setting in Motion the Wheel of the Dhamma. We’ll meditate together, discuss the texts, and relate them to the complexities of contemporary life and our own practice challenges.
It’s on Gift Economy (dāna), and both beginners and more experienced practitioners are warmly welcome. You can register and join the class anytime, and watch recordings of previous classes.
Series 1: 5 Thursdays (every other Thursday)
March 4, 18, April 1, 15, 29
1-2:30 p.m. Pacific Time
Intro to the History of Yoga: Philosophy, Practice, Transformation
for Yoga teacher training programs
Intro to the History of Yoga is a 20-hour online course, approved by Yoga Alliance, to fulfill the foundational yoga history and philosophy curriculum in yoga teacher training programs. This curriculum provides a deep dive into the ocean of ideas, practices, and culture that evolved into modern Yoga and equips graduates with a deep understanding and reverence for the culture and traditions from which these transformative practices arose.
5 Recollections for Daily Practice
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.
(AN 5.57, tr. Forest Saṅgha)