“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 donating through Patreon.

Sean Feit Oakes, PhD

Performance Studies
Organic Intelligence
Insight Meditation
Haṭha Yoga

This month at Satsang (March-April 2018)

Insight Meditation Satsang
Tuesdays 7-8:30pm

Hi friends,

For March and April at Satsang, we’re looking at the beautiful and precise mindfulness meditation instructions given by the brilliant and inspiring Western Theravāda monastic, Ven. Anālayo Bhikkhu. Anālayo is a scholar-practitioner who has done incredible work with the early Buddhist text material, both in Pāli and Chinese, and has constructed a method for practicing the 4 Foundations of Mindfulness, or satipaṭṭhānas, that draws on his research around what the earliest layers of Buddhist practice may have looked like. It’s a deep but accessible practice sequence, and we’ll spend these two months learning it step by step. Both beginners and experienced meditators can benefit from this work.

Further on, topics in the wings for 2019 include:

  • samādhi – working with anxiety & distraction
  • anattā – Buddhist approaches to identity & culture
  • sīla – social action as contemplative discipline

As always, talks and practices weave together personal, relational, and systemic inquiry, exploring the inseparability of individual and collective liberation.

Insight Meditation Satsang
Tuesdays, 7-8:30pm
Namaste Yoga + Wellness
2820 7th st, Berkeley

Most Recent Talks

The Radical Inquiry of Buddhist Mindfulness

One of the most prolific and brilliant Buddhist scholars of our generation is the German Theravāda monastic, Ven. Anālayo. His vast research on the texts and doctrines of Early Buddhism …

Dive 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.

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

Teaching Schedule

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.

Tuesdays 7-8:30pm (Namaste Yoga+Wellness, Berkeley)

Yoga is often presented as a physical practice that can support many different kinds of spiritual, religious, or non-religious belief systems. Many people find very real health and spiritual benefits from practicing Yoga without a particular philosophy or perspective on existence. 

But before the modern period, Yoga was almost always embedded in religious systems which held  specific Views (darśana or dṛṣṭi) on existence, death, and the nature of the divine. In most of them, understanding and deepening in these Views is the heart of the path.

In this study and practice day, we’ll discuss three philosophical Views that have been at the heart of the South Asian Yoga traditions, and which influence globalized Yoga now: Devotional Hinduism, Advaita Vedānta, and Buddhism. We’ll look at their beliefs about action, practice, and liberation. And we’ll feel into how modern Yoga reinterprets these ancient ideas as it takes root in new communities.

This daylong is appropriate for all practitioners who are looking to gain a deeper connection to their yoga practice or broaden their understanding of yoga history and philosophy. Yoga teachers may be particularly interested in using this workshop to supplement the history and philosophy education that is offered in standard teacher trainings, and explore new ways to delineate the sources of influence and inspiration in their own teachings. CEUs available. 

April 7, 2019 (Namaste Yoga+Wellness, Berkeley)

Buddhism and Yoga, two of the diverse lineages of South Asian spiritual practice, are much more related than commonly thought. New historical evidence reveals a deeply interwoven relationship between these ancient siblings, and we will explore this history through learning practices shared by both.

April 27, 2019 (Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Woodacre)

Summer meditation & yoga retreat.

4-night retreat

I’m thrilled to return to the gorgeous Double Bear Retreat Center for a 4-night retreat this summer. This will be an intimate retreat for students of Insight Meditation and Yoga seeking to integrate the practices of movement and stillness, dynamic breath work and precise mindfulness meditation. We will work with the Haṭha Yoga Sadhana movement form, including intuitive āsana and classical prāṇāyāma, and the Open Circle practice from the discipline of Authentic Movement, embedded within a mostly traditional silent Insight Meditation retreat structure.

Save the dates! More information soon.

May 30-June 3, 2019 (Double Bear Retreat Center, Boulder Creek, CA) 

Healing, Resilience, & Spirit: The Practice & Teaching of Trauma-Sensitive Yoga

Daylong

Many people find both physical and emotional healing on the yoga mat. Yoga’s ancient roots as a mental, emotional, and energetic purification can still be felt in the physical exercises that are the heart of modern practice. But while yoga and meditation can support healing, they can also increase distress for folks with trauma, whether individual or systemic.

This practice and study weekend will weave together Classical Hatha Yoga frameworks for embodiment, breath, and spiritual practice with contemporary neuroscience on trauma physiology to help practitioners diminish trauma symptoms such as anxiety, overwhelm, and vigilance, and grow into increased resilience and joy.

June 8-9, 2019 (Namaste Yoga+Wellness, Berkeley)

Moving into Meditation:
Mindful Yoga & Embodied Dharma

6-day retreat (reg opens 5/29/19)

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).

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

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