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Privacy Policy

Who we are

Our website address is: https://www.seanfeitoakes.com. This the professional teaching site for Dr. Sean Feit Oakes.

What personal data we collect & why we collect it
Comments

When visitors leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection.

An anonymized string created from your email address (also called a hash) may be provided to the Gravatar service to see if you are using it. The Gravatar service privacy policy is available here: https://automattic.com/privacy/. We have set the site to not display profile pictures or Gravatar images next to comments.

Media

If you upload images to the website, you should avoid uploading images with embedded location data (EXIF GPS) included. Visitors to the website can download and extract any location data from images on the website.

Contact forms

Contact forms send an email to Dr. Oakes or a staff person, and technical support emails may be read by any staff person. Emails of users submitting a contact form are also added to our MailChimp email list, and can unsubscribe at any time. The site and contact forms are not HIPAA compliant. Please do not transmit sensitive materials via contact forms or comments, including bodily or mental health information.

Cookies

Cookies are an industry standard way to improve your experience on our site. A cookie is a small text file that our site may place on your computer as a tool to remember your preferences. You may refuse the use of cookies by selecting the appropriate preferences on your browser settings, however note that you may have a slightly reduced range of functionality on our website. 

If you leave a comment on our site you may opt-in to saving your name, email address and website in cookies. These are for your convenience so that you do not have to fill in your details again when you leave another comment. These cookies will last for one year.

If you have an account and you log in to this site, we will set a temporary cookie to determine if your browser accepts cookies. This cookie contains no personal data and is discarded when you close your browser.

When you log in, we will also set up several cookies to save your login information and your screen display choices. Login cookies last for two days, and screen options cookies last for a year. If you select “Remember Me”, your login will persist for two weeks. If you log out of your account, the login cookies will be removed.

If you edit or publish an article, an additional cookie will be saved in your browser. This cookie includes no personal data and simply indicates the post ID of the article you just edited. It expires after 1 day.

Embedded content from other websites

Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website.

These websites may collect data about you, use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interaction with that embedded content, including tracking your interaction with the embedded content if you have an account and are logged in to that website.

Who we share your data with 

This site uses Google Analytics, a service which transmits website traffic data to Google servers through the use of JavaScript tags (libraries). These tags use HTTP Cookies to “remember” what a user has done on previous pages or previous interactions with the website. Google Analytics does not identify individual users or associate your IP address with any other data held by Google and our site has enacted the added the measure of IP Anonymization. We use reports provided by Google Analytics to help us understand website traffic and webpage usage to improve the experience on our website. You can see Google’s Privacy Policy for more details and opt-out from Google Analytics tracking your data.

We process credit card payments through Square. When processing payments, some of your data will be passed to Square, including information required to process or support the payment, such as the purchase total and billing information. Please see the Square Privacy Policy for more details.

We accept payments through PayPal. When processing payments, some of your data will be passed to PayPal, including information required to process or support the payment, such as the purchase total and billing information. Please see the PayPal Privacy Policy for more details.

Website administrators can also see and edit that information.

How long we retain your data

If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognize and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue.

For users that register on our website (if any), we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile for as long as their account exists. All users can see, edit, or delete their personal information at any time (except they cannot change their username). Website administrators can also see and edit that information.

What rights you have over your data

If you have an account on this site, or have left comments, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes.

How we protect your data

The site uses security standard to WordPress and non-sensitive education websites. The site uses the secure version of HTTP (HTTPS), through Dreamhost, and our certificate is up to date. The site and its contact forms are not HIPAA compliant.

What data breach procedures we have in place

The site is monitored for data breaches using industry-standard security software, and we are notified by those services immediately when under threat or infection from spambots, malware, or other data breaches so that we can respond.

What automated decision making and/or profiling we do with user data

We use Akismet automated spam filtering software, which flags comments for moderation before posting, and quarantines suspected spam.

Give the gift of support

If you find the resources on this site of service in your own practice and study, and you are inspired to support Dr. Oakes as an independent teacher and scholar, please consider making a donation.

Sutta: In Charge

“There are, mendicants, these three things to put in charge. What three? Putting oneself, the world, or the teaching in charge. And what, mendicants, is putting oneself in charge? It’s when a mendicant has gone to a wilderness, or to the root of a tree, or to an empty hut, and reflects like this: ‘I didn’t go forth from the lay life to homelessness for the sake of a robe, alms-food, lodgings, or rebirth in this or that state. But I was swamped by rebirth, old age, and death; by sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress. I was swamped by suffering, mired in suffering. And I thought, “Hopefully I can find an end to this entire mass of suffering.” But it would not be appropriate for me to seek sensual pleasures like those I abandoned when I went forth, or even worse.’ Then they reflect: ‘My energy shall be roused up and unflagging, mindfulness shall be established and lucid, my body shall be tranquil and undisturbed, and my mind shall be immersed in samādhi.’ Putting themselves in charge, they give up the unskillful and develop the skillful, they give up the blameworthy and develop the blameless, and they keep themselves pure. This is called putting oneself in charge.

And what, mendicants, is putting the world in charge? It’s when a mendicant has gone to a wilderness, or to the root of a tree, or to an empty hut, and reflects like this: ‘I didn’t go forth from the lay life to homelessness for the sake of a robe, alms-food, lodgings, or rebirth in this or that state. But I was swamped by rebirth, old age, and death, by sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress. I was swamped by suffering, mired in suffering. And I thought, “Hopefully I can find an end to this entire mass of suffering.” And now, since I’ve now gone forth, I might have sensual, malicious, or cruel thoughts. But the population of the world is large, and there are ascetics and brahmins who have psychic power—they’re clairvoyant, and can read the minds of others. They see far without being seen, even by those close; and they understand the minds of others. They would know me: “Look at this person from a good family; they’ve gone forth out of faith from the lay life to homelessness, but they’re living mixed up with bad, unskillful qualities.” And there are deities, too, who have psychic power—they’re clairvoyant, and can read the minds of others. They see far without being seen, even by those close; and they understand the minds of others. They would know me: “Look at this person from a good family; they’ve gone forth out of faith from the lay life to homelessness, but they’re living mixed up with bad, unskillful qualities.” Then they reflect: My energy shall be roused up and unflagging, mindfulness shall be established and lucid, my body shall be tranquil and undisturbed, and my mind shall be immersed in samādhi.’ Putting the world in charge, they give up the unskillful and develop the skillful, they give up the blameworthy and develop the blameless, and they keep themselves pure. This is called putting the world in charge.

And what, mendicants, is putting the teaching in charge? It’s when a mendicant has gone to a wilderness, or to the root of a tree, or to an empty hut, and reflects like this: ‘I didn’t go forth from the lay life to homelessness for the sake of a robe, alms-food, lodgings, or rebirth in this or that state. But I was swamped by rebirth, old age, and death, by sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress. I was swamped by suffering, mired in suffering. And I thought, “Hopefully I can find an end to this entire mass of suffering.” The teaching is well explained by the Buddha—realizable in this very life, immediately effective, inviting inspection, relevant, so that sensible people can know it for themselves. I have spiritual companions who live knowing and seeing. Now that I’ve gone forth in this well explained teaching and training, it would not be appropriate for me to live lazy and heedless.’ Then they reflect: ‘My energy shall be roused up and unflagging, mindfulness shall be established and lucid, my body shall be tranquil and undisturbed, and my mind shall be immersed in samādhi.’ Putting the teaching in charge, they give up the unskillful and develop the skillful, they give up the blameworthy and develop the blameless, and they keep themselves pure. This is called putting the teaching in charge. These are the three things to put in charge.”

“There’s no privacy in the world,
for someone who does bad deeds.
You’ll know for yourself,
whether you’ve lied or told the truth.

When you witness your good self,
you despise it;
while you disguise
your bad self inside yourself.

The gods and the Realized One see
the fool who lives unjustly in the world.
So with yourself in charge, live mindfully;
with the world in charge, be self-disciplined and practice absorption;
with the teaching in charge, live in line with that teaching:
a sage who tries for the truth doesn’t deteriorate.

Māra’s destroyed; the terminator’s overcome:
one who strives reaches the end of rebirth.
Poised, clever, knowing the world—
that sage identifies with nothing at all.”

(AN 3.40, tr. Sujato)

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