Sean Feit Oakes, PhD
**Hi. Somehow I’ve broken all the other pages on my site,
and I’m working on fixing it, but for now only this page is up.
Thanks for your patience! Warmly, Sean. (12.5.16)**
Buddhism & Yoga
I teach Buddhism and Yoga as tools for personal liberation and social justice, working with meditation, āsana, prānāyāma, devotion, and inquiry, supporting those who hold these practices as part of their spiritual path. All are welcome to come and explore the mystery of this human life together. I also write about current issues in Western Buddhist and Yoga communities, as well as art, performance, politics, and social issues. Shorter writing is under “blog” and longer academic essays under “poems + essays”.
No particular religious belief is necessary to practice with me, but my teaching is strongly rooted in the Theravāda Buddhist tradition as expressed in Thai Forest and Burmese Vipassanā lineages, with expansive influence from Śaiva Tantra and Vaiṣṇava Bhakti Yoga.
My current teaching schedule is at the bottom of this page.
Central to my understanding and teaching of spiritual practice is the role of trauma and relational disruption in the process of self-knowledge and inquiry. Trauma comes in many forms, from physical harm through violence and accidents, to emotional harm in unsafe relationships, to the systemic harm all of us experience in cultures where racism, sexism, oppression, and the abuse of communities by rapacious social systems (consumer capitalism, toxic individualism, religious fundamentalism and intolerance) are the norm.
Wise action to heal trauma consists in addressing it wisely on all levels, including the personal and societal, and influences every level of spiritual development. My work in trauma resolution is strongly influenced by the work of Dr. Peter Levine (Somatic Experiencing), Dr. Stephen Porges (Polyvagal Theory), and my SE teacher and mentor Steven Hoskinson (Organic Intelligence). I see people with an ongoing practice of yoga or meditation for individual SE/OI sessions, and teach on the relationship of trauma to Buddhist and Yoga practice.
Stay in touch if you’d like (email list signup on the left, contact info at the bottom of the page), and I look forward to practicing with you sometime soon. Blessings always.
Insight Meditation Satsang
Yoga Tree Telegraph, Berkeley
We sit in meditation, exploring different aspects of inner practice, and I offer a talk and discussion on an aspect of practice, generally from the Theravāda Buddhist tradition, but often integrating perspectives from Mahāyāna, Tantra, and Yoga as well, with digressions into politics and trauma.
Offered fully on donation, influenced by the beautiful Buddhist gift economy known as dāna (“giving”). Your generosity helps me offer practice in this way, and others of lesser resources to be able to come.
Organic Intelligence (OI)
Human Empowerment And Resilience Training (HEART)
Retreat 2: Burlingame, Jan 18-23, 2017
We’re one retreat (out of six) into the first 3-year OI training in the Bay Area, which I’m co-teaching with Steven Hoskinson, the founder of the modality. In addition to the official pages, linked above, here’s some writing of mine on this work and how it integrates so well with Buddhist and Yoga psychology and practice.
You can still join this first training, watching the first retreat’s teachings on video and joining us in Burlingame in January. If you’d like to look into this, contact OI through their website, or send me an email and we can talk.
Besides Satsang and the OI trainings, I’ll be taking a gentle sabbatical in 2017 to focus on family and new writing, though I will do some experimental teaching: a couple 8-week “yoga” laboratories focusing on integrating prānāyāma, intuitive vinyasa, and Authentic Movement. More soon on those.