yoga+meditation with sean feit
Vibrant, relational contemplative practice
I teach Buddhism and Yoga based in many years of practice and study, working with āsana, prānāyāma, meditation, 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.
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 help from Śaiva Tantra and Bhakti Yoga. Like many contemporary teachers in the Insight Meditation lineage, I’m inspired broadly by many Buddhist and Hindu teachings, classical and tantric, as well as contemporary branches of these ancient streams.
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 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), and my SE teacher and current mentor Steven Hoskinson (Organic Intelligence). I see yogis (folks 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.
Writing & scholarship
I write about current issues in western Buddhist and Yoga communities, as well as art, performance, politics, and social justice. Shorter writing is under “blog” and longer academic essays under “poems + essays”. Writing for this blog has slowed to a trickle like a California river as I’m giving all my writing energy to my PhD dissertation, ““This Very Body is the Bodhi Tree”: The Performance of Contemplative States by Practitioners in the Western Jhāna Revival & West Coast experimental art”. I’m about 2/3 done, and hope to be truly done by early 2016. Send prayers (for rain)!
Please stay in touch (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.
weekly group practice
Insight Meditation Satsang: Thu 7:45-9:15pm Yoga Tree Telegraph
Meditation with instructions, wisdom teachings from Theravāda Buddhism leavened with Mahāyāna, Tantra, and existential philosophy, and community discussion of practice. Beginners welcome, and the first Thursday of each month is oriented toward beginners.
Offered joyfully on donation, in the Buddhist practice of dāna (generosity). Thank you for your collaboration as we challenge inhuman capitalism through the subtle and profound practice of gift economy.
upcoming workshops & retreats
I’m taking a break from teaching for a few months of… paternity leave! If you follow me on FB you’ll see some evidence of whatever’s happening. When the adorable newborn pictures start to turn back into complaints about capitalism and issues in postmodern Yoga & Buddhism you know I’m on my way back. Workshops and blog posts will start up again in Feb or so. I hope to share practice with you sometime soon. Blessings always, sean.
Meditation and mystery are inseparable. Just as the mysterious cannot be unraveled through calculation, nor can a meditative attitude be acquired as though it were a technical skill. Heidegger remarked, “That which shows itself and at the same time withdraws is the essential trait of the mystery.” Meditation occurs whenever our innermost awareness is trained on the shocking nearness yet elusive distance of what is present.
(Stephen Batchelor, The Faith to Doubt)
Integrated practice 1: Mindfulness and Yoga
Fri 2/5, 6:30-10pm
Giggling Lotus, SF
Bringing together the beautiful embodiment practices of āsana and prāṇāyāma and precise mindfulness instructions from the Buddhist tradition can transform our yoga practice. Mindfulness as both a meditation and relationship process opens into deep spiritual inquiry around why we suffer and what we can do about it.
This study and practice evening is oriented toward yoga students who want to bring meditation and mindfulness more fully into their practice. We’ll look at posture, breath and awareness practices, becoming more intimate with the most challenging experience any of us have: our own heart and mind.
Integrated practice 2: Yoga, Trauma, and Healing
Fri 2/19, 6:30-10pm
Giggling Lotus, SF
Our experience of ourselves as we move through modern life is determined more by our biology, especially our nervous system, than we may realize. New research into trauma is changing the way we as yogis can understand well-being, distress, and the paths to freedom from distress, anxiety, and helplessness.
In this gentle theory and practice evening, we’ll look at our yoga and mindfulness practices through the lens of nervous system resilience. We’ll draw on the healing modality of Organic Intelligence (OI), a beautiful way to understand and work with the nervous system and subtle body. We’ll discuss how to work with symptoms of trauma in ourselves or our students in yoga and meditation, and learn basic exercises for self-regulation and the cultivation of deeper ease.
Yoga, Trauma, and the Path of Healing
Sat-Sun 3/26-27, 12:30-6:30pm
Yoga Garden, SF
A 2-day exploration of nervous system process and trauma physiology, focusing on their relationship to contemplative practices like yoga and meditation. The class will look at the cultivation of resilience as the basis of both healing and spiritual process, and will include gentle yoga āsana, short meditations, and simple relational exercises (speaking with each other, no physical contact). It will be oriented toward students and teachers of either yoga or meditation who want to explore the role of the nervous system in their practice, and who want more tools to work with the symptoms of trauma that can be so challenging.
Tuition is $225, or $199 on or before March 1st. Yoga Alliance CEUs available.
This workshop will cover similar material as my introduction weekends to Organic Intelligence, in preparation for the upcoming HEARTraining in SF, starting in May 2016.
In 2016 I’ll continue with the Yoga Garden SF and Piedmont Yoga Studio philosophy and teacher training programs, workshops at East Bay Meditation Center, and other lovely things. See you at satsang or wherever.