Our new course brings the focus to a central Buddhist text: The Heart Sutra

A new translation by Sean Feit Oakes and Hareesh :: Presented by Sean ::

12 hours of content that you can keep forever. 

Chapter 1 - An introduction to Buddhism. Context and Basic Philosophy (longer videos)

Chapter 2- The Sutra in the usual format of short videos. 

Chapter 3 - The meditation practices. 

Our aim with The Sutra Project is to illuminate the teachings while honoring your life's rhythm. We know that most of you don't have hours and hours per week to dive into videos and intense study. That's why we have created this format, without compromising on the integrity and content of these rich and deeply resonant texts. 

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The Heart Sutra

It is part of the Prajnaparamita Literature, which is a collection of about 40 texts composed between 100 BCE and 500 CE. The Heart Sutra is a presentation of profound wisdom on the nature of emptiness.

It is a teaching by Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, to the monk Shariputra. It is chanted regularly by followers of Buddhism  both in ritual and as part of meditation practice. Although The Heart Sutra is very brief it contains key concepts of Buddhist Philosophy. These include the skandhas, the four noble truths, the cycle of interdependence and a powerful and central concept of Mahayana Buddhism, Emptiness.

Mahayana means “great vehicle”, and is the basis of the Buddhisms of China, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Mongolia, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. It arose around the first or second century CE out of the highly analytical schools of Buddhism which had developed in the 600 years since the time of the Buddha. Zen, which appeared around 800, in China, is a school of Mahayana. Chinese Mahayana spread to Korea, Japan, and Vietnam, leading to the many Zen traditions maintained today.

My first relationship with the Heart Sūtra was in zen monastic practice, where we would chant the text, in Sino-Japanese, several times a day. I didn’t know it, but this is actually a very traditional use of the Sūtra, which may have been used as a magic spell more often than a philosophical or teaching text. As I grew in my practice, I found myself drawn to simpler and more useful to me aspects of Buddhism, including its psychological, ethical, and social-action components. But the vision of emptiness and radical feminine transformative magic stayed like a ghost in my heart, till in recent years it reappeared as the center of my practice.
— Sean

This course is for you if:

  • You want to immerse yourself in Buddhist philosophy whether a new or seasoned practitioner and dive deep into one of its most sacred texts.

  • You find yourself drawn to exploration and discovering the true nature of reality on an experiential level and not simply an academic one. 

  • You would like to learn several of the foundational Buddhist meditation practices that bridge the gap between the ancient teaching and our contemporary experiences.  

  • You are interested in delving into the Buddhist tradition and learning how it fits with your life and practice.  

  • You want depth of insight and recognition of your true nature but live a full life and therefore have limited opportunity for study. You desire a focused course that cuts out anything extraneous and goes right to the core of the teachings, without losing any of the meaning. 

  • You want access to the expertise of a professional Buddhist scholar who is also a long-term practitioner.

An incredible experience. Clear, precise and just in time for me. Recommended to all who are interested in the subjuect, especially yoga practitioners. “Beginners Mind” is not just a concept :) Thank you for all this wonderful offering.
— P.F ~ Current Student with The Sutra Project
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Concise, clear and practical videos

The Heart Sutra = One video = One line of the text 

These videos give you access to the knowledge of the scholarly community, made accessible to the practitioner in plain english! 

This brand new translation has been refined and reviewed by both Sean and Hareesh. 

Sean brings his heart into the teachings, infusing the videos with humor, humility and a deep understanding of how they relate to our contemporary lives. 

This course differs from previous courses in that we offer an introductory course to Buddhism that is relevant and useful for all practitioners, whether you consider yourself a 'beginner' or have been immersed in this philosophy for many years.

Study Guides

For each breakdown of the sutra we give you a PDF study guide so you can deepen your contemplations and learn the practices. Not only that but you don't have to take notes unless you want to - we have done it for you. 

Each study guide includes:

  • word-by-word breakdown of the text.

  • key points from the video.

  • suggestions for further study to deepen your understanding.

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You can listen to the videos and absorb the potency of their teachings. 

But it's practice that will integrate them in your system. 

Sean has been practicing with the Heart Sutra for many years and gifts us with the sweetness of guided meditations that can shift your perspective and life. 

An elegant, easeful course site

  • You can access it through any of your devices and stream videos wherever you have wifi. Of course you can download the audios and listen to them on or offline.

  • To begin a discussion or raise a question, a simple click begins the thread.

  • Audios will be downloadable for you to listen while offline.

  • The site will easily track your progress as you move along the course, displaying which videos you have watched and what percentage of the course you have completed.

  • You can of course go back and repeat any of the videos at any time.

  • You get to download audios to your device. For the videos you will need to stream from our site.

True understanding and clarity makes the complex simple. 

Here's your guide. 

Sean Feit Oakes, PhD is a scholar, performer, and Buddhist teacher, researching the intersections between contemplative and creative processes. 

His current work explores states of consciousness in experimental dance training and intensive meditation practice, integrating Buddhist scriptural study, trauma physiology, and social justice. He completed his PhD dissertation in Performance Studies, “‘This Very Body is the Bodhi Tree’: The Performance of Contemplative States in the Western Jhāna Revival & Contemporary Movement Theater” in 2016 at UC Davis.

25 years of contemplative training in Rinzai Zen, Burmese vipassanā, Haṭha Yoga, and Authentic Movement, with concurrent training in postmodern dance and performance art, grounds Sean’s study of subtle states. 

While this is a text that doesn’t pull its punches about the nature of reality and the spiritual path, it continues to entrance and bless practitioners wherever it makes landfall. The Sūtra is a magic spell, and our planet could really use some good magic right now. It is such a pleasure to be able to serve as the conduit for this wisdom to arrive, through this new transmission method, to the world as it is right now.
— Sean
You really deliver what it’s promised: a fresh look at the sutras and it’s immensely useful to hear them interpreted in a modern key, finally a way to integrate their teachings in everyday life, both on a personal and global level.
— Current student of The Sutra Project

Because of the depth and length of the content this course is valued at $195

It is available to you today for $145. 

An incredible experience. Clear, precise and just in time for me. Recommended to all who are interested in the subjuect, especially yoga practitioners. “Beginners Mind” is not just a concept :) Thank you for all this wonderful offering.
— P.F. ~ Current student of The Sutra Project
What a beautiful offering you have created to present to an expanded community in the form of the Sutra Project!

The web platform, design, navigation and content are intuitive and beautifully potent. I have found it easeful to jump into your flowing invitation like a gentle stream. I appreciate the design of the course to allow me to swim to a shore and rest in contemplation of it all, or to forge ahead in the pull of the current.
— A.D. ~ Current Student of The Sutra Project

Frequently Asked Questions... 

How long will it take to complete this course? 

We recommend watching the videos at your own pace and revisiting them as you wish.  

Do I have time for this? 

You have the rest of your life to keep revisiting these sutras so look at it like a lifetime investment. If you prefer audio to video, you can download the mp3s of the videos and listen to them while walking or driving.  There are guided meditation mp3s that will not appear as videos.

We designed this course to integrate easily into your life  — with each teaching given in a bite-sized chunk you are much more likely to keep going through the course to get to the deeper nuggets of wisdom at the end. 

Which other courses on the sutras will you be releasing next? 

We plan to roll out the following texts over time: the Shiva-sutra, Lotus Sutra, Mama Sutras, and more! 

How do I access it and what do I need?

You need internet access and can access the course via an app on your mobile device or via your laptop or desktop computer. Videos will be streamed but audios and study guides are downloadable.  

Do you offer any kind of a guarantee? 

We are so sure that you will find this the clearest explanation of the sutras you’ve ever heard, we offer a money-back guarantee if you complete the whole course and don’t believe it was well worth the investment.

Since so much work has gone into this program, we do not offer refunds unless you have completed the course and have not gained benefit from the teachings. If this is the case, please do contact us directly by filling out the form below. 

Is there guidance on how I can integrate these teachings into my practice, teaching and/or life? 

Yes. The Study Guides present exercises and contemplation questions and the guided meditations provide practical ways to integrate the teachings into your everyday life. 

Is this a new translation? 

Yes. Sean translated this text for the 21st century, one rigorously faithful to the original Sanskrit yet highly readable. 

Did we answer your questions? If not, fill in this form and our team will get back to you personally. 

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Disclaimer: By registering for "The Sutra Project // The Heart Sutras" I accept that all the information contained are for educational purposes and do not guarantee results.

I fully accept responsibility for anything that may arise as I participate in this program. 

* Since so much work has gone into this program, we do not offer refunds unless you have completed the course (watched all of the videos) and have not gained benefit from the teachings. If this is the case, please do contact us directly by filling out the form above.