Drew Oman's involvement with Buddhism began in the early 70s when he took a course in Buddhist Scriptures from Walpola Rahula (What the Buddha Taught) at Northwestern University, where Drew obtained a BA in psychology. His spiritual journey led him through years of rich study and practice with the Quakers, Self-Realization Fellowship, and while following Eknath Easwaran here in the Bay Area, an immersion in the Christian mystics. Drew returned to Buddhism, specifically to Vipassana practice, in the early 90s, and has established a consistent meditation practice, is an active member of IMSB, studies Buddhist scripture, and engages in retreat practice. Drew has taught English as a Second Language in community college and Stanford, and works as an English language coach in corporate settings.
Drew Oman gave the first talk in the eleven-week series "Ten Perfections." He began with a brief introduction to the Paramis (Ten Perfections), and then discussed the first perfection, Generosity (Dana), in more detail. He presented material from the suttas and from contemporary research on the relationship between giving and happiness.
Drew Oman gave the third talk in a six-week series titled "Ethics, Action and the Five Precepts." He expands upon the third precept: refraining from sexual misconduct. He explores its relation to the other four precepts and to the four noble truths.
This talk presents the two guardians, hiri and ottappa in Pali, as lenses for self-examination from the original texts, and as supports for the cultivation of sila in our everyday lives. Hiri, is more inwardly directed; it's our inner moral compass. Ottappa, is more outwardly directed; it comprises of notions such as social conscience or a collective sense of morality. Together, they guard our minds from going too far astray. The audience are divided into pairs to explore how each of these concepts can be used in investigate both wholesome and unwholesome thoughts and actions, helping us to deepen our understanding of what it means to live ethical lives.