Upcoming Event Listings
events at the San Francisco Buddhist Center:
This Month :: Classes and Courses :: Regular Weekly Classes ::
Special Events :: Day Retreats :: Residential Retreats :: Affinity Groups
Our community is dedicated to supporting anyone wishing to experience and share the benefits of Buddhist practice. This year, more than ever, we are committed to strengthening the connection between personal practice and positive action in the world around us, and providing a welcoming and safe place for all those who want to participate. You are welcome here.
If you are not sure where to start, or if you have questions or comments, please feel free to email or call.
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Get updates about our courses, classes, retreats and arts events
Coming up (in date order)
This section lists special events, course start dates,
deadlines and other announcements.
For a summary of upcoming events, see the calendar.
You can sign
up for our email list to be notified of upcoming events.
Weekday Mornings 7:30am to 8:15am —
Meditate with others any weekday morning
(see Weekly Activities)
Wednesdays 7pm to 9pm —
Sangha (Community) Night - open to all
(see Sangha Night)
Thursdays, 7pm to 8pm —
Drop-in Introduction to Buddhist Meditation
- Wed, Sep 6 to 27 7pm —
Sangha Night: Practicing with others: learning from the joys, and the difficulties, of Sangha
(see Sangha Night)
Sat, Sep 23 10am to 1pm —
Practicing with Others
(see Day Retreats), followed by Sangha Picnic
- Tue, Oct 3 to 24, 7pm to 8pm —
4-week Introduction to Buddhist Meditation - Metta Bhavana (Cultivation Loving-Kindness) (see Courses)
- Sat, Oct 14, 8pm to 9pm — Litquake (see Special Events)
- Sat, Oct 21, 10am to 4pm —
Meditation and Writing workshop (see Day Retreats)
Introductory Classes and Courses
DROP-IN INTRODUCTION TO MEDITATION
Weekly on Thursdays, 7 to 8pm
Each Thursday we offer a brief introduction to meditation and lead through one of two main practices: Mindfulness of Breathing and Loving Kindness (Metta). This is a very good place to get a feel for meditation, meet our teachers and discuss what you might do next. No experience necessary. Drop in as often as you like. Suggested donation: $10-5.
MEDITATION AND MINDFULNESS TRAINING
Four 4-week courses exploring meditation, mindfulness and buddhism, Tuesdays, 7pm to 9pm. While we recommend taking all four courses, feel free to take them in the order that suits your schedule and preference.
Each course explores meditation and the benefits of kind attention through a particular doorway, delving into different practices and the wisdom behind them to discover their full potential. Each will include instruction, guidance, practice and plenty of time for discussion and questions, plus optional individual practice reviews. Open to complete beginners and anyone wishing to refresh, support and deepen their practice.
Each course is four Tuesday evenings, 7pm to 9pm - see below for upcoming dates.
Cost for your first 4-week course: $120 ($80 low-income), then $110 ($70) for subsequent courses.
You can pay by check (to FWBO, 37 Bartlett St, SF, CA 94110), or through just give or paypal here.*
Please register by sending an email with your name and the course title.
Sep 5 to 26: The Mindfulness of Breathing
Exploring the Mindfulness of Breathing practice, using the sensations of breathing to ground our awareness in the body, allowing us to meet the stresses of everyday life with more kindness and stability, to create a more intimate inner connection, and to be mindful of the beauty, the habits, and the wonder available in each day.
Oct 3 to 24: The Metta Bhavana - Cultivating Loving-Kindness
In times of uncertainty or difficulty it can be tempting to harden our hearts and lose touch with our natural capacity to include, love and respect all beings and all aspects of ourselves. Cultivating an intention of kind awareness towards whatever arises in our experience, we can learn to interrupt our habitual reactions and respond more effectively, with more wisdom and compassion. This course will focus on the cultivation of Metta, or love, usually translated as loving-kindness or friendliness.
Even as a mother at the risk of her life, watches over and protects her only child, so with a boundless heart let one cherish all living beings. (From the Metta Sutta)
Oct 31 to Nov 21: Meditation and Buddhism
Meditation is the cultivation of an attentive and kindly mind. It goes without saying that Buddhist tradition is not the only place where we find this expressed. It can be found throughout humanity both implicitly and explicitly in myriad beautiful forms of practice that stretch back for many millennia. Nevertheless, the Buddhist tradition shows us how we can effectively engage with and transform our mind in a distinctive way, by looking at how we interpret ourselves and the world we experience. A serene, warm and engaging aspect of mind can be recognized and nurtured through meditation, but our interpretations and feelings can confuse, undermine and potentially reverse this process. Clarifying our understanding about the method - what makes our effort effective and what undermines it - can give us the confidence and inspiration to keep it up.
This course will include meditation with periods of reflection and discussion about what we are doing in meditation. We will look at meditation as one part of a holistic approach to being in the world in a more engaged, effective and happy way.
Nov 28 to Dec 19: Mindfulness in Everyday Life
Mindfulness is the ability to give our undivided attention to the present moment and to wholeheartedly engage with what needs doing. It enhances all experience. In this course we will learn how to apply mindfulness to our day-to-day activities and bring greater joy, depth, and spaciousness into our lives. No experience necessary. The course is based on the book: Life with Full Attention: A Practical Course in Mindfulness, by Maitreyabandhu.
Regular Weekly Classes and Activities
MORNING SITS: MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY, 7:30 -8:15am
Group sits open to anyone with a meditation practice. No
instruction. Doors open by 7:25 for a 40-minute sit starting at 7:30.
If you arrive late and the door is locked please do not interrupt the
meditation — come back next time! Also see Introductory
SANGHA NIGHT- OPEN TO ALL -
Wednesdays, 7pm - 9 (doors open at 6:45pm - arrive early if you would like a brief orientation)
Our Wednesday Sangha Nights are dedicated to supporting anyone wishing to experience and share the benefits of Buddhist practice. This year, more than ever, we are committed to strengthening the connection between personal practice and positive action in the world around us, and providing a welcoming and safe place for all those who want to participate. You are welcome here.
Most evenings are informal and interactive. Meditation is followed by a talk, workshop or group activity on a different theme each month.
No particular experience is required, though if you have not meditated before we recommend first attending one of our introductory classes. Suggested donation: $10–$5*, or whatever you can afford.
Sep 6 to 27 - Practicing with others: learning from the joys, and the difficulties, of Sangha
Sangha, or Spiritual Community, can be a vital source of support for anyone practicing Buddhism and questioning habitual views that cause suffering. Meditating, studying and talking with others on the same path can really help us to stay with what we value. But Sangha is also a creative practice in its own right. In fact, one of the greatest benefits of Sangha practice comes when we allow ourselves to learn from the difficulties that other people present. If, in the relative safety of Sangha, we can learn to stay with the discomfort that arises when we are triggered by others, we begin to see through our usual reactivity and coping mechanisms and experience the world very differently.
During this four-week series we will hear from people who have practiced and learned from Sangha in various shapes and forms. We will also meditate together and have the chance to talk about our own experience.
Sep 6: This week we will introduce the series and welcome our friend Medhahshri, following her Ordination into the Triratna Buddhist Order on Aug 27.
Sep 13: Staying in the Conversation (when you feel like going home), with Padmatara
Sep 20: Mary will reflect on trying, in community, to own her samskaras so they don’t own her.
Sep 23: Saturday Morning Meditation and Sangha Picnic.
Sep 27: Prasadachitta will explore Order as practice - what it has meant to him to practice with the Triratna Buddhist Order and what he has learned from it. Tonight we will also remember the larger Triratna Sangha with a special Metta Practice for members of the Merida Sangha in Venezuela.
Oct 4 to 25 - Creativity and the Spiritual Life
Oct 4: Vimalamoksha and the Greater Mandala of Uselessness
Oct 11: Dhammarati on the Religion of Art
Oct 18: A Night of Poetry, Prose and Music
Oct 25: Amy Rathbone on Direct Experience through Sound and Music (to be confirmed)
Oct 21: Day Retreat: Writing and Meditation Workshop with Acarasiddhi and Hridayashri
LIT CRAWL SAN FRANCISCO
Transgressions: Remembered, Relished, Amended, Avenged.
Saturday Oct 14, 8pm to 9pm
Once again the SFBC is participating in this extraordinary event in San Francisco's Mission District.
An amazing line-up of writers. Hope you can join us.
Writers: Giovanna Capone; Ethan Davidson; Lisa Kee-Hamasaki; Freeman Ng; Tony Acarasiddhi Press; Mary Salome.
More information here
MONTHLY DAY RETREATS AND PRACTICE DAYS
Usually the third Saturday of each month, 10am to 4pm
These monthly day retreats are a great opportunity to experience the benefits of retreat without leaving the city. Each month, through meditation, reflection and discussion we will explore a different aspect of practice and see for ourselves how it relates to living well today. They are open to anyone interested in the topics, and no particular experience is required, though if you haven't meditated before you might consider taking on of our introductory classes.
Cost: $75 ($35 low income) or whatever you can afford. ($50 or $25 for a half-day.) You can pay by cash, check or credit card on the day, or in advance through just give or paypal here. *
Pre-registration appreciated and guarantees a place.
Saturday Sep 23, 10am to 1pm: Practice Morning, followed by Sangha Picnic
Practicing with Others
Continuing the theme of Sangha Night - Practicing with others: learning from the joys and the difficulties of Sangha. Open to all.
Practice morning 10am to 1pm:
A very simple morning of meditation - sitting, wallking, lying down. Please arrive by 10am. No need to bring anything.
Pre-registration appreciated Cost: $50 ($25 low income), or whatever you can afford.
if you cannot make the practice morning either meet us at the SFBC at 1pm or drop by at the Park any time between 1:15pm and 3pm - we'll be close to 20th and Dolores. Please bring your own food and drink - there are places to pick them up on the way if you don’t come prepared. Also bring something to sit on, and last but not least, bring any interested friends, family and friendly animals.
Saturday Oct 21, 10am to 4pm: Practice Day
Writing your Way
Continuing the theme of Creativity on Sangha Night - a meditative writing workshop. With Acarasiddhi and Hridayashri. Open to all.
WOMEN'S WEEKEND RETREAT
Fri, Nov 10, 6pm to Sun Nov 12, 3pm,
at Camp Double Bear, led by Shunyamala and Hridayashri
Our annual women's weekend retreat is a wonderful opportunity to spend a weekend practicing together in the relaxing natural beauty of the Santa Cruz Mountains. We hope you can join us!
Each day will begin and end quietly with meditation. Mid morning and afternoon sessions will include instruction and guided, mindful dialogue, with free time for hiking or relaxing in the hot tub in the afternoon, and periods of silence. All activities are optional and while we invite you to enjoy the flow of the schedule and stretch your comfort zone just a little, we also encourage you to listen to your body and participate in whatever way is most helpful. We share cooking and cleaning. Accommodation is in yurts, or there are places to camp if you prefer.
Food Work Periods: Vegetarian food and simple menus are provided and cooking and cleaning are shared by everyone on the retreat. If you have a preference please let us know in advance.
Open to all levels of experience, but if you have not taken one of our meditation courses please contact us or drop-in to our Thursday classes.
Sliding scale*: $265-$200 plus optional dana for the teacher. If you are unable to come because of money please contact us as we are sometimes able to offer reductions.
Register here. Deadline with $100 deposit: Wed, Nov 1.
WINTER MEDITATION IMMERSION RETREAT
Fri, Dec 22, 6pm to Fri, Dec 29, 3pm (option to leave Sun 24), led by Vimalamoksha and Prasadachitta
Our annual winter meditation retreat is a priceless opportunity to spend a week away from our normal conditions, in silence, supporting each other and being supported by the natural beauty of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Silence: the retreat will be mostly silent except for instruction, meditation reviews and some mindful communication. It's a rare opportunity to take a break from making conversation and to see what happens when we let ourselves be.
Food and Work Periods: Vegetarian food and simple menus are provided and cooking and cleaning are shared by everyone on the retreat. If you have a preference please let us know in advance.
Free Time: Camp Double Bear is a lovely place and there will be time to explore the area, hike and/or just relax and enjoy the surroundings, including the hot tub.
Open to all levels of experience, though some meditation experience is recommended - if you have not taken one of our meditation courses please contact us or drop-in to our Thursday classes.
Sliding scale*: $700 - $550 (Fri to Fri) or $265-$200 (leaving Sun 24) plus optional dana for the teachers. If you are unable to come because of money please contact us as we are sometimes able to offer reductions, depending on numbers.
Register here by Dec 10, with $200 deposit.
More information about retreats.
Retreat calendar and registration here.
More information about retreats.
Retreat calendar and registration here.
Affinity groups allow individuals to gather on a basis of a
shared interest, identity, or ideals.
For people in their 20's and 30's
These occasional meetings invite us to take a look at how the choices we make have an impact on ourselves and the wider world. Events include meditation, dharma discussion, dinners, and hikes. Feel free to bring your own ideas! Email to join the mailing list for this group.
Occasional meetings, usually Thursday evenings
An opportunity for those who identify as Queer Women to meditate together and explore our unique experiences in applying the dharma to all aspects of our lives. We are currently taking a break but please email us if you're interested or if you have suggestions. Donation based. *
PEOPLE OF COLOR SITTING GROUP, Sunday every
few months, 1-3pm - no class currently scheduled.
If you are a
person of color with a meditation practice or with an interest in
developing one, then these gatherings would be of benefit. Instruction
is offered by Viveka .
Donations welcome. * (more
STEPS TO RECOVERY
Occasional meetings and day retreats for people in recovery from addictions of all kinds.
*NOTE ABOUT FEES AND DONATIONS
Unless otherwise stated, all fees and donations go toward
operating costs of the San Francisco Buddhist Center, a nonprofit
organization. Teaching at this Center is done by volunteers.
For events with a sliding scale, please pay what you can
afford within that range, or contact us in advance to arrange a further
The suggested donation given for most of our regular events is
there as a guide and you should feel free to pay more if you can and
less if you need to. Make checks out to the "FWBO" (Friends of the
Western Buddhist Order - this is still our bank account name). Please
give your name and the reason for your donation. Thank you! To pay
online by credit card go here for just give, or here for paypal.