Upcoming Event Listings

All upcoming 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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Coming up (in date order)

This section lists special events, course start dates, registration 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 (see Courses)
  • Tue, Oct 3 to 24, 7pm to 8pm — 4-week Introduction to Buddhist Meditation - Metta Bhavana (Cultivation Loving-Kindness) (see Courses)
  • Sat, Oct 21, 10am to 4pm — Meditation and Writing workshop (see Day Retreats)
  • Tue, Oct 31 to Nov 21, 7pm to 8pm — 4-week Introduction to Buddhism and Meditation (see Courses)
  • Wed, Nov 1 — registration deadline for Women's Weekend Retreat: Coming into Relationship with Yourself and Others, Nov 10 to 12 (see Retreats)
  • Wed, Nov 1 to 29, 7pm to 8pm — Reflecting on Impermanence (see Sangha Night)
  • Sat, Nov 18, 10am to 4pm — Reflecting on Impermanence (see Day Retreats)

Introductory Classes and Courses


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.


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.

Feb 2019: 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.

March 2018: 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


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 Classes.

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.

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 invites us to directly experience her process of making

Oct 21: Day Retreat: Writing and Meditation Workshop with Acarasiddhi and Hridayashri

Nov 1 to 29 - Reflecting on Impermanence

Don't be afraid. Love, feel, let life take you by the hand. Let life live through you. (from Hokusai says, by Roger Keyes)

November feels like a time to pause, to celebrate those we have lost, to reflect on what's important in our constantly changing lives, and to meditate together, exploring ways to embrace change and let life live through us.

Nov 1: On the eve of the Day of the Dead Celebration here in the Mission, Karunadevi will invite us to acknowledge our loved ones who have recently died, and to celebrate their lives.

Nov 8: Meditation leads to a more integrated and stable state of mind that allows us to respond wisely to life's uncertainties. Danadasa will lead this evening of reflection and practice.

Nov 15: Hridayashri will conduct a lovely, simple ceremony to celebrate one of our community members becoming a "Mitra" or friend, a personal commitment to practice the principles of Buddhism and take on the 5 precepts in the context of the SFBC/Triratna Community.

Nov 22: Closed for Thanksgiving

Nov 29: Padmatara will look at ways of working with the Brahma Viharas - Love, Compassion, Joy and Equanimity - that can gently open us up to a deeper understanding of the wisdom of impermanence.

Nov 18: Day Retreat: Continuing the theme of Reflecting on Impermanence

Special Events


Sat, Dec 9, 6pm to 9pm

Join us for a great evening of entertainment, good food, and shopping for the holidays at our Silent Auction. Always a fun time, and a wonderful way to support your favorite Buddhist Center. Bring your friends and family!

Suggested donation: $25 to $75.

If you can't make the event in person, you can still help by making a one-off donation - more information here. Thank you!

Day Retreats


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 Oct 21, 10am to 4pm: Practice Day

Finding your Stories, Poems, Words

Continuing the theme of Creativity on Sangha Night Acarasiddhi* will lead a day of gentle, helpful and inspiring writing exercises, and Hridayashri will lead meditations, all of this leading to the creation of new words on the page.

Open to all, whether you fancy yourself as a "writer" or not. We are all creative, but sometimes we need to know where to look.

*Acarasiddhi is also known as poet and fiction writer Tony Press. His excellent recent book Crossing the Lines is available in our bookstore.

Saturday Nov 18, 10am to 4pm: Practice Day

Reflecting on Impermanence

Continuing the theme of Sangha Night Sangha Night we will spend a day meditating, reflecting on and contemplating change as we experience it and as we live it.

Residential Retreats


Coming into Relationship with Yourself and Others

Fri, Nov 10, 6pm to Sun Nov 12, 3pm,
at Camp Double Bear, led by Shunyamala and Hridayashri

With Stillness, Simplicity, and Contentment we will listen, open, and soften into our place of natural balance. Over the weekend there will be periods of meditation, of overnight silence, and of personal inquiry into how to skillfully navigate in a turbulent world.

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 with meditation. Mid morning and afternoon sessions will include instruction, guided, mindful dialogue, and more meditation. There is space for hiking, yoga, nature gazing, or relaxing in the hot tub in the afternoon. In the evenings we will have some ritual practice. Silent periods will encourage the deepening of experience. 

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.


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

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 information)


Occasional meetings and day retreats for people in recovery from addictions of all kinds.


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 reduced rate.

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.