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


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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 Feb 2 through December, 7pm to 8pm — Drop-in Introduction to Buddhist Meditation (see Courses)
  • Wed Feb 1 to 22 7pm — Sangha Night: Meeting Hatred with Love (see Sangha Night)
  • Thur, Feb 16 7pm to 9pm — Young Sangha Gathering (Affinity Groups)
  • Sat, Feb 25 10am to 4pm — Day Retreat - Love in a time of hate (see Day Retreats)
  • Wed March 1 to 29 7pm — Sangha Night: Truth and Truthiness (see Sangha Night)
  • Tue, March 7 to 28 7pm — Meditation Training: Metta Bhavana, Cultivating Loving Kindness, (see Courses)
  • Fri, April 21 to Sun April 23 7pm — Weekend Meditation Retreat - Beginner's Mind, with Padmatara and Vimalamoksha (see Residential Retreats)

Introductory Classes and Courses

DROP-IN INTRODUCTION TO MEDITATION

Weekly on Thursdays, 7 to 8pm  (last class of 2016 is December 15 - resumes Feb 2, 2017)

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 month training course: Four 4-week modules, 7pm to 9pm

Would you like to experience the many benefits of meditation and mindfulness in your daily life? This year we are offering a comprehensive four-month training that aims to provide the necessary tools and support for a consistent and deepening practice of mindfulness, kindness and wisdom.

The training is divided into four 4-week modules that will be repeated in the Fall. Take them all in one go, or spread them out, depending on your schedule and preferred pace.

Each module will explore 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 module is four Tuesday evenings, 7pm to 9pm - see below for upcoming dates.

Cost for the first 4-week module: $120 ($80 low-income), then $110 ($70) for subsequent modules. 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 7 to 28: 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 7 to 28: 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)

April 11 to May 2: 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.

May 16 to June 6: 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

Continue throughout January and the holidays.

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.

Feb 1 to 22 - Meeting Hatred with Love, with Vimalamoksha, Hridayashri and Dayamudra

Abandon such thoughts and live in love. In this world, hate never yet dispelled hate. Only love dispels hate. - The Dhammapada

February is a month celebrating LOVE. In these stressful times, how can we connect to a deeper love, rooted in compassion and wisdom? In this 4-part Wednesday Night Series the February Sangha Team of Hridayashri, Vimalamoksha and Dayamudra will present Buddhist tools for meeting ourselves with tenderness, for meeting others with curiosity, and for cultivating creativity and resilience. All are welcome.

Feb 1: Practicing self-compassion

Where do we begin? The seed for true love is planted in the heart. This evening Hridayashri will explore ways to deepen our capacity for love by turning towards our own experience.

Feb 8: 1,000 Arms with 1,000 Tools

In this evening led by Dayamudra we will look at ways to embody both compassion and wisdom, staying centered as we meet both our own suffering and the suffering of the world, with care.

Feb 15

the theme will continue, responding to topics that come up in the first 2 weeks.

Feb 22: Dancing with Anger, with Danadasa

Can anger be used as a creative force for positive change? Is anger an appropriate response to all the injustice, hatred and bigotry in the world? During this sangha night gathering we will explore the roots of anger, and creative ways to dance with anger.

Drop in to any evening or come for the whole series.

March 1 to 29 - Truth and Truthiness, with Prasadachitta, Danadasa and Vimalamoksha

The instructions the Buddha gave around discerning, protecting and making good use of truth are extremely relevant today. They may not always be easy to act on, but the effort is worthwhile and has the potential to transform how we relate to ourselves and those to whom we listen and communicate. In this series Prasadachitta will explore the Buddha’s advice on issues of truth and slander and his exemplification of skill and wisdom in communication, sharing a vision of the ways serenity and love can support vigilance and action for good ends.

Special Events

PRACTICING TOGETHER AT THE SAN FRANCISCO BUDDHIST CENTER

Mon, Feb 6 to Feb 27, 2017, 7pm to 9pm

This informal and interactive course is intended for people who have taken 2 or more of our 4-week Meditation Training courses (or equivalent) and are now curious about participating more deeply in the SFBC/Triratna Community. Course teachers and other Sangha Members will share their experience and welcome any questions about our core practices and intentions, as a small local Buddhist Center, and as part of the worldwide Triratna community. We will also discuss what it means to be a Mitra (friend) or Order Member here. Please feel free to email if you have questions.

Suggested donation $110 ($70 low income) or whatever you can afford. 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.

BUDDHIST TRAVEL STORIES FROM NEW ZEALAND, - A YEAR-LONG SOLITARY RETREAT, WITH KIRANADA

Friday, June 9, 7pm to 9pm

Please join us for an evening of slides, stories and dessert, as Kiranada shares her experience of a one year solitary retreat at the Triratna Buddhist Community Retreat Center, Sudarshanaloka, on the North Island of New Zealand.

This is a fundraiser for the SFBC Retreat Center: suggested donation: $10-40, or whatever you can afford.

Day Retreats

MONTHLY DAY RETREATS AND PRACTICE DAYS

Saturdays, 10am to 4pm

These monthly day retreats are a great opportunity to experience the benefits of retreat without leaving the city. Our theme this year is The Path of Freedom: Tools for Applying Ancient Wisdom to Modern Life. Each month, through meditation, reflection and discussion we will explore a different aspect of the path 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. 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 Feb 25, 10am to 4pm: Practice Day with Danadasa

Love in a Time of Hate

The Buddha taught that animosity is never eradicated by animosity, only through loving kindness is animosity dissolved. How can we put this wisdom into practice? Can animosity be used positively as a source of motivation? How do we respond with love to all the hatred, discrimination, bigotry, and fake news in the world?

Meditation, reflection, discussion. Open to all.

Cost: $75 ($35 low income) or whatever you can afford. 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.

YOUNG SANGHA

Get togethers for people in their 20's and 30's, Third Thursday

See Affinity Groups

Residential Retreats

WEEKEND MEDITATION RETREAT

Beginner's Mind, Fri, April 21, 6pm to Sun April 23, 3pm,
at Jikoji

In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few. (Shunryu Suzuki)

Beginner's mind is free of expectations and prejudice, full of wonder and curiosity. This retreat aims to provide a space to reconnect with beginner's mind, our natural capacity to respond creatively to our experience.

Whether you are a beginner or an advanced meditator you are invited to give your practice a refreshing boost, surrounded by the quiet, natural beauty of the Santa Cruz mountains. Meditating together and supporting each other, away from our usual schedule, gives us the chance to go deeper and refresh our perspective on life.

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. 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.

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*: $305-$220 plus optional dana for the teacher. Please pay what you can afford within the sliding scale. 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

Registration deadline with $100 deposit: April 11.

WOMEN'S WEEKEND RETREAT

Fri, Nov 10, 6pm to Sun Nov 12, 3pm,
at Camp Double Bear

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)

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. 

YOUNG SANGHA

For people in their 20's and 30's

Usually third Thursdays, 7pm to 9pm.

These meetings invite us to take a look at how the choices we make have an impact on ourselves and the wider world. Email for information or to join the mailing list for this group.

DHARMA DYKES

Occasional montly 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)

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 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.