Upcoming Event Listings

All upcoming events at the San Francisco Buddhist Center:

This Month :: Introductory Classes :: Weekly Classes :: Monthly Classes
Special Events :: Yoga & Meditation :: Retreats :: Affinity Groups

This Year's Theme


Our Theme for 2012 is Transforming Self and World. As part of our regular program we will explore this theme as a way of living in each moment of our life, through talks, workshops, practice days, and cultural events.

This Month (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 Morning sits — Meditate with others any weekday morning 7:30am to 8:15am (see Weekly Activities).
  • Thursday Drop-in Introduction to Meditationevery Thursday 7pm to 8pm (see Introductory Classes).
  • Friday Yoga and Meditation has been canceled for the next few weeks, sorry (see Yoga)
  • Wed, Apr 25 to May 23 — Sangha Night - 5-week level 2 Meditation Course,Transformation through Meditation: Anapanasati, led by Viveka and others , 7:00pm (see Weekly Activities).
  • Fri, May 11 — An Evening in India, 7pm (see Special Events).
  • Thu, May 17 — Dharma Dykes, 7pm (see Affinity Groups).
  • Sat, May 19 — Meditation Half-Day Retreat, led by Viveka, 9am to 1pm (see Special Events).
  • Fri, Jun 1 — First Friday Film Night, Wasteland, 7pm (see Monthly events).
  • Sat, Jun 2 — Men's Day Retreat: The Benefits of Practice, led by Viradhamma, 10am to 4pm (see Special Events).
  • Don't miss our Summer Meditation Immersion Retreat — June 16 to 24 (see Retreats).
  • Sat, Aug 25 — New! Monthly Sesshins, led by Dayamudra, 8am to 12 noon (see Monthly Events).

Introductory Classes

See also Affinity Groups and Yoga Classes for other events for beginners.


Weekly on Thursdays, 7 to 8pm (No class Dec 22-January 31)

Introduction to Mindfulness of Breathing and Loving Kindness meditations (alternate weeks), plus instruction on posture and time for questions. Suggested donation: $10-5. ( course description)


Courses start: Feb 7, May 1, Sep 11, Oct 22, 2012.

(course description)
Six Tuesdays, 7 to 9pm
Sliding scale: $145–$95*
How to Register for a Course


Courses start: Feb 7, May 1, Sep 11, Oct 22, 2012.

(course description)
Six Tuesdays,7 to 9pm
Sliding scale: $145–$95*
How to Register for a Course


Course starts: March 20, 2012, next course tba.

A 6 week course introducing Buddhist meditation practices alongside the Buddhist teachings that inspire us to practice, aiming to provide the framework and tools to beginning a transformative personal practice. Space is limited to 10 people and pre-registration is recommended.
Six Tuesdays, 7 to 9pm
Sliding scale: $145–$95*
How to Register for a Course

Weekly Activities — Open to All

For more detailed descriptions, see Ongoing Community classes.


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- Wednesdays, 7pm - 9 (doors open 6:45)

Sangha Night is a weekly class open to all that provides regular support for anyone interested in Buddhist practice. Sangha is the Buddhist word for spiritual community. Each week begins with a meditation, followed by a talk or other program. Meditators of all experience levels are also welcome to drop-in for just the meditation at 7:00pm.
Suggested donation: $10–$5*,

If you are new to Sangha Night or have questions please arrive at 6:45pm for a brief orientation.

April 25 to May 23 — Transformation through Meditation: Anapanasati, led by Viveka and others

The Anapanasati sutta contains 16 beautifully clear instructions taught by the Buddha, that work through the four foundations of mindfulness (body, feelings, mind and the nature of reality) leading all the way to Enlightenment. Viveka has a particular love for the sutta and has been practicing and leading retreats on it for many years. For this course she will be joined by Dawn Pavli, Dayamudra, Mike Osgood and Prasadachitta.

This series is part of our regular Sangha Night program and you can drop in to any class or sign up for it as a course.

Take the Series as a Level 2 Continuation Course (limited to 12 people): meet in a regular weekly group led by the instructors; optional personal meditation review; option to attend special practice morning May 19 see Special Events). Must be able to attend at least 4 sessions and have taken our 6-week Introduction to Meditation Course or equivalent. Open to anyone who is already familiar with the sutta as well as those who are new to it. Pre-register to guarantee a place. Sliding scale: $120-50.


May 30 to Jun 13, Commitment to Change, led by Karunadevi

There are many places and ways to practice, and each of us needs to find what works best, but real transformation requires that at some point we commit. Karunadevi will talk about what that means in Buddhism and in our particular tradition, exploring the importance of friendship and going for refuge to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. June 6 will include a ceremony for new Mitras (friends).

Jun 20, TBA

Jun 27, TBA

Jul 11 and 18, Viradhamma

Aug 1, Practice Night, led by Shantinayaka

Aug 29, led by Dhammarati

Oct 17, led by Mahamati, International Order Convenor for the Triratna Buddhist Order

Oct 24, Ambedkar Celebration, led by Dayamudra

FRIDAY DROP-IN YOGA AND MEDITATION, 6-7pm - this class been canceled for the next few weeks, sorry. (doors open 5:45)

About the Friday yoga class.

Monthly Activities — Open to All

FIRST FRIDAY FILM NIGHT, hosted by Pete Humphrey and friends (doors open 7pm)

Jun 1: Wasteland

An amazing documentary (presented by Ken) about the creative process. Set in the garbage dumps of Brazil, "Wasteland" by Lucy Walker reminds us that creativity is a central and important part of life. Here is a trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNlwh8vT2NU

All welcome! Suggested donation: $5*

FULL MOON PUJAS (near or at the time of the full moon).

During the time of the Buddha the community of monks and nuns would gather together on the night of the full moon to meditate in the warm glow of the moon’s light. The night of the full moon is a natural, auspicious opportunity to come together as a community and offer devotion to that which is mysterious to us, beyond our sight but still deeply embedded in our hearts. In the Buddhist tradition devotion can take many forms, one of which is the communal practice of puja (ritual). Each evening will include an optional introduction to ritual and a traditional seven-fold puja. Led by Danamaya. $5 suggested donation*.


8am to 12 noon, Aug 25, Sep 29, Oct 27

Come for an extended period of unled meditation at The San Francisco Buddhist Center. There will be 40-minute sits on the hour from 8 am to 12 noon with a bell to mark the beginning and end of each sit followed by a 10-minute walking meditation and then a 10-minute silent transition period into the next hour. Doors will be opened 10 minutes before the hour. Please enter quietly. You are welcome to stay for as many sits as you like. $5 - $40 suggestion donation*. Led by Dayamudra.


...find out about current Affinity Groups.

Special Events


Sat, May 19, 9am to 1pm,led by Viveka

A half-day retreat for those practicing or familiar with the anapanasati 16 stage mindfulness of breathing practice taught by the Buddha, either from the current level 2 course or from prior experience.

Throughout the day we will meditate through the 16 stages or instructions meditating with 1) breath and body, 2) feelings and emotions, 3) mind, and 4) concluding with insight practice inquiring into the nature of experience.

The program will include a series of sitting meditations with short walking meditations in-between.

Feel free to bring your own snacks. Pre-registration appreciated. Sliding Scale: $50-$25*.

(See also Sangha Night)


Sat, Jun 2, The Benefits of Practice 10am to 4pm (Next Men's Day Retreats: Aug 4, Sep 15, Oct 6, Nov 3, Dec 15)

A day of meditation, reflection, and study. In the morning we will focus on meditation, and in the afternoon we will discuss passages of the Samannaphala Sutta, a discourse where the Buddha talks about the benefits "here and now" of practicing the Dharma. It is not necessary to read the sutta in advance of the event. Led by Viradhamma, a senior member of the Triratna Buddhist Order.

Light vegetarian lunch provided. Pre-registration appreciated so that we have numbers for food. Sliding Scale: $75-$35*.

Residential Retreats

For more retreats, see Retreat calendar.

General information about our retreats.


Jun 16–24 (Sat 7pm to Sun 2pm), with option to leave Mon 6/18 at 5pm. Led by Viveka and Tejananda, at Jikoji.

Register here. More information here.

A week of meditation and instruction with two of our senior meditation teachers in the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains. This retreat is not so much about studying the Heart Sutra as understanding how to put it into practice. There will be succinct practical introductions to each section of the sutra, but our main practice will be about opening to the very heart of awakening, the union of wisdom and compassion. If you would like to attend this retreat but do not have meditation experience please try to take one of our Introductory Classes.

Registration deadline with $100 deposit: Sun, Jun 3.
Sliding scale: $670–530 (full week) or $250–185 (leaving Monday), plus dana for the teachers.

Next Retreat: Weekend Retreat, Sep 21–24, Jikoji (more information).

Affinity Groups

Affinity groups allow individuals to gather on a basis of a shared interest, identity, or ideals. 

DHARMA DYKES, third Thursdays, May 17, 7-9pm.

Meets monthly on the 3rd Thursday. Inviting those who identify as Queer Women to join us for a monthly chance to meditate together and explore our unique experiences in applying the dharma to all aspects of our lives. Open to all levels of experience. Led by Karunadakini. $10-$5 suggested donation*

PEOPLE OF COLOR SITTING GROUP, Sunday every few months, 1-3pm. Next Classes Sunday Apr 22, Jun 10, Aug 12

Regular sits one Sunday every other month. 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 info)


This class is taking a break but the group is planning to continue to get together and attend other recovery meetings in the city. For more information contact Mary S at CertainSteps [at] gmail.com.


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.