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)
  • Thursdays through December 2016, 7pm to 8pm — Drop-in Introduction to Buddhist Meditation (see Courses)
  • Wed Sep 7 to 28 7pm — Sangha Night Series: Art, Beauty and Devotion (see Sangha Night)
  • Tue Sep 27 to Oct 18 7pm to 9pm — Mindfulness of the Breathing Body - part of our Fall Meditation Training series, 4 week course (see Classes and Courses)
  • Sat Oct 1 10am to 2pm — Young Sangha Practice Morning: Meditation in the Park (Affinity Groups)
  • Wed Oct 5 to 26 7pm — Sangha Night Series: Life, the Universe, and Everything: what's that all about? (see Sangha Night)
  • Sat Oct 15 — 8:30pm to 9:30pm Lit Crawl (Special Events)
  • Sat Oct 22 — 8:30pm to 9:30pm Silence in the City - Fundraiser for Jai Bhim International (Special Events)
  • Fri to Sun, Nov 4 to 6Women's Weekend Meditation Retreat - register by Oct 24 (see Retreats)

Introductory Classes and Courses


Weekly on Thursdays, 7 to 8pm  (no class November 24)

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 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 throughout the year. 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.

Sep 27 to Oct 18: 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 25 to Nov 22 (skipping Nov 8): The Metta Bhavana - Cultivating Loving-Kindness

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)

This may seem a tall order, but a boundless heart, responding to the world and all beings (including the being we call "me") with unconditional love, is both an expression of freedom and the key to it, and is well within our human capacity. Cultivating an intention of kind awareness towards whatever arises in our experience, we can interrupt our habitual patterns of insecurity and begin to experience the liberating qualities of love, compassion, joy and equanimity known as the brahma viharas or illimitables. This course will focus on the cultivation of Metta, or love, usually translated as loving-kindness or friendliness.

Nov 29 to Dec 20: 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.

2017: 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


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- Wednesdays, 7pm - 9 (doors open at 6:45pm and close at 7pm when the meditation begins)

Our Wednesday Sangha Night welcomes anyone with an interest in Buddhist practice and a desire to explore ways to bring more wisdom and compassion into our way of being in the world. Most evenings are informal and interactive. Meditation is followed by a talk or workshop and discussion or group activities. No experience is required, but if you have not meditated before we recommend first attending one of our introductory classes. Suggested donation: $10–$5*,

Weekly Program:

Doors open at 6:45pm. Our meditation space is open if you'd like to sit quietly, or help yourself to tea in the reception area. If you are new to Sangha Night please arrive early for a brief orientation. The program begins with introductions and a check-in, followed by meditation and a talk or other activity.

The Path of Freedom: Tools for Applying Ancient Wisdom to Modern Life

The Buddha was clear that we should use his teachings as a raft - or a set of tools - to transform ourselves and our world. His instruction was to try them out for ourselves, rather than taking them on as a belief system. Over 2000 years later, in a world with very different challenges, it's perhaps more important than ever to remember this instruction, and to keep our practice relevant.

Our Sangha Night focus this year is to explore our personal path or journey in the context of today's world.


You can live without the arts: no one ever dropped dead from lack of art. It is quite superfluous - which is why it's so necessary. Sangarakshita

In this series Shunyamala, Hridayashri, Vimalamoksha and others will explore art and beauty as an important element of the Buddhist path. The series will include a lovely puja (devotional practice) to Prajnaparamita - the perfection of wisdom, led by visiting order member, Siddhisambhava (who is also leading the workshop: Death and the Only Beauty that Lasts).

Sep 7: Hridayashri

Sep 14: Shunyamala

Sep 21: Siddhisambhava: puja to Prajnaparamita - the Perfection of Wisdom

Sep 28: Vimalamoksha


In this series Prasadachitta and others will look at ways to find or imagine the central myth that gives our journey and practice meaning. What is the point? What can we rely on? Buddhism talks in terms of going for refuge to, or relying on, the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha - how can this perspective help us to answer these questions?

Oct 5: What's the Point?

Oct 12: The Buddha

Oct 19: The Dharma

Oct 26: The Sangha

Special Events


Thirst. Though your cup is full. Because it's always empty. And the drink is sweet. But the tap's gone dry.

Saturday Oct 15, 8:30pm to 9:30pm

Once again the SFBC is participating in this extraordinary event in San Francisco's Mission District. More information will follow nearer the time.

An amazing line-up of writers. Hope you can join us.

Writers:Judy Halebsky; Happy/L.A. Hyder; Shikha Malaviya; Sarah Paris; Tony Acarasiddhi Press; Jenny Qi. More information at litquake.org/event-series/lit-crawl-san-francisco


A fundraiser for Jai Bhim International, hosted by The SFBC

Saturday Oct 22, 9am to 1pm

Autumn is the perfect time to unplug, reconnect to the earth, and explore stillness. Join us for a concentrated 4 hours of Buddhist yoga practice, with restorative poses, walking meditation, guided seated meditation, chanting and reflection. All levels of yoga and meditation practice are welcome.

Th day will be led by Dayamudra, a Certified Yoga Instructor through The Integral Yoga Institute and founder of JBI. Dayamudra has been part of the SFBC sangha or 16 years.

$50 to $25 donation requested. You can pay through paypal here (scroll down to Donate Now button). All donations go directly to support JBI's youth projects in South India. For more information call 415-289-2019, visit JBI's website or join the Facebook event.

Day Retreats


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 or check on the day, or in advance through just give or paypal here. *

Pre-registration appreciated and guarantees a place.

Saturday Oct 29: Practice Day with Danadasa

More information will follow soon.


Day Retreat for people in their 20's and 30's, First Saturday of each month, 10am to 2pm

See Affinity Groups

Residential Retreats


Fri, Nov 4, 6pm to Sun Nov 6, 3pm,
at Camp Double Bear, with Padmatara and Viveka

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!

Compassionate Listening

Through meditation, mindful communication and body awareness we will gently explore ways to bring compassion to our internal and external experience. As we learn to listen fearlessly, without an agenda, we can begin to appreciate the full subtlety and richness of our lives. Gradually we can expand our capacity to turn towards all our experience and receive it with kind curiosity, without judging or reacting.

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

Registration deadline with $100 deposit: Oct 24.


Thur, Dec 22, 6pm to Thur Dec 29, 3pm, at Camp Double Bear (option to leave Sat 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.

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 (Sat to Sat) or $265-$200 (leaving Sat 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

Registration deadline with $200 deposit: Dec 8.

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. 


First Saturday of the month, 10am to 2pm. Sep 3, Oct 1, Nov 5, Dec 3

These monthly meetings invite us to take a look at how the choices we make have an impact on ourselves and the wider world. There will be opportunities for quiet reflection as well as discussion.

Sat Sep 3, 10:30 to 2: Meditation in the Park

For September's Young Sangha event we want to explore taking our practice into the world. Come join us for a 2 hour meditation session (with breaks) at Dolores Park followed by a potluck picnic. Cushions will be provided. You can find us near the northeast corner (18th St. and Dolores). We will begin with meditation at 10:30am and end with a potluck picnic from 12:30-2:00. Come for all or part of the day. If you plan to come for the potluck picnic, please bring a vegetarian item to share. Also, it may be good to bring a blanket in case of a foggy morning. Hope to see you there.

Suggested donation: sliding scale $40 to $20. You can pay by cash or check on the day, or in advance through just give or paypal here. *

Pre-registration appreciated and guarantees a place.


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)


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.