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


Talks about Buddhism and Meditation

Check out Free Buddhist Audio for hundreds of talks by members of the Triratna Buddhist Community.

Vajra Bell is a quarterly magazine with articles and news from Triratna North America

Get updates about our courses, classes, retreats and arts events

Subscribe here

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 15 2016, 7pm to 8pm — Drop-in Introduction to Buddhist Meditation (see Courses)
  • Wed Dec 7 7pm — Sangha Night: What the world needs now..., with Karunadevi (see Sangha Night)
  • Thur, Dec 8 — Registration deadline for Winter Meditation Immersion Retreat, Thur Dec 22 to 29 (see Retreats)
  • Wed Dec 14 7pm — Sangha Night: Remembering Dr. Ambedkar, with Dayamudra (see Sangha Night)
  • Sat Dec 17 10am to 1pm — Practice Morning, with Danadasa (Day Retreats)
  • Wed Dec 21 7pm — Sangha Night: Winter Solstice Practice, with Viveka (see Sangha Night)
  • Sat, Dec 22 — Winter Meditation Immersion Retreat, Thur Dec 22 to 29 (see Retreats)
  • Dec 22 through Jan 31 January Rainy Season Retreat - reduced program (Special Events)
  • Wed Feb 1 7pm — Sangha Night: Welcome Back! (see Sangha Night)
  • Sat Feb 4 10am to 2pm — Young Sangha Practice Day (Affinity Groups)

Introductory Classes and Courses


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

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.

2017: 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.

2017: 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.

2017: 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- OPEN TO ALL - 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.

Dec 7 - What the World Needs Now, with Karunadevi

What the world needs now, more than ever, is love and compassion. The Buddha said, "Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love." In these times when expressions of hatred, anger, bigotry, and delusion seem to be increasingly present in our environment, we can find ourselves reacting and allowing our own tendencies of negativity to arise. There are dharmic practices we can rely on to help us cultivate more compassion toward ourselves and others, those who are suffering in many ways and even those who create the conditions for suffering. We will explore the Buddhist practice of compassion through meditation, reflection, and discussion.

Dec 14 - Remembering Dr. Ambedkar, with Dayamudra

Dayamudra will talk and show slides illustrating the radical life of Dr Ambedkar, who was born a Hindu but died a Buddhist and spent his life working for social justice for millions of people in India.This event will mark the 60th anniversary of the occasion on which 400,000 people converted to Buddhism under the leadership of Ambedkar (postponed from November 9).

Dec 21 - Winter Solstice Evening: Reflection and Renewal, with Viveka

On the longest night and the last sangha night of the year, Viveka will lead an evening of: meditation; reflection on what changes or growth (internal and external) we are moved to dedicate ourselves to in the coming year; a ritual celebrating our capacity for change (with a forgiveness element, walking meditation, poems and Buddhist compassion mantras/chanting).

After Dec 21 through Jan 31 we take a break from Sangha night, resuming Feb 1

Special Events


December 22 through January 31 2017

Each January we take a break from our evening classes and courses so that community members can take some time to practice together during the Rainy Season Retreat. Morning meditations will continue as usual. A new program will begin in February 2016.

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.

Saturday Dec 17: Meditation Practice Morning

with Danadasa, 10am to 1pm

A simple morning of meditation - sit, walk, sit, lie down. Open to all.

Cost: $40 ($20 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. *


Day Retreat for people in their 20's and 30's, First Saturday of each month

See Affinity Groups

Residential Retreats


Mind like the Clear Blue Sky, led by Viveka at Camp Double Bear

Thur, Dec 22, 6pm to Thur Dec 29, 3pm (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.

All birds have flown up and gone

A lonely cloud floats leisurely by

We never tire of looking at each other

Only the mountain and I

~ Li Po

The theme of this year's retreat is inspired by the poems and stories of mountain hermits and others who found the freedom in nature to understand their minds and hearts. Unplugging from the demands of daily life we can find a new perspective on being in this world.

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 (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. 


For people in their 20's and 30's

First Saturday of the month, 10am to 2pm.

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.

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.