Events Archive

This page shows events that we hold regularly but are either not yet scheduled at all or are waiting for more information. 

Archived Events

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into the conversation (David Whyte)
Sat, Apr 21, 2018

Continuing the theme of this month's Sangha Night we'll explore ways we communicate - out loud, in silence and through writing - that lead to more freedom and less suffering.

with Prasadachitta
Sat, May 19, 2018

Continuing the theme of Sangha Night. Spend the day meditating, reflecting and discussion the Four Noble Truths, how the apply to our lives and how they can free us from suffering. 

with Hridayashri
Sat, Jun 9, 2018

Meditation in the World - part of our Buddhist Action Month series.

This is an opportunity to take our practice outside and commune with nature.  Starting at 10am we will meet in Dolores Park.  Look for us on the grass above the tennis courts near the corner of 18th and Dolores St.  Mats and cushions are provided.  Please bring your own blankets, sunscreen, water, hat, and weather appropriate clothing. We will do a sit, walk, sit. Then share in a vegetarian potluck lunch.  Please register so we know how many cushions to bring.

with Viveka
Wed, Jun 20, 2018

Viveka facilitates breakthroughs with people building community power to shape a thriving world that is healthy, inclusive, and equitable. She has collaborated for 25 years within movements for racial, economic, gender and environmental justice and with dharma communities seeking to model and work towards a transformed, liberating society. She will share her reflections and engage us on these questions:

  • What is power? Different kinds of power?
  • How can we engage and shift toxic power in our society skillfully?
  • What is our power to co-create positive change in the world?
  • How do we wield that creative power ethically?
with Advayamati
Sat, Jul 28, 2018

Developed by Advayamati ‘body dharma’ workshops are based on shiatsu, loving- kindness and mindfulness. They support the integration of body, mind and spirit, leading us to a deeper experience of inter-connectedness. 

Advayamati has taught buddhism and meditation at the Ipswich Buddhist Centre (UK) for 14 years and been practicing shiatsu for 30. 

The workshops involve a combination of bodywork, chi chung, ‘do in’ (simple self shiatsu), and yoga stretching with mindfulness meditation that helps us take our practice deeper and bring more of our whole experience into  our meditation, helping to balance the flow of energy. There is some paired work.

Please wear loose clothing.

 

Led by Shantigarbha
Sat, Sep 15, 2018

I'll Meet You There

"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi.

Based on his new book and drawing on many years of training in meditation, buddhism, non-violent communication (NVC)and mediation, Shantigarbha will lead through meditations, guided reflections, stories from the life of the Buddha, and practical exercises to help us develop our empathic listening skills. 

Shantigarbha is a Buddhist activist and mediator, and author of I'll Meet You There: a practical guide to empathy, mindfulness and communication, released in June 2018 from Windhorse Publications. Read the first chapter and order the paperback and e-book here

All welcome. No NVC or meditation experience required.  

Sep 19 to Oct 3
Wed, Sep 19, 2018

WHERE DHARMA MEETS ART: AN URBAN RETREAT, WITH VAJRADARSHINI

“Our meditation doesn't stay on the cushion. We are a studio and a laboratory, testing new ways to view life. Evoking curiosity and playfulness. Looking for meaning. Finding beauty.”

We are very happy that Vajradarshini will be back after many years to lead 3 weeks of urban retreat: Sep 17 to Oct 7.

Vajradarshini has been teaching and leading retreats since 1997. “In all that time the aspect of practice that I loved the most was bringing the Buddhist teachings together with art. Something would happen, the art illuminated the dharma and the dharma illuminated the art.” She currently lives in Sweden. Take a look at her website.

Events:

SANGHA NIGHTS: THE LIFE OF OBJECTS - FALL IN LOVE WITH LIFE AGAIN

Three Wednesday Evenings, 7pm to 9pm 

  • Sep 19: Bringing Objects to Life
  • Sep 26: A Mutual Relationship
  • Oct 3: Everyday Ritual Objects

When we realise how much the world we live in is influenced by mind, we also discover that we can choose the kind of a world we want to live in. 
When we realise that what we experience is not the ‘thing out there’ but our own perception, our relationship with things is suddenly changed. The teapot and the bowl are no longer separate from us, but intimately connected to us, even a part of us.  

We encourage you if you can to come to all three evenings, but please drop in to just as many as you can. Along with the Day Retreat Sep 22, these events are open to anyone interested in Art, Meditation or Buddhism and/or a combination of all three.  No experience necessary. 

More information about our Wednesday night program here

 

DAY RETREAT: DHARMA DOORWAYS IN THE WORLD OF ART

Saturday 22 Sept, 10am to 4pm - more information and registration here.

The way I see it, meditators and artists are often on a similar mission. The mission to get close to reality. The mission to have an experience that is, somehow, ‘truer’. 

We’ll take the essential Buddhist teaching of the vimoksa mukhas, this teaching points to the idea that we can find doorways to freedom in our own minds, and we'll ask if art can open these doorways? 

Whether you make art or simply value it in your life, if you want to make new connections between meditation and art this day retreat is for you. 

 

CORE SANGHA WEEKEND RETREAT: THREE REALMS: TIME - ENERGY - SPACE. THREE DOORWAYS TO FREEDOM

Weekend Retreat for Core Sangha Sep 28 to 30 - more information here.

with Vajradarshini
Sat, Sep 22, 2018

The way I see it, meditators and artists are often on a similar mission. The mission to get close to reality. The mission to have an experience that is, somehow, ‘truer’. 

We’ll take the essential Buddhist teaching of the vimoksa mukhas, this teaching points to the idea that we can find doorways to freedom in our own minds, and we'll ask if art can open these doorways? 

Whether you make art or simply value it in your life, if you want to make new connections between meditation and art this day retreat is for you. 

This day retreat is part of our Urban Retreat: Dharma Meets Art, with Vajradarshini.  See also our Sangha Night Series Sep 19 to Oct 3, and for Core Sangha Members a residential retreat Sep 28 to 30. The full program is here.  Open to anyone interested in the topic. 

Please register below - if you are unable to pay within the price range please contact us in advance for a lower rate. 

A writing workshop, led by Acarasiddhi
Sat, Oct 13, 2018

Our theme for October is Creative practice.  During this daylong workshop Acarasiddhi will share ways to connect with our natural creativity through writing.  

The workshop will be positive, friendly, encouraging and productive, with helpful and inspiring writing exercises to get us started, and reflections on the link between words and practice. 

No writing or any other experience required. Bring your curiosity and your favorite writing tools (although pens and paper will also be available if you need them).

Acarasiddhi is an author and poet, usually as Tony Press. His short story collection "Crossing the Lines" was published in 2016.  "Equinox and Solstice", his e-chapbook of poems, appeared in 2018 at Right Hand Pointing. He has also led many useful and enjoyable writing days. 

Please pre-register - see "add to cart" below. If you are unable to afford the suggested rate please just pay what you can. 

Lunch is not provided but there are plenty of nice restaurants very close to to the SFBC, or you can pick something up at the local grocery store. 

 

Walls are Stories; Stories are Doors
Sat, Oct 20, 2018

Once again the SFBC will participate in this extraordinary event in San Francisco's Mission District. The theme of our reading is Walls are Stories; Stories are Doors.

Six Writers: Alex Gurevich, Sarah Paris, Tony Acarasiddhi Press, Lisa Rosenberg, Mary Salome, Nabil Arnaoot (updated 10/11)

More information and writer bios on Lit Crawl's website.

led by Padmatara
Fri, Nov 9, 2018 to Sun, Nov 11, 2018

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!

This year's theme is Finding Stability in Turbulent Times.

Whether the turbulence feels internal or external, or both, when we are able to turn towards our physical, emotional and mental experience with compassionate curiosity, we cultivate a sense of stability that, in turn, allows us to respond more creatively to anything and everything we meet in our lives. On this retreat we will gently explore our tendency to argue with, avoid or hold on to experience, and encourage our natural capacity to welcome all of it.

Padmatara will guide this retreat, bringing a love of meditation and an enthusiasm for teachings that help us navigate the worldly winds more effectively - including Dharma, Poetry, Focusing and Insight Dialogue. Feel free to email her with any questions.

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. 

Register by Oct 31.

Open to all levels of experience, but if you have not taken one of our meditation courses please contact us. See our Newcomer page for information about our meditation classes and courses.

10am to 4pm, with Prasadachitta
Sat, Nov 10, 2018

AWAKENING TO OUR OWN IMAGINATION

Led by Prasadachitta

Our imagination is arguably to most powerful force that works upon the mind. We have only limited evidence of what is happening around us and we rely on our imagination to fill in the blanks. Even what is happening within the sphere of our own being must rely on imagination to have any coherent story or meaning. 

How can we learn to make the imagination an ally in creating harmony and well-being for ourselves and others? How can we avoid the pitfalls of imagination and not become a slave to unhelpful views of ourselves and others? We need an imagination that is awake, vibrant, pliable and most of all helpful. 

During this day retreat, and on Sangha Nights in November, let's try and help each other imagine how this can become true in our lives and by extension the world.  

imagination - noun:

- the faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses.

• the ability of the mind to be creative or resourceful

• the part of the mind that imagines things

Four-week Courses on Tuesdays, 7pm to 9pm

Would you like to experience the many benefits of meditation and mindfulness in your daily life?

Twice a year we offer 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.

Please pre-register to be sure of a place. See cost and registration information below.

The Four Noble Truths may be the most well-known teaching of the Buddha, and as such it can be easy to overlook.  Prasadachitta will lead us in a 5 week exploration of this simple but important expression of the Buddhist path: Suffering, the origin of suffering, the end of suffering and the way to the end of suffering.  

See also Four Noble Truths Day Retreat on May 19.

The Four Noble Truths may be the most well-known teaching of the Buddha, and as such it can be easy to overlook.  Prasadachitta will lead us in a 5 week exploration of this simple but important expression of the Buddhist path: Suffering, the origin of suffering, the end of suffering and the way to the end of suffering.  

See also Four Noble Truths Day Retreat on May 19.

The Four Noble Truths may be the most well-known teaching of the Buddha, and as such it can be easy to overlook.  Prasadachitta will lead us in a 5 week exploration of this simple but important expression of the Buddhist path: Suffering, the origin of suffering, the end of suffering and the way to the end of suffering.  

See also Four Noble Truths Day Retreat on May 19.

The Four Noble Truths may be the most well-known teaching of the Buddha, and as such it can be easy to overlook.  Prasadachitta will lead us in a 5 week exploration of this simple but important expression of the Buddhist path: Suffering, the origin of suffering, the end of suffering and the way to the end of suffering.  

See also Four Noble Truths Day Retreat on May 19.

The Four Noble Truths may be the most well-known teaching of the Buddha, and as such it can be easy to overlook.  Prasadachitta will lead us in a 5 week exploration of this simple but important expression of the Buddhist path: Suffering, the origin of suffering, the end of suffering and the way to the end of suffering.  

See also Four Noble Truths Day Retreat on May 19.

with Hridayashri and special guests

In June we will be joining Triratna Centers around the world to participate in Buddhist Action Month (BAM).  During Sangha Nights, and our monthly Day Retreat June 9, we will explore the theme of "Transforming Self and World".  There will also be opportunities to join online communities. More information here: thebuddhistcenter.

June 9: What is Buddhist Action, with Hridayashri

Hridayashri will share some thoughts on Buddhist action and what it means to her.  We will look at how the path of Right Action leads to a loosening of the sense of a separate self and a greater connection with all things.  With space for all to explore their own practice of undertaking skillful action. 

June 13: Special guests Lena Wolff and Future Chorus

Future Chorus formed in the summer of 2017 as a way of addressing the fallout of the political moment after the 2016 presidential election. Still going strong today, the chorus is made up of an ensemble of over 25 friends, artists and musicians who sing original and cover songs that are incantations to the forces that drive transformative socio-political resistance movements, offering messages of hope, resilience and empowerment to forge a better future.  Artist Lena Wolff will share some thoughts on how to activate around issues of empathy and how we can generate sublime experiences in times of political and ecological unrest.

June 20: Surprise guest speaker - tba

June 27: The Individual and Social Change, with Viradhamma

Viradhamma will explore the role of individuals as agents of social change in the contemporary world where communities are polarized, news is unreliable and there is confusion about community values.

See also June 9, Day Retreat

with Hridayashri and special guests

In June we will be joining Triratna Centers around the world to participate in Buddhist Action Month (BAM).  During Sangha Nights, and our monthly Day Retreat June 9, we will explore the theme of "Transforming Self and World".  There will also be opportunities to join online communities. More information here: thebuddhistcenter.

June 9: What is Buddhist Action, with Hridayashri

Hridayashri will share some thoughts on Buddhist action and what it means to her.  We will look at how the path of Right Action leads to a loosening of the sense of a separate self and a greater connection with all things.  With space for all to explore their own practice of undertaking skillful action. 

June 13: Special guests Lena Wolff and Future Chorus

Future Chorus formed in the summer of 2017 as a way of addressing the fallout of the political moment after the 2016 presidential election. Still going strong today, the chorus is made up of an ensemble of over 25 friends, artists and musicians who sing original and cover songs that are incantations to the forces that drive transformative socio-political resistance movements, offering messages of hope, resilience and empowerment to forge a better future.  Artist Lena Wolff will share some thoughts on how to activate around issues of empathy and how we can generate sublime experiences in times of political and ecological unrest.

June 20: Surprise guest speaker - tba

June 27: The Individual and Social Change, with Viradhamma

Viradhamma will explore the role of individuals as agents of social change in the contemporary world where communities are polarized, news is unreliable and there is confusion about community values.

See also June 9, Day Retreat

with Hridayashri and special guests

In June we will be joining Triratna Centers around the world to participate in Buddhist Action Month (BAM).  During Sangha Nights, and our monthly Day Retreat June 9, we will explore the theme of "Transforming Self and World".  There will also be opportunities to join online communities. More information here: thebuddhistcenter.

June 9: What is Buddhist Action, with Hridayashri

Hridayashri will share some thoughts on Buddhist action and what it means to her.  We will look at how the path of Right Action leads to a loosening of the sense of a separate self and a greater connection with all things.  With space for all to explore their own practice of undertaking skillful action. 

June 13: Special guests Lena Wolff and Future Chorus

Future Chorus formed in the summer of 2017 as a way of addressing the fallout of the political moment after the 2016 presidential election. Still going strong today, the chorus is made up of an ensemble of over 25 friends, artists and musicians who sing original and cover songs that are incantations to the forces that drive transformative socio-political resistance movements, offering messages of hope, resilience and empowerment to forge a better future.  Artist Lena Wolff will share some thoughts on how to activate around issues of empathy and how we can generate sublime experiences in times of political and ecological unrest.

June 20: Surprise guest speaker - tba

June 27: The Individual and Social Change, with Viradhamma

Viradhamma will explore the role of individuals as agents of social change in the contemporary world where communities are polarized, news is unreliable and there is confusion about community values.

See also June 9, Day Retreat

with Hridayashri and special guests

In June we will be joining Triratna Centers around the world to participate in Buddhist Action Month (BAM).  During Sangha Nights, and our monthly Day Retreat June 9, we will explore the theme of "Transforming Self and World".  There will also be opportunities to join online communities. More information here: thebuddhistcenter.

June 9: What is Buddhist Action, with Hridayashri

Hridayashri will share some thoughts on Buddhist action and what it means to her.  We will look at how the path of Right Action leads to a loosening of the sense of a separate self and a greater connection with all things.  With space for all to explore their own practice of undertaking skillful action. 

June 13: Special guests Lena Wolff and Future Chorus

Future Chorus formed in the summer of 2017 as a way of addressing the fallout of the political moment after the 2016 presidential election. Still going strong today, the chorus is made up of an ensemble of over 25 friends, artists and musicians who sing original and cover songs that are incantations to the forces that drive transformative socio-political resistance movements, offering messages of hope, resilience and empowerment to forge a better future.  Artist Lena Wolff will share some thoughts on how to activate around issues of empathy and how we can generate sublime experiences in times of political and ecological unrest.

June 20: Surprise guest speaker - tba

June 27: The Individual and Social Change, with Viradhamma

Viradhamma will explore the role of individuals as agents of social change in the contemporary world where communities are polarized, news is unreliable and there is confusion about community values.

See also June 9, Day Retreat

Four Tuesdays, July 10 to 31, 7pm - 9pm

Are you too restless to meditate? Is your mind moving a mile a minute? Do you feel like meditation would give you clarity, but you just can't find time for it?

In this 4-week workshop we will explore new ways in to meditation, through the body. And we will explore variations on the loving kindness and mindfulness of breathing practices taught at the Center.

And if you are up for more rigorous training, you can commit to a 21-day no-excuses meditation challenge, to directly experience the benefits of daily mind training. Individual meditation check-ins will be offered throughout the program.

Meditators of any level of experience are welcome. Wear comfortable clothes for actively moving. 

The course instructor, Dayamudra, is an experienced yoga and meditation teacher. 

Please register in advance.

with Danadasa

In this Buddhist path of transformation, how we relate to practice has a profound effect upon what unfolds. How do we relate to the idea of path and goal? How do we relate to effort? How do we relate to not knowing? During this 3 week series, Danadasa will explore what is meant by a wise relationship to practice through the perspective of the 5 spiritual faculties: mindfulness, conviction, energy, meditation, and discernment. 

All are welcome. Come to the whole series or drop in to any of the 3 evenings. Suggested donation $10 to $5 or whatever you can afford.

Please note that the Center will be closed on Wednesday July 4th .

Four Tuesdays, July 10 to 31, 7pm - 9pm

Are you too restless to meditate? Is your mind moving a mile a minute? Do you feel like meditation would give you clarity, but you just can't find time for it?

In this 4-week workshop we will explore new ways in to meditation, through the body. And we will explore variations on the loving kindness and mindfulness of breathing practices taught at the Center.

And if you are up for more rigorous training, you can commit to a 21-day no-excuses meditation challenge, to directly experience the benefits of daily mind training. Individual meditation check-ins will be offered throughout the program.

Meditators of any level of experience are welcome. Wear comfortable clothes for actively moving. 

The course instructor, Dayamudra, is an experienced yoga and meditation teacher. 

Please register in advance.

with Danadasa

In this Buddhist path of transformation, how we relate to practice has a profound effect upon what unfolds. How do we relate to the idea of path and goal? How do we relate to effort? How do we relate to not knowing? During this 3 week series, Danadasa will explore what is meant by a wise relationship to practice through the perspective of the 5 spiritual faculties: mindfulness, conviction, energy, meditation, and discernment. 

All are welcome. Come to the whole series or drop in to any of the 3 evenings. Suggested donation $10 to $5 or whatever you can afford.

Please note that the Center will be closed on Wednesday July 4th .

Four Tuesdays, July 10 to 31, 7pm - 9pm

Are you too restless to meditate? Is your mind moving a mile a minute? Do you feel like meditation would give you clarity, but you just can't find time for it?

In this 4-week workshop we will explore new ways in to meditation, through the body. And we will explore variations on the loving kindness and mindfulness of breathing practices taught at the Center.

And if you are up for more rigorous training, you can commit to a 21-day no-excuses meditation challenge, to directly experience the benefits of daily mind training. Individual meditation check-ins will be offered throughout the program.

Meditators of any level of experience are welcome. Wear comfortable clothes for actively moving. 

The course instructor, Dayamudra, is an experienced yoga and meditation teacher. 

Please register in advance.

with Danadasa

In this Buddhist path of transformation, how we relate to practice has a profound effect upon what unfolds. How do we relate to the idea of path and goal? How do we relate to effort? How do we relate to not knowing? During this 3 week series, Danadasa will explore what is meant by a wise relationship to practice through the perspective of the 5 spiritual faculties: mindfulness, conviction, energy, meditation, and discernment. 

All are welcome. Come to the whole series or drop in to any of the 3 evenings. Suggested donation $10 to $5 or whatever you can afford.

Please note that the Center will be closed on Wednesday July 4th .

Four Tuesdays, July 10 to 31, 7pm - 9pm

Are you too restless to meditate? Is your mind moving a mile a minute? Do you feel like meditation would give you clarity, but you just can't find time for it?

In this 4-week workshop we will explore new ways in to meditation, through the body. And we will explore variations on the loving kindness and mindfulness of breathing practices taught at the Center.

And if you are up for more rigorous training, you can commit to a 21-day no-excuses meditation challenge, to directly experience the benefits of daily mind training. Individual meditation check-ins will be offered throughout the program.

Meditators of any level of experience are welcome. Wear comfortable clothes for actively moving. 

The course instructor, Dayamudra, is an experienced yoga and meditation teacher. 

Please register in advance.

Cultivating stillness, joy, and insight through meditation

During the month of August, we will be focusing on meditation practice. We will explore meditations that calm the mind (samatha) and that lead to insight (vipassana), as well as ritual & devotion and the dynamics of activity and receptivity. Each evening will include a double sit and a brief talk on a particular aspect of meditation. 

Feel free to come to the whole series or drop in to any evening.  

Cultivating stillness, joy, and insight through meditation

During the month of August, we will be focusing on meditation practice. We will explore meditations that calm the mind (samatha) and that lead to insight (vipassana), as well as ritual & devotion and the dynamics of activity and receptivity. Each evening will include a double sit and a brief talk on a particular aspect of meditation. 

Feel free to come to the whole series or drop in to any evening.  

4 Mondays, Aug 13 – Sept 3, 7 – 9 pm

Many people feel isolated and lonely and long for a sense of belonging. Sharing life stories is a powerful way to step more fully into community. This 4 week gathering is an opportunity to be seen and heard with kindness, and to see and hear others with kindness.

The value of sharing life stories

  • Working directly with the experience of isolation and separateness from others
  • Cultivating empathy, connection and community
  • Experiencing solidarity, kinship, shared humanity
  • Getting to know the habitual mental and emotional patterns of our lives
  • Remembering experiences of being wholeheartedly engaged, alive, inspired, at ease
  • Remembering experiences of being stuck, confused, fearful, anxious, frustrated
  • Noticing our relationship to privacy by noticing what we choose to not share
  • Developing the skills of honesty, acceptance, authenticity

This offering is appropriate for anyone who has an established and alive relationship with this community and would like to deepen this connection. All stories will be treated as confidential.

Suggested donation is $100, and please contact us to request a reduced rate.

Cultivating stillness, joy, and insight through meditation

During the month of August, we will be focusing on meditation practice. We will explore meditations that calm the mind (samatha) and that lead to insight (vipassana), as well as ritual & devotion and the dynamics of activity and receptivity. Each evening will include a double sit and a brief talk on a particular aspect of meditation. 

Feel free to come to the whole series or drop in to any evening.  

4 Mondays, Aug 13 – Sept 3, 7 – 9 pm

Many people feel isolated and lonely and long for a sense of belonging. Sharing life stories is a powerful way to step more fully into community. This 4 week gathering is an opportunity to be seen and heard with kindness, and to see and hear others with kindness.

The value of sharing life stories

  • Working directly with the experience of isolation and separateness from others
  • Cultivating empathy, connection and community
  • Experiencing solidarity, kinship, shared humanity
  • Getting to know the habitual mental and emotional patterns of our lives
  • Remembering experiences of being wholeheartedly engaged, alive, inspired, at ease
  • Remembering experiences of being stuck, confused, fearful, anxious, frustrated
  • Noticing our relationship to privacy by noticing what we choose to not share
  • Developing the skills of honesty, acceptance, authenticity

This offering is appropriate for anyone who has an established and alive relationship with this community and would like to deepen this connection. All stories will be treated as confidential.

Suggested donation is $100, and please contact us to request a reduced rate.

Cultivating stillness, joy, and insight through meditation

During the month of August, we will be focusing on meditation practice. We will explore meditations that calm the mind (samatha) and that lead to insight (vipassana), as well as ritual & devotion and the dynamics of activity and receptivity. Each evening will include a double sit and a brief talk on a particular aspect of meditation. 

Feel free to come to the whole series or drop in to any evening.  

4 Mondays, Aug 13 – Sept 3, 7 – 9 pm

Many people feel isolated and lonely and long for a sense of belonging. Sharing life stories is a powerful way to step more fully into community. This 4 week gathering is an opportunity to be seen and heard with kindness, and to see and hear others with kindness.

The value of sharing life stories

  • Working directly with the experience of isolation and separateness from others
  • Cultivating empathy, connection and community
  • Experiencing solidarity, kinship, shared humanity
  • Getting to know the habitual mental and emotional patterns of our lives
  • Remembering experiences of being wholeheartedly engaged, alive, inspired, at ease
  • Remembering experiences of being stuck, confused, fearful, anxious, frustrated
  • Noticing our relationship to privacy by noticing what we choose to not share
  • Developing the skills of honesty, acceptance, authenticity

This offering is appropriate for anyone who has an established and alive relationship with this community and would like to deepen this connection. All stories will be treated as confidential.

Suggested donation is $100, and please contact us to request a reduced rate.

Cultivating stillness, joy, and insight through meditation

During the month of August, we will be focusing on meditation practice. We will explore meditations that calm the mind (samatha) and that lead to insight (vipassana), as well as ritual & devotion and the dynamics of activity and receptivity. Each evening will include a double sit and a brief talk on a particular aspect of meditation. 

Feel free to come to the whole series or drop in to any evening.  

4 Mondays, Aug 13 – Sept 3, 7 – 9 pm

Many people feel isolated and lonely and long for a sense of belonging. Sharing life stories is a powerful way to step more fully into community. This 4 week gathering is an opportunity to be seen and heard with kindness, and to see and hear others with kindness.

The value of sharing life stories

  • Working directly with the experience of isolation and separateness from others
  • Cultivating empathy, connection and community
  • Experiencing solidarity, kinship, shared humanity
  • Getting to know the habitual mental and emotional patterns of our lives
  • Remembering experiences of being wholeheartedly engaged, alive, inspired, at ease
  • Remembering experiences of being stuck, confused, fearful, anxious, frustrated
  • Noticing our relationship to privacy by noticing what we choose to not share
  • Developing the skills of honesty, acceptance, authenticity

This offering is appropriate for anyone who has an established and alive relationship with this community and would like to deepen this connection. All stories will be treated as confidential.

Suggested donation is $100, and please contact us to request a reduced rate.

Cultivating stillness, joy, and insight through meditation

During the month of August, we will be focusing on meditation practice. We will explore meditations that calm the mind (samatha) and that lead to insight (vipassana), as well as ritual & devotion and the dynamics of activity and receptivity. Each evening will include a double sit and a brief talk on a particular aspect of meditation. 

Feel free to come to the whole series or drop in to any evening.  

A Practical Guide to Empathy, Mindfulness and Communication, with Shantigarbha, visiting from the UK

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

‘An excellent book on empathy that teases out the centrality of this value in Buddhism  as the foundation for the cultivation of compassion and loving-kindness.’ – Stephen Batchelor, Buddhist teacher and author.

Shantigarbha has been studying and teaching Non Violent Communication for many years.  On this Sangha Night he will introduce and read from his recently published new book.

On Saturday Sep 15 he will also lead a workshop based on his book. 

with Vajradarshini

3 Wednesday evenings -

THE LIFE OF OBJECTS - FALL IN LOVE WITH LIFE AGAIN

“Everything I kept I wish I had given away, everything I’ve given away I wish I’d kept.”

— LOUISE BROOKS

19TH SEPT - BRINGING OBJECTS TO LIFE
26TH SEPT - A MUTUAL RELATIONSHIP
3RD OCT - EVERYDAY RITUAL OBJECTS

When we realise how much the world we live in is influenced by mind, we also discover that we can choose the kind of a world we want to live in. 
When we realise that what we experience is not the ‘thing out there’ but our own perception, our relationship with things is suddenly changed. The teapot and the bowl are no longer separate from us, but intimately connected to us, even a part of us.  

“Picking violets by the side of the road,
I forgot my begging bowl.
How sad you must be, my poor little bowl.”

— RYOKAN

This Sangha Night Series is part of our Urban Retreat: Dharma meets Art, with Vajradarshini 

“Our meditation doesn't stay on the cushion. We are a studio and a laboratory, testing new ways to view life. Evoking curiosity and playfulness. Looking for meaning. Finding beauty.”

We are very happy that Vajradarshini will be back after many years to lead 3 weeks of urban retreat: Sep 17 to Oct 7. The retreat includes a Day Retreat Saturday Sep 22 (sign up here) and a residential retreat for members of the SFBC core sangha Sep 28 to 20 (sign up here).

Vajradarshini has been teaching and leading retreats since 1997. “In all that time the aspect of practice that I loved the most was bringing the Buddhist teachings together with art. Something would happen, the art illuminated the dharma and the dharma illuminated the art.” She currently lives in Sweden. 

with Vajradarshini

3 Wednesday evenings -

THE LIFE OF OBJECTS - FALL IN LOVE WITH LIFE AGAIN

“Everything I kept I wish I had given away, everything I’ve given away I wish I’d kept.”

— LOUISE BROOKS

19TH SEPT - BRINGING OBJECTS TO LIFE
26TH SEPT - A MUTUAL RELATIONSHIP
3RD OCT - EVERYDAY RITUAL OBJECTS

When we realise how much the world we live in is influenced by mind, we also discover that we can choose the kind of a world we want to live in. 
When we realise that what we experience is not the ‘thing out there’ but our own perception, our relationship with things is suddenly changed. The teapot and the bowl are no longer separate from us, but intimately connected to us, even a part of us.  

“Picking violets by the side of the road,
I forgot my begging bowl.
How sad you must be, my poor little bowl.”

— RYOKAN

This Sangha Night Series is part of our Urban Retreat: Dharma meets Art, with Vajradarshini 

“Our meditation doesn't stay on the cushion. We are a studio and a laboratory, testing new ways to view life. Evoking curiosity and playfulness. Looking for meaning. Finding beauty.”

We are very happy that Vajradarshini will be back after many years to lead 3 weeks of urban retreat: Sep 17 to Oct 7. The retreat includes a Day Retreat Saturday Sep 22 (sign up here) and a residential retreat for members of the SFBC core sangha Sep 28 to 20 (sign up here).

Vajradarshini has been teaching and leading retreats since 1997. “In all that time the aspect of practice that I loved the most was bringing the Buddhist teachings together with art. Something would happen, the art illuminated the dharma and the dharma illuminated the art.” She currently lives in Sweden. 

with Vajradarshini

3 Wednesday evenings -

THE LIFE OF OBJECTS - FALL IN LOVE WITH LIFE AGAIN

“Everything I kept I wish I had given away, everything I’ve given away I wish I’d kept.”

— LOUISE BROOKS

19TH SEPT - BRINGING OBJECTS TO LIFE
26TH SEPT - A MUTUAL RELATIONSHIP
3RD OCT - EVERYDAY RITUAL OBJECTS

When we realise how much the world we live in is influenced by mind, we also discover that we can choose the kind of a world we want to live in. 
When we realise that what we experience is not the ‘thing out there’ but our own perception, our relationship with things is suddenly changed. The teapot and the bowl are no longer separate from us, but intimately connected to us, even a part of us.  

“Picking violets by the side of the road,
I forgot my begging bowl.
How sad you must be, my poor little bowl.”

— RYOKAN

This Sangha Night Series is part of our Urban Retreat: Dharma meets Art, with Vajradarshini 

“Our meditation doesn't stay on the cushion. We are a studio and a laboratory, testing new ways to view life. Evoking curiosity and playfulness. Looking for meaning. Finding beauty.”

We are very happy that Vajradarshini will be back after many years to lead 3 weeks of urban retreat: Sep 17 to Oct 7. The retreat includes a Day Retreat Saturday Sep 22 (sign up here) and a residential retreat for members of the SFBC core sangha Sep 28 to 20 (sign up here).

Vajradarshini has been teaching and leading retreats since 1997. “In all that time the aspect of practice that I loved the most was bringing the Buddhist teachings together with art. Something would happen, the art illuminated the dharma and the dharma illuminated the art.” She currently lives in Sweden. 

Staying Curious and Keeping Inspiration Alive

This October we will explore creative practice – ways to (gently) shake ourselves free from ruts or habits that can stifle our inspiration and prevent us from discovering anything new or fresh in the world or in ourselves.  

Oct 10: Curiosity and Fear

A creative life means “living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear” (Elizabeth Gilbert). Padmatara will explore what can emerge if we stay curious about things that are scary, including fear itself.

Oct 17: Poetry

Poetry is a doorway into our deepest selves.  Its creative form gives us permission to suspend our habitual ways of thinking and processing, which can provide a fresh source of inspiration and wonder. Shunyamala will share reflections and poems that have inspired her practice and way of life.

Oct 24: Creative Spaces

Vimalamoksha builds imaginative structures, mostly from wood, that reflect and inspire his meditation and dharma practice. He will talk about the ways he has changed the way he works to align with his creative vision.

Oct 31: Remembering

Prasadachitta will lead an evening dedicated to remembering and giving recognition to those who have passed before us.  Friends, family, strangers and other beings from the dead continue to affect us in our own lives whether we are aware of it or not. They are with us in the world in places and things as well as in our minds through thoughts and emotions. There will be an opportunity to remember our loved ones with an offering if we so wish.

No registration required. Come for the whole series or drop in any evening. Open to anyone who is curious!

See also Day Retreat: Words on a Page, Sat, Oct 13 and Lit Crawl, Sat, Oct 20

 

Staying Curious and Keeping Inspiration Alive

This October we will explore creative practice – ways to (gently) shake ourselves free from ruts or habits that can stifle our inspiration and prevent us from discovering anything new or fresh in the world or in ourselves.  

Oct 10: Curiosity and Fear

A creative life means “living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear” (Elizabeth Gilbert). Padmatara will explore what can emerge if we stay curious about things that are scary, including fear itself.

Oct 17: Poetry

Poetry is a doorway into our deepest selves.  Its creative form gives us permission to suspend our habitual ways of thinking and processing, which can provide a fresh source of inspiration and wonder. Shunyamala will share reflections and poems that have inspired her practice and way of life.

Oct 24: Creative Spaces

Vimalamoksha builds imaginative structures, mostly from wood, that reflect and inspire his meditation and dharma practice. He will talk about the ways he has changed the way he works to align with his creative vision.

Oct 31: Remembering

Prasadachitta will lead an evening dedicated to remembering and giving recognition to those who have passed before us.  Friends, family, strangers and other beings from the dead continue to affect us in our own lives whether we are aware of it or not. They are with us in the world in places and things as well as in our minds through thoughts and emotions. There will be an opportunity to remember our loved ones with an offering if we so wish.

No registration required. Come for the whole series or drop in any evening. Open to anyone who is curious!

See also Day Retreat: Words on a Page, Sat, Oct 13 and Lit Crawl, Sat, Oct 20

 

Staying Curious and Keeping Inspiration Alive

This October we will explore creative practice – ways to (gently) shake ourselves free from ruts or habits that can stifle our inspiration and prevent us from discovering anything new or fresh in the world or in ourselves.  

Oct 10: Curiosity and Fear

A creative life means “living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear” (Elizabeth Gilbert). Padmatara will explore what can emerge if we stay curious about things that are scary, including fear itself.

Oct 17: Poetry

Poetry is a doorway into our deepest selves.  Its creative form gives us permission to suspend our habitual ways of thinking and processing, which can provide a fresh source of inspiration and wonder. Shunyamala will share reflections and poems that have inspired her practice and way of life.

Oct 24: Creative Spaces

Vimalamoksha builds imaginative structures, mostly from wood, that reflect and inspire his meditation and dharma practice. He will talk about the ways he has changed the way he works to align with his creative vision.

Oct 31: Remembering

Prasadachitta will lead an evening dedicated to remembering and giving recognition to those who have passed before us.  Friends, family, strangers and other beings from the dead continue to affect us in our own lives whether we are aware of it or not. They are with us in the world in places and things as well as in our minds through thoughts and emotions. There will be an opportunity to remember our loved ones with an offering if we so wish.

No registration required. Come for the whole series or drop in any evening. Open to anyone who is curious!

See also Day Retreat: Words on a Page, Sat, Oct 13 and Lit Crawl, Sat, Oct 20

 

Sangha Night, Wed, Oct 31, 7pm to 9pm

Urgyen Sangharakshita, August 26, 1925 - October 30, 2018

Today we heard the sad news that our founder and teacher - Sangharakshita - has died. We had already scheduled an evening to remember all the loved ones and strangers who have died in this last year, and this will still go ahead (see below), with the addition of stories and chanting in honor of this unique person who, among many other things, made our center possible.

Sangha Night, Wed, Oct 31, 7pm to 9pm

Prasadachitta will lead an evening dedicated to remembering and giving recognition to those who have passed before us.  Friends, family, strangers and other beings from the dead continue to affect us in our own lives whether we are aware of it or not. They are with us in the world in places and things as well as in our minds through thoughts and emotions. There will be an opportunity to remember our loved ones with an offering if we so wish.

No registration required - just drop in. Open to anyone.

Staying Curious and Keeping Inspiration Alive

This October we will explore creative practice – ways to (gently) shake ourselves free from ruts or habits that can stifle our inspiration and prevent us from discovering anything new or fresh in the world or in ourselves.  

Oct 10: Curiosity and Fear

A creative life means “living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear” (Elizabeth Gilbert). Padmatara will explore what can emerge if we stay curious about things that are scary, including fear itself.

Oct 17: Poetry

Poetry is a doorway into our deepest selves.  Its creative form gives us permission to suspend our habitual ways of thinking and processing, which can provide a fresh source of inspiration and wonder. Shunyamala will share reflections and poems that have inspired her practice and way of life.

Oct 24: Creative Spaces

Vimalamoksha builds imaginative structures, mostly from wood, that reflect and inspire his meditation and dharma practice. He will talk about the ways he has changed the way he works to align with his creative vision.

Oct 31: Remembering

Prasadachitta will lead an evening dedicated to remembering and giving recognition to those who have passed before us.  Friends, family, strangers and other beings from the dead continue to affect us in our own lives whether we are aware of it or not. They are with us in the world in places and things as well as in our minds through thoughts and emotions. There will be an opportunity to remember our loved ones with an offering if we so wish.

No registration required. Come for the whole series or drop in any evening. Open to anyone who is curious!

See also Day Retreat: Words on a Page, Sat, Oct 13 and Lit Crawl, Sat, Oct 20