For Newcomers

Welcome to the San Francisco Buddhist Center!  The classes and courses below are for people with little or no previous experience of meditation or Buddhism, or anyone wanting a refresher.

We also have many events open to people with all kinds of experience who are interested in going deeper. Please take a look at our Sangha Night, Retreats and Special Events listings. 

If you would like to know more about the SFBC Sangha, please visit our About Us page.

Courses and classes

Every Thursday, drop-in introduction to Buddhist meditation, 7pm to 8pm
Starts on Thu, Feb 1, 2018

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.

*February through December 20, except July 5 and November 22.

Sep 4 to 25, 2018
Starts on Tue, Sep 4, 2018

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.

This course is one of four courses in our Meditation, Buddhism and Mindfulness series running twice a year.  See cost and registration information below. 

Starts on Tue, Oct 2, 2018

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.

This course is one of four courses in our Meditation, Buddhism and Mindfulness series running twice a year.  See cost and registration information below. 

Oct 30 to Nov 20, 2018
Starts on Tue, Oct 30, 2018

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.

This course is one of four courses in our Meditation, Buddhism and Mindfulness series running twice a year.  See cost and registration information below. 

Nov 27 to Dec 18, 2018
Starts on Tue, Nov 27, 2018

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.

Based on the book: Life with Full Attention: A Practical Course in Mindfulness, by Maitreyabandhu.

This course is one of four courses in our Meditation, Buddhism and Mindfulness series running twice a year.  Cost and registration information. (need link to footer on Newcomer page).