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

Meditation Drop-in

Every Thursday, drop-in introduction to Buddhist meditation, 7pm to 9pm

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.

Meditation, Mindfulness and Buddhism Courses

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.

4-Week Summer Meditation Course: Embodied Meditation

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. 

Mindfulness of Breathing

Sep 4 to 25, 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. 

Metta Bhavana – Cultivation of Loving Kindness

Oct 2 to 23, 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. 

Buddhism and Meditation

Oct 30 to Nov 20, 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. 

Mindfulness in Everyday Life

Nov 27 to Dec 18, 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).