Special Events

Each year we aim to offer a variety of arts and special interest events to include the whole community. 

Special Events

For Mitras and anyone wishing to deepen their practice
Mon, Nov 1, 2021

Six Monday evenings, November 1 to Dec 6, 6:30pm to 8:30pm.  

Exploring Meditation on the Path, with Shunyamala

This interactive course is open to all Mitras, plus anyone who has taken our introductory courses and feels like going a bit deeper with their practice in the context of the SFBC.  It's part two of the Foundation Course - aka Year one of the Dharma Training Course for Mitras.  

Here are some background course materials for this course, though we will structure our course slightly differently.  Here's the main menu where you can see the whole program and other information, such as the audio version of the course. You can also purchase a book containing the whole Foundation year here

Mitras who have already completed this study or have similar experience may want to take the year 3 course beginning at the same time.  

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to email us. 

Here's an excerpt from the introduction.

Buddhism grew out of meditation. It grew out of the Buddha’s meditation under the Bodhi tree, 2,500 years ago. It grew therefore out of meditation in the highest sense: not simply meditation in the sense of concentration, nor even the experience of higher states of consciousness, but meditation in the sense of contemplation – a direct, total, all-comprehending vision and experience of ultimate Reality. It is out of this that Buddhism grew, and out of this that it has continually refreshed itself down through the ages. (Sangharakshita)

To register: enter the amount you wish to donate in the Event Donation box and click add to cart. Suggested donation is based on $5 - $10 per evening, so $30 to $60 for the whole course.  Donations are very much appreciated but always optional - if you are experiencing financial difficulties please feel free to enter 0 in the box, and click 'pay later' on the payment page. We'll send you the zoom link nearer the time.

Thank you!  


Communicating Sangha
Wed, Nov 3, 2021

To attend in person please read the requirements below before registering; if you have any concerns you can still register here to attend via zoom.

Communicating Sangha

November is the month when we celebrate Sangha - the community of friends we practice with here in San Francisco and around the world.  Please join us for a series of evenings sharing our losses, our joys, and our practice together. There is also an International Sangha Day on Sunday November 22 online, with friends around the world sharing reflections on communication as a crucial part of the practice and development of Sangha.

Nov 3: Sangha and Death - celebrating Dia de Muertos, with Mokshasi

Mokshasi will share reflections on the meaning of Dia de Muertos in her home country of Mexico, as well as here in the Mission District, exploring how it relates to Buddhist practice, particularly the teaching of impermanence and "this precious human life" (from the 4 reminders).

Nov 10: Deepening Practice through Sangha

The Buddha emphasized the importance of spiritual friendship and sangha for those wishing to deepen their practice, and we'll talk about that tonight.  In Triratna we have a simple ceremony for people who feel ready to become Mitras (friends) at the SFBC. This means they choose to practice ethics, meditation and wisdom in this particular Sangha.  At the SFBC we have 2 Mitra Convenors who help people decide if they're ready, and conduct the ceremonies. Shunyamala has been doing this for a few years now, and very recently Danadasa took over from Prasadachitta. Now that we're open again we want to take the opportunity tonight to mark this change and rejoice in these two people, as well as thanking their predecessors - Prasadachitta and Hridayashri. 

Nov 17: Sangha, Generosity and Inclusivity 

For many people in this country the approaching holiday is a time to show gratitude for what they have, and bring to mind, or invite, those who have less. For many it's a time to remember what has been taken from them. Tonight we explore ways that we can go deeper as a sangha without getting stuck in our ways and becoming exclusive. The evening will include a practice of Tonglen - exchanging self for other - that encourages a sense of connection with all beings.  

Nov 22: International Sangha Day on Zoom

Nov 24: Sangha Practice Night on Zoom

Before registering for in-person attendance please read this list of statements carefully and confirm that they are true for you, and that you are willing to review and confirm again in person each time you arrive at the SFBC:

Yes, I am fully vaccinated with an FDA-approved vaccine for COVID-19

In the last 2 days I have not had any unusual symptoms such as: fever (100.4°F/38°C or greater); chills or shivering: cough or sore throat; shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; feeling unusually weak or fatigued; loss of taste or smell: muscle or body aches; headache; vomiting or diarrhea, nausea; runny or congested nose

In the past 10 days I have not been diagnosed with COVID-19 or had a test confirming I have the virus

In the past 10 days I have not had close contact with anyone who has COVID-19, during their contagious period. 

I have read and to the best of my ability I agree to practice the 5 Buddhist precepts as described here.

Masks - Updated August 9: we are currently asking that everyone wear a mask for public events.  We have masks available if you forget your own. 

Social Distancing - please be mindful and sensitive to others and respect their space and sense of safety. 

Air flow - we will have our air filter on and the doors open for air flow, so bring layers!

Food - we will not provide snacks and ask that you don't bring food to share inside.

To register: enter the amount you wish to donate in the Event Donation box and click add to cart. Donations of any amount are very much appreciated but always optional - please feel free to enter 0 in the box, but if you do this please make sure to click 'pay later' on the payment page (otherwise the registration won't work). Drop us an email if you have any difficulty.

Please add info@sfbuddhistcenter.org to your address book so we can keep you up-to-date with any changes.*  

Nov 6, 10am to 12 online
Sat, Nov 6, 2021

Join SFBC friends Viveka, Vimalasara and others for the launch of this important new entity, working with local community partners to ensure that those living in abject poverty, forced into bonded labor, or dehumanized by a social designation such as “low caste” can access opportunities for a better life.

From the Organizers: 

We are delighted to announce the launch of Karuna USA!

Featuring speakers involved with and directly impacted by our work from India, the USA, the UK and Germany. You will learn about the incredible impact that Karuna has in South Asia on children’s education, women’s safety and empowerment (and more!), and be part of an exploratory discussion around the relevance of Karuna’s approach for the United States.  

Karuna USA has been established by Triratna Order Members based in the United States as a sister entity to Karuna UK and Karuna Germany. Sharing similar missions and values to our Karuna sisters, our key aim is to mobilize resources in support of marginalized people in South Asia and the United States, helping them to live decent lives and the opportunity to fulfil their potential. 

That’s right, as well as supporting work in India, Nepal and Bangladesh, we also aim to support people within the United States itself. Here also, people face many pressing issues and are trapped in poverty due to systemic inequality. Our aim through 2021-22 is to identify where the Karuna approach can make the most difference. 

To register for the zoom link go to the Karuna USA Website

Supporting Commitment to change
Sat, Jan 1, 2022

The SFBC is committed to working with Sangha Members and others to share resources and training and take action where we can towards ending the oppression of Black, Indigenous and People of Color in our own communities and around the world. 

This list is very much a work in progress.  

Triratna BIPOC/BAME events and spaces

  • Welcoming Liberation - a Space for Thriving BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) BAME (Black, Asian, Minority, Ethnic) Dharma and Community Connection. Meets the last Saturday of every month at 9am PST. First meeting is Aug 29. Info and registration here

Triratna/SFBC events and recordings open to all

Triatna/SFBC events for Core Sangha (Order Members and Mitras)

  • Our Liberation is Intertwined - Interrupting the karmic momentum of racism: a weekend retreat for Triratna Order Members and Mitras, hosted by Aryaloka. Fri Aug 21 to Sun Aug 23 - 2.5 hours per day. 


A Selection of Local and Online Events and Resources recommended by Sangha Members