Wednesday Sangha Nights - Practicing in Community

Our Wednesday Sangha Nights are dedicated to supporting anyone wishing to experience and share the benefits of Buddhist practice. We are committed to strengthening the connection between personal practice and positive action in the world around us, and providing a welcoming and safe place for all those who want to participate. All are welcome here.

Our theme for 2024 is Waking up to Imagination

Imagination can bring us closer to awakening, or distract and keep us trapped in conditional views and beliefs. How do we tell the difference? This year we will look at teachings through the ages, from the Pali Canon to the modern day, that help us distinguish between imagination that opens the heart and mind and imagination that perpetuates delusion.

In Person with a zoom option

Most evenings are informal and interactive. Introductions are followed by meditation and after the tea break there's usually a talk, workshop or discussion. No particular experience is required, though if you have not meditated before we recommend first attending one of our introductory classes

Most of our practice periods begin with Saluting the 3 Jewels and we sometimes chant the Refuges and Precepts together. 

Suggested donation: $10–$5, or whatever you can afford. If you'd like a brief orientation please arrive before 7pm. 

Sangha Night Classes

Wednesdays 7pm to 9pm, in person and online
Wed, May 29, 2024
Sangha (Community) Nights are open to anyone wishing to connect around Buddhist practices and Dharma teachings.  In person and on zoom

 

Waking up to the Imagination

In April and May we have a stellar lineup of speakers ready to delve into the theme of imagination from a diverse array of perspectives. We hope you can join us!

 

April 3: A Living Earth, with SFBC Green Sangha

“I would go so far as to say that a universe conceived of as dead cannot be a universe in which one stands any chance of attaining Enlightenment.”  Sangharakshita; “Living with Awareness.” 
 
This evening will be a ramble around the concept of animism, using our imagination in both experiential and more intellectual ways of knowing.  We will explore how this and other ways of imagining and seeing the world impact how we relate to it and the implications for our practice.

 

April 10 and 17: "Playing with the Mind", with Pete

April 10
Imagination, memory and making stories  
Sangharakshita said that "Buddhism begins with the mind" and on this sangha night we will look at these three amazing functions of our mind. 
Is memory a form of imagination?  Is imagination a form of memory? Do the stories we tell about ourselves free us or confine us?

"It's just as when a dog is tied by a leash to a post or stake:  if it walks, it walks right around that post or stake; if it stands, it stands right next to that post or stake; if it sits, it sits right next to that post or stake; if it lies down, it lies down right next to that post or stake."  (Gaddula Sutta)

 
April 17
Imagining and re-imagining the Buddha  
Since the buddha is our example, how we imagine the buddha is an important part of our spiritual path.

"Followers of the buddha's way!   Why do you so earnestly seek the truth in distant places?  Look for delusion and truth in the bottom of your own hearts" (ryokan)

"To seek is to suffer.  To seek nothing is bliss" (Bodhidharmma)

 

April 24: Padmatara - Imagining the way out of suffering through the 6 realms of existence. 

 

May 1: Prasadachitta - tba

 

May 8: Dhammarati Art and Imagination

 

May 15: Celebrating Wesak, or Buddha Day, with Mokshasi

A short talk and Puja

 

May 22: Prasadachitta Reflections on Imagination

 

May 29: Vimalamoksha - Imagination and the Seven Factors of Awakening

The practical artistry of the seven factors of awakening:  exploring the personal and collective conditions that foster inner and outer well-being.

 

DONATIONS

We appreciate any donations and suggest a weekly donation of $10 to $5 for Sangha Nights, or you might consider joining our dana program and donating monthly. You can pay through PayPal (info@sfbuddhistcenter.org), Venmo (@SFBuddhistcenter), Zelle, check, or cash at the door.

SAFETY REQUIREMENTS

For in person attendance please make sure you can agree to our safety requirements listed here

ZOOM LINK

For online attendance you will find the zoom link here.

 

Wednesdays June to Sep, 7pm to 9pm, in person and online
Wed, Sep 25, 2024

Sangha (Community) Nights are open to anyone wishing to practice together and connect around Buddhist practices and Dharma teachings.  In person and on zoom. Our theme for 2024 is Waking Up to Imagination.

June 5: Mind and Body, with special guest Tejananda 

On his way to lead our Summer Meditation Retreat, Tejananda has generously offered to lead this Sangha Night for us. 

Distinguishing our mental activities ('mind') from immediate sense experience ('body') is vital to all kinds of meditation. If we can be clear about this, we can become increasingly embodied and no longer try to 'think' ourselves into meditation. 

This is basic to the mindfulness of breathing and metta bhavana, and also various kinds of 'clear-seeing' (vipashyana) practice, such as contemplating impermanence. 

During the evening, we'll explore mind and body with all three of these meditative approaches.

 

June 26: Puja for Pride, with Mokshasi

Celebrating Dharma and Diversity

 

July 24, 31 and Aug 7: Mindfulness as Insight Practice, with special guest Paramabodhi

Full Information here

 

September 11: Padmasambhava Day Puja

 

September 18: The Dharma of Dreams, with special guest, Arthabandhu

Arthabandhu will help us explore ways to reconnect with the magic of our dream lives and show how dreams can be part of a rich Dharma life.

More information on this page.

 

Special Series with Paramabodhi in July/August
Wed, May 1, 2024

Wednesday Sangha Nights, 7pm to 9pm

July 24, 31 and August 7

Plus a Day Retreat Saturday August 10, 10am to 4pm: Mindfulness of the Buddha

This series will be led by special guest Paramabodhi, visiting from the UK.  

Inspired by the Satipatthana Sutta and the direct teachings of the Buddha, Paramabodhi will emphasize the use of our imagination to engage fully with this beautiful sutta and deepen our mindfulness practice. 

The Satipatthana is one of the most influential meditation texts in Buddhism, and can support us to live with more embodied awareness, contentment and insight.

Sangha (Community) Nights are open to anyone wishing to connect around Buddhist practices and Dharma teachings.  In person and on zoom

Please pre-register for the Day Retreat here

Satipatthana Books and Resources

Life of The Buddha, translated from Pali by Nanamoli, p240ff

Living with Awareness, A Guide to the Satipatthana Sutta, by Sangharakshita

Satipatthana, the Direct Path to Realization, by Analayo

Satipatthana Meditations led by Analayo, Windhorse Publications

The Way of Mindfulness, Dharma Training Course for Mitras, compiled by Vidyamala

Wednesdays Oct to Dec, 7pm to 9pm, in person and online
Wed, Dec 18, 2024
Sangha (Community) Nights are open to anyone wishing to practice together and connect around Buddhist practices and Dharma teachings.  In person and on zoom. Our theme for 2024 is Waking Up to Imagination.
 
Each evening begins with meditation, followed by a talk or other activity. 

October

Imagination and Creativity as the veils become thinner
6
2
9
16 Indigenous Peoples' Day
23
30 - Day of the Dead celebration

November

Sangha Month - Collective Imagination
6 - Post US election Sangha get together
13 - Sangha Day Celebration
20 - holiday
27

December

Turning Inwards
4
11
18
Resumes January 8 2025

 
Wednesday Sep 18, with special guest Arthabandhu
Wed, Sep 18, 2024

Explore the magic of the dream world on this special Wednesday Sangha Night, 7pm to 9pm

Arthabandhu has generously offered to lead this evening while visiting from the UK. Drawing from 20 years of exploring the dream world and the benefits it can offer he will guide us in reconnecting with the magic of our dream lives and show how dreams can be part of a rich Dharma life.

He has long had a special interest in dreams and has explored them in relation to Buddhist practice ever since hearing Urgyen Sangharakshita say: “If you want to really know yourself, pay attention to your dreams.”  He lives in the UK, working with adults with learning disabilities and is visiting us after volunteering at a summer camp for people with disabilities in Minnesota.

Here is his website.

Our Sangha nights are open to anyone interested in Buddhist practices and Meditation.  They are hybrid - for in person please check our safety guidelines, for zoom you'll find the link here