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Classes & Extended Courses

(Scroll down for individual class listings.)
Classes are organized around a core six-root curriculum.

  • Root I: Buddha's Life and Early Texts
  • Root II: Buddhist Psychology
  • Root III: Buddhist Wisdom
  • Root IV: Ethics and Compassion
  • Root V: Zen
  • Root VI: Contemporary Buddhism

In Roots I through V, the study is text-based. Our emphasis is on understanding the material for its relevance to Buddhist insight, practice, and living. Root VI, Contemporary Buddhism, is concerned with issues relevant to us as Buddhists living in a complex and diverse culture.

Mountain Gate Study Center

Class series start at different times of the year.


For class and workshop registration, please use the ticket table or the Register Online button on the event page, or call our toll free number (888.743.9362) or our local number (415.475.9362). We accept Visa or Mastercard.

Refund Policy

15 days or more: $20 service charge
14 - 8 days: 50% of the total fees
7 days or less: no refund
(minimum cancellation fee: $20)


Fees vary based on number of class meetings, but the basic fee is $20 per class meeting, with a reduced fee for members and those with limited income; see each class for fee information.

Waking Up in the Middle of Your Life (Class), CC 10/6 - 11/24
with Urban Temple Dharma Teacher Ryushin Paul Haller
City Center

Eight Mondays: October 6 - November 24, 2014
7:30 - 9 pm

Imagine attending deeply to how you're thinking and feeling in response to what's happening in your life, and letting the insights that arise inform and guide your life. This is the process of the Buddha Way.

Living with the Precepts (Class), CC 10/6 - 11/24
with Jisan Tova Green and Daiyu Judith Randall
Eight Mondays: October 6 - November 24, 2014

This class focuses on the precepts as guideposts for our thoughts, speech and actions, for living ethically, with deep regard for ourselves, others, and the world in which we live.

Meditation Training: Establishing a Meditation Practice in Four Short Weeks (CC Class)
with Keiryu Liên Shutt
City Center

Want to learn how to meditate? Or, have you tried at different times but just can’t quite figure out how to make it work for you? This four-class series is geared just for you.

Suzuki Roshi’s Way of Practice (Class), CC 10/7 - 11/25
with Abiding Abbot Rinso Ed Sattizahn
Eight Tuesdays: October 7 - November 25, 2014

When we do not expect anything, we can be ourselves. That is our way, to live fully in each moment of time. 

Yoga for Attention to Posture and Breathing (Class), CC 10/8 - 11/26
with Shosan Victoria Austin
Eight Wednesdays: October 8 - November 26, 2014

This eight-week Iyengar yoga class is designed to address the topic of human imperfection in meditation, not by imposing perfection, but by applying precise, appropriate effort, first to known areas of body and mind, then to the study of the unknown.

Karma (Class), CC 10/9 - 11/20
with Anshin Rosalie Curtis
Seven Thursdays: October 9 - November 20

"Karma" simply means "action." We will read and discuss teachings on karma by Suzuki Roshi and Dogen, and the famous koan of Pai-Chang’s fox.

Manifesting the Wisdom of the Body: A Zen Mind, Yoga Body Online Retreat
with Samantha Ostergaard and Do-On Robert Thomas
October 28 - November 18, 2014

New! Online retreat based in an interactive course website, including new videos posted weekly, live teleconferences on Tuesdays (5:30 - 6:30 pm PST) and more...

See class website for full details and registration

Supporting Zazen with Qigong (Class), CC 11/6 - 11/20
with Liping Zhu
Three Thursdays: November 6, 13, and 20

This class will teach Qigong exercises and breathing techniques that will support zazen practice.

Continuous Practice—What’s Happening Now? (Class), CC 1/26 - 3/16
with Ryushin Paul Haller
Eight Mondays: January 26 - March 16, 2015

What's happening now? What thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and response to interactions? Whether we’re sitting in stillness or fully engaged in activity, attending to the experience of the moment reveals who we are, how we resist or cling to our experiences, and how we can open in a liberating and insightful way.

Being Alive with Our Many States of Bodymind: Seven Zen Practices for Living in Wonder (Class), CC 1/27 - 3/17
with Hobu Beata Chapman
Eight Tuesdays: January 27 - March 17, 2015

In this class we will explore, in depth, seven Zen practices for continually opening to wonder in joyous and difficult states of bodymind.

Buddhist Ethics and Modern Culture (Class), CC 1/27 - 3/17
with Kyoshin Wendy Lewis
Eight Tuesdays: January 27 - March 17, 2015

In this class, we will examine the possibility of Buddhist ethics informing modern Western culture through an ethical perspective which values community well-being (living with other people) and self-knowledge.

The Dharma Gate of Repose and Bliss: A Playful and Practical Exploration of Zazen Posture (Class), 1/27 - 3/17
with Erin Merk
Eight Tuesdays: January 27 - March 17, 2015

Exploring a variety of perspectives on posture through texts, visual tools and our own present-moment attunement, we will engage in a series of weekly body-mind inquiries, including at-home explorations, to invite sensitivity and awaken the mysterious and inconceivable experience of harmonious posture.

Ch'an: the Chinese Origins (Class), CC 1/29 - 3/19
with Anshin Rosalie Curtis
Eight Thursdays: January 29 - March 19, 2015

Writings associated with the first five Chinese ancestors (from Bodhidharma to Hung Jen) will serve as our guides to early Ch’an Buddhism.

Accessing Ease in Practice: Working with the Five Hindrances (Class), CC 4/2 - 4/30
with Keiryu Liên Shutt
Five Thursdays, April 2 - 30, 2015

The Five Hindrances are typical mind states which can impede development of concentration and mindfulness. In this class, we will explore classic and contemporary teachings on how to become aware of and work with these states, as well as cultivate their antidotes.

Establishing the Path of Practice 2014
One-Year Non-Residential Training Program
September 27, 2014 - July 18, 2015
with Ryushin Paul Haller and other Zen teachers

This one-year, experiential training program is designed to help participants develop a sustainable daily meditation practice and mindfulness of body, mind and emotions during everyday activities and relationships.

Sewing Buddha's Robe

This class is to assist those who have received permission from their teacher to sew a rakusu or okesa in preparation for receiving precepts and a robe in Jukai or Shukke Tokudo.

Transforming Depression and Anxiety: Drop-in Classes
6 to 7:30 pm
Practice classes are facilitated by Lee Lipp, PhD
Conference Center, 308 Page Street

For those who have participated in the Transforming Depression and Anxiety basic introductory workshops. These 1½-hour practice classes are offered to those who are interested in fine-tuning the practices introduced in the basic skills workshops taught throughout the year at SFZC and at other venues.

Contemplative Caregiver Course 2014
January 31 - December 6, 2014

A yearlong certificate training program in contemplative practices and care methods, offered in collaboration with Beyond Measure School for Contemplative Care, founded by Jennifer Block.