About San Francisco Zen Center

The true purpose [of Zen] is to see things as they are, to observe things as they are, and to let everything go as it goes ... Zen practice is to open up our small mind.
― Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice

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San Francisco Zen Center was established in 1962 by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi (1904-1971) and his American students. Suzuki Roshi is known to countless readers as the author of the modern spiritual classic, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. Available through the Online Store.

San Francisco Zen Center has three practice places: Beginner's Mind Temple, in the vibrant heart of San Francisco; Green Gulch Farm, whose organic fields meet the ocean in Marin County; and Tassajara Zen Mountain Center—the first Soto Zen training monastery on the West coast—located in the Ventana Wilderness inland from Big Sur. These three practice centers offer daily meditation, regular monastic retreats and practice periods, classes, lectures, and workshops.

San Francisco Zen Center is a practice place for a diverse population of students, visitors, lay people, priests, and monks guided by teachers who follow in Suzuki Roshi's style of warm hand and heart to warm hand and heart. All are welcome.

San Francisco Zen Center's programs also reach out to the community, helping prisoners, the homeless, and those in recovery; protecting the environment; and working for peace. Suzuki Roshi's disciples and students of his disciples now lead dharma groups around the country.

Mission and Vision

The mission statement, vision, and guiding principles of the organization

San Francisco Zen Center Lineage

The essence of practice is not just carried in the written teachings, but has been transmitted "warm hand to warm hand" in an unbroken succession of teachers to students.

The Community

The San Francisco Zen Center community includes residents and non-residents at all three centers, priests and lay practitioners, long-term and short-term participants, and opportunities to attend a wide variety of events and programs.

How San Francisco Zen Center Operates

Governance structure, ethical principles, board of directors, and inclusion policy


San Francisco Zen Center is connected to a wide range of Zen Buddhist and interfaith organizations.


Mailing addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses for various departments at the three practice centers

About SFZC Public Programs, Fees, and Cancellations

San Francisco Zen Center Programs responds to the needs of an increasingly volatile, uncertain, and complex world by offering nourishing and supportive programs that inspire personal and spiritual development.

Online Store

The Online Store is a site to view and order books, incense, and other merchandise that can be mailed or picked up at the bookstore