Winter 2023 Practice Period at City Center: Visitor and Online Participation, CC 1/24 - 4/1

Practice Center
Date / Time
Jan 24, 2023 / 7:30pm - Apr 1, 2023 / 6:00pm
Event Type
Practice Periods

Sliding scale fees: $90 – $375 (see Fee section, below)

To Study the Buddha Way Is to Study the Self

“To study the Buddha way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self.” —Eihei Dogen

In the turmoil of these times, it’s hard not to lose ourselves in preoccupation with the tragedies of the world and our personal struggles. To “sit in the middle” of all that life presents and experience what’s happening, is the essence of Zen practice. Yet to do so, we often need to discover how to pause, contact what’s being experienced, and study the thoughts and feelings of that being. Then we can pick up life’s issues again but with the insight that our dramas are not the whole story. That is, to realize it’s possible to relate to life’s challenges as a teaching on how to be more fully alive and engage all beings. Sustaining the intention to be present in this way awakens the Heart of the Buddha Way.

In many ways the emphasis of early Buddhist teachings is to discover, through experiential learning, how to cultivate the capacity for awareness. That awareness has both depth and breadth. The depth of concentration and the breadth of bringing awareness to internal and external expressions of being human. Awareness gives rise to virtuous behavior, insightful wisdom, and a yogic capacity to align the activity of body/mind with the attributes of virtue and wisdom.

Teachings such as the Seven Factors of Awakening describe how to cultivate awareness. Other early teachings describe the cultivation and practice of virtue and wisdom. In the practice period class, I plan to unpack some of these teachings and the process of addressing these teachings to point out how they are the basis of the Zen practice of experientially realizing the Buddha Way.

This is a traditional intensive training period common in the schools of Buddhism. Participants can engage in this training period in one of two ways; this page is for Online/Visitor participation:

Residential: Move in and live at City Center and follow the daily schedule. Application deadline: December 16
Visitor/Online (this page): Visit City Center for practice period events, or participate online, as you choose. Registration deadline: January 22, 2023

On-site participation is open to residential and visitor participation; Covid Health and Safety Guidelines for City Center's congregant living environment will apply.

About the Winter 2023 Practice Period

The practice period will begin with an orientation, available both on-site and livestreamed, at 7:30 pm PT on Tuesday, January 24.

Ryushin Paul Haller will teach a class on the practice period topic, both online and onsite, on Mondays, January 30 – March 20, 7:30 – 9 pm PT. The class on March 13 will be online only as City Center is closed on that Monday. The fee for class participation is included in the practice period fee and does not require separate registration.

You may attend any of the components below onsite at City Center or online as you prefer. Visiting City Center to attend any onsite component requires you to first complete this Covid-19 questionnaire and receive verification before appearing at City Center.

There will be two Saturday one-day sittings, on January 28 [Online / Onsite] and February 18 [Online / Onsite], and a concluding seven-day sesshin [Online / Onsite] beginning the evening of Saturday, March 25 and ending on Saturday, April 1. NOTE: These sittings are not included in the practice period fee and require separate registration and payment.

Online components:

  • Online Portal
  • Online Class
  • Small Groups
  • Morning and evening zazen in the Online Zendo
  • Wednesday and Saturday Dharma talks in the Online Zendo

Onsite components: Covid-19 questionnaire is required

  • In-person morning and evening zazen and service
  • Visitors are invited to join the residents for breakfast after the morning program for an additional onsite charge, and asked to eat in the courtyard
  • Onsite class
  • Wednesday and Saturday Dharma talks in the Buddha Hall
Fee Information

Suggested fees:

  • General: $375
  • Current SFZC Members: $337
  • Sliding scale 1: $225
  • Sliding scale 2: $90

For additional discount options, please email us at

About SFZC Public Programs, Fees, and Cancellations

Registration Information

Please review these documents if you will be visiting City Center during the practice period:

Deadline for registration is January 22, 2023.

Visitor/Online Registration

Or call 415-354-0360.