For Beginners at City Center

In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few. —Shunryu Suzuki Roshi (1904 – 1971)

Due to our ongoing renovations of 300 Page street, the following events will all be held in the Zendo. Please enter through the Laguna street door.

Everyone is welcome to practice at San Francisco Zen Center! Here are some ways to get started:

Zazen Meditation Instruction

Come to in-person zazen (meditation) Instruction, offered from 8:40 am – 9:40 am on the third Saturday of each month. You will receive posture suggestions, have questions answered, and sit with a group of beginning practitioners. Please see the Calendar page or the Sitting Meditation and Sesshins page for upcoming dates.

You can also access the SFZC archive of recorded instruction sessions. It is suggested that you watch several sessions as each one offers a unique approach.

Saturday Morning Meditation

Following zazen instruction, stay for the public program which includes a period of zazen at 9:25 am, followed by a Dharma talk, Q&A with the speaker, and social time with tea and cookies. Zazen at 9:25 am, the Dharma talk, and Q&A are also offered on Saturdays in the Online Zendo.

Introduction to Zendo Forms

This introduction is offered every third Saturday, on the same day as in-person zazen instruction, following the Dharma talk and Q&A, from 11:40 am – 12:15 pm. Please see the Calendar page or the Sitting Meditation and Sesshins page for upcoming dates.

Sunday Beginners' Sittings

After attending zazen instruction or viewing the archived instructions, come to a monthly Sunday Beginners’ Sitting, which includes additional instructions in sitting and walking meditation, sitting 20-minute periods with a group of beginners, a short lecture with Q&A, and an opportunity for individual instruction.

Online Offerings

If you cannot attend in person at this time, SFZC also offers programs for beginners through the Online Zendo and Online events and resources page, including:

Monthly Tuesday Online Tea & Discussion on the second Tuesday of each month, 7 – 7:45 am PT (following online morning service).

Thursday Online Practice Session with SFZC Teachers on the first and third Thursday of each month, 5:30 – 6:30 pm PT.