City Center, also known as Beginner's Mind Temple (Hosshin-ji), is one of three practice communities that comprise the San Francisco Zen Center, which also includes Green Gulch Farm and Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. It was established in 1969 by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi as a training center in the Soto Zen tradition open to the general public.
Offerings include daily meditation and service, semi-weekly dharma talks, classes, workshops, residential student programs, and the opportunity to discuss one's spiritual practice with an experienced Zen practice leader. Scroll down for general information.
For those new to San Francisco Zen Center, please visit on Saturday morning at 8:40 am for an introduction to City Center and meditation practice.
The incredibly beautiful building that houses San Francisco Zen Center’s City Center temple is located at 300 Page Street (at Laguna), near the end of the Central Freeway in the Hayes Valley/Lower Haight neighborhood, which borders the Civic Center area. Limited on-street parking is available in the neighborhood; a public parking lot is also available on Franklin Street near Oak. Carpooling is encouraged (Rideshare Board).
MUNI buses: Lines 6 and 7 run often and stop at either Haight and Laguna (one block away) or Haight and Buchanan (two blocks away). F line trolleys running down Market Street are a 5-10 minute walk from City Center. For the 21 Hayes, get off at Laguna and Hayes,for the 22 Fillmore, get off at Oak and Fillmore. Many of the rail lines bring riders within a few blocks of City Center; get off at Van Ness Station or at Duboce and Church Street and walk a few blocks to 300 Page. For additional directions from outside of the city, view larger map.
Monday through Friday 9:30 am – 4 pm
Saturday 11 am – noon
For registration information and queries regarding classes, workshops, retreats, and events, call 415.354.0360.
The City Center Bookstore offers a unique collection of books, cards, and merchandise, all intended to support the study and practice of Buddhism in its many forms and traditions. The Bookstore is now open for in-person shopping. Vaccination and booster required. Masking with a K/N95 is required at all times inside the building. Orders and requests can also be submitted via email, by phone, or through our Online Store. Completed purchases can be shipped, or a contactless curbside pickup can be scheduled and items picked up at the bookstore entrance.
The bookstore has a separate entrance which is directly accessible via the front access ramp. This is also the location for contactless pick-up.
Your support is appreciated.
Monday – Friday, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm and 1:30 – 4:00 pm
Saturday, 9:30 am – noon
Closed on Sundays and holidays
Fees for Events
There are three rates for most City Center events: a general rate, a members rate, and sliding scale rates for those with limited income. Attendees may choose the rate that suits their situation. Those who are unable to attend a program due to financial constraints may inquire about other arrangements.
City Center offers a variety of outreach and volunteer programs and activities.
The library is currently run on a volunteer basis, and has variable hours. Please contact the main office at 415.863.3136 to check availability.
We welcome outside groups to hold meetings and classes in the peaceful setting of a classic Victorian home, located next door to Zen Center at 308 Page Street. The Parlor Room, 40' x 13' with high ceilings, wood floors, and area rugs, accommodates up to 35 people. The less formal Sun Room, 21' x 17', is just right for more intimate gatherings and workshops. Vegetarian meals can be arranged. For more information, please click here.
City Center offers charming guest rooms for short-term stays. Rates include vegetarian meals with the community. This is a convenient and economical way to stay in the city while experiencing life in a Zen Buddhist temple and enjoying the serene elegance of a building designed by Julia Morgan. Guests are also welcome (but not required) to join the daily meditation schedule and other activities.
The first floor of City Center is accessible by ramp. The Buddha Hall, bookstore, office, dining room, class and meeting space, a guestroom with private bath, and a restroom are on the first floor. The zendo is accessible by ramp at the Laguna Street entrance. Sutras are available in large print. Hearing assistance is available for lectures. Please review San Francisco Zen Center's pet policy regarding service animals.
City Center offers a variety of ways of being a resident, from a two-week stay as a guest student to long-term residency. Practice period participants may apply to be residents during their practice period if space is available in the building.
Beginning in January 2024, the City Center Renovation Project will require that application for residential practice opportunities at City Center be suspended. This will continue until the end of 2024 or the completion of the project. Applications may be accepted again beginning in November 2024 for 2025. To stay informed about the project and its progress, please sign up to receive Sangha News and check our social media communications (see links in the footer of the website).
Green Gulch Farm and Tassajara will continue to offer residential practice opportunities, as described on the Live the Temple Life page.