Sitting Meditation & Sesshins (City Center)

Meditation in the City Center Zendo

If you are new to Zen practice, see For Beginners.


Beginner's Sitting

This sitting is for new students and those who wish to participate in a gentler schedule. It includes sitting and walking meditation, lecture, discussion, and an opportunity for individual instruction. Forms such as oryoki will be briefly discussed. This sitting is recommended before doing a one-day sitting.

Half-day Sitting (Zazenkai)

These sittings are suitable for both beginners and experienced sitters. There will be instruction in the details of posture, breath, and establishing the mental disposition of experiencing whatever arises. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions about one's practice.

There will be scheduled periods of sitting and walking, with the option of continuing to sit through the walking meditation if desired.

One-day Sittings

One-day sittings offer traditional Soto Zen all-day meditation practice. In order to understand the nature of our formal retreats, and to be clear about the details of the practice, please review a typical one-day sitting schedule. We ask those who attend one-day sittings to commit to participating in the complete schedule.


Sesshin means to collect the heart/mind. Participants spend 3, 5, or 7 days meditating, eating, and working in silence, devoting every aspect of the day to the realization of the Buddha Way. Sesshin meals are generally served and taken in the traditional oryoki style.

Sesshin always begins with an orientation the evening before at 7:30 pm in the Buddha Hall near the entrance to 300 Page Street. There is also an oryoki instruction and refresher training offered the evening before at 5:00 pm (dinner at 6:30 that evening is available to attendees; cost is by donation).

To sign up for a sitting or sesshin, call our toll free number (888.743.9362) or our local number (415.475.9362).

All members of San Francisco Zen Center receive a 10% discount on sesshins and one-day sittings. Members donating $125 per month or more are invited to attend one-day sittings free of charge. To learn more about becoming a member, visit this link.

Upcoming Sitting Meditation & Sesshin Events

Saturday, Jul 9, 2022
Start Time Location Event
05:25 AM City Center Saturday One-Day Sitting, CC 7/9
Saturday, Aug 13, 2022
Start Time Location Event
05:25 AM City Center Saturday One-Day Sitting, CC 8/13