Sitting Meditation & Sesshins (City Center)

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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. Recommended before doing a one-day sitting. Upcoming dates.

Upcoming dates for zazenkai, one-day sittings, and sesshins, as well as zazen and forms instruction are listed at the bottom of this page.

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 be scheduled periods of sitting and walking.

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. Sesshins begin with an orientation the evening before at 7:30 pm in the Buddha Hall.

Current members of San Francisco Zen Center receive a 10% discount for 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