Category Archives: Events

Upcoming schedule changes

We will be closed for the Thanksgiving Holiday Nov 27th, and we will next meet for Study Hour kwan_yinon Dec 11th due to Thanksgiving followed by Winter Light Retreat.

Please join us for the Winter Light retreat (click here for more details on schedule) and rejoin us for Study Hour on December 11th.

For more details on pricing for the retreat and contact information to sign up, please see our most recent Newsletter on our twitter page (here)!

We hope to see you soon and often!



Week almost 4 of 6 of our Ango – Study Period

We are nearing 2/3 of our Ango – Study Period and want to encourage and invite you once again to our current heavier schedule carrying and into the Winter Light Retreat (schedule here). 14

Please feel free to join any of these times to help maintain the energy and effort of this period. Keep also in mind we still have our normal Saturday talks, Thursday night Study Hour of Text along with the added activities for the Study Period.


8 November – Full Moon Ceremony & Sangha Council.

Join us the next upcoming Saturday for a Full Moon Ceremony, Sangha Council and keep in mind there are still added practice opportunities to practice for our Fall Study Period (Schedule Here) going on right now.

329758377_0471a34b81_zFull Moon Ceremony at around 11:00am — The ceremony takes about a half-hour and involves some thirty full prostrations, but simple standing bows are also all right if prostrations are too strenuous. All are welcome to join in this ceremony/celebration. This month according to the Farmer’s Almanac is the Full Frosty or Beaver Moon. The ceremony will begin around 11am roughly after the Dharma Talk.

Sangha Council will commence around 12:30pm and run for 90 minutes with a break mid-way — We’re  continuing this format that is flexible enough for a diversity of needs. The scaffold we’ll be working from is based on the Council process developed by the Ojai Foundation.

You do not need to have an ‘issue’ or overt concern to attend.  Council is sangha building, connection and healing.  All are welcome to all of these events including our Fall Practice/Study Period!



1 November @ 10:15am – Guest Speaker, Jisan Tova Green

TaRaJisan Tova Green, LCSW, currently serves on the Board of Directors as Vice President of San Francisco Zen Center. Before being named vice president, she served as the Director.

She received priest ordination from Eijun Linda Cutts in 2003. Tova is a practice leader at San Francisco Zen Center and co-founded Zen Center’s Queer Dharma Group.

Tova received her MSW from Smith College School for Social Work and completed Smith’s certificate program in Contemplative Social Work in 2008. Tova was a social worker at Hospice by the Bay until April 2011.

Please join us for this wonderful event and we will be in week 1 of 6 of our Fall Practice Period and thus a great opportunity to take advantage of the additional sittings and offerings we have until early December!


Study Period start & Sejiki! October 25th

Bring a lunch!
The Study Period begins with a One Day Sitting on Saturday 25 October at 6:00am.
There will be two periods of zazen 6:00am and 6:50am,
10 minutes of Kinhin
then chanting service,
formal breakfast,
followed by 9:25am zazen,
10:15am Dharma talks and then the Sejiki Ceremony. 
We will then move to a silent, brown bag lunch,
an afternoon sitting (zazen),
finishing with chanting mid-afternoon.
After all of the above we will move to this schedule (click here)
We hope that you will join us for any or as much of this Study period schedule as you can and if you wish to formally sign up (so we plan your attendance) for meals and Teas for the study period, see the instruction here. This schedule will end around 2pm.

Oct 25 – Sejiki Ceremony & the start of the Fall Study Period

Following the Dharma talk we’ll celebrate the ancient ceremony known in Japanese as Sejiki, or “Feeding the Jiki (wandering spirits)”. sThis ceremony addresses our connection to the “unseen world”, typically overlooked in the West. All aspects of our life that have been disowned, disrespected and denied are invited to come forth from exile and be nourished, a gesture that may have particular significance for members of the LGBTiQQ community, whose own place in the social order has been undermined by fear, prejudice and violence. Costumes and sundry noisemaking devices are encouraged, and everyone is invited to participate. (Time approximate after the Dharma talk, at about 11 a.m.)

Every Saturday we offer early morning zazen (seated meditation), a brief drop-in meditation instruction at 8:30 am. And again zazen at 9:25 am. We wrap up with a dharma talk at 10:15 am followed by a ceremony if applicable, then tea and cookies.

Please also do not forget; this is the start of the Fall Study Period as well! (click here for details) and to sign up.

Please join us Saturdays and we hope to see you often through out the rest of the week!


Updated Fall Study Period schedule Oct 25 – Dec 7

fllstdyperd2014Shuso Ceremony to be added soon… Click here for details and to sign up!


Study Hour Thursdays! @ 7:30pm

aThursdays @7:30pm, we study the Vimalakīrti Sūtra, also called Vimalakīrtinirdeśa Sūtra. There are multiple translations, we focus a bit on the Dr Robert Thurman version, but welcome any version to compare the translations. We can share books for anyone who wants to join in, or feel free to purchase a copy and join us (many are very low cost online). Check our twitter page for any changes in schedule.


Oct 25 through Dec 7th 2014 – Fall Study Period!

512px-Maple_leaf_structureclick here for further details and schedule
Periods of focused practice are an ancient and vital part of Buddhist, and especially Zen, tradition. During the Study Period and Winterlight Retreat we will have an opportunity to focus on meditation and inner reflection, deepening our practice of the Buddha Way together.

Modeled on the traditional 90 Day Ango (Practice Period) the Study Period will include opportunities for private interviews with  Rev. Myo (dokusan), lectures and special ceremonies, as well as semi-formal meals (oryoki style), teas, and additional periods of meditation.

If interested please begin a dialogue with us by emailing to discuss what days and times you can commit to, and we very much look forward to this practice opportunity with you!



This Satuday the 11th of October, two events!

Please join us this Saturday for (any or all of) two events.

At 7:10am we will have the monthly full moon ceremony (earlier than the usual Saturday ceremony time), renewal of our Bodhisattva vows. The ceremony takesBodhisattva_pb_copy about a half-hour and involves some thirty full prostrations, but simple standing bows are also all right if prostrations are too strenuous. All are welcome to join in this ceremony/celebration.

At 10:15am,  a talk offered by guest speaker Laura Burges on the main floor of HSZC. Laura is a Soto Zen lay entrusted teacher who lectures and leads retreats at different practice centers in Northern California. A teacher of children for 30 years, she brings mindfulness practice to elementary classrooms. She co-founded the Sangha in Recovery program at San Francisco Zen Center.

Every Saturday we offer early morning zazen (seated meditation) a bit later at 6:30am, morning service, a brief drop-in or by appointment meditation instruction at 8:30 am. And again zazen at 9:25 am. We wrap up with a Dharma talk at 10:15 am (followed by ceremony if applicable) and then socializing, along with tea and cookies.