Category Archives: News

Sat. January 24 – Dogen Zenji’s birthday

DogenZenjiDogen Zenji, the founder of Soto Zen School as well as of Daihonzan Eiheiji, was born on January 26, 1200 CE. This was during the Kamakura Period of Japanese history, the year following the death of Minamoto Yoritomo. It is said that his father was Koga Michichika, a government minister, and that his mother was Ishi, the daughter of Fujiwara Motofusa. Presumably, young Dogen Zenji lived in comfort. However, at the age of thirteen, he climbed Mt. Hiei, and the next year he shaved his head and became a monk. It is said that he became a monk because he felt the impermanence of the world on his mother’s death when he was eight years old. (more here)

As the founder of our school of Zen Buddhism, we would like to offer a bit of a celebration after the Dharma talk of his life and contributions to Zen & Buddhism in Japan and study and practice in China. Every Saturday we offer early morning zazen (seated meditation) at 6:30am, morning service, 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 ceremony if applicable) and then socializing,  tea and cookies.


Happy New Year & Welcome to 2015!

Untitled-1Please note we will be closed Jan 1, 2015. See you soon!


Balance of 2014…

islam_buddhism_73Please keep an eye on the weeks ahead, schedule, there are several adjustments. Easiest way is the newsletter and easiest access to that is our twitter page ( ) You dont have to sign up to access this just “x” out of the sign up window.

We also are still asking in time for your 2014 taxes, for your financial support! Please support the temple and its lay community offerings, residential student and priests programs!

Easiest way to give:

Deepest gratitude!


Please support HSZC!

monk-beggingGreetings and best wishes for the New Year to all of you, with many thanks for your continuing support. The new year will bring us to the twenty-fifth anniversary of the passing of our founder, Issan Dainei. Through his original vision, along with the work and support of many people since, Hartford Street Zen Center has been offering the Dharma in the Castro for more than thirty years.

We ask that you help insure the practice of the Buddha Way in the Castro through your generosity. (click here for full annual appeal for donations letter)


Sat. Dec 13th Guest Speaker – Kokyo Henkel @ 10:15am

Please join us this Saturday for Guest Speaker Kokyo Henkel
Kokyo is currently Head Teacher at Santa Cruz Zen Center. He has been practicing zen since 1990 in residence at Tassajara, Green Gulch Farm, No Abode Hermitage in Mill Valley, and Bukkokuji Monastery in Japan. He was ordained a priest in 1994 by Tenshin Anderson Roshi and received Dharma Transmission from him in 2010.
Kokyo’s interests include looking at how the thclassic original teachings of Buddha-Dharma from ancient India, China, and Japan are still very much alive and useful in present-day America to bring peace and harmony to this troubled world.
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.

It is NOT too late to join the Study Period & now Winter Light Sesshin!

Here is general info

*Here is the schedule for tonight and of the next 4 days


*There will be some adjustments to fit in a Full Moon Ceremony on Saturday, the Founders Memorial, the Bodhi Day Celebration, end of the retreat and Study period closing ceremonies and ends at noon on Sunday with the Shuso ceremony!

Winter Light Retreat 2014 – Dec 3rd – 7th



Saturday 29, November 10:15am – Guest Speaker: Zachary Smith, Anshi Daigi

We are now wrapping up week 5 of our Fall into Winter Study period. We are also just 4 days away from the Winter Light (Rohatsu timing), Sesshin which will be our last week of the 2014 Fall Study Period.

AND this weekend we welcome into our more robust period of practice Zachary Smith, Anshi Daigi, for a Saturday Dharma talk at 10:15am.Untitled-1

Zachary Smith, Anshi Daigi has been practicing since 1993, took jukai in 1995, and was shuso under Abbot Paul Haller in Fall of 2007. He currently directs North Mountain Zendo, a zazenkai group in North Beach. In addition to his involvement with Zen, Zachary is a husband and father (of 4), an engineer, a musician, a bike fanatic, and an avid but mediocre poet. He may be the only person in the history of Zen in the West to have interrupted a residential practice period to tour with a rock band and he has visited us earlier in 2014 to deliver a talk and we look forward to welcoming him back!

Please feel free to join any of these times to help maintain the energy and effort of this period! Schedule for the Study Period is here; the schedule for Winter Light Retreat and sign up details are here!


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!



10, 15 & 24 of November – Dharma talks by Rev Daiko Tanzen, David Bullock

tPlease join us November 10th or 24th for 7pm evening  talks by our very own Rev. Daiko Tanzen, David Bullock; Our current study period Shuso. David is our current connection to the early days of Hartford Street’s Zen Center founding, caretaker of the garden, current Board President and many other capacities past and present of HSZC (as well as the past Maitri); and he was ordained by the temple’s founder – Rev. Issan Dorsey.

Please also join us for his talk on the upcoming Saturday, November 15th at 10:15am.  Please join us for these wonderful events and feel free again to take advantage of the extra practice offerings during our Practice period (click here for schedule).