Entering the Path of Practice

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few.”
—Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

If you would like to become more intimate with practice at Zen Center, here are some suggestions for next steps. Some of these can be applied elsewhere or from home.

Starting City Center Green Gulch
Read our website for more information For Beginners  
Attend Introduction to Zazen (general meditation instruction) several times and stay on for lecture and lunch Saturdays Sundays
Attend Zendo Forms instruction after lecture to become familiar with our customs particular to attending group meditation in the temple Saturdays  
Participate in an Introductory Afternoon/Sitting to learn more about the forms used at Zen Center and ask questions More Info » More Info »
Take a class More Info » More Info »
There are several recommended book titles to get you started    


Participate in the full Saturday morning program (City Center), which often includes oryoki breakfast with guest bowls. Saturdays

Zazen begins at 6:30am (plan to arrive 10-15 min before to get seated).

Sit regularly at home or come to scheduled meditation periods in the morning or evenings More Info »  
Join Establishing the Path of Practice, a one-year non-residential training program designed to help participants develop a sustainable daily practice More Info »  
Meet with a practice leader to discuss your zazen practice City Center Practice Leaders Green Gulch Practice Leaders
Join the community in open meals to meet the sangha Weekday dinners & Saturday lunch Sunday lunch
Become a volunteer City Center Volunteer Program Green Gulch Volunteer Program
Take more classes More Info » More Info »
Do a Beginners’ Sitting More Info » More Info »
Participate in a One-Day Sitting More Info » More Info »
Explore bringing practice into all aspects of daily life    
Consider becoming a member of San Francisco Zen Center    


Commit to a consistent meditation practice at home and/or at a nearby center.


Start meeting regularly with a practice leader City Center Practice Leaders Green Gulch Practice Leaders
Join the Saturday Sangha More Info »


Participate in One-Day Sittings More Info » More Info »
Spend a week as a guest student More Info » More Info »
Continue to take classes More Info » More Info »
Learn how to eat with an oryoki set (formal eating bowls)    
Participate in a practice period as a non-resident or as a resident More Info » More Info »
Consider doing a longer sitting or sesshin More Info » More Info »

(Note: We offer specific suggestions for City Center and Green Gulch because they are the most available of our centers to the public. Tassajara during the spring and summer is a wonderful retreat location, and offers a variety of practice opportunities, including work practice, guest practice, and retreats. During the fall and winter, it is reserved for intense monastic practice periods. If you’re not in the San Francisco/Marin area, you  may be able to find a sitting group near you.)