Special Events & Exhibits

Current Art Exhibit (March)

Follow this link for a year-long list with descriptions of Special Events, Ceremonies, and Interims

Sickness, Old Age, and Death – A Conversation, Grace Cathedral, 11/2

On The Origins of Dogen's Zen (Advanced Buddhist Studies Lecture Series), CC 8/14

with Carl Bielefeldt
in the City Center dining room
Thursday, August 14, 2014
7:30 - 9 pm

This lecture and discussion will focus on what set the stage for Dogen's own presentation of zazen in his meditation manuals, most famously the Fukanzazengi and the Shobogenzo.

Ben Connelly – Inside Vasubandhu's Yogacara, CC 3/31

Friday, March 31, 7:30 – 9 pm
City Center, 300 Page Street, San Francisco

Just Sitting on Inauguration Day, CC 1/20

Led by Tova Green and Lisa Hoffman
Friday, January 20, 1 – 5:15 pm
City Center, 300 Page Street at Laguna

Vimalakirti Puppet Show, CC 10/14

So How’s the Election Going for You? A Pop-up ‘Politics Meets Our Spiritual Practice,’ CC 10/21

Discussion Curated by Do-On Robert Thomas and SFZC Board Member Joe Rodriguez
In the Conference Center, 308 Page Street, next door to City Center
Friday, October 21, 2016, 7:30 – 9pm

City Center Open House, 9/24

Art Show: Irene Nelson, 'At Home,' CC 8/1 – 8/31

August 1 – 31
In the City Center Art Lounge

The Buddha’s Last Teachings: The Mahaparinibbana Sutta (Advanced Buddhist Studies Lecture Series), CC 1/16

with Rita Gross
Thursday, January 16, 2014
7:30 - 9 pm, in the City Center dining room

Part of the SFZC Advanced Budhdist Studies Lecture Series

In this sutta, the Buddha deals with many questions about how to preserve and practice the dharma after his impending death.

The Buddha's Alternative to Religious Views: An Introduction to the Brahmajala Sutta (Advanced Buddhist Studies Lecture Series), CC 1/9

with Ryuge Gil Fronsdal, PhD
Thursday, January 9, 2014
7:30 - 9 pm

The Brahmajala Sutta is placed as the first discourse in the collected scriptures of early Buddhism. By presenting a radical message of an alternative to relying on religious views, including many Buddhist views, this discourse provides a good foundation for reading all the discourses of the Buddha.

Everyone Has a Light: Exploring Buddha-Nature in Chinese Buddhism and Our Practice (Advanced Buddhist Studies Lecture Series), CC 4/17

with Korin Charlie Pokorny
Thursday, April 17, 2014
7:30 - 9 pm

We will touch on the teaching of Buddha-nature in key texts and traditions. We will also explore how Buddha-nature can live in our practice, based in the Soto teachings of Eihei Dogen.

The Platform Sutra: A Guest from Outside Creation (Advanced Buddhist Studies Lecture Series), CC 4/24

with Myo Denis Lahey
Thursday, April 24, 2014
7:30 - 9 pm

The Platform Sutra, or T’an Ch’ing, of the Sixth Ancestor, also known simply as the Sutra of Hui Neng, is a pivotal work in the history and development of Ch’an or Zen Buddhism in China.

Astride the Highest Mountain: Dogen's Being Time (Advanced Buddhist Studies Lecture Series), CC 8/21

with Shinshu Roberts
in the City Center dining room

Thursday, August 21, 2014
7:30 - 9 pm

Uji is Dogen's attempt to lead us to productively and dynamically explore the true nature of reality through the lens of our being/time. This lecture will look at Uji as a practice guide whose purpose is to radically change our experience of our being/time as well as the being/time of all beings.

Self, Healing and Liberation: Exploring Buddhist Psychology and Its Interface with Contemporary Western Psychology (ABSLS), CC 9/4

with Daijaku Judith Kinst, PhD
Thursday, September 4, 2014

How we understand who we are, how we function, and how reality functions, profoundly impacts the way in which we experience and live our day to day lives—and the way in which we understand and practice the Dharma.

Experimental Buddhism: Innovation and Activism in Global Contexts (Advanced Buddhist Studies Lecture Series), CC 9/11

with John Nelson, PhD
Thursday, September 11, 2014

Zen is one of several traditions claiming a direct affiliation with the origins of Buddhism. With nearly 2,500 years of history, teachings, institutional development, politics and culture, how does a 21st-century practitioner navigate such a rich system of ideas and practices without getting spiritual vertigo? How should Buddhism in general—and its institutional leaders in particular—appeal to contemporary audiences so as to ensure both continuity of the dharma and its social relevance?

How Clinging to Gender Identity Subverts Enlightenment (Advanced Buddhist Studies Lecture Series), CC 2/13

with Lopon Rita Gross, PhD
Thursday, February 13, 2015

Teachers always say, “Enlightened mind is beyond gender—neither male nor female.” Nevertheless, people take gender seriously. How do we solve this contradiction?

The Art of Stillness, with Pico Iyer, 7/24

The Art of Stillness, with Pico Iyer, 7/24

An evening with Pico Iyer and Abbess Furyu Nancy Schroeder
Friday, July 24, 2015
7:30 - 9 pm

Grace Cathedral

The Six Perfections: How Meditation Grounds the Cultivation of Character (Advanced Buddhist Studies Lecture Series), CC 9/17

An overview of the Buddhist teachings on the Six Perfections, with a focus on the way meditation functions within all six.

With Dale Wright
Thursday, September 17, 7:30 - 9 pm

San Francisco Interfaith Council’s Winter Shelter Program, 2/21

Zen Center will be participating in the Council’s program of providing food and shelter for homeless people in 2016.

Art Exhibit, October 2015: Judith Keenan Photography

Some of What I've Seen

October 2015 in the City Center art lounge

Intro to Urban Bicycling, CC 4/19

7:30 – 8:30 pm
Free event with San Francisco Bicycle Coalition
City Center Dining Room

Crowded by Beauty: The Life and Zen of Poet Philip Whalen (book event with David Schneider), CC 6/3

7:30 – 9 pm
With David Schneider

Art Show: June Li, 'Fullest,' CC 9/1 – 9/30

Art Show: June Li, 'Fullest,' CC 9/1 – 9/30

September 1 – 30
In the City Center Art Lounge
Reception on Friday, September 9, 7:30 pm

City Center Master Plan: Updating and Upgrading Our Architectural Treasure

SFZC Finances – Community Meeting

Beyond McMindfulness: The Buddhist Revolution in Modern Neuroscience and Psychology, CC 9/30

In three decades, mindfulness has gone from being an exotic meditation technique to a catalyst for some of the most exciting breakthroughs in current neuroscience and psychotherapy. No wonder it is now being hailed as "the next revolution in public health." In this talk, the keynote to a weekend workshop and a two-year program in contemplative psychotherapy, Buddhist scholar-psychiatrist Dr. Joe Loizzo will share an insider's view on how and why this watershed has come, and expand our horizons to what lies ahead: the second and third waves of this promising revolution.

Art Show: Susan Imperial: 'Without a Compass', CC 3/1 – 3/31

March 1 – March 31
In the City Center Art Lounge
Reception on Friday, March 18, 7 – 9 pm

Art Exhibit, March 2015: On the Road . . . to Away-Seeking Mind

Art Exhibit, March 2015: On the Road . . . to Away-Seeking Mind

Art Exhibit Reception for "Waterscapes," CC 5/8

Walk & Bike to Worship Program, CC 5/21

Just This Is It: Dongshan and the Practice of Suchness (Advanced Buddhist Studies Lecture Series), CC 3/19

with Taigen Dan Leighton
Thursday, March 19, 2015

The joy of “suchness”—the ultimate true nature inherent in all appearance—shines through the teachings attributed to Dongshan Liangjie (807–869), the legendary founder of the Caodong lineage of Chan Buddhism

Spring Interim, CC 3/27 – 4/1

Public programs are modified during the interim break.

Painting Enlightenment: The Art and Science of the Heart Sutra (Advanced Buddhist Studies Lecture Series), CC 4/24

Explore what the universe looks like through the lens of the Heart Sutra while viewing paintings by a Japanese biologist who depicted the resonance he saw between scientific and Buddhist visions of reality.

Tuesday, 5 pm: Open Meeting on Investment Policies for the Endowment Fund

Mindfulness and Compassion: The Art and Science of Contemplative Practice (SFSU Conference), 6/3 - 6/7

Four Perspectives on Dharma: Therapy, Spirituality, Science and Religion (Advanced Buddhist Studies Lecture Series), CC 6/5

In this session we shall examine in what sense Buddhism is therapy, spirituality, science and/or religion and, hopefully, in the process re-examine some of our assumptions and come to a better relationship with the Dharma itself.

Memorial Day Holiday, CC 5/29

City Center will be closed. Meditation in Recovery will meet.

What Does Buddhism Have to Do with Black People? (MoAD lecture, 6/6)

What Does Buddhism Have to Do with Black People? (MoAD lecture, 6/6)

A lecture by Rev. Zenju Earthlyn Manuel
at Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD)
Saturday, June 6, 2015

Three-Day Interim, CC 6/13 – 6/15

Public programs are modified during the interim break. See for details.

Art Exhibit Reception for "Felt into Being," CC 6/19

Independence Day Holiday, CC 7/3-7/4

City Center will be closed.

Summer Residents' Retreat: Changes to Public Schedule, CC 7/27 – 7/31

Changes to public offerings for the week of July 27 – 31

Summer Interim, CC 8/21-8/26

Public programs are modified during the interim break.

Labor Day Holiday, CC 9/4

SFZC closed.

Thanksgiving Holiday Schedule, CC 11/23 – 11/24

Thanksgiving Holiday Schedule, CC 11/23 – 11/24

For the Thanksgiving weekend, San Francisco Zen Center will be closed on Thursday, November 23 and Friday, November 24. Enjoy the holiday.

Three-Day Interim, CC 12/5 – 12/7

Public programs are modified during the interim break. See for details.

Christmas Holiday, 12/25 - 12/26

City Center will be closed. There will be no meditation and no open meals.
We wish a happy, safe, and peaceful holiday to all!

Art Exhibit Reception, June Li ('Fullest'), CC 9/9

Friday, 7:30 pm
City Center Art Lounge

The Advanced Buddhist Studies Lecture Series

The Advanced Buddhist Studies Lecture Series

The classes and lectures in this advanced studies series began in 2014 by reviewing some important aspects of the historical development of Buddhism and Zen as well as the outgrowth of the complex dharma expressions within them. Now in its second year, the series continues to address significant issues in Buddhism, past and current with a faculty made up of scholars who have a committed and deep-rooted practice background. These lectures and classes aim to engage those already familiar with Buddhist practice, although all are welcome to attend.

The Nature of Mind, with Ven. Robina Courtin (Advanced Buddhist Studies Lecture Series), CC 11/12

7:30 - 9 pm
With Ven. Robina Courtin

San Francisco Interfaith Council’s Winter Shelter Program

Zen Center will be participating in the Council’s program of providing food and shelter for homeless people in 2016.

San Francisco Interfaith Council’s Winter Shelter Program, 1/17

Zen Center will be participating in the Council’s program of providing food and shelter for homeless people in 2016.

San Francisco Interfaith Council’s Winter Shelter Program, 2/7

Zen Center will be participating in the Council’s program of providing food and shelter for homeless people in 2016.

Wednesday 7:30pm: No Public Dharma Talk – Residents' Meeting

Annual Membership Meeting at City Center, 10/23

5 - 6:30 pm
in the Conference Center at City Center
Members, please RSVP

New this year: Join us via live stream!

Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, CC 1/16

City Center is closed in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Meditation in Recovery will meet in the evening as usual.

Presidents' Day Holiday, CC 2/20

SFZC closed