Winter 2018 Practice Period at City Center: Online Option

Online Participation

Students in the online program participate through our practice period website. Students who live locally or are visiting the San Francisco area are invited to join us for open temple events such as zazen, ceremonies, dharma talks and the Tuesday night class. However, this offering is designed to reach those who cannot participate on-site on a regular basis.

All paid events at City Center are available to the participants at the member rate.

Deepening Practice through the Six Perfections

Led by Kanzan David Zimmerman, Kyoshin Wendy Lewis, and Jisan Tova Green
January 24 – March 24, 2018
Applications for online participation due January 30

Participants can engage in the practice period in one of three ways:

About the Winter 2018 Practice Period

A Practice Period is a traditional intensive training period common in the schools of Buddhism and is six to twelve weeks in length. There are three practice periods offered onsite each year at our City Center temple—Winter, Spring, and Fall.

The focus of this nine-week practice period is the six perfections or paramitas, which are essential guides for Zen and Mahayana Buddhist practice. These virtues or ideals of human character—generosity, morality, tolerance, energy, meditation, and wisdom—serve as a basis for spiritual training. When cultivated, they strengthen practice and guide practitioners towards awakening. It is said that Bodhisattvas—those whose concern is the ultimate happiness of all living beings—are models of “enlightened beings” whose practice of the six perfections is highly accomplished. The perfections provide concrete guidance for developing character toward living our lives through deepened awareness and responsiveness. They provide an ethical context that focuses on daily life while offering clear purpose and direction.

Through readings, dharma talks, and discussions, as well as taking up active practices related to these areas, we will explore the meaning and expression of this teaching and how it may be applied to current personal and cultural concerns. The primary text for the practice period will be The Six Perfections: Buddhism and the Cultivation of Character by Dale Wright.

This Winter Practice Period is a chance to develop and deepen your practice together with others in a supportive environment and through activities including daily sitting, study, practice discussion with the teachers, and weekly sangha discussions. Weekly events include an oryoki meal, classes, ceremonies, dharma talks, and Wednesday afternoon teas with the practice period leaders. During the nine weeks students will have the opportunity to meet individually with the practice period leaders and/or other practice leaders.

Practice period tea is scheduled every Wednesday, 5:30 – 6:30 pm, beginning Wednesday, January 31, and ending Wednesday, March 14.

There will be two one-day sittings, on January 27 and February 24. The practice period concludes with a seven-day sesshin, March 18 – 24. All events other than the Practice Period Tea must be registered for and paid for separately.

As part of the practice period, Wendy Lewis and David Zimmerman will teach a seven-week class, Experience & Investigation: Studying the Six Paramitas, on Tuesdays, 7:30 – 9 pm, January 30 – March 13. Tova Green will teach a separate class, Bringing Down the Walls that Separate Us: Practicing with the Precepts, on Mondays, 7:30 – 9 pm, January 29 – March 12 (registration and payment for Tova’s class is not included in the practice period fee).

The following offerings will be available to online participants:

  • Live-streamed Dharma talks on Saturdays which will be available to watch at any time.
  • Audio recordings of sesshin talks and Wednesday Dharma talks.
  • Access to the videos of the practice period class, Experience & Investigation: Studying the Six Paramitas.
  • Downloads of handouts, readings, and exercises.
  • The opportunity to interact in weekly small groups via video conference.
  • An online zendo to sit with others each morning Monday through Friday.
  • Interactive meetings with the practice period leaders Kanzan David Zimmerman, Kyoshin Wendy Lewis, and Jisan Tova Green and other participants via video conference calls.
  • Opportunity to have an online sangha relationship with other students via the practice period website.

Online Participation Fee: $179 general; $161 current members; $143 limited income.

Access to the practice period website will be provided, after payment of the online participation fee, a week prior to the practice period. See the online participation practice period application below for recommendations on how to participate from home.

Online Practice Period Application Process:

  1. Download the Online participation practice period application.
  2. Email your completed application to ccdirectorassist@sfzc.org.
  3. Pay your participation fee here: [available soon]