Online Programs

San Francisco Zen Center is pleased to bring you these programs created specifically for the online community. Watch this space for additional offerings as they are added.

Fall 2017 Online Practice Period at City Center
The Harmony of Difference and Equality
Led by City Center Abiding Abbot Rinso Ed Sattizahn
October 2 – December 9

Download videoPlay video with own player link

The theme of the Fall 2017 online practice period is inspired by the eighth century poem “The Harmony of Difference and Equality” by the Chinese Zen Master Shitou Xiqian. Shitou says, “If you don’t understand the way right before you, how will you know the path as you walk?” Can we wake up to the reality of our life and see the path before us? In walking our path how do we harmonize our personal needs with our responsibilities to the wider world? We will address these questions through this text and its application to modern Zen practice.

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

The following offerings will be available to online participants:

  • Live-streamed dharma talks on Wednesdays and Saturdays which will be available to watch at any time.
  • Audio recordings of sesshin talks.
  • Access to the videos of the practice period class, Introduction to The Sandokai: Harmony of Difference and Equality.
  • Downloads of handouts, readings, and exercises.
  • The opportunity to interact in weekly small group discussions via video conference.
  • An online zendo to sit with others each morning Monday through Friday.
  • Interactive meetings with Rinso Ed Sattizhan 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 [Word]/[PDF].
  2. Email your completed application to
  3. Pay your participation fee here: [no longer available]

Inquiries and comments may be directed to Kodo Conlin at


Encountering the Teachings
Six-week online course
With Jiryu Rutschman-Byler
September 12 – October 25

Interactive video calls with Jiryu on September 13 and 27, October 11 and 25, Wednesdays, 5:30 – 6:30 pm PDT

This interactive on-line course will introduce to those newer to Buddhism, or review for those more established in the practice, the major insights that have developed over the long course of the history of Buddhism. These core principles will be presented in clear and accessible terms, but not just to reach an abstract understanding of the tradition—the overriding aim of the course will be to explore and open ourselves to the practical application of these insights in our meditation and daily life. For more information, please visit our course page.

Fees: $159; $143 current SFZC members; $127 limited income. Some partial scholarships available. Sign-ups are open through October 11.

To Register: Use the Register Online button above to access the registration page. Or call our toll-free number 888.743.9362 or our local number 415.475.9362.

About Registration, Scholarships, and Cancellations


Meditation in Recovery

Four-week online introductory class
With Tim W and Steven T
Website opens Monday, October 23

Interactive online sessions every Thursday at 6:00 pm PDT: October 26, November 2, November 9, November 16

This four-week online introductory class will be based on the two rich traditions of twelve-step recovery and Soto Zen Buddhism both of which address the suffering caused by craving. While Buddhist practice is not a substitute for recovery, it can enhance and deepen the journey of recovery. This class is offered to people of all levels of both traditions. We will explore the profound similarities between these two disciplines and how they intertwine and deepen each other, enhancing our lives and the decisions we are faced with living in an addictive society.

Tim W received priest ordination in 2013 and has completed the Shogaku Priest Ongoing Training (SPOT) program. A member of the Meditation in Recovery Steering Committee, he has facilitated Meditation in Recovery meetings at City Center for many years and has led Meditation in Recovery retreats at City Center and Green Gulch Farm.

Steven T is a licensed psychotherapist and certified addiction specialist and is the co-founder of a foundation that focuses on creating and delivering therapy and services in the areas of recovery and life transitions. Steven has been studying and practicing Buddhism for more than 20 years. He was ordained by Dairyu Michael Wenger and served as shuso in 2013.

Fees: $99; $89 current SFZC members; $79 limited income.

To Register: Call our toll-free number 888.743.9362 or our local number 415.475.9362.

About Registration, Scholarships, and Cancellations

Live Streaming Media

Weekly live streams of Saturday morning dharma talks from the Buddha Hall at City Center, along with select special events, at