Meditate with us.

The SF Dharma Collective is a community-led sangha.


All classes and sits are open to all and no registration is necessary. We are supported by your generosity (dana). No one is ever turned away for lack of funds. SFDC is wheelchair accessible and has two accessible bathroom stalls. We use fragrance-free cleaning products.

January 2020

Morning Sits


Every Weekday, Monday - Friday

7:30 - 8:15

Arriving late / leaving early is okay for morning sits!

Morning sits are peer-led.

Most evenings begin with 30 minutes of meditation, followed by discussion and/or reflections by the teacher. Beginning and experienced practitioners are welcome.

Kindness Lab

Every Thursday, 5:30 - 7:00 pm

with Todd Jordan

We’ll take a deep dive into meditative practice, social inquiry and intention setting. The focus for this lab will be on bringing kindness into our meditative practice, and then extending the lived experience of kindness into all areas of daily living. All are welcome!

Todd has completed graduate work in Buddhist Studies and Buddhist Chaplaincy at the Graduate Theological Union, and completed Clinical Pastoral Education training at the UCSF Medical Center and Children’s Hospital. Todd’s training is grounded in the Satipatthana-informed lineages. His teaching integrates elements from Shinzen Young’s Unified Mindfulness, Vince Horn’s Pragmatic Dharma and Culadasa’s TMI systems. Todd is passionate about social justice, community-family systems and individual self-care.

The most important thing is that there is no rule apart from awareness and kindness.

– Khandro Pema Dechen

Deconstructing Yourself

Every Thursday, 7:30 - 9:00 pm

with Michael Taft

Michael is a maverick meditation teacher, bestselling author, podcaster, and neuroscience junkie.

Talks are live-streamed on his channel.

Recovery Dharma Friday Meeting

Every Friday except the last Friday of the month, 6 - 7 pm

We are a peer-led movement using Buddhist practices and principles to overcome addiction through meditation, self-inquiry, and community. The intention and purpose of this group is to support people’s recovery and to discuss ideas and questions directly related to using the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, and the Five Precepts to recover from addictions of all kinds.


Living from the Heart in a Troubled and Confusing World

Friday, January 24, 7:30 pm - 9 pm

with David McKay

Join us for a conversation about the ways in which we may live from the heart right now, in this time and place, with all our human challenges and opportunities.

Your Life is Calling You: The Practice of Compassionate Awareness

Saturday, January 25, 9 am - 4 pm

with David McKay

Who are you really? When you set aside all that you were taught to believe about who and how you are, when you let go of all you were taught you should be, what remains? Your life is calling you to answer that question, to continually rediscover who you are—who you truly are. Join us for a workshop in which we will explore the practice which leads home to our authentic nature: the practice of compassionate awareness.

David McKay entered a Zen Buddhist monastery at the age of twenty-nine and spent the next eighteen years training there in silence. Over time he became a skilled facilitator and counselor, offering retreats and workshops at the monastery and across the country. David left the monastery in the fall of 2014 to further explore life and spiritual practice back in the world. He currently supports awareness and personal transformation in the form of retreats, workshops, and one-on-one spiritual mentoring.

The skills David offers combine ancient Zen wisdom and practice with modern psychological tools in a way that many find to be most powerful and effective. He is a kind, gentle, man, and his work is imbued with practical sense and good humor.

Please register here.

David McKay

TheOneOpenDoor

Meditating with Difficult Emotions

Daylong Meditation Workshop

Sunday, January 26, 9:30 am – 4:30 pm

with Michael Taft

Meditation is not about pretending that you don’t have a problem. It’s not about generating a false positive attitude or telling yourself to just “buck up.” It’s about learning how to contact, sit with, and understand what you’re feeling in a new way. It’s about learning new ways to surf the monster waves of emotions while simultaneously accepting their existence—one of the main prerequisites to deeper awakening.

In this daylong workshop, you will learn several different techniques for working with emotional challenges, from vipassana to vajrayana and including insights from psychology and neuroscience. Combining insightful talks, lively group discussion, and guided meditation practice, you will learn whole new perspectives on your emotional experience.

If you're feeling anxious, depressed, and overwhelmed, want to deepen your practice significantly, or would just like to learn to handle your feelings more gracefully, then register here.

Michael W. Taft is a maverick meditation teacher, bestselling author, and podcaster. As a mindfulness coach, he specializes in secular, science-based mindfulness training in retreats, groups, corporate settings, and one-on-one sessions. Michael is the author of several books, including the bestselling The Mindful Geek, Nondualism: A Brief History of a Timeless Concept, and Ego (which he co-authored), as well as the editor of such books as Hardwiring Happiness by Rick Hanson and The Science of Enlightenment by Shinzen Young.

From Zen temples in Japan to yogi caves in India, Michael has been meditating for over thirty five years and has extensive experience in both Buddhist Vipassana and Hindu Tantric practice. Michael is a senior facilitator in Shinzen Young’s Unified Mindfulness system, and is a teacher of meditation groups around the Bay Area. He currently lives in Oakland, California, and is founding editor of the iconoclastic mindfulness meditation blog and podcast Deconstructing Yourself.

Recovery Dharma Sunday Meeting

Every Sunday, 5 - 6 pm

We are a peer-led movement using Buddhist practices and principles to overcome addiction through meditation, self-inquiry, and community. The intention and purpose of this group is to support people’s recovery and to discuss ideas and questions directly related to using the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, and the Five Precepts to recover from addictions of all kinds.

The Dharma Doors

Every Sunday, 7:00 - 8:30 pm

with MC Owens

Buddhists speak of 84,000 different Dharma Doors – entry points leading to enlightenment and liberation for all sentient beings – with access to them through 84,000 different sutras (Buddhist texts), each containing a distinct teaching to ease suffering. With so many sutras and so little time, it can be helpful to have a guide to explore all this preserved wisdom.

In weekly gatherings, sutras become a springboard to understanding the foundational, the obscure and the esoteric concepts that make Buddhism the unique and diverse tradition that it is.

Join MC Owens each Sunday night as he weaves humor and storytelling with modern scholarly research to open a new dharma door through a thought-provoking engagement with Buddhist texts and ideas.

MC Owens is a Buddhist teacher, translator, and author who uses a sutra-based curriculum that draws from a variety of traditions to teach the history, philosophy, and practice of Buddhism. He teaches regularly for the San Francisco Dharma Collective and he also runs Lotus Underground – a repository of his teaching activities, audio recordings, and writings.

MC Owens opens a new dharma door every Sunday night at 7:00 pm at the SF Dharma Collective.

soundcloud.com/lotus-underground


Lunchtime Yoga

Suggested donation $15. No one turned away for lack of funds.

Every Monday, 12-1 pm

Vinyasa flow connects movement with the breath, with a strong emphasis on alignment. All levels of experience are welcome.

Modern Mindfulness

Every Monday, 6:30 - 7:30 pm

with Dan Petrie

Start your week with a mindfulness meditation sit made for the modern meditator. This class is suitable for both beginners and seasoned practitioners. If you are looking for an accessible meditation practice, seeking to learn how to work with your monkey mind or hoping to understand how to bring mindfulness into each moment - this class is for you. You will learn to meditate in a modern way with evidence-based meditation techniques, designed to support you in everyday life.

In each class, there will be guided meditation, a talk about the practice and community Q&A. No prior experience with meditation is necessary. All are welcome. Suggested class price and donation is $10-20. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Dan Petrie has been practicing mindfulness and meditation and studying the dharma since 2005. Dan is a Trained Mindfulness Facilitator through UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center, and has studied extensively in the Vipassana and Zen traditions under world renowned teachers Howard Cohn of Spirit Rock Meditation Center, as well as Abbot Charles Tenshin Roshi and Vice-Abbot David Jokai Blackwell of Yokoji Zen Mountain Center.

Dan Petrie

mindeqsf.com

Bay Area Pragmatic Dharma Sangha

Every Monday, 8:00 – 9:30pm

with Tucker Peck

This weekly meetup focuses on diverse techniques of meditation, as well as the interplay between meditation and psychology. While we're not attached to any particular technique, many of the group members practice based on modern meditation manuals like The Mind Illuminated, Right Concentration, Seeing That Frees, or Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha. We start with a 30-40 minute sit, followed by small-group discussions so you get to know your fellow sangha members. The end of the class is a Q&A with the teacher. Our primary teacher is Dr. Tucker Peck, a clinical psychologist and longtime teacher of dharma classes and residential retreats.

Grupo de meditación en español

Todos los Miércoles de 6 a 7 pm

¿Está buscando un refugio espiritual en donde aprender, crecer, reflexionar y transformarse emocionalmente?; un lugar donde pueda encontrar una comunidad con experiencias y valores semejantes a los suyos? Entonces lo invitamos a venir a meditar al Centro Colectivo de Meditación de San Francisco (San Francisco Dharma Collective-SFDC). Las meditaciones en español son para personas cuya lengua materna es el español o que lo hablan con fluidez, y son dirigidas por personas que han estudiado Budismo y tienen una vasta experiencia en la práctica de la meditación. Todos son bienvenidos.

Feeding Your Demons

Wednesday, January 29, 7:30 - 9 pm

with Lopön Chandra Easton

Fears, obsessions, addictions are all parts of ourselves that have become “demonic” by being split off, disowned, and battled against. When you try to flee from your demons, they pursue you. By struggling with them, you become weaker and may even succumb to them completely.

Feeding Your Demons™ is a five-step process created and developed by Lama Tsultrim Allione, based on the principles of Chöd and adapted for the Western world.

Feeding our demons rather than fighting them contradicts the conventional approach of fighting against whatever assails us and helps to turn your inner demons into friends.

Lopön Chandra Easton is a teacher and translator of Tibetan Buddhism. She is the Assistant Spiritual Director and Lead Authorized Teacher for Tara Mandala Retreat Center, founded by Lama Tsultrim Allione. She has taught Buddhism and Yoga since 2001 and co-translated Sublime Dharma: A Compilation of Two Texts on the Great Perfection, published in 2012. She is currently writing a book on the 21 Taras in Buddhism. Visit www.shunyatayoga.com and www.taramandala.org.]

Every Wednesday, join us at the “Well of Being” where Chandra and Eve offer contemporary translations of ancient Tibetan Buddhist tools coupled with modern psychology for cultivating concentration, emotion awareness, insight, and compassion. As guides, Chandra and Eve respectively draw from their expertise as lead instructors in experiential and evidenced based trainings for emotion transformation, Feeding Your Demons® and Cultivating Emotional Balance. Reveal the healing source of your inner well-being through meditation, contemplation, and discussion.

Tentative Schedule:

Feb 5: Eve & Chandra; Feb 12: Chandra; Feb 19: Eve; Feb 26: tbd

March 4: Chandra; March 11: Eve; March 18: Eve & Chandra; March 25: Eve

April 1: tbd; April 8: Eve & Chandra; April 15: Eve; April 22: Chandra; April 29: Eve

Livestreamed on the SFDC YouTube Channel.


11th Step Meditation / Study / Discussion Group

Friday, January 31, 6 - 7 pm

Last Friday of every Month

Open to all 12 step programs participants

You don't have to be on the 11th step to attend

All steps welcome

Join us on the last Friday of the month for a meditation and discussion on the 11th step. We will meditate together, read and discuss the 11th step.

5:45-6 fellowship/greeting

6-7pm

  • 20-25 minute meditation
  • 10-15 minutes reading on the 11th step (from a variety of 12 step program books.
  • 20-25 minutes discussion sharing related to the 11th step.

The next meetings will be:

February 28

March 27

Escape From Samsara: A Visual Introduction to Buddhist Cosmology

Friday, January 31, 7:30 - 9:00 pm

with MC Owens

A cosmology is an understanding of where the world and the beings in it came from, what they are made of, and what happens to them when they decay. When studying Buddhism, it is helpful to be familiar with the basic tenets of traditional Indian cosmology, and some of the unique features of Buddhist cosmology that developed from them.

This visual presentation uses art and iconography from a variety of traditions to create an immersive experience that explores several alternative views of creation, space and time, multiple heavenly and hellish realms, and the abodes of the gods, while laying out a Buddhist cosmological roadmap to liberation - from Samsara to Nirvana.

One-hour slideshow followed by half-hour Q&A.

MC Owens is a Buddhist teacher, translator, and author who uses a sutra-based curriculum that draws from a variety of traditions to teach the history, philosophy, and practice of Buddhism. He teaches regularly for the San Francisco Dharma Collective and he also runs Lotus Underground – a repository of his teaching activities, audio recordings, and writings.

MC Owens opens a new dharma door every Sunday night at 7:00 pm at the SF Dharma Collective.

soundcloud.com/lotus-underground

Michael teaches on the last Friday of every Month.

The next class will be on February 28.

Michael opens a new dharma door every Sunday night at 7:00 pm at the SF Dharma Collective.

February

Psychedelic Sangha Gathering

Saturday, February 1, 7:30 - 9:30 pm

The Psychedelic Sangha is a spiritual collective of Buddhist psychonauts who share a commitment to the dharma and a belief in the value of psychedelic substances. Our public mission is to facilitate the encounter of psychedelics and the dharma in a spirit of critical dialogue, community-building, and navigational group practice. We organize and host meet-up Gatherings, immersive Happenings, public talks, group retreats, music performances, film screenings, and more. We are not allied with any particular tradition or school.

This Psychedelic Sangha Gathering will open up a safe and supportive spiritual community space with a commitment to discrimination, practice, and play. We offer a refuge for misfit Buddhists and psychonauts who value both dharma practice and psychedelic exploration, but are willing to interrogate them both along the path towards greater insight and engaged action.

The SFDC does not allow the use of substances at the collective, nor do we advocate the use of any illicit drugs.

The psychedelic sangha meets monthly on the 1st Saturday of the month. The next meeting will be Saturday, 3/7.

Mind Training: Cultivating Compassion & Insight

Sunday, February 2, 10 am – 4 pm

A Daylong With Lopön Chandra Easton

Mind Training, or Lojong, is a practical and inspiring teaching that transforms the mind afflicted by destructive emotions. At the heart of all practices of Tibetan Buddhism, Mind Training puts special emphasis on transforming adversity and joy into the path of awakening. Lojong encourages us to move away from self-centeredness and towards developing Bodhicitta, the wish that all beings may be happy and free of suffering. Pithy slogans such as “Regard all dharmas as dreams” and “Drive all blames into one” help us dive deeply and intimately into our own capacity to develop wisdom and compassion in our lives.

Core Mind Training meditations such as Shamatha (Calm Abiding) and Tonglen (Sending & Receiving) will be taught. This course will include teachings, guided meditations, and discussion. This retreat is open to everyone. No prior meditation experience is required.

Please register here

Dorje Lopön Chandra Easton is a teacher and translator of Tibetan Buddhism and the assistant spiritual director and lead authorized teacher for Tara Mandala Retreat Center founded by Lama Tsultrim Allione. She has taught Buddhism and Yoga since 2001 and co-translated Sublime Dharma: A Compilation of Two Texts on the Great Perfection, published in 2012. She is currently on the Tara Mandala Board of Directors and the Tara Mandala Bay Area coordinating committee.

Well of Being

Training the Mind, Educating the Heart

Every Wednesday, 7:30 - 9 pm

Every Wednesday, join us at the “Well of Being” where Chandra and Eve offer contemporary translations of ancient Tibetan Buddhist tools coupled with modern psychology for cultivating concentration, emotion awareness, insight, and compassion. As guides, Chandra and Eve respectively draw from their expertise as lead instructors in experiential and evidenced based trainings for emotion transformation, Feeding Your Demons® and Cultivating Emotional Balance. Reveal the healing source of your inner well-being through meditation, contemplation, and discussion.

Lopön Chandra Easton is a teacher and translator of Tibetan Buddhism. She is the Assistant Spiritual Director and Lead Authorized Teacher for Tara Mandala Retreat Center, founded by Lama Tsultrim Allione. She has taught Buddhism and Yoga since 2001 and co-translated Sublime Dharma: A Compilation of Two Texts on the Great Perfection, published in 2012. She is currently writing a book on the 21 Taras in Buddhism. Visit www.shunyatayoga.com and www.taramandala.org.]

Eve Ekman, MSW, PhD, is the director of training at the Greater Good Science Center. She is also a UC Berkeley- and UCSF-trained social scientist and teacher in the field of emotional awareness and burnout prevention. Eve is a second-generation emotion researcher and has had meaningful collaborations with her father, renowned emotion researcher Dr. Paul Ekman. Their most recent project, The Atlas of Emotions, is an online visual tool to teach a language for improving our emotional awareness that was commissioned and supported by the Dalai Lama. Eve is the co-lead instructor for Cultivating Emotional Balance, an evidence-based meditation and emotion regulation training developed by Dr. Paul Ekman and Buddhist scholar Alan Wallace.

Tentative Schedule:

Feb 5: Eve & Chandra; Feb 12: Chandra; Feb 19: Eve; Feb 26: tbd

March 4: Chandra; March 11: Eve; March 18: Eve & Chandra; March 25: Eve

April 1: tbd; April 8: Eve & Chandra; April 15: Eve; April 22: Chandra; April 29: Eve

Livestreamed on the SFDC YouTube Channel.

Please click here to download the study guide we will be using for this class.


Window to the Soul: Painting as Meditation

Saturday, February 8, 10 am - 6 pm

with Krisztina Lazar

There is a perfect moment in creating, where time seems to stand still, the “you” in your mind quiets down and dissolves into the vast universe and the sharp clarity of concentration and the flowy hot tub of expression merge into a delicious ooze of inspiration. That’s what we are aiming for in this class and not just a moment of it, but a sustained several minutes and maybe even a few hours of moments of this unique meditative state. You may be wondering how on earth you’ll be able to achieve that since you barely paint and you can’t hold your attention on whatever you’re working on without checking your phone every two minutes. The good news is this class will teach you a technique that is applicable no matter what level of accomplishment you are at with your art-making and the technique itself will help to hone your focus and concentration skills. You can now sigh in relief.

We will be painting something that is both extremely familiar and completely unearthly at the same time: a close-up of an eye. It can be a human eye or an animal eye. You can bring your own reference material or use one of the ones provided. The eye is a magnificent object. It is a small but incredibly sophisticated component of our vision apparatus and we casually refer to the colors of our iris’ as brown, blue, hazel. But once we look closer, much closer, we see that those simple colors expand into myriads of shades and even open into layers of shapes and patterns. Paintings these colors, shapes and patterns begins to build a macrocosm within the microcosm, and the microscopic begins to look cosmic. It throws your sense of the exact object of what you’re painting away and your mind begins to float down the river of relaxation towards the ocean of awareness. This is where the magic happens.

Painting has long been known to be a form of concentration practice and painting something circular has been proven to be therapeutic in a number of ways. In this class, you will learn a new meditative art technique that can be useful in your daily life even when you are not making art. You will create a painting of the most common cosmic mandala that exists within every single one of us and hopefully, you will find a moment of pure-joy doing it.

Needs for the class:

  • 14” x 16” or 12” x 12” or something similar sized stretched and ghessoed canvas. You don’t want to bring a canvas that’s either much smaller or much larger than these sizes for the class.
  • Acrylic paints or oil paints, whatever you prefer
  • If you are into using watercolors, that’s fine too. Bring appropriate materials and keep the paper the same sizes as above.
  • Portable palette for your paints
  • Paint brushes: bring a variety of sizes, large and small and include at least one of each size 1, 0, 00.
  • Table easel if you have one. We will be painting on tables and this technique can easily be painted with the canvas flat too.
  • Eye reference. There will be several options printed out to use as well.

Please register here.

About Krisztina: Krisztina Lazar is a Mische Technique lineage holder and she paints her visions to raise the vibrations of the human soul. The Mische Technique is a visionary art technique based on the painting styles of the Old Masters. Rediscovered by Master Ernst Fuchs, Krisztina learned her style of painting from visionary artist Brigid Marlin, one of Fuchs’ first students. Having evolved his style later on, Brigid Marlin continued to teach the style she was taught and this direct transmission is what Krisztina paints in today. This technique creates an opalescent under painting that the colors are then glazed over, rendering each painting out of light rather than shadow, bringing the images to life with fractal clarity.
By letting this technique permeate her visionary style, Krisztina creates images of Pop Shamanism, portals and visions that speak to today’s cultural climate of the occult, magic, psychedelics, meditation, pop, nostalgia, and of course, unicorns.
Originally from Cleveland, OH, she completed her undergraduate Bachelor of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon University in 2004 and her MFA graduate degree in 2011 at the San Francisco Art Institute New Genres department. Her paintings have been exhibited in group and solo shows throughout the United States and Europe, most notably at the H.R. Geiger museum in Gruyere, Switzerland. Krisztina has also mentored with several of the leading visionary artists of our time, including Martina Hoffman, and Robert Venosa. She teaches her unique style of the mische technique to many students in group and private settings. Her work has been featured in multiple articles, online galleries and book publications. She currently lives and works in Oakland, CA with her parrot and cat who are forever participants in her work.

Death Sangha

Saturday, February 8, 7:00-9 pm

with Michael Taft

At its core, all spirituality is about Death. The Buddha, Buddhism, and meditation practice have always been deeply concerned with Death, dying, and mortality. Every living thing has to face the reality of Death, and yet in modern meditation circles there is almost no confrontation with this ultimate question and primordial mystery. Instead there is denial, obfuscation, minimalizing, and—essentially—painting a smiley face on the whole subject.

If that seems ridiculous to you, as well as something that misses the whole point, then Death Sangha is for you. In Death Sangha we will meet once a month to honor the fact of Death, to face our own and others’ mortality in a clear, unsullied, fierce, humble, and gracious manner. In Death Sangha we will play with the fantasies of both eternalism and nihilism, and experiment with the awakening that lies beyond both. We will confront experiences such as Cosmic Horror, Cosmic Shame, and Total Meaninglessness. We will also engage with the mythological, occult, psychological, historical, and phenomenological aspects of this most important topic. And of course we will do plenty of meditation.

Death Sangha is not a spectacle for the curious, nor is it a soporific for the frightened. In Death Sangha, you will confront your deepest fears, your most difficult warts and shadows, and learn to meditate with the reality of your own imminent demise. It has often been said that until we truly accept Death, we cannot actually live. In Death Sangha, we will not meekly accept Death, but rather learn to passionately and exuberantly dance with this final and most intimate partner.

Cost: $25-$40 per night suggested donation - no one turned away for lack of funds

Michael Taft is a maverick meditation teacher, bestselling author, podcaster, and neuroscience junkie.

Important: Death Sangha begins at 7 pm sharp. The doors will be firmly locked after that, so don’t be late. Only for the committed. There will be stuff to read. There will be 60 minute sits, maybe longer. Be prepared for anything. Wear black.

Upcoming dates:

Upcoming dates are 3/14, 4/11, 5/9, 6/13.

Spiritual Awakening on the Path of Recovery

Sunday, February 9, 10 am - 4 pm

with Kevin Griffin

Dharma practice and addiction recovery both promise freedom and transformation. On this daylong we will explore the meaning and experience of spiritual awakening in periods of meditation, lecture, discussion, and interactive exercises.

Rather than seeing awakening as the end of the path, we’ll see how every stage of recovery contains elements of waking up.

This daylong is offered especially for people who identify as recovering addicts of any kind, but all are welcome.

Kevin Griffin has been a Buddhist practitioner for forty years and a teacher for two decades. He is known for his work bringing dharma and recovery together, especially through his 2004 book, One Breath at a Time: Buddhism and the Twelve Steps. For more information see www.kevingriffin.net

Please register here

Deconstructing Sensory Experience & Nondual Practice

4 Tuesdays, February 11, 18, 25 and March 3, 7:30-9 pm

with Michael Taft

Meditation practice can be confusing and overwhelming. With all the many different techniques, philosophies, opinions, and schools from wildly different cultures across three millennia, it’s easy to get lost. If you’re wondering where you’re “at” with your practice, and what to do next, or just want to learn methods of deepening your meditation, then this is the class for you.

In this four-week exploration, you will learn a practical meditation map for people who are ambivalent about meditation maps. Through lectures, group discussion, and practice, you’ll become familiar with a model of deconstructing sensory experience using vipassana, a direction and method for contacting the spacious awareness that is always present in your experience, and a method to progress in your practice according to your individual goals.

Michael W. Taft is a maverick meditation teacher, bestselling author, and podcaster. As a mindfulness coach, he specializes in secular, science-based mindfulness training in retreats, groups, corporate settings, and one-on-one sessions. Michael is the author of several books, including the bestselling The Mindful Geek, Nondualism: A Brief History of a Timeless Concept, and Ego (which he co-authored), as well as the editor of such books as Hardwiring Happiness by Rick Hanson and The Science of Enlightenment by Shinzen Young.

He has often taught meditation at Google, worked on curriculum development for SIYLI, and is currently core faculty at Wisdom Labs, in San Francisco. Michael is also a featured teacher on the Simple Habit app, and an official advisor to the Therapeutic Neuroscience Lab. He was previously editor-in-chief of Being Human, and was the long-time editorial director of Sounds True.

From Zen temples in Japan to yogi caves in India, Michael has been meditating for over thirty five years and has extensive experience in both Buddhist Vipassana and Hindu Tantric practice. Michael is a senior facilitator in Shinzen Young’s Unified Mindfulness system, and is a teacher of meditation groups around the Bay Area. He currently lives in Oakland, California, and is founding editor of the iconoclastic mindfulness meditation blog and podcast Deconstructing Yourself.


Community Climate Conversation - The Refuge of an Open Heart

Saturday, February 15, 6:30 - 9 pm

with Kitty Costello & friends

Our monthly community climate conversations offers:

  • Refuge – The jewels of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha in unprecedented, trying times
  • Resourcing – Calming and retooling our minds and hearts as we turn toward this crisis
  • Renunciation – Ideas and inquiry for reconditioning our personal use of resources
  • Reparations – Climate justice for those most affected by climate change
  • Rebellion – Supporting the Youth Strike and other inspiring actions

The Whole Earth Is My True Body. I Vow to Work for Climate Justice.*

* From a Buddhist Peace Fellowship banner first unfurled in front of the White House in 2015. It was recently carried by the Buddhist contingent in the Youth Strike March on September 20.

For more events related to the Climate Crisis and the Youth Climate Strike, please see our Community Page.

Community Climate Conversations will continue on the 3rd Saturday of every Month. The next meeting will be Saturday, March 21.

Kitty Costello

Kitty Costello has been practicing Insight Meditation since 2000 and is a graduate of Spirit Rock’s Community Dharma Leaders program. She has studied and taught various Eastern and Western mindfulness practices since 1978, including Shaolin Ssu, a Mahayana Buddhist martial arts form. She teaches tai chi and chi gung and is a psychotherapist in private practice. She is also a community organizer, helping to foster the creative arts in inner city San Francisco for 25 years.

Q-Sangha

Saturday, February 22

5:30 -7 pm

You are invited to the inaugural meeting of the SF Dharma Collective Q-Sangha!

This monthly meeting is for all who identify as LGBTQIA+ and their allies.

Our first meeting will be an opportunity to get to know each other and build community, discuss why we want to come together, and brainstorm teachers we would like to invite. The format will be:

• Brief introductions

• 1/2 hour sit (very lightly guided)

• Community building - going a little deeper in getting to know each other

• Discussion

• Why a Q-Sangha?

• What does queerness illuminate about Buddhism?

• What does Buddhism illuminate about queerness?

LGBTQQIA+ = Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, non-binary, and gender queer, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Same-Gender Loving, Two-Spirit, +

The Q-Sangha will meet on the 4th Saturday of every month from 5:30 - 7 pm.

Q-Sangha will meet on the 4th Saturday of every month from 5:30 - 7 pm. Teachers TBD.


Three Jewels

Resting in the Heart of Practice

Sundays, February 23rd and March 15th

10 am -1 pm

with Juliana Sloane

A retreat series for those who self-identify as women

Begin the year by renewing your commitment to practice and immersing in the three jewels, or refuges: Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. Together, we will deepen our connection to these three jewels, exploring their qualities as guiding lights that point to a deeper sense of trust in ourselves, our own intuitive awareness, and our belonging in the world.

This series of half-day retreats meets one Sunday a month. There will be time for formal practice, learning, and connection-- drawing from Buddhist texts, stories, and our own embodied experiences.

Join for us for one or both!

The SFDC aims to create a welcoming atmosphere for all. As such, these sits are intended for those who self-identify as women. We ask your cooperation in preserving this space for members of this affinity group. Please join our other events if you are not part of this affinity group.

Please register here

Juliana co-leads a women's sitting group in San Francisco, and shares the Dharma with young people through Spirit Rock's Teen and Family Program. She is passionate about the possibilities of personal and community transformation held in the Dharma, and brings this into her work with adults and youth alike.

julianasloane.com

Land of the Buddhas

Visual Introduction to Buddhist Iconography

Friday, February 28, 7:30 - 9:00 pm

with MC Owens

Why are some Buddhas fat and others skinny? Why do some have red bodies and others blue? While this may sound like a Dr. Seuss book, the world of Buddhist imagery is a complex dimension of profound meaning and cultural relevance, created over thousands of years of growth and travel. This visual presentation focuses on the history of the image of the Buddha, from some of the earliest Indian traditions, in which there was no image of the Buddha, to the diverse multiverse of buddha and bodhisattva imagery found in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions of Nepal, Tibet, Indonesia, China, and Japan. Visit the Buddha Lands through this kaleidoscopic display of Buddhist statuary, paintings and icons from throughout time and space.

One-hour slideshow followed by half-hour Q&A.

MC Owens is a Buddhist teacher, translator, and author who uses a sutra-based curriculum that draws from a variety of traditions to teach the history, philosophy, and practice of Buddhism. He teaches regularly for the San Francisco Dharma Collective and he also runs Lotus Underground – a repository of his teaching activities, audio recordings, and writings.

soundcloud.com/lotus-underground

Michael teaches on the last Friday of every Month.

The next class will be on March 27.

Michael opens a new dharma door every Sunday night at 7:00 pm at the SF Dharma Collective.

March

Mindful Sex: Getting Off Without Checking Out

Friday, March 6, 7:30 - 8:30 pm

with Jessica Graham, author of Good Sex: Getting Off without Checking Out

Join author and teacher Jessica Graham, for a talk and practices for bringing mindfulness into your sex life. You'll learn techniques that you can go home and use immediately, with yourself or with a partner. The class will also include a 30-minute guided meditation and time for Q&A.

About Jessica: Jessica Graham is a meditation teacher, sex, relationship, and spiritual guide for couples and individuals, speaker, and author of Good Sex: Getting Off Without Checking Out. She is a contributing editor of the meditation blog, Deconstructing Yourself and certified in Grief Recovery coaching. Jessica’s work is featured on many apps including; Simple Habit, Wise@Work, Emjoy, Breethe, and Sanity & Self. Jessica is also an award-winning actor and filmmaker.

What other teachers are saying about Jessica's work:

"Hidden within the colorful, fragrant, silky petals of physical love, lies a subtle treasure that transcends sensuality...Jessica is eminently qualified to point people to this jewel in the lotus..." - Shinzen Young

"Besides being a hardcore spiritual warrior, Jessica Graham has dedicated her life to exploring and understanding sexuality in all its forms, Jessica Graham is among the best teachers there are. She's funny, brilliant, and—most importantly—gifted at leading people to awakening." - Michael Taft

More about Jessica: https://yourwildawakening.com/

Mindfulness for Mind-Blowing Sex

Saturday, March 7, 11 am - 2 pm

Please Register by clicking here

Your sexuality, like everything else, is a direct path to awakening, and it deserves to be included on the spiritual path.

In this workshop, author and teacher Jessica Graham, will guide you through the basics of mindful sex from an inclusive and sex-positive perspective. Within a trauma-informed container, you’ll learn techniques for increasing pleasure, releasing grasping, overcoming “orgasm anxiety,” and more. The workshop will also include exploration of topics such as ethical porn, consent, sexual healing, and self-love.

The shift to more conscious and awakened sex is a simple as bringing your mindfulness practice into the bedroom - or onto the kitchen floor. Mindful sex invites you to let go of anxiety and insecurity, and drop into a deeply embodied experience of pleasure and connection, with your long-team partner, yourself, or even your one-night-stand.

Suitable for all gender expression, sexual orientations, and for those in relationships or single. This is a fully clothed workshop with no sexual touch exercises.

Jessica Graham

yourwildawakening.com

Strength in Our Sensitivities: Practical Communication Tools to Love and Be Loved Unconditionally

Saturday, March 8, 10 am - 4 pm

with Alejandra Siroka

When you and your partner fell in love, you most likely got attracted to certain qualities in your partner that differed from yours. After some time, instead of seeing them as different, cute or lovely, you began to experience them as annoying, barely tolerable, or very triggering.

This change of perspective impacted your communication as well. In your internal dialogue, you begin to doubt yourself and the relationship. Externally, you become critical, complain or blame your partner.

You’re invited to learn to see the differences with your partner as a means to learn to love unconditionally and develop more compassion for our human limitations

In this daylong workshop you will:

  • Gain compassionate understanding of each other's human limitations
  • Decrease criticism, judgment and friction
  • Support each other's growth with objectivity and kindness

Suggested Donation: $60 - $120*

50% of your donation goes to support the SF Dharma Collective.

*All are welcome. No one is turned away for lack for funds.

These workshops are designed for couples and individuals in relationships interested in relating consciously, maturely and lovingly during all the stages and phases of relationship.

Please preregister here.

languagealchemy.com


Alejandra Siroka M.A. is a conscious communication teacher and coach who’s devoted her life to exploring how language and communication shape our life and relationships. As a truth seeker, she explores and teaches methods to access, express, and live our deepest truths skillfully and compassionately.
Her studies in socio-and psycholinguistics, yoga and non-dualistic Eastern philosophies, compassionate communication, neurobiology, cognitive science and Buddhist psychology led her to found Language Alchemy™, a transformative process which allows individuals and groups to develop thriving conscious relationships and fulfilling lives by speaking their truth with clarity, confidence and compassion.

Meditation x Attachment Level 1

Daylong - Part 1

Sunday, March 22, 9:00 am - 4 pm

with George Haas

Open to all students, the first level of Mettagroup’s signature Meditation x Attachment course offers instruction in Buddhist theory, Attachment Theory, and in-depth meditation techniques. It focuses on developing secure relationships, uprooting past attachment conditioning and working through conflict resolution strategies to learn how to be completely yourself in your relationships with others and with your work. In other words, this course helps you learn how to live a meaningful life.

It draws deeply on John Bowlby’s teachings and Daniel P. Brown's Ideal Parent-Figure (IPF) Attachment Protocol.

Bring a brown bag lunch or you may buy food nearby.

There will be three Level 1 classes: Sunday, March 22 and Sunday, April 5, and Sunday April 12. There will be a Level 2 class on Sunday, April 26. Attendance at all 4 is encouraged but drop-ins are welcome.

George Haas

George began teaching meditation in 2000, founded Mettagroup in 2003, and became an empowered teacher through Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society, where he taught from 2007 to 2016.

mettagroup.org

Focused Attention: Meditation for Developing Concentration and Serenity for a Chaotic World

Saturday, March 28, 9:00 am - 5 pm

Taught by Tina Rasmussen

Please register here

Focused attention helps us return our awareness to one object of meditation, collecting and calming the mind. This practice supports us in counteracting the damaging neurological impacts of overstimulation from today’s world, from sources like social media, texting, and technology. This practice “builds the muscle” of concentration, allowing us to settle into the serenity of our deeper nature.

In this day, we’ll learn how to recognize our habitual patterns that cause suffering in our relationships, practice, and daily life. We’ll explore ways to break our patterns and develop powerful, laserlike awareness, which leads to the same profound stillness and deep joy found in the Buddha’s smile.

Tina’s warm style, bright clarity and supportive presence helps students recognize their deeper nature, both on the cushion and in daily life. She has a decades-long commitment to cultivating her own and others’ deep spiritual unfoldment while functioning in an embodied, worldly life.

To hear talks by Tina, visit:

dharmaseed.org/teacher/262/

Tina learned to meditate in 1976, at age 13. In 2003, after many years of practice in Buddhist and modern non-dual traditions, she was drawn to undertake an intensive year-long solo retreat during which a profound awakening to Reality occurred. In 2005, Tina attended a retreat with Burmese meditation master Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw, who ordained her as a Buddhist nun. During the retreat, Tina became the first Western woman to complete the entire Samatha path in this lineage. Tina also took refuge with Tsoknyi Rinpoche, a Tibetan Dzogchen teacher, and was initiated into the Nyingma lineage.
As an offering of gratitude to the dharma, Tina, along with Stephen Snyder, wrote the book, Practicing the Jhanas, which was later published by Shambhala. In 2007 Tina became the first Western woman authorized by Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw to teach.
Tina now leads retreats and offers spiritual mentoring to practitioners worldwide. Tina has also worked as an organizational development consultant and coach for more than 25 years. She completed her Ph.D. in 1995, and has authored several published books on humanistic business practices.

April

Meditation x Attachment Level 1

Daylong - Part 2 & 3

Sunday, April 5 and Sunday, April 12, 9:00 am - 4 pm

with George Haas

Open to all students, the first level of Mettagroup’s signature Meditation x Attachment course offers instruction in Buddhist theory, Attachment Theory, and in-depth meditation techniques. It focuses on developing secure relationships, uprooting past attachment conditioning and working through conflict resolution strategies to learn how to be completely yourself in your relationships with others and with your work. In other words, this course helps you learn how to live a meaningful life.

It draws deeply on John Bowlby’s teachings and Daniel P. Brown's Ideal Parent-Figure (IPF) Attachment Protocol.

Bring a brown bag lunch or you may buy food nearby.

There will be three Level 1 classes: Sunday, March 22 and Sunday, April 5, and Sunday April 12. There will be a Level 2 class on Sunday, April 26. Attendance at all 4 is encouraged but drop-ins are welcome.

George Haas

George began teaching meditation in 2000, founded Mettagroup in 2003, and became an empowered teacher through Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society, where he taught from 2007 to 2016.

mettagroup.org

Start Meditating

Four Meetings

Tuesdays, April 7 & 14

7 - 8 pm

with Andrea Vecchione PhD

Maybe you are meditation curious, or your practice is inconsistent or difficult to sustain, or you want a quick refresh on the basics going into a new year. Whatever your motivation, this course will give you the tools and techniques to help you through the beginning phases and on to the ease of a regular practice.

Each class will begin with detailed instruction, followed by a short sit to test out the practice. Then, we'll have a question and answer session so you can get direct feedback and learn from others.

Andrea Vecchione earned a PhD. in Religion and Philosophy with a focus on Buddhism, Hinduism, and world religions in 2013. She has spent over six years living in India, Bali, and Thailand, where she studied multiple practices around death, dying, mediation, yoga and transformation specializing in Buddhist and Hindu Tantra. Her many years of teaching and practicing Buddhist philosophy and mediation is the foundation of her approach to cultivating a healthy relationship with death and dying. She combines years of practice with the knowledge from her 'end of life' Zen teachers (Sensei Koshin Paley Ellison, and Sensei Robert Chodo Campbell) in the completion of their program through the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, and INELDA (End of Life Training Program). She is the founder of North Bay Center for Compassionate Care.

This course will give you the tools and techniques to help you through the beginning phases and on to the ease of a regular practice.

Please register here.

Drop-ins Welcome!

Leading to Liberation

with the Aloka Vihara Nuns

Sunday, April 19, 1:30 - 3:30 pm

Third Sunday of each month

Ayya Santacitta and Ayya Anandabodhi on Leading to Liberation

The Buddha gave the Noble Eightfold Path as a way to redirect our lives away from entanglement and towards freedom. The nuns of Aloka Vihara will offer teachings on this theme throughout the year with an encouragement for us to bring it all onto the path.

  • 1:30-1:45pm Refuges & Five Precepts
  • 1:45-3:30pm Meditation & Dharma Reflection

All are welcome!

for bios please see the Aloka Vihara website

More info: alokavihara.org

The nuns have just released two books!Leaving It All Behind is a collection of Dhamma Talks from the Nuns at Āloka Vihāra Forest Monastery and can be downloaded here.The First Free Women is a book of poems that the nuns have read during teachings. It can be purchased from IndieBound.

Meditation x Attachment Level 2

Daylong

Sunday, April 26, 9:00 am - 4 pm

with George Haas

Level Two is open to students who have completed Level One as well as students have taken any previous iterations of our intensive courses or extended retreats. The course includes one-on-one mentoring and offers a more in-depth exploration of the connections between attachment and regular meditation practice to shift your existing relationships into secure functioning ones, drawing deeply on Dr. Daniel P. Brown’s Idealized Parent Figure (IPF) protocol.

Bring a brown bag lunch or you may buy food nearby.

There will be three Level 1 classes: Sunday, March 22 and Sunday, April 5, and Sunday April 12. There will be a Level 2 class on Sunday, April 26. Attendance at all 4 is encouraged but drop-ins are welcome.

George Haas

George began teaching meditation in 2000, founded Mettagroup in 2003, and became an empowered teacher through Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society, where he taught from 2007 to 2016.

mettagroup.org

May

Decreasing Triggers: How to Open Our Hearts to Foster True Intimacy

Sunday, May 2

10 am - 4 pm

with Alejandra Siroka

In our intimate relationships, we want to grow and our partner to grow. It’s not easy to communicate that we are triggered without triggering our partner.

We encounter triggers most frequently when giving or receiving feedback. To grow together, we need to learn to give and receive feedback with clarity, precision and compassion so that we reduce the opportunities for getting triggered. And if we give unskillful feedback, we also need to learn to repair the rupture.

In this daylong workshop you will:

  • Deepen your understanding of each other's triggers.
  • Give and receive conscious feedback.
  • Repair ruptures in your connection.

Suggested Donation: $60 - $120*

50% of your donation goes to support the SF Dharma Collective.

*All are welcome. No one is turned away for lack for funds.

These workshops are designed for couples and individuals in relationships interested in relating consciously, maturely and lovingly during all the stages and phases of relationship.

Please preregister here.

languagealchemy.com


Alejandra Siroka M.A. is a conscious communication teacher and coach who’s devoted her life to exploring how language and communication shape our life and relationships. As a truth seeker, she explores and teaches methods to access, express, and live our deepest truths skillfully and compassionately.
Her studies in socio-and psycholinguistics, yoga and non-dualistic Eastern philosophies, compassionate communication, neurobiology, cognitive science and Buddhist psychology led her to found Language Alchemy™, a transformative process which allows individuals and groups to develop thriving conscious relationships and fulfilling lives by speaking their truth with clarity, confidence and compassion.

Community

Our Resources Page includes other offerings from our teachers, other local meditation locations, and events hosted in our space.

All classes and sits are open to all and no registration is necessary. We are supported by your generosity (dana). No one is ever turned away for lack of funds. SFDC is wheelchair accessible and has two accessible bathroom stalls. We use fragrance-free cleaning products.

Dana

Dana has the effect of purifying and transforming the mind of the giver.

We are thriving because of your presence, efforts, and support. We will continue thrive with the collective work of us all.

Every dollar counts, and monthly donations show just how vibrant we are.

All donations are tax deductible. Awakening Truth is doing business as SFDC and has a 501 C3 tax status. Ask your employer about matching donations.

Venmo:

Sf-dharma-collective