San Francisco Bay Area sitting groups
Sit with others! Friends on the path, called kalyana mitta, and regular contact with a teacher you trust are the best supports you can have for consistent practice.
The list is mostly Theravāda Buddhist, with some Zen and Tibetan I know and value. It’s not exhaustive, but curated. If a group is on this list, I either know the teachers or their lineage, and feel comfortable recommending them. My group is on Tuesday nights in Berkeley.
My Talks & Guided Meditations
I began recording talks in 2016, and will continue as much as I can. Posted talks are primarily from the Tuesday evening Satsang, and other workshops given in Buddhist contexts. For recordings from closed groups, like Teacher Training workshops, contact me.
Other Teachers’ talks & meditations
Talks from a large cohort of (mostly) Western Theravāda and Insight Meditation teachers are collected by a non-profit website called Dharma Seed, and stream for free. I also respect and recommend Gil Fronsdal’s talks on Insight Meditation Center’s site Audio Dharma, and for study of the original texts, Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi’s lectures on suttas from the Pāli Canon. All three of these organizations/teachers are sustained by donations. Please consider donating to support their work.
Buddhist study resources
Here’s a syllabus for serious beginners to start reading the Pāli Canon, the earliest Buddhist texts that have been preserved, in the form used by the Theravāda (Way of the Elders) tradition of Śri Lanka, Burma, and Thailand. The discourses in this list are among the most central and important in the tradition, and are a great intro to the beauty and depth of the Canon.
The best general introduction to the Pāli Canon is Bhikkhu Bodhi’s anthology, In the Buddha’s Words (Wisdom). Bhikkhu Bodhi’s translations of the full sutta collections are the current gold standard, and have made the power of this literature available to lay people and non-specialists in the West for the first time. If you’re new to these collections, and have finished In the Buddha’s Words, continue with the Majjhima Nikāya. Bodhi’s new anthology, The Buddha’s Teachings on Social and Communal Harmony, collects texts from the Pāli Canon to support engaged Buddhist activism, relevant for everyone working for peace, social justice, civil rights, and resistance to neoliberal hegemony.
These resources are mostly Theravāda focused, so for a traditional primer to Tibetan Buddhist practice, see Patrul Rinpoche’s Words of My Perfect Teacher (Shambhala, though it seems to be out of print), or Kalu Rinpoche’s Luminous Mind (Wisdom). For a primer to Soto Zen, see Suzuki Roshi’s classic Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind (Shambhala). If you want suggestions for how to start or deepen in either Tibetan or Zen practice, ask me and I’ll refer you to the best folks I know.
Handouts for study: Buddhist
Here’s a variety of handouts I’ve made for study. Feel free to download and use. If you want to use them in a teacher training or other commercial setting, that’s cool, but please let me know. A lot of work went into these, and I’m happy to offer them in the spirit of Gift Economy.
A chart of Theravāda meditation lineages [author unknown – if you know, lmk!]
Chant sheets: Buddhist
Hindu & Yoga study resources
This is an essay I published in the Encyclopedia of Asian American Religious Cultures (ed. Nakasone, et al 2015), with text examples interwoven. I use it in Yoga Teacher Training programs. Feel free to read, but if you want to quote or use it in any other context, please cite.
Handouts for study: Classical Yoga
HANDOUTS FOR STUDY: Tantra and Haṭha Yoga
Chant sheets: Hindu
Here are links to centers I have practiced at or work with.
Insight Meditation: SF Bay Area
Spirit Rock: Our magnificent retreat and workshop center.
East Bay Meditation Center: Focused on dharma and social justice.
San Francisco Insight: Led by Eugene Cash & Pam Weiss. My longtime SF sangha.
Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley: Led by James Baraz & Kate Munding.
Insight Meditation Center: Led by Gil Fronsdal and others.
Insight Retreat Center: Fronsdal & co’s donation-based retreat center.
INSIGHT MEDITATION: Elsewhere
Insight Meditation Society: the mothership of American IM (Barre, MA).
Metta Forest Monastery: Ajahn Thanissaro (San Diego, CA).
Open Dharma: ditch your business suit, backpack in India or Spain, find these brilliant teachers.
Tibetan & Zen
Dharmata: Anam Thubten, Rinpoche. Point Richmond, CA.
Pundarika: Tsoknyi Rinpoche.
Tara Mandala: Lama Tsultrim Allione, near Durango, CO.
Mt Baldy Zen Center: my first intensive training. Mt. Baldy, CA.
SF Zen Center & Green Gulch: from beat roots to beet roots. SF & Marin, CA
These are the 3 studios where I primarily teach, largely in their Teacher Training programs. Yoga Tree hosts my Satsang, Piedmont is innovating powerful social justice conscious trainings, and Yoga Garden runs one of the most efficient and well-crafted trainings around. Im happy to be associated with these lovely studios.