SF Bay Area Meditation Groups

Sitting regularly with a group and teacher is one of the strongest supports for deepening spiritual practice. Here’s the meditation groups/classes I know of and recommend in the SF Area (mostly Insight Meditation-based, but Zen Center, Shambhala, and Dharmata included because of their crossover popularity). Most are evening groups. Always check the websites for times & updates. Most are on dāna (Pāli for “generosity”, in this case referring to the classes inviting donations instead of charging a fixed price).

Monday

Monday night dharma talk, led by rotating Spirit Rock teachers

7:15-9:15pm, Spirit Rock Meditation Center (Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Woodacre)
spiritrock.org/monday-night-class

Mindfulness Meditation, led by Daniel Doane

7:30-9pm, Ojas Yoga, El Cerrito (El Cerrito Plaza, 2nd floor)
ojasyogacenter.com

Monday Night Dharma, led by Anushka Fernandopulle

7-8:45pm, CIIS, SF (1453 Mission, San Francisco, Rm. 216)
anushkaf.org

Meditation & Dharma Talk, led by Matthew Brensilver & Gene Lushtak

7:30-9pm, Against the Stream, SF (2701 Folsom, San Francisco)
againstthestream.org

Insight Meditation Center (IMC), led by Gil Fronsdal or guest

7:30-9pm, IMC, Redwood City (108 Birch St, Redwood City)
insightmeditationcenter.org


Tuesday

Insight Meditation Satsang, led by Sean Feit Oakes

7:45-9:30pm, Yoga Tree Telegraph, Berkeley (2807 Telegraph, Berkeley)
seanfeitoakes.com/contemplative-practice/insight-meditation

Alphabet Sangha (LGBTQI/SGL), rotating teachers

7-8:30pm, East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC), Oakland (285 17th St, Oakland) eastbaymeditation.org

Monks from Abhayagiri monastery (Thai Forest tradition) [first Tue of each month]

Berkeley Buddhist Monastery (2304 McKinley, Berkeley)
abhayagiri.org/calendar

Mission Dharma, led by Howard Cohn

7:30-9pm, St. John’s Episcopal Church (1661 15th St, San Francisco)
missiondharma.org

Insight Meditation Center (IMC), led by Andrea Fella or guest

[morning] 9:30-11am, IMC, Redwood City (108 Birch St, Redwood City)
insightmeditationcenter.org

Practice Night, Oakland Shambhala

8-9:30pm, Temescal Arts Center (511 48th St, Oakland) [free]
berkeley.shambhala.org/oakland-shambhala/

Walnut Creek Sitting Group, led by Ernie Isaacs

7:30-9:15pm, Unity Center (1871 Geary Road, Walnut Creek)
unityofwalnutcreek.com/insight-meditation or
buddhistinsightnetwork.org/sangha/walnut-creek-sitting-group

Dharma in Spanish at IMC, led by Andrea Castillo

7:30-9pm, IMC, Redwood City (108 Birch St, Redwood City)
insightmeditationcenter.org

Mindfulness & Meditation, led by Gary Gach (Thich Nhat Hanh style)

[morning] 9-10:30am, Aquatic Park Senior Center (890 Beach Street, San Francisco)
facebook.com/events/1041063512624595/


Wednesday

Exploring Mindfulness, led by Matt McNeil

6:30-8:15pm, East Bay Community Space (507 55th St,Oakland)

Insight Richmond, led by Ashley Sharp

6:30-8pm, Open Door United Methodist Church (6226 Arlington Blvd, Richmond)
insightrichmond.com

Embodied Mindfulness, led by Jill Satterfield

7:30-9pm, Yoga Kula, Berkeley (1700 Shattuck) [class price: not on dāna]
http://yogakula.com/mindfulness-meditation/

Practice Night, Berkeley Shambhala

6:30-8:30pm, Berkeley Shambhala Center (2288 Fulton St, Ste 202, Berkeley) [free] berkeley.shambhala.org/ongoing-offerings/

Oakland Against the Stream (ATS)

buddhistinsightnetwork.org/sangha/against-stream-oakland

Metta Dharma Foundation, led by Richard Shankman

7:15-9:15pm, St. Clement’s, Berkeley (2837 Claremont, Berkeley, enter at the rear of the building)
mettadharma.org

SF Insight, led by Pamela Weiss, Trip Weil or guest

7-9pm, First Unitarian Universalist, SF (1187 Franklin at Geary, SF)
sfinsight.org

Wednesday Morning Half-Day Retreat, led by Gil Fronsdal or guest

[morning] 9:30-12:15pm, IMC, Redwood City (108 Birch St, Redwood City)
insightmeditationcenter.org

Midday Sangha, peer-led

12-1:35pm, East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC), Oakland (285 17th St, Oakland) eastbaymeditation.org

EBMC Teen Sangha (registration required), led by the EBMC Teen Sangha Team

7-8:30pm, East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC), Oakland (285 17th St, Oakland) eastbaymeditation.org


Thursday

Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley, led by James Baraz, Kate Munding, or guest

7:30-9:30pm, Berkeley Buddhist Monastery (2304 McKinley, Berkeley)
insightberkeley.org/

People of Color (POC) Sitting Group, led by Spring Washam & others

7-9pm, East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC), Oakland (285 17th St, Oakland)
eastbaymeditation.org

Against the Stream, led by Michael Taft

5:30-7pm, Against the Stream (2701 Folsom, San Francisco)
againstthestream.org

Insight Meditation Center (IMC), led by Andrea Fella

7:30-9pm, IMC, Redwood City (108 Birch St, Redwood City)
insightmeditationcenter.org


Friday

Open Sitting Group, rotating teachers

6:30-8:30pm, East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC), Oakland (285 17th St, Oakland)
eastbaymeditation.org

Against the Stream (ATS), led by Vinny Ferraro

7:30-9pm, Against the Stream (2701 Folsom, San Francisco)
againstthestream.org

Friday Noon Peace Vigil

[After 14 years, the Friday noon meditation vigil for peace at Oxford/Addison, on the UC Berkeley grass, with Daniel Doane, has ended (fall 2015). Bows to Daniel and the community for their persistence in pursuit of peace. Sit with Daniel at Ojas Yoga in El Cerrito on Monday nights.]


Saturday

Saturday Night Sangha, peer-led

6-7:30pm, East Bay Healing Collective, Berkeley (1840 Alcatraz, Berkeley)
healingcollective.org

Berkeley Zen Center, Sojun Mel Weitsman and others

[morning] 6-11:15am, Berkeley Zen Center (1929 Russell, Berkeley)
BZC has practice every day, and a larger practice period on Saturday mornings
berkeleyzencenter.org/weekly-schedule/


Sunday

SF Insight, led by Eugene Cash

7-9pm, First Unitarian Universalist, SF (1187 Franklin at Geary, SF)
sfinsight.org

Dharmata, led by Anam Thubten

[morning] 10am-12:15pm, Dhyana Hall (235 Washington Ave, Point Richmond)
dharmata.org

Sunday Morning Sittings & Talk, led by Gil Fronsdal

[morning] 8:30-10:45am, IMC, Redwood City (108 Birch St, Redwood City)
insightmeditationcenter.org

Aloha Vihara Nuns

[3rd Sun of each month] 7:30-9pm, Berkeley Buddhist Monastery (2304 McKinley, Berkeley)
saranaloka.org

Alameda Sangha, led by Pauletta Chanco, Rebecca Dixon, and Deb Kerr

7-9pm, United Methodist, Alameda (2311 Buena Vista Ave, Alameda)
sites.google.com/site/alamedasangha

Every Body Every Mind Sangha, rotating teachers

For people living with disabilities, limitations, differences and chronic illnesses.
6-7:30pm, East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC), Oakland (285 17th St, Oakland)
eastbaymeditation.org

Sunday Sangha, led by Will Kabat-Zinn

7-9pm, Ashtanga Yoga Berkeley (933 Parker Street, #38, BAY 5, Berkeley)
ashtangayogaberkeley.com/meditation-2/insight-meditation-with-will-kabat-zinn

At Home In The World: Dharma Evenings for People in Their 20s and 30s

[Monthly on 3rd Sundays] 7-8:30pm, IMC, Redwood City (108 Birch St, Redwood City)
insightmeditationcenter.org

Marin Sangha, led by Phillip Moffitt or guests

6-8pm, St. Luke Presbyterian (10 Bayview Dr, San Rafael)
marinsangha.org

Mindful Meditation, led by Roopa [last name unknown to me]

6:30-7:30pm, Downtown Berkeley YMCA (2001 Allston, Berkeley)
(preceded by 5:15-6:15pm Mindful Yoga)
ymca-cba.org/locations/downtown-berkeley/programs/adult-group-exercise


Other…

Wisdom Sun

Noe Valley, SF. (Classes & retreats, no ongoing group)
wisdomsun.org/index.php/events-and-classes

Buddhist Insight Network

BIN hosts the database for Insight Meditation groups worldwide.
buddhistinsightnetwork.org/sanghas


Retreat

Spirit Rock Meditation Center

A beautiful and powerful place for retreat practice. Also hosts classes & workshops. They have a strong scholarship program, teen program, programs for committed practitioners, and more.
spiritrock.org

A few other good retreat centers

Insight Meditation Society (MA): dharma.org

Forest Refuge (MA): dharma.org/meditation-retreats/forest-refuge

Cloud Mountain (WA): cloudmountain.org

SF Zen Center, Green Gulch, Tassajara (CA): sfzc.org

Deer Park Monastery (CA): deerparkmonastery.org

Goenka-style vipassanā centers: dhamma.org


(If you know of other good groups in the area, please let me know and I’ll add them.)