Meditation Groups

Meditation groups in the San Francisco Bay Area

Sitting regularly with a group and teacher is one of the strongest supports for deepening spiritual practice. This is not an exhaustive list. 

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).

The format in most cases is meditation period and then a dharma talk.


Heart of Light Meditation, Mike McGarry

6:30-8:15pm, East Bay Healing Collective, (1840 Alcatraz, Berkeley)


Insight Meditation Satsang, led by Sean Felt

7:30-9:15pm, onlne, link at his website

Mission Dharma, led by Howard Cohn

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

Open Eye Meditation group

7-9pm 875 4th St. San Rafael

Buddhist Temple of Marin

7:30pm 390 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley, CA 94941

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

Berkeley Buddhist Monastery (2304 McKinley, Berkeley)

Walnut Creek Sitting Group, led by Ernie Isaacs

[THIRD Tue of each month]

27:30-9:15pm, Unity Center, 1871 Geary Road, Walnut Creek


Oakland Against the Stream

7:00-8:30, 111 Fairmount Ave, Oakland, CA 94611

Metta Dharma Foundation, led by Richard Shankman

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


Soma Dharma

7:30-9pm 1436 Howard st, San Francisco

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

7-9pm, First Unitarian Universalist Church, 1187 Franklin at Geary, SF

Rick Hanson’s group

6:45pm-8:30pm please check website below for directions, Dominican University, San Rafael


Insight Meditation Community of Berkeley, led by James Baraz, Kate Munding and guests

7:30-9:30pm, Berkeley Buddhist Monastery (2304 McKinley, Berkeley)


Open Sitting Group, rotating teachers

6:30-8:30pm, East Bay Meditation Center, 285 17th St Oakland



Hartford Street Zen Center

9:25am Zazen followed by dharma talk

57 Hartford Street

San Francisco, CA 94114-2013



9am Sacred Mountain Sanga (there is chanting, meditation and dharma talk)

Pacific Zen (work with koans), various roshis

Dharmata, led by Anam Thubten

[morning] 10am-12:15pm, Dhyana Hall (235 Washington Ave, Point Richmond) Anam is there every other week usually. Check the website before you go!


Sunday Sangha, led by Will Kabat-Zinn

VERY popular, 7-9pm,

Crimson Gate Meditation Community

Zen for mental health professionals but open to the public

7:30-9pm be on time. Doors close

3824 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94610

Aloha Vihara Nuns

[3rd Sun of each month]

7:30-9pm, Berkeley Buddhist Monastery, 2304 McKinley, Berkeley, CA 94703

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

7-8:30pm, 2311 Buena Vista Ave, Alameda

SF Insight, led by Eugene Cash

7-9pm, First Unitarian Universalist, 1187 Franklin at Geary, SF

Marin Sangha, led by Phillip Moffitt or guests

6-8pm, St. Luke Presbyterian, 10 Bayview Dr, San Rafael


Dharma Hommies


Berkeley Zen Center, Sojun Mel Weitsman and others

1929 Russell St, Berkeley

BZC has practice every day, 5:40am, noon and 5:40pm and a larger practice period on Saturday mornings

Berkeley Buddhist Priory (closed Mondays)

Sittings at 6:30am, 11:15am, 7:30pm

1358 Marin Avenue, Albany, CA 94706

Dharma Talk Wednesdays at 8pm

SF Dharma Collective

2701 Folsom st, San Francisco, CA 94110

San Francisco Zen Center

300 Page St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Hartford Street Zen Center

57 Hartford Street, San Francisco, CA 94114-2013


Also check

The Berkeley Alembic

Wisdom Sun

Noe Valley, SF. (Classes & retreats, no ongoing group)

Buddhist Insight Network

BIN hosts the database for Insight Meditation groups worldwide.

Amma’s Center

10200 Crow Canyon Rd, Castro Valley, CA 94552

Includes bhajans (chanting)


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.

Insight Retreat Center (Scott’s Valley, Santa Cruz)

You have to apply a few months in advance but retreat is fully by donation. Very compatible to Spirit Rock. Not as big of a campus but everything else is fine.

SF Zen Center, Green Gulch, Tassajara (CA):

Deer Park Monastery (CA):

Vallecitos Mountain Retreat Center in New Mexico

Cloud Mountain in Washington State (well worth the beautiful drive. It’s 1.5 hours north or Portland)