SF Zen Center

People chanting “Hare Krishna” got lots of attention in San Francisco in the late 1960s, but this Hindu-based religious movement was actually founded in New York in 1966. The more homegrown movement is Zen Buddhism, brought to San Francisco in 1959 by the Japanese Buddhist Priest Suzuki Roshi. This year, the San Francisco Zen Center is celebrating 50 years since the formation of the first Zen community in The City in 1962.

Peter Coyote, actor, former member of the San Francisco Mime Troup, founding member of the San Francisco based counter-culture group called The Diggers, and a Zen priest, says that Zen Buddhism is not a religion but rather a practice that reminds us that we are a part of an interconnected Universe. The Zen Center teaches “zazen,” defined as seated meditation to calm the body and the mind.
For a virtual tour of the Zen Center, check out this YouTube clip:

And if you prefer a little taste of Zen (pun intended), you can enjoy a meal at Greens Restaurant at Fort Mason. Greens Restaurant opened in 1979 as one of the first vegetarian fine dining restaurants in the country, and it is still a part of the family of Zen Center operations. Besides the sit-down restaurant serving brunch, lunch and dinner, there is “Greens to Go.” The take-out menu includes breads and pastries made from The Tassajara Bread Book, first published in 1970.

For information about the many anniversary events planned, open to the public, check out:

Best wishes,