Calendar: May — August 2020

Sunday Sitting Program 10:30 am to 12 noon*
Every Sunday at 10:30 am we meditate together for 30 minutes, followed by a dharma talk or discussion till 12 noon. Everyone is then welcome to stay and socialize over refreshments till approximately 12:30, after which those who are interested usually go somewhere local for lunch.

Wednesday Night Live 7:30-9:00 pm PT
Similar format to Sundays, without a formal dharma talk — hosting a wide range of discussions which can include creative spiritual inspirations, and applications of practice in everyday life.   People are welcome to attend the Meditation  (7:30-8:00 pm) only, and/or the Discussion (8:00-9:00).

Due to Covid-19, all of our in-person programs have been moved to online ZOOM  meetings.  

To Join a GBF Zoom Meeting go to:

Password:  276525

Meeting ID: 982 393 0924

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Meeting ID: 982 393 0924
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[When we are not operating under the Shelter In Place mandate] Our sittings are held at the San Francisco Buddhist Center, 37 Bartlett Street, San Francisco–between 21st St and 22nd St. (Look for the red door near 21st Street. Bartlett Street is between Mission and Valencia Streets).



MUNI: 14 Mission or 49 Van Ness-Mission, alight at 22th St, walk ½ blocks.

BART: 24th and Mission, walk 3½ blocks.

PARKING: on street or in adjacent New Mission Bartlett Garage.

*Speaker Schedule for Sunday Sitting Program

MAY 24 – Vinny Ferraro has been a practitioner of insight meditation (vipassanā) since the mid 90s. He is a co-Founder of the Dharma Punx and he’s been the Guiding Teacher of a Sangha in San Francisco for 15 years. He is also a nationally recognized leader in designing and implementing interventions for at-risk adolescents and is a Senior Trainer for Mindful Schools. In 1987, he was introduced to Service work and began leading groups for incarcerated populations. In 2001, he began teaching for Challenge Day, a nationally recognized, social & emotional learning program, eventually becoming their Director of Training and leading workshops for over 110,000 youth on four continents.

MAY 31 – Dr. Charles Garfield has been recognized internationally as the founder of the Shanti Project. For over forty years, he has pioneered the development of service-oriented volunteer organizations and the training of volunteers and health professionals in a wide variety of applications. For his work with Shanti, and for originating the Shanti Model of Peer SupportTM, Dr. Garfield was named National Activist of the Year – one of America ’s highest awards to individuals making voluntary contributions in public service. For over four decades, Dr. Garfield served as Clinical Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California School of Medicine at San Francisco . Dr. Garfield is the author of twelve books, most recently the widely respected Life’s Last Gift: Giving and Receiving Peace When A Loved One Is Dying and Our Wisdom Years: Growing Older With Joy, Fulfillment, Resilience and No Regrets. He is currently a Research Scholar at the Starr King School of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley .

JUNE 7 – JD Doyle serves as a Core Teacher at the East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC)and has served as a Board member and was the co-founder of the LGBTQI meditation group. JD is in the Spirit Rock Meditation Center teacher-training program and was in the Dedicated Practitioner Program (DPP2) and the Community Dharma Leader Program (CDL4). JD has practiced Buddhism since 1995 in the U.S., Thailand, and Burma. For over twenty-five years, they worked as a public school teacher focusing on issues of equity and access. JD holds a Bachelors degree in Environmental Studies from Cornell University and a Masters degree in Language and Literacy and Sociocultural Studies from the University of New Mexico. JD identifies as gender non-conforming. They are committed to celebrating the diversity of our human sangha, addressing the impact of racism on our communities, expanding concepts of gender, and living in ways that honor the sacredness of the Earth.

JUNE 14 – Eugene Cash  is the founding teacher of the San Francisco Insight Meditation Community of San Francisco. He teaches at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and leads intensive meditation retreats internationally. His teaching is influenced by both Burmese and Thai streams of the Theravada tradition as well as Zen and Tibetan Buddhist practice. He is also a teacher of the Diamond Approach, a school of spiritual investigation and self-realization developed by A. H. Almaas.

JUNE 21 – Open Discussion (Summer Solstice)

JUNE 28 – René Rivera is a leader and bridge-builder, working and learning in all the spaces in-between race, gender, and other perceived binaries, as a queer, mixed-race, trans man. René has been a student of the Dharma since 2004 and has been a part of the East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC) Alphabet Sangha since 2008. He has participated in the Commit to Dharma and Practice in Action programs at EBMC and the Community Dharma Leaders program at Spirit Rock. René is a community teacher at EBMC and also offers meditation and mindfulness instruction at other centers such as Spirit Rock Meditation Center, SF Dharma Collective, and others with a particular focus on offering the Dharma to QTPOC folx.

JULY 5  Open Discussion (Independence Day)

JULY 12 – Ryuko Laura Burges,  a lay entrusted Buddhist teacher in the Soto Zen tradition, lectures and leads retreats at different practice centers in Northern California. A teacher of children for over 30 years, she trains other teachers to bring mindfulness practice into the elementary classroom. Laura co-founded the Sangha in Recovery program at Zen Center and has a particular interest in the intersection of Buddhism and Recovery. She is the abiding teacher at the Lenox House meditation group in Oakland.

JULY 19 – Donald Rothberg, Ph.D., has practiced Insight Meditation since 1976, and has also received training in Tibetan Dzogchen and Mahamudra practice, the Hakomi approach to body-based psychotherapy, and trauma work. He regularly teaches insight and lovingkindness meditation, and on transforming the judgmental mind, mindful communication and wise speech, working skillfully with conflict, and socially engaged Buddhism. He is the author of The Engaged Spiritual Life: A Buddhist Approach to Transforming Ourselves and the World.

JULY 26 – Dave Richo is a psychologist, teacher, and writer in Santa Barbara and San Francisco who emphasizes Jungian, transpersonal, and spiritual perspectives in his work. He is the author of How to Be an Adult in Relationships. For more information, visit

AUGUST 2 -Open Discussion

AUGUST 9 -Jennifer Berezan  is a unique blend of singer/ songwriter, producer, and activist. Over the course of ten albums, she has developed and explored recurring themes with a rare wisdom. Her lifelong involvement in environmental, women’s, and other justice movements as well as an interest in Buddhism and earth-based spirituality are at the heart of her writing.

AUGUST 16 -Bill Weber is a senior Vipassana practitioner and a graduate from Spirit Rock’s Community Dharma Leaders program. He has twenty-five years of extensive retreat practice and currently practices at home with his husband or sits with a small group of gay men. He is also a documentary filmmaker and video editor, whose latest projects are To Be Takei and The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin.

AUGUST 23 -Rev. Liên Shutt is a Dharma Heir of Zenkei Blanche Hartman in the tradition of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. Born into a Buddhist family in Vietnam, she began her meditation practice in the Insight tradition of Spirit Rock. She was a founding member of the Buddhists of Color in 1998. Her Soto Zen training began at Tassajara monastery where she lived from 2002-2005; after which, she practiced monastically in Japan and Vietnam. Drawing from her monastic experiences, she endeavors to share ways in which the deep settledness of traditional practices can be brought into everyday life. Liên’s strength as a teacher is in making Zen practice accessible to all.

AUGUST 30 – David Lewis  David Lewis as been following the dharma path for 49 years and has a degree in comparative religious studies. He is a graduate of Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s Advanced Practitioners Program. In addition to the Gay Buddhist Fellowship, he shares the dharma at the Mission Dharma and Insight Upper Market sanghas and leads a weekly free drop-in meditation class (now on Zoom) for seniors.

The Gay Buddhist Fellowship supports Buddhist practice and the spiritual concerns of the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies in the San Francisco Bay Area, the United States and throughout the World. GBF’s mission includes offering the wisdom and compassion of diverse Buddhist traditions, and cultivating a social environment that is inclusive and caring.