Best Place to Meditate - 2005
San Francisco Zen Center
Most of us are aware that San Francisco is a meditation cloud nine. Since Buddhism was popularized in the United States in the 1960s, monks, scholars, and peaceniks have flocked to the city to get in on the nonaction. The San Francisco Zen Center is perhaps the most established haven of the Buddhist community, maintaining the rigor, intellectual complexity, and elegance of classical Zen that its founder, Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, intended, while keeping its doors open to laypeople of myriad spiritual persuasions. The Zen Center's S.F. temple offers a rich assortment of meditation times, retreats, practice periods, workshops, and family events -- including a patchwork of classes like exploring qigong, learning the art of the Japanese tea ceremony, and probing the psychology of Buddhism itself. Experienced monks lead all the sessions, and the beginning meditations seem to be specifically tailored to caffeine-saturated fidgeters still hankering for a glimpse of nirvana.