top of page

Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind
(online-class) 2/15 - 3/22

"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are few. " 

Six Wednesdays, 5:30 – 7 pm PT

A six-week class, focusing on talks by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, the foremost interpreter of Zen Buddhist practice to the West. All are welcome.

For over 50 years, practitioners have referred to the talks that comprise Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind as an inspiration to practice. Suzuki Roshi presents the basics of Zen practice in a way that is remarkably clear and resonates with the joy of insight into our everyday life.

In this class, we'll discuss the many insights of these talks, centering on the practice of zazen (sitting meditation): posture, breathing, and focused attention. With Suzuki, we will go beyond the basics of practice and encourage complete questioning and engagement with all things.

We will explore together our responses to Suzuki Roshi’s teachings on practice as a description and a way of life, and share our experiences of cultivating "beginner’s mind," sitting practice, and living in the world.

The practice of Zen mind is beginner's mind, so there is no need to have a long exposure to Buddhism or Zen meditation to participate.

Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind is divided into three sections, roughly corresponding to body, relationship, and understanding. Not Always So is a further collection of Suzuki's most accessible talks. Participants are encouraged to obtain copies of these books from the SFZC bookstore (direct links are on titles) and spend time reading in anticipation of our study together.


Peter van der Sterre

Jennifer Block


Practice Center:


Date / Time:

Feb 15, 2023 / 5:30pm - Mar 22, 2023 / 7:00pm


This class will be offered online. The Zoom link will be provided at least 24 hours before the class begins. Please call 415-354-0360 if you have any questions.

Click Here for a link to the official class announcement on the San Francisco Zen Center Website.

                         Fee Information:

  • General $225

  • Current SFZC Members $202.50

  • Sliding Scale 1: $135

  • Sliding Scale 2: $56.25

For additional discount options, please email us at

Register Online

About Shunryu Suzuki roshi.

When Shunryu Suzuki came to San Francisco in 1959, he had no particular plan. He had led congregations in Japan and had an unassuming, friendly and direct way with people. What Suzuki roshi offered and inspired in people will never be completely understood.  Having studied the two collections of his talks: Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind (1970) and Not Always So (2002) for the past several years, we are now studying some of his unpublished work.  Suzuki's life and appreciation of Buddhism became the inspiration for the practice and community which has grown to become the San Francisco Zen Center, and its over 70 direct descendant Practice Groups. 

This is an introductory course, open to everyone with a sincere interest in Zen practice and a desire to extend their understanding and appreciation of this life and our times. We will start with a sitting period, followed by selected readings and discussion. 

Oak Street Zendo

634 Oak Street SF CA, 94117
Advance notice will go out in Jan 2023
Peter van der Sterre,


bottom of page