How do I begin?

Whether it’s through meditation, compassion, or devotion, there are many paths we can take to transform our minds.
But we all need to begin somewhere.

Start Here

Upcoming Events

For anyone interested in learning the art of meditation, or even simply curious what all the fuss is all about, check out our courses, special events and drop-in meditations.

Find Events

Where are we?

     Location: 1033 Polk St., San Francisco, CA
     Office Hours: 10am – 5pm M-F
     Phone: 415 275-3428

Contact Us

About us

Welcome to Rigpa San Francisco Bay Area

A community of friends supporting each other in our spiritual progress

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About Rigpa

Rigpa aims to present the Buddhist tradition of Tibet in a way that is both completely authentic, and as relevant as possible to the lives and needs of modern men and women.

Open to all schools and traditions of Buddhist wisdom, and with the guidance and gracious patronage of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Rigpa offers those following the Buddhist teachings a complete path of study and practice, along with the environment they need to experience the teachings fully.

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Sogyal Rinpoche

A world-renowned Buddhist teacher from Tibet, Sogyal Rinpoche is also the author of the highly acclaimed The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying.

Born in Kham in Eastern Tibet, Sogyal Rinpoche was recognized at an early age as the incarnation of a great master and visionary saint of the nineteenth century, Tertön Sogyal Lerab Lingpa (1856-1926), a teacher to the thirteenth Dalai Lama.

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The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

Sogyal Rinpoche’s acclaimed spiritual classic is widely regarded as one of the most complete and authoritative presentations of the Tibetan Buddhist teachings ever written.

A manual for life and death and a source of inspiration from the heart of the Tibetan tradition, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying provides a lucid and inspiring introduction to the practice of meditation, to the nature of mind, to karma and rebirth, to compassionate love and care for the dying, and to the trials and rewards of the spiritual path.

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What we offer

View Full Calendar Here

Drop-In Meditation

Meditation can be described as a process of getting to know our own mind. Although the subject of meditation can be vast and extremely profound, the basics of meditation are actually very simple.  Drop in and give it a try. Open to everyone- from completely new meditators to seasoned yogis.


Rigpa offers a broad program of courses, seminars and retreats designed to make the Buddhist teachings accessible and relevant to men and women of all ages, and from all walks of life. We also aim to offer a complete and graduated path in the Buddhist teachings and practice. Rigpa courses aim to guide and support students along the path- from establishing a strong foundation in meditation, to opening the heart of compassion, and awakening the mind to the truth of our fundamental goodness.

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Special Events

From special guest speakers, visiting Lamas and teachers, to retreats and other special events, check here to see what special events we have planned at or around the San Francisco Rigpa Center.

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Sangha Programs

Programs and practices specifically for Rigpa sangha members.

There are no upcoming events at this time.


The Purpose of Meditation

There are many stages and many levels to meditation, but the highest goal or purpose of meditation is to awaken in us the sky-like nature of mind, our true nature.

As soon as we connect with the purity of our inherent nature, our buddha nature, what is revealed is our fundamental goodness—the good heart. Kindness, compassion and love simply exude. And so you are not only in touch with yourself, but completely in touch with others also. You feel a sense of real oneness with them. There is no barrier standing any longer between you and them. Nor even between you and yourself.

So often the barriers, and so the problems, are our own; we are at war with ourselves. Now, through this practice, as the grip of ego loosens and our tendency to grasp evaporates, so the conflict, the suffering, and the pain of fragmenting and fighting with ourselves dissolve. For the first time, a deep and fundamental forgiveness for ourselves becomes possible.

At the same time, expectation, fear, and anxiety melt away, and with them all those feelings—of being blocked and closed, of not being in touch with ourselves or others, of being estranged even from our own feelings—that disqualify us from being happy.

It’s incredible what this wonderful practice can bring about…

Meditation Explained

When practicing meditation, all you need to do is let go and relax. Just rest, open, in the present moment, simply allowing whatever arises to rise. Whatever thoughts, emotions or sensations come up, you don’t have to block them. But neither do you have to follow them. Simply allow yourself to be aware of them. When you remain in this awareness, then you realize that you are much bigger than your thoughts, emotions and perceptions. You don’t have to be afraid of your thoughts any more. Thoughts are not you. Emotions are not you. You become free of them, as you discover the confidence of your true nature. So, do not follow after thoughts and emotions, but merely be aware of everything that passes through your awareness, as it is. What we are doing is resting our mind in its natural awareness, completely unaffected by whatever arises.

How to begin?

Every journey begins with a single step…

Whether you are brand new to Meditation, or are already quite experienced, you can take part in and benefit from our range of meditation offerings:

Drop In sessions

Regular sessions to come and sit in the atmosphere of an authentic shrine and settle your mind. Free and open to all.

Drop By


Follow a series of courses exploring meditation in depth. Led by experienced meditators, combining practice, discussion, study & guidance

Take a Course

Events & Retreats

Specific events with visiting teachers where you can spend

Find an Event

Stay in touch

The San Francisco Bay Area Rigpa center is on Polk Street between Geary and Post, a block from Van Ness, in a neighborhood just south of Polk Gulch, with nearby restaurants, cafes, and bus connections to BART

Parking Tips:

Street parking is now free on Sundays, with metered parking on other days. In addition there are several nearby parking garages with reduced rates on weekends and evenings. Two of the closest are:

Laz Parking Ca LLC
1150 Post St, San Francisco, , CA 94109
(415) 351-1452

R T Parking & Valet Service
74 Hemlock St, San Francisco, , CA 94109
(415) 928-5079

Bus Connections to BART:

From New Montgomery BART

Take the 38 Geary bus toward 48th Ave and get off at Geary & Van Ness, a 2-minute walk to the center. The 38 runs every 6-8 minutes until past 1 am.

from Civic Center BART

At Larkin & Grove (in front of the Library) you can take the 19 Polk bus toward Fisherman’s Wharf and get off at Polk & Post, a 1-minute walk to the center. The 19 Polk runs every 15-20 minutes (every 30 minutes after 10:30 pm) until past midnight.

For more information on routes and schedules, see the SFMTA (San Francisco Municipal Transport Agency) website at:

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