Narratives can be fun to construct; occasionally I have told one version of my life story wherein my arrival in San Francisco can be traced back to a skiing trip I did not go on during my college years.
The through line on this narrative would go back to what we called the Tri-Temple meeting in 2011: this was Abbot Steve’s idea, to get the senior staff at all three Zen Center practice places together one day a year – the first week in January was the best time to manage that. During that particular meeting, all the City Center people got together for a little brainstorm during the afternoon, and someone – I always remember it as being Tanya – suggested that there should be a group for young adults. For whatever reason, I thought it was a great idea, and offered to be a part of the team that made it happen, which it did, starting about six months later, as Young Urban Zen. Mike B., as I recall, was one of the people who came to the first meeting, and who kept coming. Over the years, he has encouraged me to network myself better – one of the reasons I started this blog back in 2015 – and has made an effort to connect me with various people that he met who he thought might help me, or who I might be able to help.
At the beginning of 2017, at Mike’s prompting, I met Sarah, who was just beginning to get her company rolling, for a cup of coffee in Oakland. I appreciated her vision and the way she spoke about meditation and wellness, and was intrigued by the device she and Brian were developing. I helped with some of the early trials, and then lost touch with them, though I did occasionally check to see that they were still working on their vision.
A couple of months ago I received an email to ask if I would come and try out to be an instructor at their forthcoming studio, for live classes with the device, and I was excited to join up. Now they have twenty people working on the team, and have taken the big step of opening a space downtown for meditation classes.
I have been down there for some training classes and recordings – not to mention a couple of parties – and now the whole venture is going live. Today I will be there for several sessions – my first – and aim to be teaching every Wednesday, and perhaps other times as well. The roster of instructors is a great group of people, as is everyone who works there. If you are local, and want to try a slightly different style of meditation to what I usually offer, please come and check it out.
The studio has been put together in the past few weeks.